Self directed study - Counselling Psychology

Discuss the content and style of the different clinical psychology doctoral training courses, the differences between them, placements, teaching, chat to other trainees and connect with other people who have places on the same course
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Self directed study - Counselling Psychology

Post by Daniellesedgewick » Wed Aug 09, 2017 4:19 pm


I just wondered had anyone gone down the route of self directed study in counselling psychology as on the bps website? If so what does it entail and cost?


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Re: Self directed study - Counselling Psychology

Post by anniecat » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:01 pm

Hi Danielle

I didn't choose to do this in the end but i explored it thoroughly. It is quite a complex path to chartership but may suit some people.

It is quite difficult to distil the information provided by the BPS down into simple terms. Personally I found the way things are set out complicated and time consuming to clarify. Hopefully I can translate the large amount of time I spent navigating the whole process into something simple that may save you having to do the same.

Firstly, cost. All in all this is NOT a less expensive route than a taught programme although it may seem so on first consideration. Although if you already have some qualifications it may be a cheaper route if you can count them as APL.

So, first off you pay the BPS £11,000 (this can be paid in instalments over a period of up to 5 years). This is their administration fee (personally I think this is an outrageous fee for basically marking a few pieces of coursework...I am sure they would see it differently)

Then you also have to evidence competence at postgrad level in two forms of therapy so, realistically, this would mean the fees for training in two other modalities. Taking the standard Masters/PG Dip fees as being around £7-9K for a FT course you would probably have to come up with another £15-18K at least. There may be some cheaper courses around but I would be warned that they are quite fussy about what kind of courses you use - for example a short course/introductory course would not count.

So, you're already at nearly £30K and that is as much/more than you would pay for a taught Counselling Psych doctorate.
On top of this you would have to pay a clinical supervisor (unless this came as part of your therapy courses/placement attached to them) for all your clinical hours at quite a high ratio of hour/supervision.
You also have to pay another co-ordinating supervisor who is basically your point of contact - this will be I think at least four meetings per years - and they will charge anything from £50-100 per hour.

So, that's the money side of it.

In terms of content of learning/practice you have to evidence - you need two therapy modalities (with a certain number of hours of teaching - one is higher than the other), a certain amount of clinical contact hours, certain number of supervision hours, to write essays on a range of subjects, do a case study and also do a piece of research. They also have rules about not using the same qualification more than once - so you couldn't do a MSc in Psychodynamic Therapy and use it to count as your therapy modality and use the dissertation as your research thing.

Also, of course, you need GBC.

So there is quite a lot to be done and it is not cheap. Also, do remember you get only a 'doctoral level qualification' rather than a doctorate - I haven't seen this on any JD be a problem - most do ask for only the former but you may feel for all the work/financial outlay that you would like to be able to call yourself 'Dr' as you will have earned it!

So I would say

Pros: it is a flexible route that allows you to tailor a package of learning that fits your own interests and fits around other things in your life; is good for people who do not live near an institution offering a taught doctorate; good for people who perhaps already have qualifications (psychotherapists etc) who could use existing skills and also have a way to get placement hours in while being paid

Cons: it could be lonely, you would need to be very self motivated, you outlay as much for not the same return (no title but that may not matter to you), it is a nightmare to navigate the paperwork, hard to find coordinating supervisors

So, that is a quick summary - hope it helps a bit and good luck

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Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:24 pm

Re: Self directed study - Counselling Psychology

Post by Daniellesedgewick » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:39 pm

Hi anniecat

Your an absolute star, this is the reply i was hoping for as you are right, trying to make sense of the bps site is mindboggling haha. Umm its a hard one as due to my current wage id be losing about 9000 a year doing the doctorate though which means money wise either way is gonna cost. However as you said you have the cost of the training in modalities. 11000 just for an admin fee is outrageous! Very tricky decision but your response has definetly given me something to think about. Thank you so much!

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