A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

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A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby Marlowe » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:55 pm

Hi, I've done a search but couldn't find this topic, please let me know if it's been done. I'm seeking a rigorous, academic full-time doctorate which contains mucho counselling theory and a balance of both qualitative and quantitative research, and I'd be very grateful for any recommendations (or warnings via PM!) I've already trained as a counsellor, and would now really like to get my teeth into an intellectual challenge. My ideal curriculum would contain maybe 50% theory and 50% research project, at a good uni within reach of London. I don't mind if it's accredited, clinical or counselling etc., and I don't need to do a huge amount of counselling hours since I've already done those (although I'd be happy to do them again). So far I've found the DPsych at Surrey which looks very interesting, but I don't know anything about it aside from the info on the website. I've copied the overview below to give an idea of what I'm hoping to find (since I can't for the life of me get the web-linking to work). Can you recommend anywhere else? Grateful in advance for any pointers.

From http://www.postgraduatesearch.com/unive ... course.htm
DPsych - Doctor in Psychology, Psychological Counselling Psychotherapy
Course type: Research
Course Summary:
The practitioner doctorate in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology trains high-calibre professionals who have a passion for the philosophical and epistemological foundations of the Reflective Scientist Practitioner identity and who believe in the importance of making a significant contribution to the field. It is embedded within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (FHMS) that promotes an international, interdisciplinary and pluralistic attitude evident in the applied strengths of the School when it comes to research and clinical practice. Moreover, the School of Psychology has been the centre for many cross-national studies and has attracted funding from research councils and local and national government departments, such as ESF, Defra, the MoD, the Home Office, the Environment Agency, the Countryside Agency, Surrey County Council and the EU. The field of Counselling psychology is an innovative branch of applied psychology concerned with the promotion of psychological well being through a relational understanding of difficulties in living and persons’ subjective experience, values, and meaning as constructed through interactions with the world and other people.

In line with the field’s ethos and philosophical underpinnings to theory and practice, our programme is firmly rooted in phenomenological and humanistic traditions that conceptualise human existence in dynamic, relational, embedded, embodied, and temporal terms. As such, during the first year you will be exposed to the philosophical underpinning of counselling psychology, which will include seminars on phenomenology and its relevance to the theory and practice of counselling psychology, intersubjectivity, embodiment, and temporality followed by person centred and existential/phenomenological approaches to the theory and practice of counselling psychology. The second year will expose you to an in depth understanding of contemporary psychodynamic traditions and in year three you will gain a working knowledge of cognitive behavioural approaches that will include both 2nd and 3rd wave theories.

Our practitioner doctorate has been running for over 15 years and is the first training to be accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). Our team comprises of counselling psychologists and psychotherapists who share a passion for the field and its unique place within the wider community of applied psychologies. Upon successful completion it confers eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC as a counselling psychologist and BPS for as a chartered psychologist. Depending on the aims and learning outcomes of assignments, you will engage with oral and written assessments such as essays, clinical reports, research assignments, videotaped practical exercises and class presentations. Counselling psychologists work in a variety of settings including GP practices, community mental-health teams, clinical psychology departments, voluntary agencies, social services, private practice, higher education, national and international companies/organisations and so on. Our graduates have been extremely successful in obtaining jobs as counselling psychologists and have established themselves in a range of settings including the NHS, prisons, EAP settings, private companies and independent practices.

Full time: 36 months
Entry requirements
Students need first or 2.1 honours degree in Psychology and Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) from the BPS. A Masters Degree in Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, or related field is desirable. They also need Clinical Experience and/or training in psychotherapy and counselling.
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby bluegoat » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:05 pm

There are 13 courses in the UK in Counselling Psychology and they are all accredited by the BPS - Surrey being one of them (and the first University to offer the qualification). I would have a look on here for the courses that offer the qualification https://www.bps.org.uk/public/become-ps ... ed-courses

Good luck!
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby Marlowe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:23 am

Thanks bluegoat! :) I went through those but thought there might be some un-accredited options out there too - or is accreditation the best signifier of academic rigour? - also I heard that some forum members had personal experience of the kind of course I'm looking for.

This makes me realise that I've got a question about ClinPsy, will go ask it in appropriate thread. Thanks again.
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby bluegoat » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:12 am

I'm not aware of any unaccredited Counselling Psychology doctorates. I don't think it'd be in the University's interest to offer an unaccredited option. At the moment, the following Universities offer the doctorate which is accredited by the BPS and will allow you to register as a Counselling Psychologist with the HCPC.

City University
University of East London
Glasgow Caledonian University
London Metropolitan University
University of Manchester
Metanoia Institute (London)
New School of Psychotherapy & Counselling (London)
Regent's University London
University of Roehampton,
University of Surrey
University of Teesside
University of the West of England
University of Wolverhampton

Given you are already qualified as a counsellor, would you be interested in a PhD in Psychology as opposed to a professional doctorate (which is what all Counselling Psychology doctorates are) ?
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby Marlowe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:52 am

Wow so helpful, thanks for that and for talking it through with me. Yes I would be interested in a PhD - I'm trying to find PhDs which have access to interesting taught theoretical courses and tutorials, in addition to pure research.

At this stage I'm also very attracted to ClinPsy, but I don't know if it'll meet my research needs -- I asked more about that in a separate thread just now (which I don't seem to be able to link to unfortunately - admin if you see this, where can I find out how to link to stuff please? I've tried the usual URL link-in-text function.)

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=20876&p=186207#p186207
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby maven » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:46 am

I don't understand whether you want to train to have a doctoral level qualification in the practise of psychology as a professional discipline to work with people (a practitioner doctorate that needs to be accredited) or whether you want to just do academic study about a specific area of psychology research (a PhD) but these are entirely different things and serve entirely different purposes.

You also say
Marlowe wrote: I don't need to do a huge amount of counselling hours since I've already done those
as if the practise you'll have done as a counsellor will not be improved by doctoral level psychology training, which would kind of defy the whole point of doctoral training. The point is that you learn the evidence base, how to assess and formulate taking into account the full biopsychosocial spectrum of contributing issues, then you learn about the various therapeutic techniques and how therapy fits into a wider context, along with stuff about working indirectly and with systems, research and various professional issues/the state of the NHS, rather than just a single modality of therapy. The practise hours then reflect putting that learning into practise with supervision from a qualified practitioner psychologist.

Your post kind of reads like you don't know what clinical or counselling psychology is, what the training would contain, or have any respect for proper accreditation and professional regulation. I find that quite concerning.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby Marlowe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:16 am

Hi maven,

maven wrote:Your post kind of reads like you don't know what clinical or counselling psychology is, what the training would contain, or have any respect for proper accreditation and professional regulation. I find that quite concerning.

I appreciate your concern, but I really don't believe there's any need for alarm. To try to address each of your concerns in turn:

- I will already be accredited to work as a counsellor and am happy to continue working as a counsellor, therefore I am not specifically seeking out accreditation. I'm not sure how you read disrespect for the whole field of accreditation and professional regulation into my post.

- While there will of course be similarities, Psychology study in all its forms feels like a whole different world from qualifying as a counsellor. Accrediting with the BACP is a whole different beast from accrediting with the BPS, course descriptions between the different kinds of doctorates had a lot of overlaps to my untrained eye, and the amount of information (and lack of information in some cases) was overwhelming at first. So I thought it might help to ask people who had been there and done that. I.e. yes I don't know a lot about the academic and professional structure of Psychology yet, and that's why I asked my question.

maven wrote:I don't understand whether you want to train to have a doctoral level qualification in the practise of psychology as a professional discipline to work with people (a practitioner doctorate that needs to be accredited) or whether you want to just do academic study about a specific area of psychology research (a PhD) but these are entirely different things and serve entirely different purposes.


I will be working with people, but I already work with people. What I am seeking to do is more academic study, to complement and deepen what I already do.

maven wrote:You also say "I don't need to do a huge amount of counselling hours since I've already done those" as if the practise you'll have done as a counsellor will not be improved by doctoral level psychology training, which would kind of defy the whole point of doctoral training. The point is that you learn the evidence base, how to assess and formulate taking into account the full biopsychosocial spectrum of contributing issues, then you learn about the various therapeutic techniques and how therapy fits into a wider context, along with stuff about working indirectly and with systems, research and various professional issues/the state of the NHS, rather than just a single modality of therapy. The practise hours then reflect putting that learning into practise with supervision from a qualified practitioner psychologist.

That was useful information, thank you maven. Naturally my practice will be improved by doctoral level psychology training; that is why I'm seeking to do it. My post graduate counselling diploma did not contain "just a single modality of therapy" however, it addressed all the topics you mention, although I am sure it was not to the same rigour and depth as a doctorate would. And so I am trying to figure out which doctorate will best complement and build on what I've already done, rather than covering much of the same ground. I read another thread on this forum where a qualified counsellor was very disappointed with his Counselling Psychology doctorate because it went over most of the same ground that he'd already covered. This concerned me and I hope to learn from that.
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby maven » Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:42 am

You are aware that counselling is not a regulated profession? Anyone can call themselves a counsellor, and nobody can be meaningfully struck off. Courses, if people take them, are very variable in their depth, breadth and quality. Clinical Psychology is not like that. It is a highly competitive, highly specialised and fully regulated profession, with doctoral level training over a minimum of three years full-time, or equivalent. Counselling Psychology is self-funded and more variable in breadth, depth and quality but has some overlaps.

My genuine question would be, if you intend to keep working as a counsellor, why waste time and money on a doctorate in psychology, academic or applied? A PhD is the thing to do if you want to spend several years researching something very specific in depth, but it doesn't improve your therapy skills. If you want to work in the NHS, to rise to higher bandings, to have a doctorate and the prestige (and hourly rate) that that confers, then it might be worth doing a practitioner doctorate. But really, being a psychologist isn't just about therapy - the higher banding and the strength of a CP qualification is in indirect and systemic work, as well as in the depth and rigour of our multidimensional assessments and formulation. We can have impact beyond individual clients by shaping practice by supervising and managing services, training and consulting, developing provision, designing and evaluating interventions.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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Re: A scientific/academic counselling psychology doctorate?

Postby Marlowe » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:49 am

Indeed counselling is unfortunately not legally regulated, although I've often been happy to note that it has been effectively self-regulated (not that I'm making a case for self-regulation, for obvious reasons).

Your thoughtful description of Clinical Psychology is almost an exact description of why I want to do it. Very helpful, thanks. Now I just need to figure out if I should go down the CoP or the ClinPsy route.
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