Counselling psychology courses & NHS jobs

Discuss any aspect of applying for posts or courses (apart from the clinical psychology doctorate which has its own forum section), CVs, application forms, etc
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Counselling psychology courses & NHS jobs

Post by IdaBauer » Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:36 pm

Apologies in advance, this is a long one.

I'm aware counselling psychology is not the focus of the forum, but I've been searching past posts and googling frantically to find out 'real life' experiences of trainees and counselling psychologists regarding the various courses out there and employability after graduation and am coming up a total blank, so I'm hoping that maybe some of the counselling psychologists on the forum (I've seen posts from a few) or others who have applied to training (or clinical psychologists who work with or know counselling psychs) can offer some input.

I'm considering applying to study the Counselling Psych doctorate at Metanoia or the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling. I'm in the position where I have a well paid (non psychology) job (and the required 2.1 in Psychology/GBC etc. gained a good while back - I'm in my thirties) but no savings that would allow me to take three years off unpaid as well as pay the course fees and living expenses, so these courses appeal due to their flexibility (as I could work full time when studying and even take a pause between modules if I need to. I'm a freelancer so I can also take short career breaks between contracts if needed to balance work & study or for counselling psych placements).

HOWEVER I'm just wondering if I'd be less employable in an NHS role open to both clinical and counselling psychologists if I graduate from one of these schools vs someone who had graduated from UCL or Ioppn with a clinical doctorate or City with a counselling psych doctorate (at the moment I think I'd like to work with people who have eating disorders). Yes, Metanoia and NSPC confer the Doctorate level education required for chartership by the BPS & registration with HCPC, BACP accreditation (and with the NSPC, I can get UKCP accreditation and also can register as a psychologist supervisor with BPS and a supervisor and trainer with the BACP, which is actually more than most clinical and counselling psych doctorate courses offer in terms of qualifications), but I know that when these schools have been brought up in the forum before, a few clinical psychologists have said that they haven't heard of them, and I wonder about the research element of their doctorate vs courses like City and GCal.

I really don't want to spend 4 or 5 years and c.£40k training to find I'm just not getting shortlisted for interviews as my course is considered not quite up to scratch vs the other trainings out there, and at the moment I'm just too distant from the profession to know what's actually being said about these courses by trainees/graduates, other counselling/clinical psychologists and by recruiters in the NHS. I know that some of this would always be in the strength of the application and interview, and the contacts that one might make in terms of references and recommendations, but any input on these courses and the employability of their graduates would be hugely gratefully received.

Thanks in advance :)

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Re: Counselling psychology courses & NHS jobs

Post by Spatch » Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:35 pm

At one level getting through a course that gives you HCPC registration puts you on an equal footing to anyone else. However, it can be that the placements offered can have an influence in subsequent job apps, especially if they are in a more competitive specialty. My own specialist ED placement in final year definitely helped me secure that first job after training, and it was a placement not open to counselling psych trainees. If the courses you are mentioning offer NHS ED placements, then that would be an advantage. It's hard to predict this because it will depend on the popularity of ED at the time, the competition level and your own geographical restrictions.

Beyond this, there may be broader biases about counselling vs clinical psychologists that you can search for in this forum. Regardless, I haven't ever heard of counselling psychologists that have particularly struggled to find some work.
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