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  /  Counselling Psychology   /  What is a Counselling Psychologist?

Counselling psychology is a form of professional applied psychology where evidence based practice is put at the heart of therapy.  It aims to help those in distress through collaborative and effective practice. Practitioners of Counselling Psychology are trained to doctoral level, in a range of therapeutic modalities; and show a high degree of self-awareness. This allows them to assess and formulate therapeutic interventions that are applicable to the individual’s emotional distress and are collaborative in nature. It combines the essence of counselling with the rigour of psychology.

I believe that my training allowed me to learn in different types of therapy, study them to the highest level and practice them with a depth of understanding . That is not to say that other practitioners – other Applied Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Counsellors etc have not done this. Far from it – every practitioner is different and there are many routes to qualification.  Counselling Psychology training allowed me to study and become proficient in several different types of therapy.  I now practice humantistic, psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural approaches.   It also ensures that practitioners have had therapy themselves, have trained and studied to the highest level and have had at least 500 hours of practice on qualification.

What I would highlight is that whatever type of practitioner you decide to see it is crucial to check that they are appropriately qualified and that those qualifications are verified by an official governing body. For example, I am registered on both the British Psychological Society and Health and Care Professional Council registers and so my website bears their emblems. Without professional regulation anyone can use these protected titles.

I hope that whoever you work with to support your mental health it a positive and collaborative experience.

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Dr Farrah Collins is on leave from September 2022 - Summer 2023 and will not be seeing clients during this time. If you are struggling and are in need of urgent assistance please contact your GP, out of hours service or go to A and E. For more mental health support visit Mind.