Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Counselling Psychologists

Counselling psychologist: Job description
Counselling psychologists use psychological theory and research in their therapeutic work with clients, staff groups and organisations. Clients may present with a variety of problems ranging from anxiety and depression arising from difficult life issues to more serious mental health problems.

Life issues could include bereavement, relationship difficulties, domestic violence or the aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse, while mental health problems could include eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or psychosis. Some individuals may have simply come to a point in their life, where they feel the need to take stock and consider options for moving forward.

Staff teams may need assistance to develop Support Plans for individuals; may need assistance in understanding the meaning behind behaviours that challenge; or may need to find a support mechanism to aid them in avoiding burnout issues.
Organisations can utilise the therapeutic understanding and expertise of Counselling Psychologists to understand system dynamics; to create new and therapeutic environments; and to develop new therapeutic models of care and support.

Practising as a counselling psychologist requires a high level of training and self-awareness, achieved through personal therapy, as well as the ability to work collaboratively with the client in a holistic, insightful and facilitative way to enable them to consider change.

Counselling psychologists work with diverse client groups, including children, adults, students and young people, families and couples, and older people. They work in many different settings, such as health and care services, hospitals, prisons, probation services, consultancy, and in private or public organisations.

Typical tasks include:
  • undertaking assessments, including assessment of mental health need, risk assessment and psychometric testing;
  • formulating a psychological explanation of the client’s issues;
  • planning and implementing therapy;
  • evaluating the outcome of therapy;
  • establishing a collaborative working relationship with the client based on trust and respect;
  • writing reports and record-keeping;
  • training and supervision of other psychologists;
  • management, audit and development of services and organisation;
  • multidisciplinary teamworking;
  • continuing personal and professional development (CPD);
  • undertaking research, either individually or as part of a team

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