The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology course is designed to equip you with a rigorous training in clinical practice, as well as professional research skills at doctoral level, to enable you to become an effective and competent Practitioner Psychologist.
Who is it for?
The DPsych aims to develop ethical, reflective and professional practitioners of counselling psychology who work collaboratively with their clients to provide high-quality psychological services, drawing on evidence-based psychological practice in the context of a therapeutic relationship characterised by trust, respect, and appreciation for the subjective experience of the person and individuality of the client and their unique world view.
Our programme seeks to sit at the interface of science and practice. We value reflective professional practice and development of practice through the rigor of top class research.
You are equipped to work with a wide range of complex presenting issues; with individual adults and children, couples, families, groups and organisations; short and long term; in single and multi-professional contexts; and through transferring psychological skills to others in multidisciplinary teams.
You are actively supported during your studies by the course team to develop your own personal theory of the evolution, maintenance and resolution of psychological problems, based on your reading, lectures, practical skills workshops, personal development, collaborative learning and clinical and research experience.
We want you to have a stimulating, challenging, inspiring and personally supportive professional training environment in which to develop your knowledge and skills and further develop as a person and professional. We view you as active contributors to your learning and to the overall success of the course, treating each of you with respect and working with you in a genuinely collegial atmosphere as a developing professional.
The Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology course is designed to equip you with a rigorous training in clinical practice, as well as professional research skills at doctoral level, to enable you to become an effective and competent Practitioner Psychologist registered with the HCPC, and Chartered Psychologist with the BPS.
Our professional, clinical and academic training is combined with the opportunity to develop your own portfolio of placement experience. This equips you to build a successful and fulfilling career in a broad range of settings, including:
-The NHS (e.g. inpatient settings, community mental health teams, specialist services such as early intervention, with different clinical populations e.g. older adults)
-The independent hospital sector
-Forensic settings including HMPS and probation
-Organisations in areas such as occupational health
-The Third (voluntary) sector
-Private practice (including Employee Assistance Programmes)
-Academic and research settings
In addition to the taught components of the Counselling Psychology MSc/DPsych course, you are also required to complete 400 hours of professional face-to-face client practice in placements and 45 hours of indirect client work; frequent clinical supervision; personal development; 40 hours of personal therapy (at least 15 hours in Year 1); and various pieces of assessment throughout the three years, including a doctoral thesis.
Who arranges the placements?
It is your responsibility to find and arrange your own placements, although advice and support is offered by the Placements Co-ordinator and personal tutors. If your application is successful, on acceptance of a place on the course you will be sent further information about finding placements and available opportunities.
Do placements have to be in London?
No, you can undertake your placements wherever is convenient for you as long as you ensure your supervision is from appropriately qualified professionals. Supervisors should be registered with the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a 'Practitioner Psychologist', 'Registered Psychologist', 'Counselling Psychologist' or 'Clinical Psychologist'. All placements arrangements need to be approved by your personal tutor.
Supervision should normally be in the ratio of one hour of supervision for every 8 hours of counselling work in Years 1 and 2, with a minimum of one hour of supervision per fortnight. In Year 3, supervision should be in the ratio of one hour for every 8 hours of counselling work, with a minimum of two hours of supervision per month.
Teaching and learning
A wide range of learning and teaching methods are used, including lectures, group discussion, group work, role play, trainee presentations, supervised clinical practice, personal therapy and personal development activities.
You will be assessed through role plays, learning logs, skills assessments, essays, process reports, client studies, examination, critical literature review and DPsych portfolio.
We want your time on the Counselling Psychology MSc/DPsych course to be as inspiring, challenging and stimulating as it can be. As part of our dedication to enhancing the overall student experience, we support you throughout your studies in many different ways:
-Student-staff liaison committees
-Context, Diversity and Standards in Professional Practice (15 credits)
-Research design and analysis 1 (15 credits)
-Research design and analysis 2 (30 credits)
-Professional components of counselling psychology (45 credits)
-Personal and professional development (15 credits)
-Cognitive behavioural approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
-Person-centred approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
-Psychodynamic approaches to counselling psychology (15 credits)
-Professional development and supervision (15 credits)
-Professional Components of Counselling Psychology (45credits)
-Systems and Systemic Psychological Therapies in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
-Psychopathology: Clinical Skills and Critical Approaches (15 credits)
-DPsych Counselling Psychology Thesis one (30 credits)
-Developing Research Skills in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
-Contemporary Developments in Psychological Approaches (15 credits)
-Specialist group supervision (15 credits)
-Psychometrics A: Ability and Aptitude Training (15 credits)
-Professional Components of Counselling Psychology (60 credits)
-Psychometrics B: Personality Measures (15 credits)
-Negotiating Relationships: Advanced Skills (15 credits)
-DPsych Counselling Psychology Thesis two (45 credits)
-Integrative and Pluralistic Approaches to Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
-Developing Research Skills in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
-Specialist Group Supervision (15 credits)
-Supervising, Consulting and leading in Counselling Psychology (15 credits)
Counselling Psychology graduates are typically employed in a variety of settings, including NHS primary, secondary or tertiary care, the prison service, schools and voluntary agencies.
Employers of recent graduates include:
-St Bartholomews Hospital
-South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
-Central & North West London NHS Trust
-City, University of London
-Maggie's Cancer Centre
-Imperial College London
-London Metropolitan University
-Homerton University Hospital
-Capio Nightingale Hospital
Job titles included Consultant Psychologist, Counselling Psychologist, High Intensity Therapist, Lecturer, and Practitioner Psychologist.