How to Become a Counseling Psychologist?

Medical Specialties

Counseling Psychologist

What is a Counseling Psychologist? 

Generally, human beings are emotional beings. They can feel sad, angry, happy, enamored and scared which is completely normal because whether they are pleasant or deeply unpleasant, we are human because of these emotions. However, the negative emotions may overwhelm us. How do we deal with emotions like this?


Counseling psychology is important for helping people handle their emotions reasonably. It is a type of psychology, which is more focused on taking care of people with different behavioral, social, and emotional problems. These problems are also known as disorders. Other than clinical psychology, it is a common psychological specialization.


Counseling psychologists study emotional cognitive and social processes and behavioral patterns by observation, interpretation and recording how people can relate to each other and to their immediate environments. These findings are useful in helping improve social processes and human behaviors.


They assist patients with dealing with or understanding their problems which may include issues at home, at the workplace, or problems with other people. With counseling, patients can identify their own strengths and weakness, and they learn, how to manage their problems and alleviate their worries.


Counseling psychologists share the same profiles with marriage and family therapists, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors, and social workers.


They also become more focused on people with less severe symptoms like trying to adjust to everyday stress. They also:


  • Help patients set aside negative thoughts feelings and thoughts.
  • Assist patients with a multitude of varying problems such as anxiety and depression.
  • Specialize in areas such as vocational stress and grief counseling.
  • Interaction with patients each and every day in order to alleviate the mental and emotional problems people go through every day.
  • Understanding and being non-judgmental so as to get patients to open up to them.
  • Getting patients to talk about their emotions, figuring out their behavioral traits and their problems.  
  • Figuring out how to help remedy their problems.

Duties of Counseling Psychologist


  • Counseling psychologists helps patients on issues affecting their mental health.
  • He or she handles patients with mental, emotional and behavioral disorders.
  • They discuss problems that affects clients in a professional, yet somewhat intimate and thorough manner.
  • They usually aim to provide advice on the best way or right technique to be used in addressing their problems.
  • Counseling psychologist work with people who have psychological and emotional issues like anxiety, addiction, depression, marital problems and stress.
  • A counseling psychologist works with people of all ranges of age.
  • Patients are first assessed by a counseling psychologist in order to identify the problems affecting them at their core.
  • Patients are interviewed through a discussion-like process in order to reveal the problems patients know they have and those they are not sure about.
  • Counseling psychologists organizes a one-on-one setting or a group setting that will involve many other patients that have the same problems.
  • They take part in scientific studies of brain function and behavior in order to find behavioral, emotional, psychological or organizational issues.
  • They seek to identify and research emotional and behavioral problems and test those patterns in order to help in understanding and predicting them.
  • They take part in writing research papers and articles to keep the general public informed on research findings and accepted ideas.
  • Counseling psychologists take it upon themselves to watch over clinicians, interns and other counseling professionals.
  • They make use techniques like: assessment, observation and experimentation so as to develop more theories on the emotions and beliefs that affect or influence individuals.

Counseling psychologists don't prescribe medications because they are of the belief that the human being should talk to someone or a professional on psychology matters that has to do with mental health, emotions and stress.


Bonuses and Benefits of Counseling Psychologist

An important benefit of Counseling psychologist is salary and it is mostly dependent on the psychologist’s specialization. The typical median salary for counseling psychologists can be around $72,540 annually. If they choose to work in an office for health practices, that can jump up to about $86,700.


Furthermore, those who go into work in the employment services can earn around $96,700 yearly. On the other end of the spectrum, psychologists who enter into educational support positions can make a salary on average of $66,420, which is on the lower end.


For counseling psychologists, Doctoral degrees, Master's degrees, and/or professional certifications are needed.


A counseling psychologist is most likely to get compensated between $56000 - $84000 but based on the level of experience. He or she will most likely receive an average salary of $74, 200 on a yearly basis. In fact, statistics predict that the average salary of a counseling psychologist is $72,540 per year.


Work Environment of Counseling Psychologist

Counseling psychologists typically don’t not have problems finding jobs because it is easy for them to get employed in places like hospitals, mental health clinics, schools and psychiatric hospitals. A career in counseling psychology may give an individual with passion in helping people with their mental and emotional problems in different directions. For people looking for a little more rein over careers in counseling psychology, it will be a good option to open their own practice.


Counseling psychologists work better in private practice because it means they can establish a more reasonable schedule. On another note, some psychologists run their own practices better by working evening and sometimes, using weekend hours so as to be able to align their schedules with that of their client’s. Some psychologists prefer to work alone and so you can find them doing independent research, consulting with clients independently or counseling patients.


Some counseling psychologists love being a part of a healthcare team while working hand in hand with physicians, social workers and professionals so as to treat illness and promote good health.



General Environment

1

The U.S. Bureau of Labor states that in 2014, nearly a third of all psychologists worked through self-employed means and had their own private practice. Now, it is common practice for a psychologist to work in multiple settings effectively. A counseling psychologist working conditions can improve greatly or be worse depending on the sort of collaborations he or she has with colleagues.


A counseling psychologist that conducts research can spend adequate time trying to understand and interact participants of their studies. Also, he or she will spend a generous time putting together studies, analyzing the results and preparing reports of the research as carried out. Unlike those working in professions that are more applied like counseling psychology, which requires spending more time with clients in a direct manner.

Office Environment

2

For counseling psychologists, working conditions is not supposed to be loaded but at times, it can be stressful. Most especially when handling the emotional, volatile or non-communicative clients. It is crucial for a professional counseling psychologist to seek ways to handle and deal with the kind stress that comes with the job.

Hospitals 

3

The hospital setting, or environment is an inpatient facility that specializes in treating extreme mental illness, substance abuse, children with a lot to say and teens with behavioral problems or possibly, any combination of the listed. In the hospital, there is usually a variety of mental health providers and patients are required to stay on site until they are confirmed to be stable enough to be discharged. The inpatient facility might be a psychiatric or substance abuse treatment center. Salaries are paid to staff based on contracts, either full time or part time.

Healthcare Organizations

4

Based on the Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor, psychologists in modern times often work with other professionals. They may consult with others in the field such as physicians, psychiatrists, physical therapists and others as part of a treatment team. The handbook proposes that psychologists should frequently hand work pressures including deadlines, schedules and overtime as well as emotionally charged situations, difficult clients and other stressful situations. Counseling psychologists are often found working in group or private practices, hospitals, medical clinics, rehab facilities, universities, community centers and more.


Work Schedule

of Counseling Psychologist

In private practice, a counseling psychologist finds it easier to set their schedules. In fact, many of them work as independent consultants. To accommodate clients, they might work evenings to weekends.


Most psychologists employed in healthcare facilities like a hospital, sometimes, having weekend or evening shifts too.  Psychologists in the government, clinics, industry and schools typically work standard full-time schedules during regular business hours.

Working Hours

 of Counseling Psychologist

Unlike counseling psychologists that are employed in academic settings, government or business settings and which have a more predictable schedule that follows normal daytime hours, a psychologist in private practice has more working hours.


Important Qualities of Counseling Psychologist

It is a very important duty for a counseling psychologist to be able to evaluate and analyze his or her patients’ current state and the problems they have, then to offer a workable advice without coming off in a judgmental way. A counseling psychologist do not usually work with people that struggle with extreme mental health issues alone but they are consulted about relationships talk, career, substance abuse, addiction and so on. They also recommend behavior modification strategies when it comes to helping patients make life decisions. There is a reason why they are termed professionals and it is about the qualities they possess as individuals.

​ 

Qualities

Analytical skills

A counseling psychologist should be analytical in examining the information collected and come up with logical and necessary conclusions.

Communication skills

Counseling psychologists should own an active listening and communicating skills when with their patients or communicating their research. With skills including listening and reflection, they encourage their patients to discuss their feelings, thoughts and beliefs. Psychologists use acceptance and understanding to assist clients in handling powerful emotions and learning coping skills.

Integrity

Patients’ problems must be kept in confidence by a counseling psychologist and these patients should be able to trust and confide in them. Psychologists must know how to treat sensitive matters as they are; with care.

Interpersonal skills

Counseling psychologists should be able to relate well with patients, clients and colleagues.

Observational skills

This is one of the most important skills that a counseling psychologist must have as they study behavior and attitude. They should be able to understand what or the adequate meanings to accord the variety of actions, body positions, facial expressions and human interactions. They empathize and expresses genuine concern especially when they notice a change in voice tone and body language. They contain their own reactions and feelings if it has to do with broken clients like broken offenders to understand them and bring about change.

Patience

Without patience, a psychologist should not be termed a professional. This is because patients differ in opening up and letting their guards down for someone they are just meeting, with patience that is not feigned, it will make opening up easier and seem safe. Also, when it comes to conducting researches, it is needed.

Problem-solving skills

This is a needful quality too as counseling professionals will need to be able to design research, collect information, find treatments, evaluate programs and use their problem-solving abilities to find the right path for behavioral and mental problems.

Emotional intelligence and sensitivity skills

Cross-cultural sensitivity is extremely important a quality. Psychologists must be aware of social constructs like race, religion, power, privilege and so on. Counseling psychologists must keep their own biases in check so that they can ensure they behave fairly toward all patients and colleagues.

 

The most essential qualities of a psychologist include emotional intelligence, sensitivity and analytical ability. It can be innate or acquired. It makes them warm, approachable and friendly when it comes to them relating with clients and other colleagues.


Similar Occupations

In simple terms, psychologists are known to hold about 166,600 jobs and employment in the other occupations that consists of other kind of psychologists is as follows:


The counseling, clinical and school psychologists consist of 147,500 while industrial-organizational psychologists has 1,700 employees. The largest employers of psychologists are: Elementary and secondary schools which has 27%, self-employed or private practice workers has 24%, ambulatory healthcare services are 18% and the government has 10%. Hospitals, either state or local or private has 7% employees. So, related to having a career in Counseling psychology are:


  • Market Research Analysts
  • Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Physicians and Surgeons
  • Postsecondary Teachers
  • School and Career Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Sociologists
  • Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors
  • Survey Researchers
  • Training and Development Specialists



Projected Future of a Counseling Psychologist

Job Outlook

Psychologist employment has been projected to increase by 14 percent through the next decade, and real faster than the average projections for all occupations. Just so you know, growth in jobs will differ by the occupation of people. So, employment for counseling psychologists is expected to grow 14 percent over the next ten years. There will soon be a greater demand for services related to attending to people’s psychological needs in hospitals, schools, social service agencies and mental health centers, resulting in a growth in the need for professionals of this profession.


         Potential Increase

More and more people are turning to counseling psychologists for assistance with their mental problems, thereby increasing the demand for professionals in this field.

  Career Options

Soon, psychologists will need to help in providing services to the older population, assisting people in dealing with their mental changes and physical ones that occur or has happened as they age. Their services will prove useful for war veterans with traumas from the days of war and for survivors of trauma, with autistic individuals.

Career Prospect

Soon there will be competition for counseling psychologist job and it will be decided the level of education obtained and the level of experience. Soon, the competition for these jobs will increase based on the large number of applicants that qualify. It is also true that applicants with a doctoral degree, education specialist degree and work experience will be primed to get the best counseling psychology positions.


How to Become a Counseling Psychologist


  • A 3-year Psychology degree that is able to meet the requirements accepted by the British Psychological Society.
  • Qualification including a 2i or greater, which can allow you to become eligible to apply to the GBC (Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership of BPS).
  • Experience that has to do with working people that has emotional demands is necessary.
  •  Have basic counseling skills.  You either learn it or it is innate, and it can be picked with the work experiences already gathered.
  • An accredited Postgraduate Qualification in Counseling Psychology is needed.  
  • The BPS Qualification in Counseling Psychology can be used to gain eligibility in order to apply for registration with the Health Professions Council. This gives you the right to use the title of “Counseling Psychologist”.
  • Prospective counseling psychologists must have had pre-doctoral or postdoctoral supervised experience.
  • Internships gives students a chance to get experience in an applied setting.
  • Prospective Counseling Psychologists must have completed an internship before state licensure is granted.

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