Are there any counselling psychologists here? I'm just trying to figure out my next move and some advice would be great. It's something I've been looking into and I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback. As far as I can see jobs prospects for it are more limited than for clinical psychology. The career guidance counsellor I was talking to said that the HSE would usually tend to hire more clinical psychologists because of they are qualified to assess as well as treat serious disorders.
In terms of work experience would working as a care assistant count? I'm waiting to hear back from some voluntary organisations as well. I emailed the person on the counselling psychology page in Trinity about it a few weeks ago but I haven't heard back. I'm drawn to the counselling aspect of it because I think you would get more of an opportunity to build up a relationship with your clients and having a psychology background already I'm inclined to stick to psychology route.
Do you think it's necessary to do a Masters to get accepted? I know it's not one of the criteria specially mentioned but would a lot of the applicants have one? I'm sorry about the length of this, it's really just my thought process at the moment.
I don't think you need a Masters to get into Couns Psych, but it is tough to get into....it's a PhD, just like Clin Psych.
I'd say email them again - the first month of term is usully v busy for academic staff.
Am a qualified Counselling Psychologist, and did my training in TCD so should be able to help with some questions.
Job prospects are slightly more limited due to the more narrow placements on the training courses, Clinical psych's cover adult, child, older adult mental health as well as disabilities, intellectual disability, and other special populations. Historically Counselling Psych's covered adults only, however this has changed significantly in the past 5 years or so. As a result I know many counselling psych's who work in all the areas mentioned above in the HSE an other agencies.
Additionally the old stance of the counselling psychology course was not to teach psychological testing, this has also changed, but this is an area where you will want to get extra training after your course also. The training courses in both clinical and counselling psychology doesn’t (shouldn't) mean your learning as a psychologist is finished. Most of my clinical colleagues completed psychotherapy courses after their D. Psych. as they felt therapy wasn’t covered as extensively as they would have liked. Counselling psychs have to do the opposite, get extra training in assessment and testing.
In terms of work experience, if you could get work with a psychologist it would be great but very hard to come by. Other work on research projects with one of the colleges or big organisations would also be good. But most people have care work, or helpline work (childline, Samaritans). A course in counselling skills is also beneficial but not essential.
One of the biggest difficulties around the course now that it is a 3 year D. Psych. will be cost. Unlike clinical psychology, you do not get paid whilst on the course and most placements won’t even cover expenses. Course fees are probably about 13k per year judging on how much they went up during my time.
A masters is not essential to get on but these things help, although your application will be assessed for other qualities, as being academically strong does not always mean a good psychologist.
In general it is great training and if you are smart and think ahead with your placement choices there shouldn’t be much difficulty in getting work after graduating.
let me know if you need more advice.
Thanks a lot for all the information, it's really helpful!
I was accepted to the doctorate in counselling in Trinity after completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology in Nuig this year and having some voluntary work behind me and having completed some counselling skill courses.
Im just wondering does anyone have any previous experience or information about this course? I would really appreciate any info thanks
em88, What sort of info are you looking for? I have outlined some of the career stuff up above, but if you have specific questions I should be able to help
I am interested in finding out about aspects of the training e.g. placements and in particular how trinity covers the course i.e. is it twelve months etc. how intensive is the training and study?
well done em88 on being selected. I'm just wondering would you mind telling me where you did your counselling skills course? I'm thinking i would like to study counselling psychology to. Thanks for any info
The course only changed from a masters to a doctorate last year, so unfortunately no one will be able to give you completely accurate info on the doctorate course as second and third year don't even exist yet!
But well done for getting on to it, I imagine the competition was fierce.
The term structure is the same as the rest of college - one twelve week semester before Christmas, one twelve week semester after.
As for 'how intensive', it's pretty subjective really!!
I was also accepted into the D.Couns. Psych in Trinity for September and, like yourself, em88, the info I'm interested in if anyone can help is: how are the placements allocated? Does the department send you somewhere or do you have to find it yourself? How are they broken up? Are they different every year? And, generally, do we work into the summer months? Would appreciate if anyone knew anything??? Thanks
lovetea: I did a Foundations in Counselling and Psychotherapy course with the University of Middlsex (PCI). Google them, they run this course all over the country, part-time.
I can't be sure about any of this because I did the masters, but let's say these are educated guesses:
The placements are offered by the department - you choose which ones you prefer from the list (which is long and varied), and then if there is competition for a placement there will be interviews.
For most people it will be one placement each year.
You are encouraged to continue placement during the summer, but to take a break of at least two weeks. Some people finish placement early (e.g. if they are working in a school) so they might take the summer off (and try to get a job) or try to start their next placement as soon as possible before they go back to college.
Thanks Kooli! I had no idea how it worked so it's good to know the basics anyway
Hi EM only getting back now
I know t changed to a D.Couns.Psych course this year but the basic course structure will stay the same. The extra year is to accommodate an extra focus on research and to allow more aspects of specific applied psychology to be covered in greater depth than was possible during my time.
The course will focus on building basic counselling skills during the first 9-12 weeks where you will be on campus 10 -5 monday to friday. There is also a major focus on beginning personal development work during this time. You will be expected to start personal therapy (they give you a list of possible therapist but you have to pay for this yourself, you can negotiate a student rate and need at least 90 hours over the 3 years) and will begin group work in college. This is one of the big transition stages that students find difficult and very intense ( you will become very familiar to seeing your future collegues in tears, great learning though)
Students find out pretty quick if they are cut out for the work during this time and this has the highest drop out rate of the entire course.
As previously mentioned you will get a list of placements in about the 5th week and you apply for a new one each year, depending on popularity you may have to interview. A good bet is to change the type of populations you work with each year, you can also take a smaller placement to build experience in a different or more specific area in the final two years.
For placements you will be supervised by an experienced psychologist, most of the time they will work in the service, although many 1st year placements dont have other psychologists working there and you will work with one off site (your placement pays for this, you get a list of potential supervisors from college you organise time/dates etc). You also have weekly group supervision in college.
you will mostly be on placement 2 - 2.5 days a week, 2 - 3 in college each week after christmas of the 1st year. Classes in college involve training in research/therapy/assessment (varying amounts each year), supervision, video skills practice where you are video recorded roleplaying a session with another student and analysed by the class and instructors (about as scary as it sounds!!!!! )
You are assessed each year on your performance on placement, supervision, video and general contribution. There are also research and theory exams. And assignments in assessment methods. The biggest accademic pieces are case studies and process reports (where you transcribe a portion of a recorded session with a client and and micro analyse it for theoretical content and process) You are also expected to figure out what process is at the end of the 3 years .
The course requires you to take an integrative approach to your theraptic orientation, you are assessed on your emerging integration and your journey towards it throughout the course.
Then in the second year you will begin your Dr. thesis - this will take up most of your non placement time in 3rd year.
In general a difficult and rewarding course both in terms of learning and personal development. As I pointed out in my earlier post, its not as easy to get work as if you studied clinical psychology, but also far from impossible.
let me know if you want more info on counselling psychology
also here is a link to the PSI careers day talk on counselling psych that I found on the PsI website, has some more info:
Im considering this course but now that its 3 years full time (and sounds intense!!) Im just wondering how do you guys fund yourselves??? Cheeky question I know!!!
I'm just wondering do people save for years, get grants?? I don't live at home and don't have a clue how to cover the cost of the course and living expenses as well for 3 years? Massive loans???