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Psychology

Sectors

The NHS is the single largest employer of psychologists in the UK:

  • Most psychologists will have clinical, health or counselling psychology background/qualifications
  • Work might involve health promotion, helping people with anxieties/eating disorders or helping people overcome the effects of traumatic events (brain injury, surgery, accidents or crime)
  • Another important role is policy evaluation and the development of evidence-based treatments

The main employers of psychologists in the public sector (outside of the NHS) are Local Education Authorities, the Prison Service and the Civil Service:

  • Local Education Authorities - every authority is required by law to provide educational psychologists. Work might involve dealing with learning difficulties or helping individual pupils. Each authority is responsible for its own recruitment of educational psychologists
  • Prison Service - recruits forensic psychologists, either to be employed centrally (policy development) or assigned to individual prisons. Work in prisons may involve specific groups of inmates (e.g. sex offenders) and also training prison officers
  • Civil Service - the Department of Work and Pensions is a major employer of occupational psychologists. Other major recruiting departments include the Home Office and the Ministry of Defence

Job Profiles

These will give you and idea about what the work involves, entry requirements, further training and how to get on:

Other NHS Roles and Opportunities

  • Government investment has increased for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), with more emphasis on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and this is a growth area for psychology graduates
  • Enter as a psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) or graduate mental health worker and progress via further training to high intensity therapist

Careers in Psychotherapy and Counselling

  • Counsellors and therapists are trained professionals who offer talking therapies to clients
  • Therapy or counselling can be over a short or long-term period to help clients bring about change and improve their wellbeing
  • There is a wide range of different therapeutic models that therapists or counsellors can choose to work with, including: CBT, drama therapy and psychotherapy
  • Some therapists and counsellors choose to specialise and only work with particular client groups