Maggie Winkworth BSc CPsychol FRSM AFBPsS
Counselling Psychologist
tel: 020 8994 6546 for appointment

Who can be a Psychologist?

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What is psychology?
Why do we need psychology?
Who can be a psychologist?
Types of psychologist

Who can be a Psychologist?
At present anyone can call themselves 'a psychologist', whether they have any qualifications or not. But to be called a 'Chartered Psychologist' you have to have your qualifications and training recognised by The British Psychological Society. This title means that the person has been deemed 'fit to practice'. This takes at least six years - three as an undergraduate and a further three in postgraduate education or training.

Under current law, anyone can claim to be a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor and offer their services to the public irrespective of their training or experience. This fact may come as a surprise given the potential for harm to the mental well-being of clients, especially when the professions are compared with, for instance, doctors, lawyers and nurses, who have had statutory regulation for many years, offering the public legal safeguards from the unskilled and the unprofessional.

The British Psychological Society has sought to ensure public protection for more than 40 years by means of the voluntary registration of its members, who must abide by its Code of Ethics and Conduct and maintain appropriate standards of training and practice. The Society recognises however that this is insufficient and that statutory regulation, backed by the rule of law, is required for comprehensive public protection. Consequently, since the late 1960s it has been campaigning for just that.

"The Society believes that statutory regulation should be robust, effective and provide the necessary protection to the public."

In recent years the Government has begun to consider the issue and wants an existing body called the Health Professions Council (HPC) to take charge of the regulation. The Society believes that statutory regulation should be robust, effective and provide the necessary protection to the public.

The above information is 2000-2004 The British Psychological Society.

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