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You will consider how people relate, how they think and behave, their experiences of the world and how they function in their everyday life. This will include exploring people’s social, economic, cultural, spiritual and physical health experiences. Counselling psychologists use psychological and psychotherapeutic theory and research. They work to reduce psychological distress and to promote the well-being of individuals, groups and families.

The relationship between you and your client is considered to be central to understanding particular psychological difficulties and how they apply to them. To help recognise the relationship between personal development and professional practice, you will be required to have personal therapy as a client as part of your training and continued professional development. 

Psychologists have an understanding of and capacity to engage in evidence-based and culturally-informed intervention, assessment, prevention, training, and research practices. They focus on healthy aspects and strengths of their clients (whether they are individuals, couples, families, groups, organizations, or communities); environmental/contextual influences (such as cultural, sociopolitical, gender, racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic factors) that shape people’s experiences and concerns; the role of career and work in peoples’ lives; and advocacy for equity and social justice.

Counseling psychologists pay attention to how problems and people differ across the lifespan, and they have great respect for the influence of different human traits, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability status, on psychological well-being. They conduct counseling/psychotherapy, teach and perform scientific research with individuals of all ages, families and organizations (e.g., schools, hospitals and businesses). They believe that behavior is affected by many things, including qualities of the individual (e.g., psychological, physical or spiritual factors) and factors in the person’s environment (e.g., family, society and cultural groups).