Difference Between Counselling And Clinical Psychology

Counselling And Clinical Psychology – Difference

In this Blog I’m going to talk about the difference between Clinical psychology doctorates and Counselling psychology doctorates the reason I’m writing this blog is because there’s a lot of confusion around the differences and similarities between these two courses and the qualifications that they lead to at the end.

So if you’ve done your psychology undergrad that means you’re eligible to apply for these courses now in the US clinical psychology.

A lot of people’s decision-making process as to which qualification they actually do whether it be counselling psychology or clinical psychology and what are differences between both of these courses? So, stick with this article and at the end of the article you will get your answer for sure.

And if you have any query, please feel free to ask me in comment box.

Does come down to the financing because the courses are very similar and I will talk about the similarities and differences between.

Clinical Psychology is more difficult then Counselling

But clinical psychology is incredibly competitive to get onto it so clinical psychology is far more competitive to get on to than counselling psychology.

Difference Between Counselling And Clinical Psychology
understand the psychology

Because with clinical psychology you’re only allowed to apply for three courses in the UK and because it’s funded for a lot of people not everyone.

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But all the UK and EU people they’re going to get a free course of course a very expensive course. that’s paid for and they get a salary although there’s going to be international students paying for the course because so many people get it for free.

It’s high in demand, it’s so competitive it’s really difficult to get onto those courses a lot of people do psychology undergrads a tremendous amount of people do those courses.

So the fight is pretty tough long and hard for people who want to do clinical psychology so my advice to people who want to be HCPC registered psychologist so essentially qualified psychologist who offers psychotherapy in the UK is going to be it’s a numbers game and apply for both counselling psychology and also apply for clinical psychology as well.

counselling psychology assessment

psychology assessment

Clinical and Counselling psychology – Course Structure

The courses are tremendously similar and the qualification that you get at the end of the day is tremendously similar. So regardless of which course you do you’re going to be a HCPC registered psychologist.

Now most jobs that are advertised for counselling psychologists or clinical psychologists in the UK by the NH’s will accept applications from regardless of whether you’re a counselling psychologist or your clinical psychologist.

You can apply so if the job is listed as clinical psychology job then because I know one of my friend who is a counselling psychologist that would still be eligible to apply for that job because the role is so similar.

The training’s so similar but the key difference between counselling psychology and clinical psychology courses are always self-funded.

Now the other difference between the counselling psychology and clinical psychology courses is the neuropsychic element.

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Neuropsychic Element

On some clinical psychology courses there is a bit of neuro psychology training but it’s not really that extensive you would still kind of need to go on and get more experience in that area if you want to really go into the neuroses side of things further.

Long down the line and there’s always exceptions the cancer psychology course that My friend did which was at Teesside university actually did a little bit of neuropsychic training and they offered a little bit more neuropsychic training than some of the clinical psychology courses.

So even that thing about the neuropsychic experience is not always a guarantee however in general you’ll probably find a little bit more of the neuropsychic side of things on clinical psychology courses.

So, if you’re particularly interested in neuropsychic then it would be understandable that you would be a bit more interested in the clinical psychology course rather than counselling psychology.

However, the modules are incredibly similar so on these courses. You’re going to learn about therapy you’re going to learn a lot about cognitive behavioural therapy. You’re going to learn about psychodynamic therapy and you’re going to get some experience and knowledge in other types of therapy.

And you’re going to learn about research so predominantly whether you enlist on a clinical psychology course or counselling psychology course you’re pretty much going to get the same HCPC psychologist training.

Jobs Deference between counselling psychology and clinical psychology

A psychologist qualification at the end of it and you’re eligible to apply for the same jobs regardless of whether you’re a clinical psychologist or a counselling psychologist.

Now in private practice the difference between counselling psychologists and clinical psychologists is non-existent for example at my clinic private therapy clinic.

We have a mix of can biological psychologists and clinical psychologists and when someone hire these people, they kind of notice which they are but then they forget about it because they do the exact same job regardless of whether they’re clinical psychologists or counselling psychologists?

The job they’re doing and the clients they see is exactly the same the only differences is that each individual can decide what they go on to specialize in once they become qualified, they can decide. So there are more difference between counselling And clinical psychology which you will understand by reading this full article.

What courses they embark on is professional development?

So that’s where you get control and freedom over your working life and you can decide in private practice. What kind of areas you want to specialize in more so than others?

So my advice to people who are considering training as a psychologist and doing one of the doctorates is don’t get too caught up in whether you’re applying to clinical psychology or counselling psychology.

You just want to be a HCPC registered psychologist who offers therapy if that’s the career that you’re dreaming of therefore just apply to all the courses that you’re eligible to apply to because it really is a numbers game.

And it’s very competitive to get on to either of these courses but it’s going to be a lot easier to get onto counselling psychology because that’s always self-funded everyone has to pay for it now these courses are not cheap.

Fees Structure for counselling and clinical psychology

So we’re looking at about I mean different for different universities but it’s going to be about 10 000 pounds a year. If you’re an EU or a UK citizen for the counselling psychology courses, If you’re a clinical psychology uh international student it’s gonna the fees are gonna be even more it’s incredibly expensive to study clinical psychology at the top universities in the UK.

If you’re an international student and you don’t get paid to do it if you’re an international student whereas the EU and the UK people actually get a paid job where while they’re while they’re also doing this really valuable training.

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So it can be incredibly confusing for people about what to do in terms of once they’ve done the the psychology undergrad and then they want to go on.

They want to get onto in these doctorates what I would say is avoid doing any masters that don’t lead to really good qualifications along the way with the exception of the BABCP CBT course.

Now the BABCP CBT course is either postgraduate diploma or else masters. You’ve got an option of doing it as a postgraduate diploma or a master’s and that takes about two years a year and a half or two years to do that course.

And that’s a lovely course to do if you can get onto that course however it does require a lot of experience and a lot of psychotherapy experience.

HCPC Accreditation

Before you’re going to get onto that course so you might need some extra courses or extra experience that that you get before you go down that route.

So really if you have completed your psychology degree and if you want to be a psychologist just go for a course that is HCPC accredited and then you will have a valid qualification in the UK as a psychologist.

If you get this qualification in the UK then you can transfer it over to other to work in other countries which means that your transcripts. Would just have to be looked at and then the course would be verified but a UK doctorate that leads to HCPC accreditation is a very good qualification.

Now some people might have a special interest in forensic psychology or health psychology and My friend would give slightly different advice to those people but the advice he would give to people who are interested in the health psychology route.

Is that it’s a kind of a limited qualification if you go down that route and if you actually just train in clinical psychology or counselling psychology you can specialize in the health-related stuff and helping people with health-related related conditions.

Both Courses are good : Reason

Anyway, but it gives you, it makes you more employable, you’ve got more opportunities to work in a wider range of of difficulties in areas because health psychology jobs may not come up all of the time.

Forensic psychology and of course sports psychology are very different so that would be different advice My friend would give to people who are considering those courses but the advice he most commonly give to people in relation to counselling psychology and clinical psychology is just they are very similar courses and if it’s your goal to get qualified as a psychologist sooner rather than later.

He would say just apply to all of the clinical psychology and all of the counselling psychologists that you’re eligible to apply to and then once your offers come through then you can see what you have and then you can make decisions about whether it is really the course that you want to be going on certainly.

London is Expensive for these courses

The London courses are more expensive than courses in other parts of the country the course that my friend did at Teesside university was amongst one of the most affordable when he did it.

It also came with a bursary in the first year so that was really nice he was also studying in a part of the UK that was incredibly affordable to live.

So, it was kind of uh beneficial to me i got offered a place at Roehampton as well but he felt that actually it was better for him to study outside of London just because of the finances.

That were available to me at the time however a lot of people are already based in London and therefore they don’t want to be moving out and for those people I would say look at courses that might be actually commutable from London If you’re based in London.

Course Modules for clinical and counselling psychology courses

Also, another thing to consider is that the clinical psychology course is actually more demanding in terms of lecture hours in general.

And this will vary from course to course but in general counselling psychology is two days lectures a week the rest of the days are on work placement. and it is the another difference between Counselling And Clinical Psychology.

Clinical psychology will often be a bit more demanding than that in terms of the actual lecture hours. So you might want to email the universities and just find out about exactly what time and day the lectures are on?

What kind of commitment there is in terms of lectures? Because that can vary amongst course to course.

I’m going to talk about some of the modules that are being covered at clinical psychology courses and counselling psychology courses.

For people who are starting these courses this year so I’ll mention two counselling psychology universities in the UK and I’ll mention one clinical psychology course in the UK.

This is so you can kind of see the similarities and differences of the modules being offered at different universities and this will kind of help you see the difference between counselling psychology and clinical psychology.

And also, the similarities at Roehampton university for people starting this year and then over the next three years for counselling psychology and clinical psychology.

Roehampton university be study modules :

  • Professional practice and development
  • Person-cantered and experiential theory inclusion
  • Ethics and social justice assessment
  • Formulation and clinical presentations
  • Research psychological knowledge
  • Models of therapy psychodynamic theory
  • Practice personal development
  • Advanced competencies CBT theory and practice

Then at London metropolitan university for people starting this year who are going to be doing the course over the next three years or for part-time people it’s over four years they’ll be studying.

London metropolitan university

  • Advanced research design and analysis for psychology
  • Counselling psychology practice and development
  • Professional and ethical issues
  • Psychological knowledge
  • Models of therapy research project
  • Critical thinking therapeutic and reflective skills
  • Working with difference in diversity
  • Advanced psychological theory and practice

clinical psychology course at

King’s university London they’ll be studying

  • Adult mental health including anxiety depression and psychosis
  • Psychology and psychiatric of childhood
  • Adolescent neuropsychological theory
  • Practice clinical psychology as applied to intellectual disability
  • Neurodevelopment disorders
  • Mental health of older adults
  • Clinical health psychology
  • Forensic psychology
  • Psychological therapy with strong emphasis on CBT family therapy
  • Mindful mindfulness-based therapies
  • Professional legal and ethical issues
  • Race equality
  • Diversity
  • Leadership

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Module comparison between best Universities of UK

So just by looking at these difference between Counselling And Clinical Psychology what i can see like what strikes me really is just the neuropsychic difference between these courses in general.

These courses are covering things like CBT psychodynamic therapy lots of different theories, lots of different therapies, of course these modules have different names at different places because they can call these modules whatever rings a bell with them and what they whatever they feel describes it best.

You could be learning that module at one university and learning very similar things another university in the module might be just called something different but in general there is a little bit more of an emphasis on neuropsychic stuff on the clinical course compared to those two counselling psychology courses.

There’s a little bit of a focus a small bit more on more serious mental illness such as a little bit on psychosis and stuff. Like that so we could assume that clinical psychology courses lean a little bit more into the slightly more complex mental illness.

But also it all comes down to the experience that you decide to have after you graduate because once you graduate you can decide where do you want to apply for in terms of your jobs after you finish your doctorate.


Do you want to lean into more neuroscience side of things do you want to lean into more complex mental health and definitely counselling psychologists?

Can see very serious mental health we can work with psychosis you can work with schizophrenia and disorders like bipolar that would be considered more complex um personalities.

You might not necessarily receive a lot of that training and experience on your doctorate but you’ve got a lot of opportunity to get experience once you qualify and even the placements.

That people pick and try to get onto during their doctorate training can have a huge impact on what they end up going on to do once they qualify and for anyone.

Who’s a really strong interest in neuropsychology and you end up on the counselling psychology course but you really have a passion for neuropsychology.

You can go on to do further training and professional development in the future so that you can actually go on to really specialize in that area so rest assured.

What is the Main Difference Between Counselling And Clinical Psychology

If you’ve got a place on either a counselling psychology course or a clinical psychology course you’re doing very well. You’ve clearly worked hard to get there because it’s very competitive, your chances of getting a place on a council psychology course statistically are far greater than getting a course on clinical psychology in the UK.

But if you’re really passionate about becoming a psychologist just really go for it in terms of getting onto one of these HCPC accredited courses get the right training and experience.

Get the right work experience, beforehand get a little bit of client experience in whatever capacity you can even if it’s just support work and then you will be in a really good position to be a strong candidate.

When you’re applying for these kinds of courses so if you’ve got any questions from this blog just write a comment below and I’d be more than happy to offer some extra advice. I hope you find this Difference Between Counselling And Clinical Psychology article helpful.

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Please use Feynman technique while studying your Clinical and counselling Psychology course. This technique surly help you to learn faster like lakhs or people are applying already in their life.

Additional Resource

  1. King’s university Doctorate in Clinical Psychology DClinPsy London
  2. London metropolitan university Counselling Psychology – Prof Doc
  3. Roehampton university Counselling Psychology (HCPC approved and BPS accredited)

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