PsychD in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology
Counselling Psychology at the University of Surrey
Counselling psychology is a relatively new and innovative branch of applied professional psychology concerned with the integration of psychological theory and research with therapeutic practice. The PsychD in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology at Surrey provides a comprehensive three year full-time training which is accredited by the British Psychological Society to confer Chartered Counselling Psychologist status. Approximately 15 - 16 trainees are accepted onto the course each year.
The course offers an integrated approach to theory, professional practice and research, with trainees spending approximately two days a week in the university, two days a week on placements which are set up, supported and monitored by the course, and a day a week on research.
The Surrey course offers trainees a range of learning experiences and these include workshops, lectures, placement experiences, clinical and research supervision and an experiential group. In addition to this a variety of assessment methods are used. This rich training experience allows trainees to graduate from the course knowing that they will:
- be competent, reflective, ethically sound, resourceful and informed practitioners of counselling psychology able to work in therapeutic and non-therapeutic contexts;
- value the imaginative, interpretative, personal and intimate aspects of the practice of counselling psychology;
- commit themselves to ongoing personal and professional development and enquiry;
- understand, develop and apply models of psychological inquiry for the cretion of new knowledge which is appropriate to the multi-dimensional nature of relationships between people;
- appreciate the significance of wider social, cultural and political domains within which counselling psychology operates;
- adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the philosophy, practice, research and theory which constitutes counselling psychology
At the heart of the course philosophy lies a comprehensive, multi-faceted, integrated view of Counselling Psychology. Counselling Psychology practice is seen as being grounded in the negotiation of a thoroughly contextualised understanding of the client(s) and the client's/clients' presenting issues and concerns. The development of such an understanding is regarded as a continuous, evolving process in which the Counselling Psychologist is guided by theoretical perspectives which inform and structure the interactions with the client, assist in the construction of a psychological formulation, address the issues and concerns of the client and facilitate a move towards some resolution. This process is informed by current psychological (and other relevant) knowledge and principles of ethical practice, guided by a critical understanding of the relevant research and conceptual literature and influenced by the personal characteristics, implicit theories and self-awareness of the individual practitioner. Therefore, in order to produce effective Counselling Psychology practitioners, the course is committed to promoting personal awareness and personal development, developing theoretical and psychological knowledge (including new and challenging perspectives), developing therapeutic skills, providing opportunities for supervised practice, fostering an informed awareness of current professional concerns and debates (such as concerns with evidence-based practice) and developing research knowledge and skills among trainees.
The course aims to provide high quality, substantial practice experiences for trainees in diverse settings. These are negotiated and monitored by the course team, who work closely with skilled supervisors in these placement contexts. However, all elements of the training are interdependent and interrelated and each element can only be fully understood in the light of the others. The course is committed to integration at various levels, especially in terms of integrating psychological knowledge and research into therapeutic practice. The course aims to expose trainees to a wide range of new resources and to develop their existing resources so that they can fashion a coherent, integrated approach to Counselling Psychology practice, upon which they can continue to build after graduation.
The Course Aims
The aims overall for the three year course are:
- To provide a high calibre generic training in the knowledge, skills and professional base of psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology which meets the requirements for the award of Chartered Psychologist Status of the British Psychological Society
- to enable trainees to become competent, reflective, resourceful and informed psychotherapeutic and counselling psychologists;
- to enable trainees to adopt a questioning and evaluative approach to the theory, practice and research elements of counselling psychology;
- to enable trainees to engage in a process of personal enquiry, personal development and personal reflection central to understanding aspects of the therapeutic process. This will involve recognising the kind of issues that trigger 'shadow' material, how the trainees' values, attitudes and prejudices impinge on the process, and the trainees awareness of their own personal boundaries;
- to enable trainees to develop an awareness of the way in which problems and presenting concerns can be understood in the context of the client's world, reformulated and hypotheses developed, negotiated and tested by appropriate methods and strategies;
- to enable trainees to develop an appreciation of the therapeutic process from the client's perspective and an understanding of the dynamics of the client-counselling psychologist relationship;
- to provide trainees with the research and evaluation skills which will enable them to contribute to the development of the profession and to evaluate and assess the effectiveness and impact of their therapeutic interventions;
- to enable trainees to become aware of government health care policy and its implications for the delivery of psychological and psychotherapeutic services.
Course Structure and Content
Introductory block - 4 weeks.
Courses: Assessment and Formulation; The Context of Counselling Psychology Practice; Group Supervision Tutorials; Lifespan Development; Psychopathology; Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods; Theoretical Models of Therapy; Therapeutic Skills Training, Practice and Audit.
Therapeutic Practice: After the introductory block of five weeks, two days a week throughout the year are spent on placement, to gain approximately 150 client contact hours.
Research: An 8000-word research report written in the form of a journal article (usually a literature review); a short qualitative group project.
Personal Development: Personal psychological therapy (this is at the trainee's own expense); Attendance at a Personal and Professional Development Group
Courses: Group Supervision Tutorials; Issues in Counselling Psychology Practice; Quantitative Research Methods; Theoretical Models of Therapy; Therapeutic Skills Development, Practice and Audit.
Therapeutic Practice: Two days on placement, gaining approximately 150 client contact hours in Year 2 (or 300 hours over Years 2 and 3)
Research: An 8000-word research report written in the form of a journal article.
Personal Development: Attendance at an Experiential and Personal Development Group. Personal psychological therapy (this is at the trainee's own expense).
Courses: Group Supervision; Issues in Counselling Psychology Practice; Theoretical Models of Therapy; Therapeutic Skills Development, Practice and Audit; Workshop Programme.
Therapeutic Practice: Two days a week on placement, gaining approximately 150 client contact hours in Year 3 (or 300 hours over Years 2 and 3).
Research: An 8000-word research report (usually of a quantitative study) written in the form of a journal article.
Personal Development: Personal psychological therapy (this is at the trainee's own expense).
Trainees undertake three year-long placements in a variety of settings, working with a range of client groups. Our aim is to ensure that trainees gain sufficient experience in the use of both basic and advanced counselling and psychotherapeutic skills, and in working within the course's main theoretical models (i.e. psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural), to enable them ultimately to develop a coherent, integrative, flexible approach to practice. To date, trainees have undertaken placements in NHS psychology and psychotherapy departments, with community mental health teams, in primary care, in drug and alcohol services, eating disorders services, child and family services, older adult services and student counselling services and in organisational settings.
The course helps trainees to develop an advanced and critical understanding of the research process, exposes them to a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and provides opportunities to apply these to issues relevant to counselling psychology. As noted earlier one of our aims is to produce graduates who can evaluate all forms of psychological research and use research in an informed way to enrich their therapeutic practice and who can undertake high quality practice-relevant research to extend the evidence base of the discipline. Trainees’ success is evident through their extensive publication record. This allows trainees and graduates to share their insights and findings with other practitioners. A selection of trainee/graduate publications (arising from work conducted on the course) is listed below in chronological order.
Farsimadan, F., Khan, A., Draghi-Lorenz, R. (in print). On Ethnic Matching: A review of the research and considerations for practice, training and policy. In Lago C. The Handbook of transcultural therapy counselling and psychotherapy.
Kouriatis, K. & Brown, D. (In press). Therapists’ loss experiences. Journal of Loss and Trauma.
Rumble, B. (2010). The body as hypothesis and as question: Towards a concept of therapist embodiment. Journal of Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, (Forthcoming, August, 2010).
Fronimos, Y. & Brown, D. (2010). Gender Differences in Depression and Male Depression: A Social Psychological Review. Social Psychology Review, V.12, (1), 3-16.
Milton, M., Craven, M. and Coyle, A. (2010) Understanding human distress: Moving beyond the concept of ‘psychopathology’, in M. Milton (Ed) Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues, Wiley Blackwell: Chichester
McAteer, D. (2010) Philosophical pluralism: Navigating the sea of diversity in psychotherapeutic and counselling psychology practice, in M. Milton (Ed) Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues, Wiley Blackwell: Chichester
Gillies, F. (2010) Being with humans: An evolutionary framework for the therapeutic relationship, in M. Milton (Ed) Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues, Wiley Blackwell: Chichester
Hession, N. (2010) The counselling psychologist working in a pain context, in M. Milton (Ed) Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues, Wiley Blackwell: Chichester
Hicks, C. (2010) Counselling psychology contributions to understanding sexuality, in M. Milton (Ed) Therapy and beyond: Counselling psychology contributions to therapeutic and social issues, Wiley Blackwell: Chichester
Hicks, C. and Milton, M. (2010) Sexual identities: Meanings for counselling psychology practice, in R. Woolfe, S. Strawbridge, B. Douglas and W. Dryden (Eds) Handbook of Counselling Psychology, Sage: London
Fletcher, R. and Milton, M. (2010) Have you ever wondered what it might be like to try and cuddle a tiger? An interpretative phenomenological analysis of practitioners’ experiences of aggression. Existential Analysis, 21.1: pp 23-36.
Steffen, E. and Coyle, A. (2010). Can ‘sense of presence experiences in bereavement be conceptualised as spiritual phenomena? Mental Health, Religion & Culture, Vol 13, No 3, 273-291.
Spiliotis, D., Brown, D & Coyle, A. (2008). The psychotherapeutic tales of five gay men in Greece: A narrative analysis. This paper won the 2008 first prize in the BPS, LGBT post graduate competition.
Higley, N. and Milton, M. (2008) Our connection to the Earth: A neglected relationship in counselling psychology, Special Issue of Counselling Psychology Review, (23.2) May 2008.
Rumble, B. (2008). Knowing the brain, unknowing the body. Counselling Psychology Review, 23, 70-73.
Hamlyn-Wright, S., Draghi-Lorenz, R., & Ellis, J. (2007). Locus of control fais to mediate between stress and anxiety and depression in parents of children with a developmental disorder. Autism, November issue.
Farsimadan, F., Draghi-Lorenz, R., & Ellis, J. (2007). Process and outcome of therapy in ethnically similar and dissimilar therapeutic dyads. Psychotherapy Research, 17, 567-575.
Fletcher, R., & Milton, M. (2007). Being aggressive: an existential-phenomenological critique of the psychological literature on human aggression. Existential Analysis, 18(2), 297-314.
Milton, M., & Gillies, F. (2007). From biology to being: evolutionary theory and existential practice. Existential Analysis, 18(2),247-260
Boucher, T. (2006). In cognitive therapy, how would the therapist understand and work with difficulties that arise in the therapeutic relationship? Counselling Psychology Review, 21(3), 12-18.
Wilkes, R.S., & Milton, M. (2006). ‘Being an existential therapist’: an IPA study of existential therapists’ experiences. Existential Analysis, 17(1), 71-82.
Judd, D., & Wilson, S.L. (2005). Psychotherapy with brain injury survivors: an investigation of the challenges encountered by clinicians and their modifications to therapeutic practice. Brain Injury, 19, 437-449.
Miller, D., & Draghi-Lorenz, R. (2005). ‘Elephant in the consulting room’: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of therapists’ accounts of their own shame activated in the therapeutic relationship. Counselling Psychology Review, 20(3), 11-19.
Supple, S. (2005). Getting our house in order. The Psychologist, 18, 418-420.
Thrift, O. (2005). An interpretative phenomenological analysis of maternal identity following child suicide. Counselling Psychology Review, 20(2), 18-23.
Giovazolias , T. (2004). The therapeutic relationship in cognitive- behavioural therapy. Counselling Psychology Review, 19(2), 14-20.
Supple, S. & Corrie, S. (2004). Seeing is believing: adopting cognitive therapy for visual impairment. Counselling Psychology Review, 19(3), 3-11.
Diamond, D. & Milton, M. (2003) The dialogic unconscious: the missing link or a contradiction in terms? Counselling Psychology Review, 18(4), 3-10.
Lewis, Y. (2003) The self as a moral concept. British Journal of Social Psychology, 42, 225-237.
Monk, P. (2003). ‘Storm and stress’: the experience of learning evidence-based practice. Counselling Psychology Review, 18(3), 14-20.
Knudson, B ., & Coyle, A. (2002). Parents’ experiences of caring for sons and daughters with schizophrenia: a qualitative analysis of coping. European Journal of Psychotherapy, Counselling & Health, 5, 169-183.
Knudson, B. & Coyle, A. (2002) The experience of hearing voices: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Existential Analysis, 13(1), 117-134.
Milton, M., Charles, L., Judd, D., O’Brien, M., Tipney, A. & Turner, A. (2002) The existential-phenomenological paradigm: the importance for psychotherapy integration. Counselling Psychology Review, 17(2), 4-20.
Osborne, J. & Coyle, A. (2002). Can parental responses to adult children with schizophrenia be conceptualized in terms of loss and grief? A case study analysis. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 15, 307-323.
Riggs, E.H. & Coyle, A. (2002) Young people’s accounts of homelessness: a case study analysis of psychological well-being and identity. Counselling Psychology Review, 17(3), 5-15.
Touroni , E. & Coyle, A. (2002) Decision-making in planned lesbian parenting: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 12, 194-209.
Bowen, A.C.L. & John, A.M.H. (2001) Ethical issues encountered in qualitative research: reflections on interviewing adolescent in-patients engaging in self-injurious behaviours. Counselling Psychology Review, 16(2), 19-23.
Giovazolias , T. & Davis, P. (2001) How common is sexual attraction towards clients? The experiences of sexual attraction of counselling psychologists towards their clients and its impact on the therapeutic process. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 14, 281-286.
Judd, D. (2001) An existential-phenomenological critique of transference. Counselling Psychology Review, 16(1), 28-32.
Judd, D. & Milton, M. (2001) Psychotherapy with lesbian and gay clients: existential-phenomenological contributions to training. Lesbian & Gay Psychology Review, 2, 16-22.
King, M. (2001) Prescription privileges and the counselling psychologist. Counselling Psychology Review, 16(1), 10-13.
Coyle, A. & Rafalin, D. (2000) Jewish gay men’s accounts of negotiating cultural, religious, and sexual identity: a qualitative study. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality, 12(4), 21-48.
Pugh, D. & Coyle, A. (2000) The construction of counselling psychology in Britain: a discourse analysis of counselling psychology texts. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 13, 85-98.
Turner, A.J . & Coyle, A. (2000) What does it mean to be a donor offspring? The identity experiences of adults conceived by donor insemination and the implications for counselling and therapy. Human Reproduction, 15, 2041-2051.
Giovazolias , T. & Davis, P. (1999) Power imbalance and sexual contact in therapy: effects on clients and implications for ethical, legal and training issues. Counselling Psychology Review, 14(2), 4-14.
Golsworthy , R. & Coyle, A. (1999) Spiritual beliefs and the search for meaning in bereavement. Changes: An International Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy, 17, 17-26.
Golsworthy , R. & Coyle, A. (1999) Spiritual beliefs and the search for meaning among older adults following partner loss. Mortality, 4, 21-40.
Judd, D.P. & Wilson, S.L. (1999) Brain injury and identity – the role of counselling psychologists. Counselling Psychology Review, 14(3), 4-16.
Knudson, B. & Coyle, A. (1999) Coping strategies for auditory hallucinations: a review. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 12, 25-38.
Milton, M. & Judd, D. (1999) The dilemma that is assessment. Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis, 10, 102-114.
Williams, F. , Coyle, A. & Lyons, E. (1999) How counselling psychologists view their personal therapy. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 72, 545-555.
Coyle, A. & Morgan-Sykes, C. (1998) Troubled men and threatening women: the construction of ‘crisis’ in male mental health. Feminism & Psychology, 8, 263-284.
Coyle, A. & Pugh, D. (1998) Discourse analysis in clinical research and practice: a consideration of the contemporary ‘crisis’ in male mental health. Clinical Psychology Forum, No.114, 22-24.
Farhy , E. & Milton, M. (1998) Psychology, psychotherapy and paymasters: a cautionary tale. Counselling Psychology Review, 13(1), 35-38.
Gascon , M. & Coyle, A. (1998) Adaptation among international students: challenges and personal development. Association for University and College Counselling (A Division of the British Association for Counselling): Newsletter & Journal, May, 28-31.
Morrisroe , J. & Millward, L. (1998) School-based prevention and counselling psychology. Counselling Psychology Review, 13(1), 18-25.
Oguntokun , R. (1998) A lesson in the seductive power of sameness: representing Black African refugee women. Feminism & Psychology, 8, 525-529.
Golsworthy , R. & Wilkinson, J.D. (1997) Perceptions of training. Counselling Psychology Review, 12(3), 122-126.
Pugh, D. (1997) Issues of confidentiality relating to children and adolescents. Counselling Psychology Review, 12(1), 31-36.
Criteria for the award of practitioner Doctorate in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology
Trainees must pass all components of the course: academic, practice and research. Attendance at personal therapy and the experiential group sessions is also required.