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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
LlamaLlamaDuck Offline
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Talking Enough to be Qualified? - December 16th 2013, 08:17 PM

Hi everyone! I hope all your studies are going well!!

Something just occurred to me that I never thought of before so some opinions would be good.
I'm studying an Open Degree with the Open University. It basically means that I get to pick what topics I want to study over the course of however long I want (I'm aiming for 3 years) and each topic is either 30 or 60 credits. Once I have 300-360 credits, I have a Degree.
Ultimately I want to be a counsellor, either counselling kids and teens with mental health problems with the NHS, or maybe counselling criminals who are in, or have been recently released from, prison. Either way I want to do counselling.

I realised that since it's an open degree and I choose my subjects, it might not be worth the same as a pre-planned Psychology degree and I don't want that to affect my career. So. This is my plan.

  • Introducing the Social Sciences (30 credits)
  • Discovering Psychology (30 credits)

  • Counselling: Exploring Fear and Sadness (30 credits)
  • Diverse Perspectives on Mental Health (30 credits)
  • Challenging Ideas in Mental Health (30 credits)
  • The Science of the Mind: Investigating Mental Health (30 credits)
  • Exploring Psychology (60 credits)
  • Welfare, Crime, and Society (60 credits)

  • Social Psychology: Critical Perspectives on Self and Others (60 credits)
  • Making Social Worlds (60 credits)

In your professional or unprofessional opinions, should all this be sufficient to let me be a qualified counsellor?
I was thinking maybe in my third year I'd look around a little and see if I can get some work experience or something with mental health workers in the area, or the local hospital. Maybe I'd have been smarter just doing a normal Psychology degree, but I would rather be able to choose my topics and specialise in what I want to study than spend time on things I don't want/need.

Maybe I should email my tutors for advice....

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Re: Enough to be Qualified? - December 16th 2013, 08:22 PM

I couldn't say for certain but even people who do normal psychology degrees have to go through extra training at the end of it in order to be fully qualified.

I'd imagine that it depends on the specific company how much training you'd have to do. Perhaps it might benefit you to contact some companies like prison services or the NHS and enquire about work experience, internships or even just shadowing someone for a day. At least that way you gain some relevant experience and you can ask the other employees there what qualifications they have.

I hope this helped a little!
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Re: Enough to be Qualified? - December 16th 2013, 08:40 PM

I know the countries are different and that might mess me up here, but I would start asking now, some kind of academic advisor or, as Cara mentioned, people who are doing what you want to do would know what you need. You might also be able to search online for the qualifications. The sooner you find out the better, otherwise you could end up with a degree that doesn't let you do what you want and you'd have to go back for another one or something. Here, our programs tell us what our degree will be and what we will be allowed to do and not do, what requires more training etc, then we know exactly what to look for when we start job searching or what we need to do what we want.

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Re: Enough to be Qualified? - December 16th 2013, 09:23 PM

I know in the USA it is different and usually you have to go through an approved program to become a counselor although there are other terms to use to get around that. I would look into seeing if there is an accrediating body that would require so much education.
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Re: Enough to be Qualified? - December 16th 2013, 09:54 PM

Hey again Louise!

Sarasa's post about accreditation just jogged my memory, I think you may be regulated by the same council as I would be if I were to go on to be a Biomedical Scientist.

I'm assuming that the career you want would fall under the description of Practitioner Psychology which is regulated by the HCPC.

This is their requirements for being registered with them :

If the way you become registered is the way as a Biomed would then you'll have to complete a portfolio showing you can meet the standards of proficiency as set out in that document. Check with the open university to see if your course is accredited by the HCPC because if not you have to do some extra training before they allow you to even start completely the portfolio. You can use this site to check if your course is accredited too - http://www.bps.org.uk/careers-educat...raining-progra
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