By Vanja Orlans; Susan Van Scoyoc
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Extra info for A short introduction to counselling psychology
As Bekerman and Tatar (2005) point out, ‘… telling the counsellee that his/her pathological personality/identity is constructed and that the world that surrounds him/her (cultural context) is equally constructed will not deliver the goods of recovery’ (p. 416). These writers propose an approach termed ‘postpositivist realism’ (Moya and Hames-Garcia, 2000) which they suggest leaves more room for an emphasis on change, while also recognizing the fact that the distribution of goods and resources is driven by labels or identities.
Secondly, the issue of philosophy and its identification is currently very alive in professional settings, bringing out tensions, arguments, excitements – a whole range of emotions as well as a number of creative ideas. For example, training courses seeking accreditation are visited by an accrediting team from the Training Committee in Counselling Psychology (TCCP) and one of the boxes that needs to be ticked in the ‘Programme Log of Evidence’ is entitled ‘Core Philosophy’. From our review of the situation across the globe, it would appear that there is a variable interest in this topic – it would seem to us that this issue as a requirement is not so pronounced elsewhere, although, as we have seen from the information, for example, on counselling psychology in India, this issue is of crucial importance.
This is a challenging task, in part because the profession has both a coherence and, as we have suggested above, can also be defined as the ‘different from’ position. The official definition, provided by the BPS, is as follows: Counselling Psychology is a distinctive profession within psychology with a specialist focus, which links most closely to the allied professions of psychotherapy and counselling. It pays particular attention to the meanings, beliefs, context and processes that are constructed both within and between people and which affect the psychological wellbeing of the person.