Division of Counselling Psychology 2011

The Division has been very active and productive in 2011, its 30th Year. It has focussed on and achieved many of its strategic aims. It has also maintained and improved its infrastructure. 


There are several achievements that are encouraging but we are not complacent. They all relate to our strategic goals for 2011, which were: to enhance employment prospects in all sectors and to support practice-based research.

Employability  goal

  • We have increased our partnership working with other applied Divisions by hosting an Equal Partnerships workshop at the DCoP Conference in Bristol; by being active partners in sending out a letter to NHS employers about equal opportunities for employment for applied psychologists.
  • We have increased appropriate liaison with unions who were heavily involved in the advertisement by competence letter above.
  • We worked with the Learning Centre to develop a Clinical Leadership programme for 2011-12
  • We have facilitated members to position themselves within the broad scope of counselling psychology, specifically through the work of the DCoP Practice Working Group. This represents all sectors. We have also developed a page for private practitioners on the DCoP website.
  • We have gathered information about employment and training profiles of members through two surveys conducted (Newly Qualified Survey; Questback to all members on a wide range of issues).
  • We have played a lead part in the project on gathering rolling data at BPS level.
  • We have begun to foster the Course Directors' engagement, with the aim of having a  BPS liaison representative in each training university, and we have begun the debate with Course Directors around training and employability.
  • We have established the Practice Prize to encourage excellence.

Research and publications goal

  • We have developed proposals for a British Journal of Counselling Psychology. Considerable energy has been put into this project, without success at this point. We are reformulating our plan. Meantime the DCoP publication Counselling Psychology Review is thriving, and vastly increasing its research content.
  • We have facilitated the appointment of a counselling psychologist to "The Psychologist" editorial panel.
  • We have been active in the BPS EBSCO experiment to provide online journal access free to members.  This is important particularly for DCoP since half of our potential researchers are in independent practice practice so have no access to journals through an employer.
  • We have established a Research Support Fund of £6000 and given notice of two research tenders for commissioned research to the value of £6000, each with appropriate criteria, in addition to our established Excellence in Research prize.
  • We have begun development of website information about research tools and  for practitioner research.
  • We have stepped up our efforts to work with the Learning Centre to develop a CPD programme supporting members involved in practice-based research.


  • The Division has enlarged its Divisional Committee so that there are lead members actively taking forward each element of our strategic plan, but has kept coherence by establishing 'clusters' within the committee. These are Organisation, Research, Training, Practice and Strategy, Regional, and Communications.
  • It was agreed by a postal poll of Division members and subsequently approved by the Board of Trustees of the Society to pay a small recompense to the Chair position. This was in order to increase the pool of candidates for the Chair position both from the private sector, and in employed workplaces (where a buy-out would be needed to free time over and above that expended by any committee member).
  • The popular fortnightly e-letter to members have been maintained.
  • This year’s successful conference 'Celebrating Pluralism in Counselling Psychology' at Bristol pulled together the threads of what is happening in the Counselling Psychology world, and in its interface with the Society and with wider society. The public lecture this year was on 'Toxic Childhood'.
  • This year has also seen a wrong put to right with the commissioning and writing of a section for a BPS Undergraduate textbook which is rightly to contain five chapters on the discipline and DCoP’s distinctive contribution to the professional practice of psychology and psychology-based therapy.
  • We had a strong presence at the Society’s Annual Conference in Glasgow. The Division won a grant to present a well-attended symposium there.  
  • We have developed and promote the national and English branches. Northern Ireland Branch has had its first AGM and a representative on the Divisional Committee has been appointed. There was a day conference for branch chairs held in March.
  • We have inaugurated a Children’s and a “Young (People's) Work Networking Group and plans are advanced for a BME Group.

Strategic Goals for 2012

These are a development of those outlined above. They are :

  • To support high quality practice - applicable research.
  • To enhance employment prospects In all sectors.

My thanks are due to my colleague Chairs, to members of the Division who are DCoP volunteers, and who have given their time, and especially to a very hardworking and effective Divisional Committee.

Peter Martin, Chair