The goal of health psychology is to study the psychological processes underlying health, illness and health care, and to apply these findings to the promotion and maintenance of health, the analysis and improvement of the health care system and health policy formation, the prevention of illness and disability, and the enhancement of outcomes for those who are ill or disabled.
If you're passionate about enhancing population health and creating a better health service, supporting patients with their healthcare and helping people to change their health behaviours, then you can make it happen as a health psychologist. Download our careers leaflet to find out more
NEW! The DHP are creating a video to show what we do and the impact health psychology has had on society.
Occupational psychologists boast to have done many things which have changed the world - including inventing the tea break - and we want to do the same for Health Psychology.
To get involved why not tell us a bit about your work by filling in this short template and then returning your completed form to [email protected]
Career in Health Psychology
What is Health Psychology?Show content
Health psychologists are specially trained to help people deal with the psychological and emotional aspects of health and illness, along with promoting healthier lifestyles.
Many of the current health challenges we face need to be addressed by illness prevention, health promotion and anticipatory care. Therefore, not only do we need to work to understand and support people with the psychological difficulties they may face from having physical health conditions, but we also need to understand and ameliorate the impact of lifestyle on health.
Most chronic diseases, including cancer, CHD, and diabetes, are related in part to health behaviour. Improving health behaviour is therefore a key challenge. Health psychologists are specialists in health behaviour change and working with people who have physical health conditions to help them cope and adjust to illnesses and treatments.
A health psychology approach adds value to programmes designed to improve health, improves our understanding of the complexities of barriers to change, and can more effectively design and implement evidence-based interventions to change health behaviour, targeting individuals, social groups and communities.
What are the UK training routes in Health Psychology?Show content
Use our flowchart to explore the UK training routes in Health Psychology:
Please note: this will be updated periodically so please keep checking the site for the most up-to-date version.
Best Practice Guidance in Psychology RecruitmentShow content
The BPS released best practice guidance in psychology recruitment in March 2021, which advises recruiters of psychologists to advertise posts inclusively, so that all ‘types’ of practitioner psychologists with relevant competencies and experience can apply for them.
We hope this will be implemented widely in time, but in the meantime this is an email template which DHP members could adapt if helpful when contacting recruiters to ask if they would be eligible to apply for roles they feel they have the competencies for but are not advertised inclusively.
One of our main aims is to support the continuing professional development of Members at various levels of career and experience.
We do this is a number of ways, including the provision of BPS accredited workshops and communicating with Members to assess CPD needs.
To contact the DHP Professional Development Lead please email [email protected]
Career Case StudiesShow content
Health Psychology is a rapidly growing, but still relatively young discipline.
Career paths are diverse and there is strong competition for funded stage 2 training places and NHS health psychologist posts.
Consequently, many early career students and trainees find the transition from training to work challenging.
In response to requests from early career members for more information about possible career paths two series of career case studies have been produced one from DHP (2021) and one from DHP Scotland (2018).
The results of these projects are compiled below which we hope you will find useful.
Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2)
Information about the Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2)Show content
The Qualification in Health Psychology (Stage 2) is the independent route to completion of stage 2 training for those who are working in a heath-related setting.
Successful completion of the QHP (Stage 2) leads to eligibility for Chartered membership with the Society, Full membership of the Division of Health Psychology, and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council, the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK.
How does Health Psychology fit into Health and Social CareShow content