Perspectives on counselling psychology
Two hundred and eighty participants (113 Chartered Counselling Psychologists, 167 trainees in Counselling Psychology) took part in the project, conducted over 4 years, which aimed at explicating perspectives on what constitutes the discipline of Counselling Psychology. A range of studies employing diverse methodologies are reported which contribute to the overall aim of the project. Research was conceptualised and executed within the constructivist framework and drew heavily upon the Kellian view of the person as co-participant in the research enterprise, capitalising on the human capacity to generate and reflect upon meaning. The results of a series of studies contributing to this project gave rise to an evolving conceptualisation of what constitutes the phenomena of Counselling Psychology from the perspective of both trainees and independent practitioners. Counselling Psychology was described in terms of 5 broad conceptual categories: Counselling Psychologist Contribution; Psychological Theory / Model; Client Contribution; Ethical Codes and Practices; and The Therapeutic Relationship. Amongst the subsidiary findings of the project it was noted that trainees' anticipation of counselling psychology becomes more discriminating and stable with practice experience. The findings of the project are expressed in terms of their implications for achieving the informed consent of consumers of counselling psychology services, the training and education of would-be counselling psychologists, and the monitoring and enhancement of quality standards and evaluation of practice.