Who’s who? Or what help to seek and when II. (Counselling psychologist)

In the second part of our series, we look at the work of a counselling psychologist. For clients suffering from mental health problems, the counselling psychologist is often the first point of contact. Therefore, it is very important to understand the role, goals, and expectations when choosing to see a counseling psychologist.

Who is a counselling psychologist and what service do they provide?

  • A counselling psychologist provides counselling in a variety of areas (in counselling)
  • The nature of the sessions tends to be short-term, up to several sessions, focused on a specific topic area or a stressful life situation.
  • However, counselling services are not as acute as crisis intervention, which focuses on immediate help.
  • As such, counselling may include individual counselling, marriage and couples counselling, group or family counselling.

Who can provide counselling psychology services?

  • Professionals or counselling psychologists. Most often graduates of a master’s degree in psychology, from a faculty of philosophy.

What is the goal of counselling psychology?

  • The main goal of counselling is adequate support and guidance providing factual information to reasonably improve the client’s life situation. In counselling, the psychologist helps to navigate the client’s current difficulties and to support the client’s own strengths to overcome, resolve, or accept them.

In what areas can a counselling psychologist work?

  • A counselling psychologist can work in social services – for example, marriage and family counselling, which focuses on partnership difficulties, parenting or even divorce counselling.
  • They can also work in education, dealing with student and teacher issues, career counselling and job choice.
  • A counselling psychologist can also work in educational and psychological counselling centres, where he or she can use psychodiagnostic methods and focuses, for example, on learning disabilities or even on children with special talents and recommendations for their best inclusion in the educational process.
  • Specialist counselling, for example, for people with psychological or personality problems or even intellectual disabilities and a choice of other supportive health or social facilities, or counselling for drug addicts.

If you have decided that you need the help of a psychologist, a counselling psychologist is the perfect first step. However, keep in mind that a counselling psychologist provides more short-term help. If you feel that you need more detailed and longer-term help, we recommend that you think about seeing a psychotherapist. But more on that in the next article.


  • Procházka, Roman. Theory and practice of counselling psychology. Prague: Grada, 2014.
  • Novák, Tomáš, and Petr Šmolka. Marriage and family counselling, 2016.
  • Leach, M.M., and F.T.L. Leong. Counseling Psychology. The International Library of Psychology. Taylor & Francis, 2017. https://books.google.cz/books?id=3YJBDgAAQBAJ.
  • Altmaier, E.M., and J.I.C. Hansen. The Oxford Handbook of Counseling Psychology. Oxford Library of Psychology. Oxford University Press, USA, 2012. https://books.google.cz/books?id=Yz0w_DSHvowC.


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