What does the British Psychological Society say about ‘psychology’?

Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. The British Psychological Society is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. They are responsible for the development, promotion and application of psychology for the public good. They as a professional body enhance the efficiency and usefulness of psychologists by setting high standards of professional education and knowledge. They cover all areas of psychological research and practice.

Adapted from the BPS website, October 2016

The BPS sets guidelines in regard to, The Code of Ethics and Conduct (2009). Practicing psychologists who are members of the BPS are expected to adhere to these standards.

What do psychologists do?

The University of Southampton, where I trained and qualified says:
“Psychologists engage a wide range of professional activities that include consultation, advice, group work, assessment, programme planning, monitoring, review and evaluation, training, therapeutic intervention and research.”

Psychological Assessments typically involve the following parts: (1) the use of standardised tests which should consider ‘abilities’ such as intelligence and memory, as well as behaviour such as mental health and personality; (2) an interview which covers their life experiences, their childhood, education, family, health and work; (3) informal assessment such as basic skills and understanding of the court system; (4) observation, noting how they respond within the session and over time; (5) documented history, such as GP records and others; (6) if required, information collected from close family.

No one or two parts can be used to provide a reliable assessment; the profession accepts that it requires at least 4 of the above.

Graham is also trained and experienced in ‘Rational Emotive and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy’, known as ‘REBT.’ REBT is an action-oriented approach to managing cognitive, emotional, and behavioural difficulties.

According to the Albert Ellis Institute, the home of REBT, it is largely our thinking about events that leads to emotional and behavioural upset, rather than the events themselves.

With an emphasis on the present, it addresses the thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about events that lead to disturbance and self-sabotaging behaviour and by examining and challenging these, often with the use of practical tasks, individuals can be taught to manage the difficulties they encounter.