Psychology is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. Specifically, it explores how people think, how they act, and how they interact with their environment and with each other.
A practitioner psychologist’s key role is to consider what the science of psychology tells them about how to help you with what is difficult or problematic and then to reduce distress and improve your psychological wellbeing. They use psychological methods and research to help bring about positive change in people’s lives and offer various forms of treatment.
When offering psychological therapy, psychologists work on establishing a shared understanding of what you are facing, sometimes referred to as a ‘formulation’, and this provides the basis for choosing the right therapy for you. Psychological therapy involves exploring feelings, beliefs, thoughts and relevant events, sometimes from childhood and personal history, in a safe and often structured way. Depending on the nature of your difficulty, therapy can be short or long term. Sessions can be provided for adults, adolescents and children on a one-to-one basis, or for couples, families and within groups whose members share similar difficulties.
A registered psychologist is a legally regulated professional who has a postgraduate qualification in the application of psychological science to a particular issue and will have undertaken accredited postgraduate training leading to eligibility to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).There are different areas of psychology in which it is possible to practice and gain the title of chartered psychologist (CPsychol). The areas that the British Psychological Society (BPS) recognises as the main types of psychologist are clinical, counselling, educational, forensic, health, occupational and sports and exercise. Whilst each area of psychology will have a specific training route, in practice there may be considerable overlap in the work that different psychologists do. CPsychol is the benchmark of professional recognition and is a mark of experience, competence and reputation for anyone looking to learn from, consult or employ a psychologist.
If you want to check whether someone is registered to practise clinically, you need to check with the HCPC (http://www.hpc-uk.org/landing/?id=4)