British Psychological Society

British Psychological Society

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Encyclopedia
The British Psychological Society (BPS) is a representative body
Professional body
A professional association is usually a nonprofit organization seeking to further a particular profession, the interests of individuals engaged in that profession, and the public interest.The roles of these professional associations have been variously defined: "A group of people in a...

 for psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s and psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

 in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

. The BPS is also a Registered Charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 and, along with advantages, this also imposes certain constraints on what the society can and cannot do. For example, it cannot campaign on issues which are seen as political.

Founded on 24 October 1901 at University College, London (UCL) as The Psychological Society, the organisation initially admitted only recognised teachers in the field of psychology. Its current name of The British Psychological Society was taken in 1906 to avoid confusion with another group named The Psychological Society.

Under the guidance of Charles Myers, membership was opened up to members of the medical profession in 1919. In 1941 the society was incorporated
Incorporation (business)
Incorporation is the forming of a new corporation . The corporation may be a business, a non-profit organisation, sports club, or a government of a new city or town...

 and following the receipt of a royal charter
Royal Charter
A royal charter is a formal document issued by a monarch as letters patent, granting a right or power to an individual or a body corporate. They were, and are still, used to establish significant organizations such as cities or universities. Charters should be distinguished from warrants and...

 in 1965, the society became the keeper of the Register of Chartered Psychologists. A member of the British Psychological Society who has maintained chartered status has the right to the letters "C. Psychol." after his or her name. The highest designation the Society can bestow is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society(FBPsS), showing a significant contribution and understanding of the discipline.

In 2010 the BPS had 48,195 members in all fields of psychology. Its current (2011/12) president is Dr Carole Allan.

Every year, in April or May, the British Psychological Society holds its Annual Conference. In 2008, this was in Dublin; in 2009, this was in Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

; in 2010, the conference was in Stratford-on-Avon. In 2011, the conference was in Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and in 2012, the conference will be in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Mission


The Society aims to raise standards of training and practice in psychology, raise public awareness of psychology, and increase the influence of psychology practice in society. Specifically it has a number of key aims, as described below.
  • Protecting the public by maintaining a Register of Chartered Psychologists and a Code of Conduct.
  • Setting standards of training for psychologists at graduate and undergraduate levels.
  • Providing information about psychology to the public.
  • Providing support to its members via its membership networks and mandatory continuing professional development.
  • Hosting conferences and events.
  • Preparing policy statements.
  • Publishing books, journals, The Psychologist monthly magazine, a free Research Digest, and various other publications (see below).
  • Setting standards for psychological testing.
  • Maintaining a History of Psychology Centre.

Journals


The BPS currently publishes 11 journals:
  • British Journal of Clinical Psychology
    British Journal of Clinical Psychology
    'The British Journal of Clinical Psychology is a medical journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the The British Psychological Society covering topics in clinical psychology....

  • British Journal of Developmental Psychology
  • British Journal of Educational Psychology
  • British Journal of Health Psychology
  • British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology
    British journal of mathematical and statistical psychology
    The British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology is a British scientific journal founded in 1965. It covers the fields of psychology, statistics, and mathematical psychology...

  • British Journal of Psychology
  • British Journal of Social Psychology
    British Journal of Social Psychology
    British Journal of Social Psychology is a journal published by the British Psychological Society . It publishes original papers on subjects like social cognition, attitudes, group processes, social influence, intergroup relations, self and identity, nonverbal communication, and social psychological...

  • Journal of Neuropsychology
  • Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
    Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
    The Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology is a peer-reviewed academic journal published quarterly by the British Psychological Society. It "publishes empirical and conceptual papers which aim to increase understanding of people and organisations at work." It was established in 1976...

  • Legal and Criminological Psychology
  • Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

The Research Digest


The BPS also publishes a free fortnightly email digest of recent psychology research, which now has over 27,000 subscribers. The Digest also appears online as a blog where people can read and comment on featured research. From students to researchers, the Digest is ideal for anyone interested in psychology.

Subsystems: Sections, Divisions and Branches


The British Psychological Society currently has ten divisions and thirteen sections. Divisions and sections differ in that the former are open to practitioners in a certain field of psychology, so professional and qualified psychologists only will be entitled to full membership of a division, whereas the latter are interest groups comprising members of the British Psychological Society who are interested in a particular aspect of psychology.

The Divisions include the Division of Teachers and Researchers in Psychology, the Division of Health Psychology, the Division of Forensic Psychology, the Division of Child and Educational Psychology, the Scottish Division of Educational Psychology, the Division of Occupational Psychology, the Division of Counselling Psychology, the Division of Clinical Psychology and the Division of Neuropsychology.

The sections include the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section, the Cognitive Psychology Section, the Developmental Psychology Section, the Psychology of Education Section, the History and Philosophy Section, the Psychology of Sexualities Section, the Psychobiology Section, the Psychotherapy Section, the Qualitative Methods Section, the Psychology of Women Section, the Social Psychology Section and the Transpersonal Psychology Section.

The term "division" in the American Psychological Association
American Psychological Association
The American Psychological Association is the largest scientific and professional organization of psychologists in the United States. It is the world's largest association of psychologists with around 154,000 members including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. The APA...

 does not have the same meaning as it does in the British Psychological Society, coming closer to what the British Psychological Society refers to as "sections". Branches are for people in the British Psychological Society who are in the same geographical region.

Consciousness and Experiential Psychology


The Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section (CEP) is a section of the British Psychological Society for those interested in the psychology of consciousness and experience. Initiated in 1994 by Jane Henry, Max Velmans
Max Velmans
Max Velmans is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. From 2003 to 2006 he was Chair of the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section of the British Psychological Society and has been involved in many other initiatives to encourage studies in consciousness...

, John Pickering, Elizabeth Valentine and Richard Stevens, the Section promoted and supported the reincorporation of consciousness studies into mainstream psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

. Official approval for CEP was announced in 1997 during the BPS Annual Conference. The Section’s mission is ‘to advance our understanding of consciousness
Consciousness
Consciousness is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts. It has been defined as: subjectivity, awareness, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind...

, to bring scientific research on consciousness closer to other traditions of inquiry into the nature of mind, and to explore how this research can be used to improve the quality of life
Quality of life
The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of...

’. As of 2010 Susan Stuart is the Section Chair. Every year in September the Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section holds its annual conference, usually in Oxford.

The Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section is one of thirteen sections of the British Psychological Society. This section is for anyone interested in broad-based, rigorous academic exploration of consciousness and experience
Experience
Experience as a general concept comprises knowledge of or skill in or observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or exposure to that thing or event....

. The Section is an interest group comprising members of the British Psychological Society and also unaffiliated members. The Consciousness and Experiential Psychology Section was the first, and remains the only, section of a nationally representative body of professional psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

s devoted to the study of consciousness.

Statutory regulation


Following a number of scandals arising in the 1990s in the psychotherapy field, the UK Government announced its intention to widen statutory regulation, to include inter alia psychologists. The BPS was in favour of statutory regulation, but opposed the proposed regulator, the Health Professions Council
Health Professions Council
The Health Professions Council is a statutory regulator of 210,000 health professionals from 15 professions in the United Kingdom. It was set up in 2003 under the National Health Service Reform and Health Care Professions Act 2002, to replace the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine ....

 (HPC), preferring the idea of a new Psychological Professions Council which would map quite closely onto its own responsibilities. The Government resisted this, however, and in June 2009, under the Health Care and Associated Professions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Order, regulation of most of the psychology professions passed to the HPC.

Society offices


The Society's main office is currently in Leicester
Leicester
Leicester is a city and unitary authority in the East Midlands of England, and the county town of Leicestershire. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest...

 in the United Kingdom. Before the transfer of registration and associated functions to the HPC, there were over 100 staff members at the Leicester office. There are also smaller regional offices in Belfast
Belfast
Belfast is the capital of and largest city in Northern Ireland. By population, it is the 14th biggest city in the United Kingdom and second biggest on the island of Ireland . It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly...

, Cardiff
Cardiff
Cardiff is the capital, largest city and most populous county of Wales and the 10th largest city in the United Kingdom. The city is Wales' chief commercial centre, the base for most national cultural and sporting institutions, the Welsh national media, and the seat of the National Assembly for...

, Glasgow
Glasgow
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands...

 and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

The current (2011/12) President of the Society is Dr Carole Allan. She succeeded Dr Gerry Mulhern, who is now Vice President.

Logo


The British Psychological Society's logo is an image of the Greek mythical figure Psyche, personification of the soul, holding a Victorian oil lamp
Oil lamp
An oil lamp is an object used to produce light continuously for a period of time using an oil-based fuel source. The use of oil lamps began thousands of years ago and is continued to this day....

. The use of her image is a reference to the origins of the word psychology
Psychology
Psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Its immediate goal is to understand individuals and groups by both establishing general principles and researching specific cases. For many, the ultimate goal of psychology is to benefit society...

. The lamp symbolises learning and is also a reference to the story of Psyche. Eros
Eros
Eros , in Greek mythology, was the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid . Some myths make him a primordial god, while in other myths, he is the son of Aphrodite....

 was in love with Psyche and would visit her at night, but had forbidden her from finding out his identity. She was persuaded by her jealous sisters to discover his identity by holding a lamp to his face as he slept. Psyche accidentally burnt him with oil from the lamp, and he awoke and flew away.

A note about psychotherapy


The BPS does not supervise the separate profession of psychotherapy
Psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...

 (including hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy is a therapy that is undertaken with a subject in hypnosis.The word "hypnosis" is an abbreviation of James Braid's term "neuro-hypnotism", meaning "sleep of the nervous system"....

 and the like), which is covered by the overarching body, the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
The United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy exists to promote and maintain high standards in the practice of psychotherapy for the benefit of the public throughout the United Kingdom...

. As a special member of the UKCP http://www.bps.org.uk/careers/areas/related.cfm#psycho the BPS views "psychotherapy, as well as the use of hypnosis with psychotherapy, is most appropriately regarded as a post-qualification specialisation for members of one of the primary professional groups such as medical practitioners, applied psychologists or social workers". The UKCP maintains a register of psychotherapeutic counsellors who are not necessarily BPS members http://www.psychotherapy.org.uk/find_a_psychotherapeutic_counsellor.html. The BPS maintain a register of BPS member psychologists working as psychotherapists.

See also

  • American Psychological Society
  • Association of Business Psychologists
    Association of Business Psychologists
    The Association of Business Psychologists is the professional representative, deliberative and regulatory institution for business psychologists in the United Kingdom and Ireland.-History:...

  • Personality and Preference Inventory
    Personality and Preference Inventory
    The Personality and Preference Inventory was originally designed by Dr Max Kostick, Professor of Industrial Psychology at Boston State College, in Massachusetts, USA, in the early 1960s.Kostick’s original goal was to design an instrument that:...


External links