A number of regional 'branches' have been set up, the aim being to foster continuing professional development and networking of Counselling Psychologists across the UK. These groups exist throughout the UK and are separate and distinct from Society Branches such as the London and Home Counties Branch, or the North East of England Branch, for example. The difference here is that Society Branches are found in most regions, membership tends to be much larger, and is automatic across applied psychologies, depending on members’ geographical location. These Branches hold CPD events and would usually have an annual conference and AGM.
In addition to Society Branches many Divisions, including DCoP, have branches which could be better described as networks or groups. These are less formal groups that do not hold separate funds as Society Branches do, and are usually found in devolved nations such as Scotland and Wales, for example. Fundamentally then, the main difference between Society Branches and DCoP branches is that the latter is profession specific to Counselling Psychologists, whereas the wider Society Branches encompass interests from all the Member Networks.
Currently, there are three branches associated with DCoP.
DCoP Scotland provides a link between the Division and the membership in
Scotland. The Branch was formed in 2006 and succeeded the informal network of
Counselling Psychologists in Scotland, known as COPS. The main aims of the
Branch are to promote Counselling Psychology in Scotland, provide training
opportunities and support a communication network for members, particularly
those in remote areas.
The Wales branch is now active again.
DCoP Northern Ireland
The most recent addition to DCoP regional branches is the Northern Ireland (NI) branch. This has been supported by the Northern Ireland Branch of the BPS (NIBPS) and DCoP. The official launch of the NI Branch was held on the 24th April 2010 at the Annual Conference for the British Psychological Society in Northern Ireland. Dr Barbara Douglas, Chair of DCoP, and Dr Peter Martin, Communication Lead, were in attendance to help launch the new branch. The branch aims to emphasise collaborative working between the two professional organisations of NIBPS and The Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) in order to promote Counselling Psychology within Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland generally. The NI Branch will also continue to work closely with NIBPS on local issues pertinent to the profession of psychology in Northern Ireland