Do the public know what we do?
Over the last ten years I have noticed that sport psychology in the UK has been very preoccupied with issues relating to professional bodies, professional accreditation/certification, regulation and academic rigor. Now I would not dispute the importance of any of these issues, but over this period I can’t help but think that the focus on the client has been lost, if it was ever there in the first place. ychology status, professional qualification, and the number of degrees that a consultant many have, they might well look at you rather blankly. Indeed, if you ask many ‘users’ of sport psychology services they will often return to the two same key selection criteria for choosing to engage a sport psychologist: 1) they were recommended to me; 2) I like them. Indeed many clients would not be able to articulate what qualifications and profession memberships their consultant has, just whether they think they do a good job or not.
Sometimes I think we are overly focused on stopping and regulating those who are not who they say they are, which is important, but tend to do this at the expense of sending clear positive messages about what sport psychologists actually do. This in turn stops us communicating what we can do that sets us apart from other related practitioners and pseudo-psychologists.