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The British Psychological Society (BPS) is the representative body for psychologists and psychology in the United Kingdom. The BPS is a charity, and along with advantages, this imposes certain constraints on what the society can and cannot do - it cannot campaign on issues which are seen as political, for example the age of consent of homosexuality.

Founded on October 24 1901 at University College London as The Psychological Society, the organisation initially admitted only recogonised 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.

Following the receipt of a royal charter in 1965, the society became the keeper of the Register of Chartered Psychologists.

By late 2006, the BPS has nearly 45,000 members, of whom 13,113 are on its Register of Chartered Psychologists, 12,433 as fully qualified Chartered Psychologists and 680 who are undertaking Society approved programmes of training and have Conditional Registration.

Currently, the BPS publishes 11 journals these being:

And a publication that will be new in 2007:


The BPS also publishes a free fortnightly email digest [1] of recent psychology research, which over 20,000 people now subscribe to. The Digest also appears online as a blog [2] where people can read and comment on recently featured research. From students to researchers, the Digest is ideal for anyone interested in psychology.


The BPS does not supervise the separate profession of psychotherapy (including hypnotherapy and the like), which is covered by another body, the UK Council for Psychotherapy. [3] The Society's view is that "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 BPS maintains a register of Psychologists working as Psychotherapists.

Subsystems: Sections, Divisions and BranchesEdit

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 particular aspect 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 Lesbian and Gay Psychology Section, the Psychobiology Section, the Psychotherapy Section, the Qualitative Methods Section, the Psychology of Women Section, the Social Section and the Transpersonal Psychology Section. It is important to note that the term "division" in the American Psychological Association 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 come from the same geographical region.

Society officesEdit

The Society's offices are currently in Leicester in the United Kingdom. There are a number of separate departments here, for example, the subsystems office, that deals with administrative matters related to sections and divisions. There are over 100 staff members at the Leicester office.


External links Edit



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