Programme Philosophy and Vision
Setting the tone:
- The programme tries to maintain a friendly, caring and approachable face with its trainees and with all qualified clinicians who contribute to the training programme. Our vision is to continue in this spirit.
Pursuit of knowledge informing diverse practice:
- We seek to provide an environment that encourages the pursuit of knowledge that informs clinical practice.
- The programme is intended to give trainees exposure to a wide variety of therapeutic models and to promote a diverse range of clinical psychology practice.
The changing context of Clinical Psychology:
- We aim to place greater emphasis on prevention and community-oriented approaches, rather than having a narrow emphasis on "therapy".
- We wish to give our trainees some idea of the importance of 'context' for each client - an awareness that the client operates in relation to their family, work or school colleagues, social group etc.
- The programme seeks to work beyond NHS policy, to also address health and social care policy, in recognition of the wider role of clinical psychologists in NHS settings. It is understood that graduates are to be exposed to these roles gradually and over time in order to develop the competencies which go with them.
- In taking on board the relationship between clinical psychology and the wider health / social policy agenda we intend to increase trainee awareness while also making sure that the vision does not outstrip the reality of employment opportunities (i.e., that the changes foreseen within the programme do not move too far ahead of changes in the workplace).
Improving the programme:
- We have a commitment to promoting equality and diversity and we encourage trainees' and teachers' exploration around issues of diversity and difference.
- We have a commitment to building a genuine partnership between service users and those involved in the programme.
- We have a commitment to evaluating the quality of teaching.
- We seek to highlight the importance of continual review and improvement of the programme and, similarly, to encourage trainees and graduates to continually reflect on and improve their practice.
Relationship Between the Programme and the Trainees
- The programme needs to model its aspirations and embody the qualities to which we expect trainees and graduates to aspire.
The Trainees: Humanity, Humility and Expertise
- Trainees are expected to become competent and confident scientist practitioners, taking a rigorous approach in both clinical and research contexts.
- Trainees will have the ability to work across the lifespan, to formulate and to work towards increased sophistication of systemic formulations .
Integrating knowledge into practice:
- Trainees will have the ability to understand, use and develop the evidence base; and the ability to integrate ideas and practices from various models in a coherent way that fits the needs of the particular client in the particular context.
- Trainees will be able to manage the inevitable uncertainties of practice while continuing to assimilate new learning.
Excellence and innovation:
- Trainees are hoped to become qualified clinicians who: challenge traditional ways of working and look for new solutions; continually challenge their own assumptions and those of others; and strive for academic excellence.
- Trainees will be able to evaluate different approaches in terms of best fit with the evidence, the client, and their own personal (therapy) style.
- Trainees will be able to work as reflective and reflexive practitioners, questioning what they are learning and how best to apply this in practice, questioning the effectiveness of their own practice, and constantly improving that practice.
Approach to Clinical Psychology:
- Flexibility is considered an important aspect of trainees' approach: flexibility to hear and meet the needs of each client, flexibility in integrating theory into practice, flexibility regarding the use of models and evidence.
- Trainees are to have a commitment to life-long learning.
- Trainees are to approach issues of diversity with an appreciation of the particular pressures felt by individuals who find themselves in 'disadvantaged' groups (for example: those at socio-economic, or political disadvantage).
- The approach to clients requires: caring and sensitivity to the 'personal' world of each client; non-judgemental attitude to clients' problems; respect for the person as an individual (this means understanding how the problem came about and separating out the person from the behaviour); a recognition that respect can be conveyed in many different ways such as through tone, language and appearance of self; using the language of the client; working in empowering ways; and working with confidence but without arrogance.
Professional Roles and Relationships:
- Trainees will be able to consult colleagues appropriately, to be flexible, and to work co-operatively with colleagues in a variety of professions.
- Trainees will recognise the responsible position they are in, work in a constructive and ethical fashion, and be accountable for their work.
- Trainees are understood to be becoming 'key clinical leaders,' i.e., seeking to take up a role wider than working on one-to-one interventions. Through the gradual development of competencies over time, graduates' roles may encompass: having input to service development, disseminating information to colleagues, training for (other) staff, research and support.
- Trainees are expected to begin developing and working with knowledge of the wider context of clinical psychology, including relevant governmental and European policies.