Clinical Psychology Placements
Clinical Psychology trainees are usually on placement on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with academic days being Thursdays and Fridays. Practice learning is coordinated with the academic programme into three year-long stages of training.
In the first year , there is a focus in teaching on the working-age adult phase of the life cycle and associated psychological problems, individual-based approaches to psychological therapy and working in teams and groups. In parallel, placements are in adult services and reflect the wide range of generic and specialist services in the NHS for adults with mental health problems, including psychological therapies services, community mental health teams, assertive outreach teams, early intervention teams, eating disorders units and acute services. During the year, it is common for the co-ordinating supervisor of the placement to link up with other supervisors to provide variety of experience and opportunity for competency development for the trainee. A service evaluation project (The Quality Improvement Project, [QIP]) is conducted on this placement (but may be in any specialism), and a Professional Practice Report (PPR) about an intervention with an adult service user or other kind of psychological work carried out on this placement is also submitted at the end of the year.
In the second year, trainees' placements are organised in services for children, young people and families, and for people with disabilities (including learning disabilities and other long term disabilities that impact significantly on people's lives and well-being), usually taking the form of two six-month placements. Teaching covers these client groups and also focuses on systemic approaches to working with service users, their families and carers, multidisciplinary and inter-agency teams. Two PPRs, one derived from each placement, are required as assessed submissions.
In the third year, trainees move on to placements in older people's services and to do a supplementary placement designed primarily to meet any outstanding training needs or consolidation of competencies, but also as far as possible, to meet particular interests.
Supplementary placements may be with any client group. For instance, they can include placements with looked after children, specialist paediatric services, forensic or neuropsychology services, or involve more advanced training in a particular therapeutic modality. Third year placements may be organised as either two discrete placements or be woven together concurrently across the year. Once again, the focus of placements is mirrored in the academic syllabus. One PPR, from either a supplementary or older people's placement is submitted during the final year.
A full and detailed description of all aspects of placements, including assessment and supporting documentation, is given in the Practice Learning Handbook.