Sunday, 31 August 2008

Clinical Psychology Applications - An Inside Guide


Things have been quiet here for a while as I've been writing 'Clinical Psychology Applications - An Inside Guide', an e-book that aims to guide applicants completing their Clinical Psychology application form.

Topics include:
  • Preparing for the form
  • What Reviewers want to see
  • Clarifying your current abilities
  • Developing your skills
  • Professional Issues
  • Taking a critical perspective
  • Further Reading
Follow this link to find out how to get hold of a copy.

More reflections on the life of a Trainee Clinical Psychologist coming soon!

Friday, 8 August 2008

So you Want to be a Clinical Psychologist?

Here is a link to an article I was asked to write for PsychBLOG, primarily aimed at A-level Psychology students considering a career in clinical psychology.

I've had some really positive feedback about 'Clinical Psychology Training - An Inside Guide' - thank you!

I've got really into this writing malarkey and am now thinking about another e-book geared towards applying - '100 tips for the Clinical Psychology Application'....what do you think?!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Clinical Psychology Training - An Inside Guide

Thank you for all your emails about the book.......I've been working hard and here it is!

'Clinical Psychology Training - An Inside Guide'

is a 100-page e-book that provides you with answers to all those questions you're having about life as a Trainee....

  • What can I expect in the Training Induction?
  • What are the academic, clinical and research components of the course?
  • What are the competencies I will develop within clinical psychology training?
  • What does teaching on clinical training involve?
  • What kinds of things are important to consider before starting placement?
  • How can I problem solve difficulties with supervision?
  • How shall I manage initial sessions with clients?
  • Can I have some ideas about preparing the therapeutic space?
  • What are important skills of engagement?
  • How might I introduce myself to my clients?
  • What are the key aspects of a Client Assessment and what are useful questions to ask?
  • How do I formulate within psychological models?
  • How can I reflect on endings?
  • What is required in terms of note keeping and confidentiality?
  • How do I approach talking about confidentiality with clients?
  • What is a neuropsychological test?
  • What are the research requirements of training?
  • What can I expect to happen in placement reviews?
  • What sources of support are available to me while I'm a Trainee?
  • How do I manage my personal and professional development?
  • What are the financial implications of being a Trainee?
  • Do you recommend any relevant reading?
and lots more!

I hope you find it useful, let me know what you think.

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Psychology Blogs

"Confessions of a Reserve List Jockey" is a laugh-out-loud blog about life as an Assistant Psychologist. Reserve List Jockey contacted me about linking blogs which I was very chuffed about! Have a look on the left for the link....

I have also linked in with PsychBLOG (which is aimed at A-level Psychology students) - look out for a post about clinical training that I'm writing which will be coming soon!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Cool Psychology Stuff!

I just discovered this website with psychology related presents - check it out!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

A development!

Thanks so much to everyone who's emailed me about the blog, it's great to know that people are reading it!

A couple of the emails I've received have led me to think about writing a publication (e-book?) about clinical psychology training so I have been busy making a start on writing it and hope it may be available September-ish.

So far it is more factual than the blog and will be focussed on the first year of training. I'm very aware of not wanting to position myself as any form of 'expert' in the business of clinical psychology training and feel it is important to state from the outset that it will be based on one person's experience and will thus be limited. However, by sharing what I have experienced of training to date I hope to give a flavour of what the day-to-day experience of training may be like.

Topics will include:

The University Experience -

  • Induction

  • Core competencies of training

  • Academic work

  • Research

  • Personal and professional development

The Placement Experience -

  • Pre-placement planning

  • Contracts

  • Observations

  • Placement reviews and assessment of your competencies

  • Supervision and how to problem solve

  • Note keeping and confidentiality

  • Caseload and competencies logs

The Clinical Experience -

  • Initial sessions (Introducing yourself, hypothesising, preparing the therapeutic space, skills of engagement, client expectations)

  • Assessment

  • Formulation

  • Case studies of client work that you can use to have a go at formulating

  • Models of Intervention

  • Endings

  • Cognitive assessment

General -

  • Financial aspects of training

  • Pros and cons of therapy

I hope it sounds interesting?! Please let me know what you think!

If you would like to be kept updated about when the book will be available and how to get hold of a copy, please email me:

I'd also be really grateful if you could include an idea of what you would most value learning from the book.

Other possible ideas might be:

  • Insights into working with particular clinical populations e.g. People with learning disabilities, older people, children

  • Ideas about working with particular clinical difficulties e.g. Depression, anxiety, substance use etc

  • Using a particular approach e.g. CBT, DBT, CAT, systemic, psychodynamic

  • Managing time demands of training

  • Ideas about certain epistemological approaches e.g. Social constructionist

Or all or none of the above or something completely different! All ideas are welcome....


Monday, 7 July 2008


Do you consider yourself a 'leader'? Increasingly, the NHS are looking to clinical psychologists to be leaders, so much so that BPS guidelines are soon to be including leadership skills as a core competency. I have mixed feelings about this development. Personally, I didn't pursue this career to be a 'leader' I came to work in a therapeutic way with clients in distress. My assumption is that the more time I spend leading, the less this I will have to work in this direct way with clients (and this is borne out in my observations of supervisors with leadership responsibility).

Despite this, I can see that clinical psychologists are relatively well paid in comparison to other health professionals in the NHS and it is only right that we should justify this in the form of extra responsibilities in the cash strapped NHS. Besides, when less qualified individuals can deliver CBT at half the cost, why would service providers choose us to do so?

A final thought is an optimistic one. If Clinical Psychologists are leading services then surely this will mean the NHS will become more psychologically minded? The medical model prevails but with services being led by clinical psychologists willing to step up and speak out, who knows where they could lead the NHS of the future.