The ClinPsyD programme is staffed by a team of dedicated clinical and academic staff, many of whom are also employed as local clinicians within the region.
The course is active in promoting and pursuing links with clinical services across the wide geographical region it serves, and involves a wide range of external stakeholders in all aspects of the programme. Such involvement includes representation from local Clinicians, Experts by Experience and Commissioners.
Local clinicians are involved in all areas of the programme: teaching; research; supervision; selection and assessment. In terms of teaching, we are fortunate that we can call on the expertise of a wide selection of clinicians within the region to provide the latest ‘real world’ teaching of models of mental health within the NHS. Furthermore, all trainees are supported on placement by local clinicians who provide clinical placements and act as clinical supervisors. Local clinicians have been vital in helping the Programme develop its leadership agenda. We keenly believe that the skills and training of clinical psychologists equips them to operate with highly complex clinical cases, but also allows them to influence delivery of care within organisations. Our Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), which are a formative assessment unique to our ClinPsyD programme, are one of the ways in which we support trainees in developing their skills in this area.
The course is central component of ensuring provision of clinical psychologists to serve the future employment needs of the region, and is supported by our local commissioners (NHS Health Education East of England) in achieving this.
The doctoral training programme especially values the contribution and collaboration of people with lived experience of mental health or other problems, especially people who have made use of psychology services as part of their journey. The expertise offered by people with this direct lived experience is vital in making sure the doctoral training programme embraces values of inclusion, compassion and mutual respect, and enables trainees to understand the diverse types of expertise (not just professional) that can be brought to understanding distress and improving health and well-being.
We include and work with people with lived experience across all domains of the programme (with the exception of summative assessments) including:
- Interviewing and selecting candidates for the course
- Developing teaching approaches and materials
- Delivering, collaborating in or co-producing teaching
- Reviewing plans for doctoral research theses
- Contributing to programme developments through planning and committee meeting attendance
- Providing feedback and evaluation of trainee skills in formative assessments such as the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs).
We work closely with the Experts by Experience committee of the Norwich Medical School in making sure that we follow best practice in supporting people with lived experience in their roles with us through training, payment and support to both experts by experience and programme staff. Whilst we still have more work to do on including people with diverse backgrounds and types of lived experience, and increasing collaboration in our research programmes, we have achieved a great deal over the last few years that has genuinely enriched the experiences of staff, trainees and our experts by experience, and the clinical psychology programme as a whole.
“Experiencing disturbances in mental health can be devastating, at best it is extremely unpleasant and deeply disturbing. Although, as a society, we have made huge progress in addressing the stigma associated with mental health issues, there still exists an instinct to cover up and attempt to continue as normal. At some level, many sufferers have low self-esteem and blame themselves for their problems, also believing that others judge them harshly. After support from a UEA graduate clinical psychologist I was able to recognise and challenge these thoughts. I was then invited to take part in various components of UEA clinical psychologists training, from open days and interviews to student evaluation and curriculum reviews. In doing this, I have found that my experience has value. Rather than my mental health issues being a part of myself to be ashamed of, I am thrilled to be able to share the personal knowledge so that it helps other people to travel this journey and, hopefully, receive excellent care. When taking part in the activities, the staff and students are open, caring and supportive. I have found these times to be wonderful opportunities for learning; the clinical psychologists are always willing to share information about their areas of speciality. Experts by experience are never patronised but are always respected and treated as absolute equals to the experts by training (psychologists!). I believe that the programme to include experts by experience has been shown to be of mutual benefit to all participants.”
Tania Nolan- Expert by Experience