ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Discuss the content and style of the different clinical psychology doctoral training courses, the differences between them, placements, teaching, chat to other trainees and connect with other people who have places on the same course

ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby Marlowe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:00 am

I'd like to ask a question of ClinPsy graduates please. I'm about to qualify as a counsellor, and I love the work, but it's not enough to engage me 100%, at least not yet - I also find myself strangely attracted to Clinical Doctorate training. When I look at everything that you study, practice and work with, I feel that I'd really love to do that (and I will be getting more practice in clinics to test that assumption). I've done postgrad work before, but this is the first time that there's something I feel I can really engage with on every level.

However, in the long run I would also love to innovate counselling/therapy techniques. For example, being in my mid-40s, I've spent years working deeply with aspects of Mindfulness and CBT, but not yet in the clinical space. So my question is, is there any scope as a Clinical Doctorate student - and/or as a fully fledged Clinical Psychologist - to work with counselling/therapy research and innovation? Or do you think I would be better placed doing that by qualifying as a Counselling Psychologist? It might seem an obvious choice on the surface, but I'm less attracted to the Counselling Psychology courses, partly because I've already learned much of it when qualifying as a counsellor, and partly because many of them appear less academic and clinical (obviously, since they don't have 'clinical' in the name) than ClinPsy. I think I'm looking for a hybrid which has it all, but I don't know if they exist, and if they don't then would it be wise to choose ClinPsy?

Many thanks in advance for any advice. :)
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Re: ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby Spatch » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:56 am

That was one of the biggest differences between psychology and other psychotherapy/counselling paths, the increased emphasis on research skills and theoretical development. It’s why research publications are more frequent from clinical psychs as well as developing of specific therapies like Paul Gilbert (compassion focused),David Clark (IAPT), Marsha Linehan (DBT) etc.

You can do this post qual as a researcher clinician, but some courses will have placements in similar settings for third year elective placements as a trainee. Similarly, some of us (like me) are involved in developing and evaluating pathways for specific conditions where we have to create an evidence base from scratch where therapies have to be integrated and then evaluated. It’s a very different skill from delivering therapies and requires a much broader knowledge of academic theory as well as quantitative and qualitative analysis skills.

Hope that helps
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Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Experience-Assistant-Psychologist-ebook/dp/B00EQFE5JW/
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Re: ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby Marlowe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:23 am

Ooh. Yes that helps tremendously, thanks so much. I knew there was a good reason that I was attracted to ClinPsy. Doing a straight-forward PhD is another option, but I'm pretty sure that it wouldn't be as driven, supportive and leadership-oriented as ClinPsy doctorates are.

Having said that, if there are CoPs and PhDs out there who disagree, I'd love to hear from you too.
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Re: ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby Marlowe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:12 am

Btw Spatch your shameless plug worked, I just bought your book :lol:
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Re: ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby hs577 » Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:51 pm

Hi Marlowe,

I think what you’re asking depends on the counselling psychology course. For example, they all have two core therapeutic modalities so the core 2 on my course were CBT and Psychodynamic. However, you may have already covered CBT and humanistic as core approaches so that would be repetitive for you. Nearly all courses (both clinical and counselling) will have CBT as one of their core approaches to meet demands of most services. Therefore, you could try and develop by using CBT with a different group such as secondary mental health if you’ve only worked in primary and vice versa in counselling psychology. Whereas doing a course that has psychodynamic teaching or something that would be new to you would help you develop.

In terms of research you will have more time to do this in Counselling Psychology as if you’re already working in a service that allows this you can gain client hours over 1-2 working days, evenings on course days etc then allow 1-2 working days per week research. I think the clinical psychology can also have repetitive bits too for CBT etc as naturally you’ll spend a lot of time on reflection, group work and clinical skills and things you’ve already done. I worked 2 days (20 hours) per week in first year and 22.5 hours over 3 days in 2nd and 3rd year as I changed roles. I was able to put in some clinical hours in my current role in 2nd and 3rd year and finished about 3pm a lot of uni days so typically saw 4 clients per evening on my these days as there was a placement within a few minute walk (not related to the uni counselling service) that was open until 7:30.

You can go in to more depth with the counselling psychology course with specific clinical populations and have one of your placements spanning the 3 years of the course whereas, as far as I’m aware I think you can only do a years placement with Clinical psychology (clinical psychologists can correct this) and know you typically have to work with specific populations in your 1st and 2nd year e.g children and adolescents, working age, older adult and learning disabilities.

In counselling psychology you do cover supervision models, qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. You additionally cover audit, evaluation and teaching as well as the usual formulation (including MDT formulation, therapy provision (typically 450 hours) and assessment. You also are require a set number of hours personal therapy to enhance your practice whereas this is not a requirement for clinical psychology although clinical trainees do of course pursue this. An additional component was that we had teaching 2 days per week Oct-May and then had the summer to catch up on placement hours, research etc.

I did a multi-centre mixed methods study that went through 4 NHS trusts and have published 2 papers previously and have 6 papers in preparation but I’m aware I’m the exception rather than the rule. We have the Counselling Psychology Review as our departmental journal and trainees and qualified Psychologists (Clinical and Counselling etc) can publish in this and other journals. Thus it’s what you make of it. Either way you will have repetition with either course form what you’ve described experience wise. If money is an issue regarding counselling psychology there are ways of having paid work etc such as band 5 and 6 which is what I did.

All the best with whatever you decide because as you can see I've largely gone on my own experience.
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Re: ClinPsy and therapeutic innovation?

Postby Marlowe » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:22 am

That's super helpful, thank you for taking the time to write in such detail! It sounds like I could be happy with either course, despite how different they are. As you say, it is what you make of it.
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