The overall purpose and philosophy of the programme meets the changing clinical, organisational and training needs of the NHS through:
- Provision of high quality training in Clinical Psychology leading to the award of a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC and chartership with the BPS.
- Advancement of critical, scholarly, evidence-based approaches to the theory and practice of Clinical Psychology, which will make a significant contribution to the profession.
- Promotion of professional practice that is sensitive to differences arising from gender, class, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and other cultural concerns and is delivered from a theoretically informed ethical stance.
The developmental structure of the programme can be summarised as “from the individual, through groups to society”. In other words the course begins with a focus on working with individuals, progresses to working with groups and families, and finally focuses on working at the societal level with systems and organisations. This developmental trajectory is complemented by the acquisition of research skills and an emphasis on taking an evidence-based approach to clinical practice. In clinical psychology theory and practice cannot be divorced from each other. At the heart of the programme is a holistic view of clinical work based on the integration of theory and practice and the seamless interweaving of clinical and research skills.
In accordance with the current HCPC Standards for Education and Training and with current BPS accreditation criteria, the teaching programme is based on HCPC Standards of Proficiency and BPS core competences. The academic programme has been designed to mirror the planned acquisition of competences on placements.
As you would expect of doctoral level training, once you are on the Trent Programme, the tone of the selection day is reflected in your intensive learning experience, which has been described as “high demand and high support leading to high output and high reward”. You start your training at Trent with a concentrated block of teaching, during which you assess your baseline competences on a range of dimensions, gain detailed and constructive formative feedback from tutors and colleagues, and develop your own learning plan. As you progress on the programme you have increasing opportunities to reflect on your personal trajectory as a psychologist in training and discover your special talents and interests. Central to your professional development is our practice based learning (PBL) approach to both teaching and assessment.
One of the defining characteristics of being a Clinical Psychologist is the constant requirement to integrate the theoretical knowledge base and scientific methods of psychology with sound practical competences within a professional and ethical framework. To help you grapple with this challenge we have designed your learning experience to be practice based from the very start. When you join the Trent Programme you will become a member of a learning group of 4 trainees collaborating to analyse and solve a range of problems that reflect clinical realities. Working with your group you will tackle issues arising within individual, group and systemic interventions using a variety of strategies and techniques. As part of this experience you will consolidate your teamwork skills, enhance your understanding of group dynamics and reflect on your functioning in groups. PBL exercises are the core of the intensive initial teaching block and give you the confidence and skills to enjoy and make best use of the learning opportunities on your Foundation Placement.
Starting your first placement on a new training programme in a new environment can be a daunting experience. Our year-long Foundation Placements help you feel part of a team, establish a secure base, identify with a service, develop effective working relationships and work with longer-term cases. On the Trent Programme, Foundation Placements are usually in Adult Mental Health Services with an emphasis on CBT based formulations and interventions; however, other Evidence Based Practice models are introduced to encourage you to make critical comparisons and develop expertise in your preferred approaches.
As a BPS-accredited training, the Trent Programme offers experience in CBT and other EBP models. During the first semester of the second year, we offer flexible options enabling you to study complementary and alternative EBP approaches. During the third year you will have the opportunity to consolidate your special interest through the choice of the third year specialist placement.
Applying for doctoral level training indicates that you welcome the exciting challenge of in-depth enquiry and of making an original contribution to knowledge. However, many trainees who have worked outside an academic setting for some time may worry that their research skills have become rusty. Our research pathway is designed to increase your confidence by building up your research project through a number of stages, each of which attracts detailed formative feedback and contributes to your final research portfolio, providing you with 2 potentially publishable papers in the process. At Trent you will be asked to think about your thesis topic before the start of the programme, be provided with a list of potential topics to choose from and will have finished your thesis by the end of the first semester of your third year of training.
The current structure of the Trent programme is for trainees to participate in a 13 week teaching block when they first start the course. After this, around Christmas time, Trainees start their first placement. From then on a typical week would be as follows:
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