Author: John Galvin and Prof. Andy Smith, Cardiff University

Day Two – Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Health & Well Being

Session Six: 2.45pm – 4.15pm

Becoming a clinical psychologist is extremely hard work. To gain a place on a clinical training programme requires a minimum 2.1 degree and a substantial amount of work experience. The competitiveness in the field often results in a number of applications, interviews and many years of uncertainty and rejection. Once an individual gains admission onto a course, the trainee will then be subjected to three years of clinical placements in new fields and a number of lengthy pieces of academic work. Additionally, the trainee will have to deal with the additional pressures of constant assessment, feelings of incompetency, lack of role definition and building new therapeutic relationships with clients who are potentially highly disturbed (Hannigan & Burnard, 2004). Despite this, there are very few empirical studies focusing on the antecedent factors that maintain trainee clinical psychologists’ sense of well-being. The current research addresses this question using a mixed-methods design. Implications for the trainee, their clients and those who invest in clinical psychology services will be discussed.

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