Clinical psychologist training

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In order to meet the needs of current and future NHS patients, it is essential to train doctors, nurses and other health professionals, including clinical psychologists. If you have been referred for a clinical psychology appointment, a trainee psychologist may be involved in your care. This information sheet explains the training process and how you might be involved.

Trainee Clinical Psychologists:

Clinical psychology training involves the completion of a first degree in psychology followed by a three-year post-graduate training programme leading to a doctoral degree. In addition, many trainees will have considerable experience as assistant psychologists or in similar roles, working alongside qualified psychologists in the NHS, before beginning their post-graduate programme.

An important part of clinical psychology training involves the trainee psychologist working in NHS settings under the supervision of an experienced clinical psychologist.

If you have been referred to see a clinical psychologist, you may be offered an appointment with a trainee. This might mean the trainee working together with you and the psychologist or the trainee might work with you more independently under the psychologist’s supervision.

Trainee clinical psychologists are required to follow the same rules, regarding matters such as confidentiality, as qualified psychologists. As they are at the beginning of their careers they are keen and enthusiastic, have up-to-date knowledge and you may be seen more quickly than otherwise.

If you have any questions about seeing a trainee clinical psychologist, please discuss these at your first appointment.

Written Case Reports:

In order to complete their clinical training, trainee psychologists are required to write a report about some of their work with clients. Case reports are written so that any details that could identify clients are left out or altered. These reports are not available to the public and are locked away at the university. If you have any questions about case reports, please ask about this when you attend your appointment.


As with any NHS professional, if you decide that you prefer not to see a trainee, your wishes will be respected. Your care will not be affected.

Oct 2012 4.3

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