Extant literature exploring service user (SU) involvement in clinical psychology training has been limited by its sampling from singular training programmes and its restricted application of psychological theory. This research seeks to counter limitations by exploring SUs’ experiences across multiple clinical psychology training programmes in the UK and by deductively applying psychological theory relating to power, recovery, identity and group development.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 14 participants. A deductive thematic analysis was used to analyse qualitative data.
Five main themes were identified: environment determines sense of safety; meeting challenges; sense of purpose, worth and value; the person you see now is not the person I was; and wanting to break the glass ceiling.
Carers are underrepresented and the sample does not contain SUs who were no longer involved in training.
It is important that the environment fosters psychological safety for SUs, via positive and supportive relationships with trainees and staff, with SUs being treated as equals and financially reimbursed as such. SUs and professionals need to explore managing and sharing power to enable SUs to feel valued and to reap benefits from involvement, including developing a positive sense of identity.
The research is part of the early literature exploring SUs’ experiences of involvement in clinical psychology training and is, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, the first to explore the personal effects of involvement across multiple programmes.
Hill, A., Tickle, A. and De Boos, D. (2022), "Service user and carer representatives’ experiences of the personal effects of involvement in clinical psychology training", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 191-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-02-2021-0019
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