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Tame clients: an evaluation of service users’ and trainee clinical psychologists’ perspective of service user involvement in teaching

Carl Norwood (Department of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Anna Tickle (Department of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Danielle De Boos (Department of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)
Roberta Dewa (Department of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Article publication date: 7 August 2019

Issue publication date: 12 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The involvement of service users within clinical psychology training is written into policy. However, the practice of evaluating involvement from both trainees’ and service users’ viewpoint is minimal. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate recent service user involvement in psychometrics and formulation teaching on a clinical psychology training programme, from both service user and trainee perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus groups were held with service users (n=3) involved in the teaching, as well as trainees (n=3). Additional questionnaire data were captured from trainees (n=11). Service user and trainee data were analysed separately using thematic analysis. Themes generated for trainees were also mapped on to a competency framework for clinical psychologists.

Findings

Both parties found the teaching beneficial. Service users enjoyed supporting trainees and engaged positively in their roles. They identified relational aspects and reflections on their own therapy as other benefits. Trainees reported enhanced clinical preparedness, critical and personal reflection. Trainee anxiety was evident. Learning mapped well to competency frameworks.

Research limitations/implications

The samples were small and some data truncated. Findings speak to broader issues and may transfer to other involvement contexts.

Practical implications

A good degree of meaningful involvement can be achieved through such initiatives, to mutual benefit and enhanced learning.

Originality/value

Nature of the exercise and dual-aspect approach to evaluation described here helps to minimise tokenism. The mapping of findings to competency frameworks supports evaluative processes and helps to legitimise involvement initiatives that challenge the boundaries of existing practice.

Keywords

Citation

Norwood, C., Tickle, A., De Boos, D. and Dewa, R. (2019), "Tame clients: an evaluation of service users’ and trainee clinical psychologists’ perspective of service user involvement in teaching", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 327-338. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-11-2018-0068

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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