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An exploration of trainee clinical psychologists' experiences of engaging with psycho spiritual issues in clinical practice

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posted on 2010-10-13, 13:50 authored by Jayne Mills
Purpose: The purpose of the research was two-fold: to determine the provision of religious and spirituality teaching within UK Clinical Psychology training courses and to explore the experiences of trainee clinical psychologists engagement with psycho-spiritual constructs in clinical practice. Method: Two studies were conducted. A preliminary survey involved a questionnaire survey of UK Doctorate in Clinical Psychology courses to determine the provision of religious and spiritual teaching currently provided. A qualitative study involved a semi-structured interview of third-year trainee clinical psychologists to explore their experiences of engaging in psycho-spiritual constructs in clinical practice. Results: Preliminary survey: Inconsistent findings were noted. Courses varied in the time allocated to religious and spirituality teaching, ranging from no teaching to two-and-half days over the three year course. Curriculum content also varied, with an inconsistency of opinion of what should be included in teaching. Qualitative study: Interviews were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Five super-ordinate themes emerged; provision of religious and spirituality training, trajectory of clinical practice, locus of control, existential issues and personal religion and spirituality ideology. Conclusion: Whilst many studies support the integration of religion and spirituality in clinical practice (Post & Wade, 2009; Knox et al., 2005) to date, there is little change in the training of clinical psychologists. Recommendations are suggested to influence change at organisational, academic and clinical levels.



Wang, Michael

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University of Leicester

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