Where do we go from here? History, theory and values in learning disability services

We will consider the challenges we currently face in our work with people with learning disabilities, and seek to gain a better understanding of these challenges within a theoretical, ideological and historical context. 

We will discuss the historical development of learning disability services, and the tension between the scientific, humanistic and social constructionist paradigms in Clinical Psychology.  Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own professional and personal values, and the way in which these are expressed in their clinical work. 

We will consider the implications of the workshop for our professional role in learning disability services, and ways in which we can now work with the system for the benefit of our clients.


09:30 Registration/Tea and Coffee
10:00 Workshop starts (there will be a 30min break for lunch)
16:30 Workshop ends


Reference will be made throughout to a wide range of psychological theories.  There is no one theory which underpins the whole event.  However, some key ideas relate to:

  • the paradigmatic nature of science (Kuhn T (1996) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions)
  • the importance of understanding historical context as a way of illuminating current choices
  • the need for an integrative approach to work with people with learning disabilities 
  • the importance of reflection in professional practice

This workshop will be of interest to both trainee and qualified Clinical Psychologists.

Participants will be asked to bring case material for discussion.

Learning outcomes and objectives 

Participants will:

  • Gain an overview of the history of learning disability services, and its key social and political determinants
  • Understand the nature of paradigms, and the way in which they are relevant in clinical psychology
  • Consider the role of values in clinical psychology, and reflect on their own personal and professional values
  • Consider the external pressures they face in the way they are able to define their professional role
  • Take away some ideas for constructive ways forward.

Facilitator: Jenny Webb CPsychol 

Jenny has worked for 22 years as a Clinical Psychologist, mostly in the field of Learning Disability.  She is a Full Member of the Division of Neuropsychology and has taught on two clinical Doctoral courses, and has several publications relating to learning disability and other topics.

Booking information


  • DCP members: £25 + VAT
  • Society members: £50 + VAT
  • Society non-members: £75 + VAT

How to book:


Please note: online bookings will close 24 hours prior to the event. Please call +44 (0)116 2529512 for availability after this point.

To pay by cheque or request an invoice complete and return the registration form.

Please note that we are only able to accept invoice requests more than 6 weeks before the event date.

Wed, 18/07/2012 (All day)
Contact Information: 

BPS Learning Centre

Tel: +44 (0)116 2529925

Division of Clinical Psychology, BPS Learning Centre