The Division of Clinical Psychology is served by multiple branches across the UK.
For more information consult the tabs below or return to the main DCP page.
The East Midlands Branch represents the views and interests of the members in this area and includes clinical psychologists, trainee and assistant psychologists. They meet quarterly to discuss relevant issues for the Branch and its members.
Members who live and/or work within the following postcodes are supported by this Branch:
25 November 2021, 10.00-12.00
DCP East Midlands Branch Webinar: Developing Compassionate Leadership in Psychology
25 November 2021, 13.30-15.00
DCP East Midlands Early Career Member Networking Event
25 November 2021, 15.30-17.00
DCP East Midlands Mid-late Career Member Networking Event
In response to member suggestions, a proportion of the DCP-EM budget for 2021 has been allocated to support social change projects within the region. We are adopting a broad definition of social change for these purposes, with a focus on work in which clinical psychology is applied to the specific purpose of improving wellbeing or alleviating distress in a community or population that would normally be considered to experience marginalisation to some degree.
We are looking to support projects that do not currently have a source of mainstream funding associated with them – for example, a project delivered through an NHS service would be out of scope. Projects must demonstrate a collaboration between clinical psychology and the community for whom the project is intended. Funding of up to £500 is available, which must be used to support the costs of delivering the project by 1 September 2022. We particularly encourage applications from projects for whom this funding can allow a business case development for sustainable funding from an alternative source (such as a charity, local authority, or NHS commissioning body).
The call for applications will go to the DCP East Midlands membership in July 2021.
Please ensure that submissions are received by 4pm on 1 September 2021, late submissions will not be considered.
Any applicant interested in this opportunity will be welcome to contact the chair Mike Mariott [email protected] to discuss their initial idea and clarify any queries they might have. You are encouraged to do so before 18 August to give sufficient time to arrange a phone call/meeting before the deadline. In the event that we receive more applications than we are able to fund, applications will be rated according to the attached matrix by at least two reviewers from the DCP-EM committee, and feedback will be given to both successful and unsuccessful applicants.
Rating criteria and full guidance for applications
Please click on the link to access the full guidance for the call, including the rating criteria for applications.
Dr Claire Lee (Derbyshire Healthcare Foundation Trust) talks about the anticipatory grief for her dog, Reef, and how her grief spurred her to take action to make her Trust’s policy regarding special leave more inclusive.
When both my dogs were sick (I won’t got into details but if dogs become dehydrated this can be dangerous, not to mention the mess that needed cleaning up and separate trips to the vets) I was shocked to discover that my Trust’s special leave policy didn’t include special leave, domestic leave or bereavement leave for pets. This is more surprising when approximately 40% of the UK population own a pet (www.pfma.org.uk/pet-population-2019), with around 51 million pets owned.
I started the process with a literature review focusing on equality/human rights, employment relations and animal welfare (basically anything that might support my case so I should acknowledge my bias here). I also wanted to find out whether other organisations offered any leave for pets. I was lucky to find one NHS trust offering emergency care of a family pet with the Royal Mail and Bank of Scotland having policies sympathetic for caring for sick pets.
As I read the Equality Act, I realised the special leave policy discriminated against my belief that pets are family because I didn’t have the same rights as staff with human dependants. Under the Equality Act ‘beliefs’ are a protected characteristic. Beliefs include “a world view or life stance” and “must affect how a person lives their life or perceives the world.” 99% of owners view their pets as part of the family with the attachment between human and pets often being so strong that it is common to mourn in a way that is very similar to the feelings and behaviours associated with the loss of a human family member. I recently experienced this when my dog Reef had cancer and I had to make the difficult decision to put her to sleep. I was too emotional to be at work, needing to spend those final days with her but also to grieve afterwards. As a psychologist working with older people and people with dementia, there’s often a focus on different stages of life including living and dying well and as a pet owner this felt important to be able to provide this for my dog. There are also many health benefits of pet ownership (e.g. lower blood pressure, more recreational walking, feeling less lonely) so I wanted to emphasise that pets are important for the physical and mental health of staff but that we also need to be supported to take care of them. Whilst I was aware that not everybody would share my belief, I hoped that it would be recognised by my Trust, as under the Equality Act organisations have a responsibility to eliminate discrimination and make sure any negative consequences were eliminated.
Interestingly there had been a growing movement towards animal sentience (although there was less of a focus on increasing the rights of pet owners to care for their pets by animal campaigners). The Animal Welfare Act 2006 also highlighted the need of animals to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. As a pet owner “you are always responsible for your animal’s needs” and “if you own or are responsible for a pet, and fail to meet its welfare needs or cause it unnecessary suffering, you may be prosecuted under the Act”. This could mean that if I didn’t care for my pet’s needs, I could be fined up to £20,000 and/or sent to prison!
I raised this issue with the Freedom to Speak Up Guardian within my Trust who took it to the staff forum whilst I collected personal stories from staff. This led to the Trust reviewing the special leave policy.
The Trust has amended its special leave policy so that it now reads: “Domestic leave section has been updated to include where a significant pet requires emergency treatment, needs end of life care or has died, the carer for the pet will be allowed a maximum of 2 days paid leave from the 10 days Domestic Leave entitlement.”
The government recently introduced an Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill which recognises animals as sentient beings (i.e. animals experience feelings in the same way humans do). This raises their status from objects to sentients which means their physical and mental welfare must be considered in laws and policies. Whilst it’s a positive step that my Trust has given 2 days leave for pets, my hope is that the Trust will review the policy again and eliminate discrimination. It would be amazing if other organisations could review their special leave policy and take into consideration the belief that pets are family and make their policy more inclusive. If anyone is interested in doing this and would like more information then please contact me.
Georgia Speechley (trainee clinical psychologist) shares some reflections of her experiences of training on the Trent DClinPsy.
Around this time aspiring clinical psychologists will be preparing to start training or may be re-evaluating their application, or even career options. It is hoped that sharing these reflections might help give aspiring psychologists perspective, an understand what training is like, and encourage some hope in what can feel like a long process (hopefully!).
1) Thinking back on the times when you weren’t successful in getting onto training, what helped you through that and motivated you to try again?
When I first applied, I wasn’t ready myself. In hindsight I applied because I was scared of what was next rather than feeling it was the right time. When I felt I had the right skills and felt prepared for the training I applied again, and that time was successful.
2) When you did get onto training, what were your expectations of it and what was the reality?
My expectations were pretty similar to how it feels. Very busy, friendly course friends, difficult workload, loving placement and finding research hard but interesting.
I was surprised by the social element of the course. I think, due to my anxiety, I overlooked that I might actually form friendships when starting – this was something that pleasantly struck me on the commute to the first day.
It changes parts of your personal life and how you react to things too. I found myself thinking more analytically in situations outside of work and university. I found that my empathy of others has increased more but I have also increased in setting boundaries when sharing my personal time.
3) Now that you’ve been on training for 9 months/years, what do you think is important for people to be aware of when a) applying, and b) starting training?
4) Do you have any other reflections you would like to share?
Not at this time.
Thank you very much Georgia for your time.
Laura Hayward (clinical psychologist, Derbyshire Foundation Healthcare Trust) and Paddy (this is a pseudonym, chosen by him, to protect his identity) reflect on what it felt like to be back in the therapy room together following a year apart.
Here I present an email conversation between a service-user and I, reflecting on what it has been like to get back into the therapy room after over a year of working remotely. For context, Paddy and I have continued to work throughout the pandemic predominantly online with occasional telephone sessions. This has worked well for us, although as you will see, his preference is in-person sessions.
Our relationship to the therapy space (mine included) has had to shift somewhat since March 2020. For the people I work with, some have embraced and benefitted from remote working. Indeed, one person reported finding it much easier to talk about their emotions via the telephone. Conversely, others have opted not to have a service because the thought of remote working is too overwhelming. I work with people over the age of 65, and some of them are digitally excluded. For others, home visits mixed with remote sessions have been necessary due to risk. My point is, each circumstance and combination of feelings about being away from the therapy room/working in new ways is a little bit different. Paddy and I present one way of relating to these adjustments.
It was an absolute delight to meet with you in person today. It is been over a year since we have been in the room together. You mentioned that you felt nervous; I felt the same! I woke up with a nervous excitement, having got ready for work and done everything I needed to do before the early hour of 7:18 AM!
As we sat down together I wondered what getting to session had been like for you, what is was like being back in the room and I obviously wondered about how you were finding the mask. I was having ‘good mask day’ (a colleague of mine refers to this as a day where your mask actually sits where it is supposed to and does not creep halfway down your chin!) At the same time I was quite conscious of my apron, with its occasional rustle, and what this might have been like for you. I did not find it as restrictive as anticipated, however; it was just really good to see you in 3D! I was very mindful of my gestures, which felt free in the room! I have got so used to moving what can be seen on a computer screen, I had not realised just how un-embodied I had become!....
I look forward to your reply.
You said that you were very nervous about seeing me face to face again as well as being excited after a long time. I can say that I also was very nervous because I hadn’t seen you face to face for about a year although we saw each other on the video link. It was, to me, like going to the clinical psychologist services department for the first time. It was an effort for me to go but I made myself do it. I’m glad I am used to wearing a mask, so that posed no problem for me. When I got there I still had a weird feeling because it was so quiet and hardly anyone else was there. I’m glad that I wasn’t in the waiting room for long because I was getting quite anxious. When we did go into the consulting room and we sat together one on one I think we started to settle down and I know that I could speak to you more freely than over the video because we cover difficult subjects. When I got to the difficult parts you listened and you made me calm. That was easier than over the video. When our session finished, I was really tired but calm and I am now looking forward to seeing you again on the next appointment. Thanks Laura.
I had not really thought about it being like going to the clinic for the first time but it absolutely was. I guess there may be a period of relearning how to be back in the room together, though it sounds as if you are settling in relatively quickly. I wonder if there was something that we could have done to have made the quietness of the building or the wait before seeing me less weird and anxious?
I too felt that we could speak more freely and it makes me wonder how this last year has been for you online? I think there have been some real benefits to it. I, for example, was able to still see you during our time online though was often very mindful of being in your home trying to think about difficult subjects, which you share with your partner. It’s also been nice to develop the confidence with technology. It really is amazing, isn’t it?
You mention that you were tired at the end of the session and I wondered if you could tell me more. What you think made you tired? Was there anything that could have been done to support you with this?
Yes, I think we do need to retrain ourselves to get back to normal again seeing each other at the clinic. I do think though that it won’t take us too long to get back into it. I don’t know what else could be done to make me feel less anxious. Hopefully it won’t be as bad next time. I do agree that our video appointments did have their benefits. I know it wasn’t the same as being face to face but we did see each other and we were able to discuss what we needed to. The drawback for me was that when my partner (or anyone else) was there it was hard for me to mention certain things whereas I could talk to you openly face to face. I do agree though that the technology now is awesome. The reason I was so tired was because I had got up early and was so nervous and anxious. I hope I’m not feeling as bad next time. I should be okay.
So, Paddy, to bring our conversation to a close, what would you say to someone who was preparing to see their psychologist/therapist or nurse in-person for the first time after a long pause? And what would you encourage a person to consider when restarting their in-person sessions/appointments again?
The first time, well for me, I didn’t know what to expect. It was hard to feel trust and I thought it was going to be an effort. I thought I would go along to see if it was the same as before or different so perhaps it is about telling yourself that there is no harm in giving it ago. I reminded myself that I was getting something out of it before.
We had seen each other before on the video link. Although it was nerve wracking for you as well as me, seeing each other in person is still working better than what we have been doing. Once we saw each other we settle down and just started.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me, Paddy. Hopefully others can learn from our experience of being back in the room together for the first time in a long time.
The Division of Clinical Psychology, East Midlands Branch are call for statement of interests is now closed
The deadline for submitting an statement of interest form is now closed
Elections will be formally ratified at the next Committee meeting for Division of Clinical Psychology, East Midlands Branch on Friday 17 September 2021
If you have any queries regarding submitting an statement of interest please email Member Network Services
I qualified as a clinical psychologist from Sheffield in 2007, and have worked in CAMHS services ever since, with my most recent work focussed in eating disorders. I now work for Nottingham Trent University, teaching across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules alongside various practice-based projects - my particular focus here is on the leadership of an MSc Psychology in Clinical Practice, facilitating students to undertake experiential learning placements whilst conducting service evaluations and applied research projects with local clinicians (see https://www.ntu.ac.uk/staff-profiles/social-sciences/mike-marriott for more details).
I am a Clinical Psychologist with a specialist interest in Child and Adolescent Mental Health. I have worked for ten years in Child and adolescent mental health services, including the development of specialist service to support young people with an eating disorder. I currently work as interim clinical lead in a residential non-maintained school for 9-17 year olds with social, emotional and mental health specialist educational needs. I use a range of therapeutic models, and have collaborated on research and audit projects including transitions to adult services, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder service pathways, and anxiety groups in CAMHS services.
My journey in psychology started with an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Economics at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, where I’m originally from. After graduating, I completed an Honours degree in Psychology before working as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry at Groote Schuur Hospital. I left South Africa to work overseas with the sole purpose of traveling as much as possible. Six years and 25 countries later, I realised I was ready for furthering my education and pursuing a career in psychology. I completed my masters in Applied Clinical Psychology at the University of Bath before working in various roles in the NHS and private services. After the rollercoaster that is DClinPsy applications, I have started as a trainee on the Trent programme. I am now living my dream of becoming a Clinical Psychologist with hopes of training further into Neuropsychology. I have particular interests in Neuropsychology, cross-cultural research and research methodology.
I am currently a third year clinical psychology trainee at the University of Leicester. I have worked across inpatient and community services with adults and children, with a particular interest in complex trauma and developing trauma-informed care.
I qualified from Birmingham DClinPsy in 1997 and for the last 17 years have worked within the Medical Psychology Service based in Leicester. For the last 11 years I have also been a part time Clinical tutor for the Leicester DClinPsy, currently taking a lead role in selection, supervisor training and for first year placement activity. I have recently started a new clinical role as clinical lead for the Maternal Mental Health Service for Leicestershire as part of the NHS long term plan developments for perinatal care. I have been a member of the BPS and DCP since before training and am very pleased to be in a position to now join the newly reconfigured East Midlands DCP committee.
Bio coming soon.
I qualified as a clinical psychologist from Leicester in 2009 after competing my thesis in the area of dementia care and staff experience. After working for six years in physical health I returned to work with older people in Derby. I currently work two days into a Community Mental Health Team and one day a week for a Dementia Rapid Response Team. My interests are trauma and older people, dissociation, carer support and reflective practice. I am trained in Eye Movement Sensitisation and Reprocessing and continue to be influenced by Personal Construct Psychology, psychodynamic approaches and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. I have recently joined the DCP East Midlands Branch as a Committee Member.
Bio coming soon.