In early September, the North East of England Branch (NEEB) and Special Group of Independent Practitioners (SGIP) put on an event entitled ‘Café Psychologique’. The name cleverly plays on the concept of ‘Café Scientifique’, in which anyone can have a ‘taste’ of science for the cost of a coffee (or in my case, tea). Attendees of the event were varied in their experience, ranging from accomplished clinicians with their own independent practices to recent university graduates. This workshop was designed to assist the professional development of independent practitioners, providing guidance on starting and maintaining a private practice.
After a brief introduction, Paul-John Griffiths opened the event with an engaging overview of his experience as a Forensic Psychologist and highlighted the factors that motivated his shift from the public to the private sector. The room was subsequently separated into groups facilitated by Elaine Iljon Foreman and Christine Hamilton. Elaine is the director of ‘Freedom to Fly’, an organisation which helps individuals overcome aerophobia (fear of flying), and Christine, a highly experienced and successful occupational psychologist. All three facilitators were highly engaging and their passion for their work was immediately apparent. The extensive experience of these clinicians provided a fantastic springboard for discussion within the groups throughout the day.
The SGIP event was a fantastic day for individuals at all levels in their career, whether you own a private practice or have recently left university. The content was useful to all those interested in pursuing a career in psychological practice and I would highly recommend attending similar events to any BPS members. An additional benefit of attending these events is the significant networking opportunities with other psychologists, all of whom were very friendly and keen to help.
“… Setting up a private practice is both a challenging and exciting experience. There is no well-trodden path and practitioners must carve their own way to success…”
The full article will be printed in the NEEB Bullitin during January 2020: SGIP are grateful to Liam Myles and NEEB for allowing this abridged critique to be posted to the webpage.