Celebrating our aspiring clinical psychologists | Latest News

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Celebrating our aspiring clinical psychologists

Collage featuring four of our aspiring clinical psychologists.

Our Aspiring Clinical Psychologists (ACP) Access Scheme has supported 16 psychology graduates to take their first step towards a clinical career.

The scheme, funded by NHS England, is a six-month programme run by trusts across London to provide paid clinical experience for psychology graduates from underrepresented backgrounds in clinical psychology.

Graduates who may have struggled to find paid work experience are employed to work as assistant psychologists (APs) with the aim of developing the skills and experience needed to successfully apply for a clinical psychology doctorate programme in the future.

Clinical psychologist Dr Yvette Arthur, who runs the Aspire scheme at SWLSTG, said: “The clinical psychology profession is under-represented by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and even more so by people from these backgrounds who are excluded from entering the profession through unpaid work experience.

“As a Trust we are committed to supporting initiatives like the Aspire scheme that help us to improve equity of access and build a diverse workforce that better represents the communities we serve in south west London.”

Since 2021, the Trust has welcomed three cohorts of aspiring clinical psychologists to join our services. Many of them remain working for the Trust as they continue to build their skills as APs, while others have successfully gone on to apply for clinical training.

Ella was part of the Trust’s first Aspire cohort and started a doctorate in clinical psychology in 2023. For Ella, it was the regular supervisions and space for reflection that she found most valuable.

“The confidence I gained through the supportive Aspire supervisions and the various CPD sessions enabled me to use my individual supervisions as openly and honestly as I could,” explained Ella.

“My lovely team at Sutton and Merton Complex Needs Service were also so supportive. Working closely with experienced supervisors and staff members has been really inspiring, and I’ve learned so much from the team. I immediately felt that my contributions were valued by everyone, which increased my confidence when working across teams with other senior colleagues.”

Yvette added: “I’m really proud of Ella and all of our Aspire APs who have made significant contributions to our services and patients. It has been really inspiring to see their growth and development in such a short space of time!”

We are looking forward to welcoming nine Aspire APs in 2024!

Click here to read more about the experiences of our ASPIRE APs.



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