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The Evolving Psychologist: Student Psychologists’ Reflections on Personal and Professional Development

The Evolving Psychologist: Student Psychologists’ Reflections on Personal and Professional Development

The participants were 10 student clinical psychologists in their final year of the MA (Clinical Psychology) programme. Data consisted of written documents submitted at the end of their training. In these documents, the students reflected on the meaning of their professional development at the end of their training programme. Participants were asked to reflect on a) their own process in conceptualizing and being with clients) the context/s they worked in and how they positioned themselves in this context; and c) their own developing paradigm of psychotherapy.We implemented IPA to analyze the data and to identify themes.

Student’s reflections centered around the following themes: Encounters with clients, encounters with theory, encounters with self, metaphors describing the evolving psychologist and the essence of the process of becoming a psychologist. For this group of students the extended programme seemed to have contributed to advanced theoretical integration and deep personal reflection on their professional and personal development. Implications for training will be discussed.

Speakers: Melissa Card