Placements are based in a range of settings within the North West, and are generally close to where you live although on some occasions people may have to travel further. The placement settings can vary a lot, e.g. community based, hospital inpatient/outpatient, large MDTs; and involve direct or indirect working with clients and colleague/multi-disciplinary team members in core specialist settings (6 months each: child, adult, older adult, learning disabilities; 9 months: placement of trainee's choice). Placement work varies according to the setting and can include individual work, group work, consultation, small scale service development tasks etc. You will generally hold a caseload of 6-8 clients, and work from the model of psychological assessment, formulation and intervention with clients. Placements are an opportunity to develop competencies, so that when you finish the programme you meet standards that are required by the BPS and HPC, and synthesise 'hands on' based learning with academic learning through regular supervision from a qualified clinical psychologist. Placements allow you to learn a variety of different approaches to therapeutic working and find ways of working that fit you best, and later placements allow for developing skills in consultation.
Try and shadow or at least chat to as many members of the team you are working in. Observing your supervisor is really useful if they allow you this opportunity. Placements will involve extra reading to ensure you know what you're doing with your clients- you need to take responsibility for your understanding as there is no “spoon-feeding” and supervisors may expect you to know the models or be comfortable enough to ask for guidance. Supervisors are usually supportive and will try to focus work around the things you need/want to know, but be prepared to be proactive. Supervision can be a great chance to work with someone who knows a lot about the area but also to bring your own ideas to- the mix of those two will determine the types of therapy you do with people. Make the most of supervision by recording your sessions if possible, and prioritising what you want to discuss within the allocated time.