April 2014

Programme staff attend launch of the Psychological Professions Network

by Anna Daiches, Clinical Director

Several of the programme team attended the launch of the Psychological Professions Network (PPN) at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton in February. The PPN has been in development for about 18 months and aims to bring the vast array of psychological practitioners together to attempt to influence service development and transformation with a singular, and hopefully powerful, voice. Over 150 psychologists attended the event, which was filled to capacity, with over 150 more who had applied to attend sitting on a reserve list. Gita Bhutani (Chair of PPN steering group) and Clare Baguley (PPN workforce lead) led the informative and inspiring event.

The day began with a series of presentations discussing the role of the PPN in helping psychologists in the North West to put psychology on the map, influence decision making, and bring psychology professionals together. In a neat bit of synchrony, there were also three themes in the vision presented by the PPN – INFORM / ENABLE / INFLUENCE.

Psychological Professions Network

The afternoon session got the attendees working in smaller groups to generate ideas to progress the work of psychological professions in the North West. The groups each focussed on one of the domains of the PPN website: education and lifelong learning, supporting clinical excellence, research and innovation and promoting psychological wellbeing. Some interesting ideas emerged and all the contributions were collected to inform an action plan for the PPN in the year ahead.

People were tweeting live from the event, with examples including these two:

You can follow the PPN on Twitter via @NWPPN and their website is http://www.nwppn.nhs.uk

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Hats off for the 2010 cohort

The programme was delighted to welcome back the 2010 cohort for graduation day. Programme staff enjoyed meeting up with former trainees and hearing about their experiences post qualification.

The 2013 graduation

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SRP presentation morning and spring research seminar

by Fiona Eccles, Lecturer in Research Methods

All three trainee cohorts recently came together, along with LUPIN members and NHS colleagues, to listen to the second years present their service related projects (SRPs). The SRP is a substantial piece of work that is novel research but is also conducted in collaboration with local clinicians with the aim of informing local service development. All projects this year had used qualitative methods and it was good to hear the voices of those who use services and those who provide them, as well as the trainees' thoughts and interpretations as to how their work integrated with current literature as well as implications for the service in which the research took place. Well done second years! If you're a local clinician with a good idea for future SRPs please do get in touch.

The programme was also privileged to have Dr Joanne Dickson, Research Director of the Liverpool Clinical Psychology Programme, present the spring research seminar. She gave a fascinating talk entitled Understanding depression and anxiety from a goal regulation perspective. This included a review of goal motivation theory and findings from her recent research about the approach and avoidance goal motivations and related goal cognitions in adults and young people experiencing depression and anxiety. This prompted a lively discussion about implications of the theory for clinical practice and provided a fitting end to the morning.

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Admissions update

by Anna Daiches, Clinical Director

As 2014 gets into full swing so does the programme's annual mission to attract and recruit the best applicants who are willing and able to commence the doctorate in clinical psychology training programme in September. As ever, the first major admissions undertaking of the season, for the programme, is the written task. Last year, the programme invited all appropriately qualified applicants to Lancaster to sit a hand written task. Although it went really well it involved a great deal of organising and complex logistics on the day. Staff were also aware that, however well we planned, it was very much at the mercy of an unpredictable transport situation and/or some sort of severe weather occurrence. This left us in a bit of a quandary as previous attempts to run the written task online had resulted in significant technical issues which was unsatisfactory for both the programme and for the individuals trying to access the task. The possibility of outsourcing the process to a professional recruitment consultancy using well validated verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning tests was explored but this was not a viable option for 2014. Just as staff thought they were stuck opting for the least worst of two poor options, our programme assistant, Rob Parker, came up with the genius idea of using Qualtrics, the online survey provider with whom we already had a subscription, as the platform for the task. This meant that on 13th February 2014, amidst both national transport difficulties and severe weather, the programme was able to administer the written task online and for it to be, if not entirely hitch free, a significant technological success. Thank you to Rob and the team for all their hard work in making that a reality.

Lancaster House Hotel

Staff have now marked the scripts and we have notified applicants of the outcome. Our selections training events are underway and the programme is looking forward to welcoming 72 candidates to the selections event.

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LUPIN teaching session for third year trainees

by David Britt, Rita Hewitt, Keith Holt, Julia Pilling & Bill Ryder, LUPIN members

LUPIN was established six years ago. During this time LUPIN members have been increasingly integrated into the programme. For the first time LUPIN members were invited to plan, prepare and deliver a teaching session for third year trainees. Five LUPIN Members formed a working party.

Three trainees, Hannah Wilson, Roxanna Mohtashemi and Caroline Wyatt, liaised with the LUPIN members to determine what the trainees would like to be included in the teaching session and make arrangements for the session.

Christina Pedder assisted in preparations for the session and during the session, videoing presentations and joining in the group discussions.

The first half of the teaching session consisted of presentations by LUPIN members on the issues selected by trainees: -

  • Personal experiences as clients of clinical psychology services and other mental health services.
  • Client/patient impressions of NHS provision, in the past and more recently - any positive developments.
  • Personal experiences of service user involvement, other than LUPIN and reactions to the label, 'service user'.
  • Personal hopes and expectations on joining LUPIN.

The second half of the teaching session consisted of group discussions on: -

  • Personal reactions of trainees to the existence of LUPIN and its involvement in their programme.
  • Should there be more or less LUPIN involvement in the programme – suggestions for what might be added or removed.
  • As qualified and practising Clinical Psychologists will you consider using Service Users and, if so, how?
  • How do you envisage 'making a difference' in your future life as a practising clinical psychologist?

There was also a feedback and farewell session.

A booklet with full details of the teaching session is presently being prepared and will be available to all trainees, programme staff and LUPIN members who would like a copy.

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Thesis Presentation Day

by Sarah Heard, Research Coordinator

The Lancaster DClinPsy Thesis Presentation Day will be taking place in the morning of Tuesday 17th June in the Management School on the University campus. On this day the third year trainees will present their research to their peers and colleagues. The presentations will be on a wide range of topics with illuminating findings. As part of the day Professor John Read from the University of Liverpool will be giving a talk on “Bad things happen and can drive you insane: In search of a genuinely integrated bio-psycho-social model of psychosis”. An abstract for the seminar is available from here.

LUMS Building at Lancaster University

All are welcome to attend. If you would like to register for this event please email Sarah Heard - s.heard@lancaster.ac.uk

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Inclusivity conference success

by Rach Watts & Amy D'Sa, Trainees

This year's inclusivity conference was held at Barker House Farm on the 12th December to an audience of over 60 trainees, staff, LUPIN members and guests from the Learning Together Group and Calderstones NHS Trust. The aims were simple; to hold an event that provoked thought and discussion about issues concerning diversity and which would be fun and interactive for all!

As is custom for the conference, the day was started with a delicious lunch before moving into the conference room. The conference as it meant to go on- thoughtful and interactive- so everyone was asked to take a moment to write their own hopes for the day on a leaf shaped piece of paper and place it on the inclusivitree (now is probably a good time to say a special thank you to Amy Singleton and her mum for creating this beautiful tree!) With incredible enthusiasm and joint effort we now have a very beautiful Inclusivitree taking pride of place in the trainee room.

The Inclusivitree

We then moved on to the thought provoking yet fun warm up task that Lucy Morris had busily crafted to help all consider the judgements we can sometimes make about people (even/especially when they're famous!). Following this we invited all trainee cohorts, staff and LUPIN members to present their inclusivity poster. These posters were absolutely fantastic and illustrated what inclusivity meant to each group, using words, pictures and even the odd video clip (the very musical DClinpsy staff)! This task was completed prior to the conference and we would just like to say a big thank you to those of you who were able to contribute to this (especially those of you who came into uni for 9am!).

We were then lucky enough to hear from Liz Tallentire, Paul Withers and some service users about their experiences of an LGBT group held at Calderstones NHS Trust. After a quick refreshment break we kicked off the remaining presentations. Jo Jury spoke about life as a part time Dclinpsy-er, offering some important reflections about the set up of doctorate training courses. Reed Cappleman was our last speaker discussing diversity and compassion offering some reflections around the importance of compassion and how this should be at the heart of our work. The floor was then opened up again and the audience heard some beautiful insightful reflections about the day.

The conference in full swing

The trainees who organised the event would like to thank Clare, Kirsten and Christina for all their help in organising the conference and the inclusivity working policy group for providing us the space to test out our enthusiastic ideas (and rain us back when we got too ambitious!). Most of all, thanks to everyone who came and took part in the event. The trainees thoroughly enjoyed organising, facilitating and being part of the conference and hope that you did too!

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Staff blog on Robert Whitaker website

Many great links were made during the GTiCP conference in November, one of which was with Robert Whitaker, author of 'Anatomy of an epidemic'. As part of our continued connection, Stephen Weatherhead, Clinical Tutor and Research Lecturer, was invited to blog for the Mad in America website. His first blog is titled 'If you are the big big tree...' and explores the importance of not 'neurofying' every human experience. You can read the blog here.

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Trainees' walk needs your support

by Ailsa Lord, Trainee

A group of the 2012 cohort aptly named "The Delusionals", raised over £1000 for the Alzheimer's Society by walking 40 miles in non-stop rain from Keswick to Barrow last May. On crossing the finish line, many of us said "never again", however the memories of soggy trainers, multiple blisters and aching joints for several days afterwards soon faded...

The Delusionals in May 2013

On Saturday 10th May 2014, 10 trainees from the 2012 cohort will complete the Keswick to Barrow Walk in aid of Mind and Macmillan Cancer Support (Cumbria and Lancashire). "The Delusionals" and "The (Even More) Delusionals" would be really grateful for any donations and messages of support to get us through the ups and downs, which you can do by following the links below:

If you would like to donate money for Mind, then please visit this website.

If you would like to donate money for Macmillan Cancer Support, then please visit this website.

Thank you for your support!

Ailsa Lord, Kay Brewster, Liz Tallentire, Marie Winterson, Helen Walls, Rachael Faulkner, Roisin Turner, Sarah Davidson, Will Curvis and Ellie Hickman

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Teaching the thorny issue of diagnosis

There's a bit of a tradition with the Lancaster DClinPsy programme of trying to develop our third year teaching in line with requests for sessions that have come directly from the trainees themselves. This can be a bit of a challenge but it is always a very useful experience for us as a programme, not least because it gives us some insight into areas where we need to build on established teaching. This year the programme was asked to put on a session about diagnosis. Easy hey? Certainly not.

To diagnose or not to diagnose is a question that pervades mental health. It is a politically loaded topic, but one which we must engage with. It can at times feel like a bit of a minefield, but all the more reason to explore it. This is often especially important to trainees in their third year as they are looking towards qualified life and engaging with the epistemological arguments that run alongside their theses. We decided to be a bit innovative with how we sought facilitators for this session, with Ste Weatherhead putting a call out via his twitter account (@steweatherhead). After some very interesting and useful exchanges, we connected with a clinical psychologist Ranil Tan (@RJPT2010) and a psychiatrist Remy McConvey (@clininfodoc).

It was a great session, with one trainee saying "...the teaching on diagnosis was brilliant - really unique, interesting and informative. It felt really safe to explore things - the psychiatrist was open and felt able to share their point of view and the psychologist held everything together very well. We had some really interesting discussions about polarisation, and integration of formulation and diagnosis". I am sure we would all be happy with this sort of feedback! Ranil and Remy have now also written an article on their reflections about setting up and facilitating this session, which will be published in a special issue of Clinical Psychology Forum, so keep an eye out for it.

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Sharing stories collaboration

by Jen Davies, Clinical Tutor

In January 2014 two trainees and I set off for Uganda to co-facilitate some workshops with staff at Makerere University and members of Heartsounds, a remarkable peer support mental health organisation. The aim of the workshops was to bring together people who use mental health services and those who work in them from both the UK and Uganda to explore how we can learn from each other and work together.

As a clinical tutor on the clinical psychology course at Lancaster I was keen to see what the experience could offer the trainees who had taken up this opportunity. There are a multitude of ways in which international working can benefit all partners involved. I was delighted to see the trainees growing in confidence as they raised the funding and planned for the trip, facilitated the workshops and immersed themselves in a culture that was new to them.

Uganda 2013

In terms of the learning outcomes we had for them to develop their leadership skills and cultural competence this opportunity provided it all...and then some. But what about others involved in the collaboration and what about the wider community?

If you are interested you can read more about this collaboration in our 'Uganda Venture' newsletters. I will leave it to the people who use and work in mental health services in both the UK and Uganda to say what the experience meant for them. However, from my perspective the energy and passion, creativity of thought, curiosity and compassion of the individuals who took part in the process was incredibly moving and productive.

We are now forming a small working group to take forward some of the ideas raised during the sharing skills collaboration, ideas that encompass using internet forums to share learning, exploring future exchange programmes and developing research that can inform practice and government policy in meaningful ways.

I have personally benefitted greatly from thinking about the strategic and organisational processes involved in setting up such collaborations and I've gained new skills in chapati making! However, what has delighted me most is the wider impact. There has been interest and requests for events and training from placement supervisors, course staff, trainees and people who use services. There have been requests for us to contribute to blogs and forums discussing some of the current issues within the world of 'mental health'. There is an appetite for this work and a recognition that this can be work that nourishes. Here's to continuing to share and learn from each other's stories!

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Ste contributes to Chilean journal

Neuropsychology is developing at a huge rate, here in the UK and overseas. International links are flourishing, along with a recognition that it is as important to emphasise the psychology as it is the neuro / cognitive. A journal special issue has been published in Chile, which includes papers on psychotherapy in brain injury settings. You can download the papers for free, including one published by Stephen Weatherhead on the subject of working with families after brain injury.

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Editorial appointments

Two members of the programme have been invited onto the editorial boards of international journals. Craig Murray has been invited to join the editorial board of Disability & Rehabilitation. The journal is one in which Craig’s own work on amputation and prosthesis use is well represented, as well as his work with trainees on fibromyalgia, stroke and Parkinson's disease. Speaking about his appointment, Craig says: "I've enjoyed being a reviewer for Disability & Rehabilitation as well as publishing my own work there for a number of years. I am now pleased to be able to increase my contribution as part of the editorial board." Jane Simpson has been appointed as an Associate Editor of Behavioral Medicine, a journal which publishes a wide range of articles on attempts to bridge the interdisciplinary divide between health and medicine.

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Dargan, P., Simm, R., & Murray, C. (in press). New approaches towards chronic pain: Patient experiences of a solution-focused pain management programme. British Journal of Pain.

Gurpinar-Morgan, A., Murray, C., & Beck, A. (in press). Ethnicity and the therapeutic relationship: views of young people accessing cognitive behavioural therapy. Mental Health, Religion and Culture.

Murray, C., Anderson, D.L., & Hurrell, R.A. (in press). Considering the psychosocial aspects of sexual health for people with exstrophy-epispadias complex: A critical narrative review. Sexuality and Disability.

Murray, C., McDonald, C., & Atkin, H. (in press). The communication experiences of patients with palliative care needs: A meta-synthesis of qualitative findings. Palliative and Supportive Care.

Quinn, K., Murray, C., & Malone, C. (in press). The experience of couples when one partner has a stroke at a young age: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Disability and Rehabilitation.

Rushbrooke, E., Murray, C., & Townsend, S. (in press). The experiences of intimate relationships by people with intellectual disabilities: A qualitative study. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities.

Rushbrooke, E., Murray, C. & Townsend, S. (2014). What difficulties are experienced by caregivers in relation to the sexuality of people with intellectual disabilities?: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 871-886.

Seal, K., Murray. C., & Seddon, L. (in press). Family stories of end of life cancer care when unable to fulfil a loved one's wish to die at home. Palliative and Supportive Care.

Simpson, J., MacMillan, H., Leroi, I., & Murray, C. D. (in press). Apathy in people with Parkinson's disease. Disability and Rehabilitation.

Simpson, J., McMillan, H., & Reeve, D. (2013). Reformulating psychological difficulties in people with Parkinson's disease: The potential of a social relational approach to disablism. Parkinson's Disease.

Wilson, H. M. N., Gaskell, S. L., & Murray, C. D. (in press). A qualitative study of teachers' experiences of a school reintegration programme for young children following a burn injury. Burns.

Wilson, H. (in press). A trainee's reflections on seeking and managing Informed Consent in therapy. Clinical Psychology Forum.

Walji, I., Fletcher, I., & Weatherhead, S. (in press). Clinical psychologists' implementation of the Mental Capacity Act. Social Care & Neurodisability.

Staff Publications

Gray, A., Pounds-Cornish, E., Eccles, F., Aziz, T., Green, A. & Scott, R. B. (2014). Deep brain stimulation as a treatment for neuropathic pain: a longitudinal study addressing neuropsychological outcomes. The Journal of Pain, 15, 283-292.

Murray, C., Simpson, J., Eccles, F., & Forshaw, M. (in press). Involvement in rehabilitative care and wellbeing for partners of people with an amputation. Psychology, Health and Medicine.

Roberts, C., Weatherhead, S., & Vaughan, F. (2014). Working with families after brain injury. Revista Chilena de Neuropscicologia, 9, 21-30.

Simpson, J., Godwin, L., & Crawford, T. (in press). Predictors of quality of life in people with Parkinson's disease: Evidence for both domain specific and general relationships. Disability and Rehabilitation.

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Coming Up...

Selection Chair's Training
Date: Thursday 1st May 2014
Time: 9:30am - 13:30pm
Location: C34, Furness Building, Lancaster University
Contact: Kirsten Smith, k.smith4@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592972

Introductory Supervisor Training (Day 3 of 3)
Date: Wednesday 7th May 2014
Time: TBC
Location: Forrest Hills, Hazelrigg Lane, Ellel, Lancashire, LA2 0PL
Contact: Kirsten Smith, k.smith4@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592972

2014 applicant interview days
Date: Tues 13th - Thurs 15th May 2014
Time: TBC
Location: Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster University
Contact: Kirsten Smith, k.smith4@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592972

Thesis Presentation Day
Date: Tuesday 17th June 2014
Time: 9:30am
Location: Management School, Lancaster University
Contact: Sarah Heard, s.heard@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592754

Introductory Supervisor Training (Day 1 & 2 of 3)
Date: 9th & 10th October 2014
Time: TBC
Location: Forrest Hills, Hazelrigg Lane, Ellel, Lancashire, LA2 0PL
Contact: Kirsten Smith, k.smith4@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592972

Introductory Supervisor Training (Day 3 of 3)
Date: 6th May 2015
Time: TBC
Location: Forrest Hills, Hazelrigg Lane, Ellel, Lancashire, LA2 0PL
Contact: Kirsten Smith, k.smith4@lancaster.ac.uk or 01524 592972

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