Successful diversity conferences have showcased some of the excellent research that has been conducted by trainees in this area. The programme has a specific working group tackling the issue of diversity across different areas of the programme, such as the inclusion of service users in teaching and selection, and encouraging teaching to be reflective of difference in society.
Training to enter the profession of clinical psychology, inclusivity and diversity mean a lot for us, as we aim to treat everyone with respect and equality from any background or with any difficulties. Lancaster hold these same values, they place a large emphasis on including service users within the design of the programme, the teaching programme and the selection process.
What is Diversity About?
Diversity at Lancaster DClinPsy is about 'Promoting 'the individual' as central to 'the profession' of Clinical Psychology, giving everyone the same opportunities. For Lancaster DClinPsy this is reflected in LUPIN involvement and also ensuring that diversity is reflected in teaching. This means not only focussing on thinking about the obvious diversity between people, but also the invisible differences. Reflecting on what we do not know about other cultures, groups or individuals as well as what we do and trying to be aware that we've grown up in a society and culture of our own, whose biases will affect us.
'Inclusivity is about us all being equals as human beings. There should be no divide between trainee, qualified, teacher, service user, health professional. Everyone has experience and knowledge unique to them and this should be recognised and utilised.'
What Does Lancaster Do to Promote Diversity?
Lancaster works hard to promote and integrate diversity in a range of areas:
- In teaching where many sessions are facilitated by service-users and carers.
- In 'Personal development and reflection' groups where trainees can become more aware of their own beliefs and perceptions and differences between us all, and how this may influence our work.
- In encouraging service users to have a more active role in all aspects of the programme, including recruitment of new trainees
- Through the public involvement network (LUPIN)
An ongoing commitment to diversity...
Lancaster is committed to continuing to improve the way inclusivity and diversity are woven into the training programme. This will always be an ongoing process so below we're keeping track of some of our 'hopes for the future' taken from comments from our trainees. We've provided staff responses to ensure that the ongoing conversation about diversity continues...
Trainee clinical psychologists are still not generally a very diverse range of people, and it is hoped that diversity can still be something that is applied practically into everyday life and the real work we do to make a difference rather than just being something to be spoken about.
Response: Diversity can mean many things, individual differences may include cultural, religious, socio-economic, sexuality and many many more. It's important to note that clinical psychology as a whole does lack some aspects of diversity, but individual differences are still present and should be appreciated. We certainly strive to support inclusive thinking and practice, throughout every aspect of training and beyond.
Reference to diversity should become a more natural part of all teaching sessions, for example including same sexed couple in case examples/vignettes and more photos of diverse individuals on power points. Ultimately the hope is that teaching subtly raises awareness of inclusivity as the norm.
Lancaster has lots of ways to encourage service user and carer involvement, but we hope in the future we can better engage people, service-users or otherwise, from a wider range of cultural and personal backgrounds.
Response: Inclusive practice in clinical psychology is sadly still in its infancy. Teaching is in part reflective of this wider issue. Teachers / tutors are individuals as well, with diverse skill sets. Some naturally include diversity as part of their teaching, but for everyone it is a learning experience. Lancaster does work very hard on this process, and it is hoped that the inclusivity in teaching event in the summer of 2011 will go some way to continuing this process. We will continue to work with all stakeholders (e.g. LUPIN, Trainees, Staff) to improve the natural inclusion of all in teaching sessions.