Perspectives of recovery amongst provisional psychologists completing postgraduate training

Phillip Tchernegovski, Elke Braithwaite, Sandra E. Stewart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


    Objective: Recent mental health policy endorses a personal recovery framework that focuses on individual purpose and meaning. Therefore, psychology pre-registration training needs to promote knowledge and attitudes that are aligned with this framework.The 5 + 1 training pathway was recently established in Australia and emphasises readiness for practice. This study examined how provisional psychologists undertaking the 5 + 1 pathway perceived recovery. Method: Semi-structured interviews were completed with nine provisional psychologists completing the coursework component of the 5 + 1 pathway. Interviews focused on perspectives of recovery and were analysed with thematic analysis. Results: Three themes related to perspectives of (i) recovery as a process that involved building capacity to undertake key life roles, (ii) ways that psychologists can promote recovery through their stance and their practices and (iii) factors that have influenced participants’ views of recovery. Conclusions: The findings indicate that provisional psychologists in the 5 + 1 pathway are able to develop appropriate but limited perspectives that are generally consistent with the personal recovery framework. Participants were more influenced by client contact than coursework. Learning about recovery could be enhanced by explicitly teaching models of recovery and incorporating views of people with lived experience. Key Points What is already known about this topic: Mental health clinicians’ attitudes and perspectives of their work have an impact on the nature of the support they provide. Training plays an important role in developing psychologists’ attitudes and perspectives towards recovery. The 5 + 1 internship is a recently established training pathway to registration as a psychologist. What this paper adds: This paper reports on one of few studies related to the Australian 5 + 1 training pathway for psychologists. Although unfamiliar with formal models of recovery, students’ perspectives were mostly consistent with personal recovery but there were some indications of conceptual confusion. Recommendations are made for extending development of students’ perspectives of recovery.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)344-353
    Number of pages10
    JournalAustralian Psychologist
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • 5+1 pathway
    • Personal recovery
    • psychology training
    • recovery
    • recovery-oriented practice
    • thematic analysis

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