“Specialist” clinical psychologists: Upgrading training in clinical psychology

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The discipline of clinical psychology has undergone exponential growth in the last two or three decades: The theoretical and empirical base has expanded; the narrow focus on assessment has been broadened to include treatment and prevention; and the area of application has widened from working within the field of psychiatry to cooperation with many other disciplines. These developments have rendered the current training programmes inadequate as they are too short in duration to impart to graduates the available knowledge and skills relevant to their future roles. Recent moves to encourage clinical students to complete PhDs serve a useful purpose for the profession but do not address the fundamental need for upgrading clinical training. Instead, it is proposed the profession should recognise its prodigious growth by conceptualising training and expertise at two levels; the generalist and specialist. The current masters courses cater for the former. New programmes need to be developed for the latter. Specifically, post‐masters programmes should be established which train individuals in the emerging specialities of clinical psychology such as adult behavioural disorders, child behavioural disorders, intellectual handicap, health psychology, community psychology, and forensic psychology. The programmes could be administered by universities or the profession, and should be organised on a day‐release basis whilst the participants are employed in the speciality area of the programme. 1989 Australian Psychological Society

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1989
Externally publishedYes

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