UCL Doctorate In Clinical Psychology


Working with diversity

Clinical Psychologists need to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and values to work effectively with clients from a diverse range of backgrounds, understanding and respecting the impact of difference and diversity upon their lives; -
As such they should show:

  • An understanding of service delivery issues and current legislation
  • An understanding of policies and guidelines which relate to making services more accessible and appropriate to a diverse population
  • Recognition of  institutional barriers to equitable access
  • An understanding of the limitations of statutory services, and how these relate to voluntary services established to serve minority groups  

They should have relevant knowledge, demonstrating:

An ability to draw on knowledge of historic and social processes by which majority groups have marginalised minority groups, and the impact this can have on individuals' lives, views of self, and functioning as well as collective experience.

  • an awareness of how these processes may affect the way that people develop and experience psychological problems, and how they approach help.
An ability to draw on knowledge that that constructs which psychologists frequently draw on (such as "adolescence", "autonomy" or "delusional beliefs"), as much as what is deemed 'normal' or 'abnormal', are not universal entities but are influenced by the social and cultural context.
An awareness of different world views, such as the emphasis placed on individualism versus collectivism and mind-body dualism, and their potential impact on help seeking and response to treatment.
An ability to critically appraise the historical, social and cultural context in which psychological models are grounded. 
An ability to use critical analysis of prevailing theoretical models and therapeutic approaches in judging their applicability and in finding a fit between models and clients' needs.

They should also have relevant skills, demonstrating: 

An ability to work with interpreters and develop an understanding of potential difficulties and challenges when working in this way.
An ability to reflect on their work and to question assumptions about similarity and difference and their potential or actual effects on clinical situations.
An ability to recognise their own values and assumptions about issues arising in their work and the impact these may have on their responses to clinical situations and their interactions with clients and others they come into contact with during their work.
An ability to address power differences sensitively in their interactions with clients, carers and colleagues, and how these may be influenced by, for example, social class, gender, ethnicity, religion, ability, age and professional status.
An ability to respond sensitively and flexibly to the needs of clients and ask appropriate questions about clients' backgrounds and their pertinence for the presenting difficulties and help seeking.
An ability to plan and complete assessments which take clients' backgrounds into account and which are mindful of the potential impact of clients' minority status on their presentation and the results of any assessments.
An ability to reflect on their own beliefs and attitudes and their potential impact on engagement and the therapeutic process as well as their choice of assessment and intervention.
An ability to incorporate issues of difference and diversity into their formulations and intervention planning, and in verbal and written reports of this work.

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