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A typical weekly schedule

What might a placement week at Warwick University Counselling Service look like for a Clinical Psychology placement?

 

Time Monday Wednesday   Thursday
9.00am Arrive Arrive Arrive
9.15am Client 1 Admin Admin
10.15am Miscellany Client 5 Client 8
11.15am Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
11.30am Client 2 Client 6 Client 9
12.30pm Lunch Lunch Lunch
1.30pm Client 3 Client 7 Prep for supervision
2.30pm Coffee break Coffee break Coffee break
2.45pm Client 4 Project work Supervision
3.45pm admin Project work Supervision
         

 

What’s a typical day like? (answer adapted from previous placement)

"The day is very structured. Appointments are offered to clients at set times. This in turn means there are set coffee breaks and a lunch hour. The counsellors generally spend lunch and coffee breaks away from their desks. Trainees are included in this and are made to feel part of the team.

The day is split into 6 appointment slots. However, you are responsible for your own diary within these times. Most counsellors book in one admin slot per day and use the other slots to see clients. This may seem daunting to start with, but it is surprisingly manageable and is great practice ready for when you qualify. As you are responsible for managing your diary, there is also flexibility in your caseload to accommodate your individual learning needs.

Client appointments last 50mins, leaving you 10 mins to write up notes etc before your next appointment. I was worried that I would not have enough time for my own CPD, to read and meet other course requirements, but this was not a problem. As clients are mostly self-referred you do not need to liaise with other professionals (e.g. GP’s etc, unless there’s a (rare) “emergency” of course). There is also no need to write reports or letters, attend meetings, or plan sessions (because of the therapeutic approach) so you can actually manage your time easily.

The department has electronic diaries which can seem a little daunting at first. I was anxious about not having ownership of my diary and my time but I soon realised that I did. Diaries can be viewed by the team so that others know when you are with a client and your diary can be accessed by the departmental secretary so that appointments can be made for you on your behalf, but nothing is added or deleted from your diary without your permission. You inform the secretary when you have appointment slots available and she will try to fill them accordingly for you."

(written by previous clinical psychology placement)

The service model also interested me because of the structure of the day"

 

There was no hustle and bustle, no ringing phones or people coming and going. It was quiet, calm and a completely appropriate environment for the service provided there. This was very different to any service I had worked in before "

Michelle, a former Clinical Psychologist trainee on placement