Saturday, December 22, 2012

Clinical psychologists should take on more responsibility

Peter Kinderman and Sam Thompson, in an eletter in response to the article I mentioned in a previous post, suggest replacing psychiatrists with clinical psychologists. I'm not against this development and have even promoted clinical psychology, being a general member of the Division of Clinical Psychology of the British Psychological Society myself. I often tell the story of when I applied for clinical psychology training years ago that I was advised to go back and complete my medical training, which I had given up midstream, as I would then have more influence as a psychiatrist with my views about mental health services.

I would like clinical psychologists to take more responsibility as clinicians, even becoming responsible clinicians under the Mental Health Act (see previous post). They tend to retreat into becoming cognitive behavioural or some other psychological therapist, which is fine for those that want to do it, but mental health services are about more than psychological therapy (and some clinical psychologists don't even get that right eg. see another previous post). I support clinical psychology creating a career structure that pays them more for taking on more clinical responsibility.


Peter Kinderman said...

Hi Duncan,

I absolutely agree.
I have been known for arguing that clinical psychologists should embrace the rise of manualised evidence-based therapies such as CBT, delivered within new service-delivery models such as IAPT (that is, leading psychosocial teams, rather than merely being one-to-one therapists), should lead clinical teams, coordinating other professionals' work (and hence bearing a 'management' tag) and - yes - taking Mental Health Act responsibilities.
I don't think the problem is that we - clinical psychologists - aren't prepared to take responsibility, it's that the system denies this.
The most pertinent example?
Just last week, we were told that people ('patients') would now get 'parity' by being able to choose their consultant psychiatrist. Well... how about choosing not to be labeled, given toxic medication and disempowered.
So... yes, absolutely, clinical psychologists need to take responsibility. And I assure you we will. But we need the system to change.


Duncan Double said...

Glad we agree, Peter, although I have been critical of IAPT and how it has been "manualised", which you seem to support (see eg. post). Also, don't forget the input of doctors into the formation of BPS (see article).

Anonymous said...

"I would like clinical psychologists to take more responsibility as clinicians, even becoming responsible clinicians under the Mental Health Act"

There you have, it Duncan Double wants to force yet another profession on people against their will, this time "clinical" psychology.

Expanding the number of job descriptions that involve stripping people of their basic human rights... sounds good Duncan!

I'll always have more respect for people who ESCHEWED soiling themselves morally irreparably by carrying out such deeply violent acts as choosing to carry out the force and bullying that the "Mental Health Act" exists to legalize.

Instead of calling for more profession's to be empowered to coerce, it would be nice to see you calling for the coercion apparatus.

Anonymous said... be dismantled.

And then reparations to the victims of state sanctioned brain assault. And in a perfect world, long prison terms for anyone who has ever wielded a syringe and ignored their victims' pleas for mercy and plunged it in anyway.

The violent abuse that is forced psychiatry needs to be condemned in the strongest possible terms and brought out into the light.