A Longitudinal Study of the Psychological Adaptation of Trainee Clinical Psychologists
Kuyken W., Peters E., Power M., Lavender T., Rabe-Hesketh S.
Although research has examined the psychological adaptation of practising clinical psychologists, little research has examined adaptation early in psychologists' careers, particularly during training. Clinical psychology training is a professionally highly formative period, which makes it an important time to assess adaptation and intervene appropriately. The current study sought to profile the psychological adaptation of trainee clinical psychologists across training courses in the UK throughout the three years of clinical training. A sample of 167 trainee clinical psychologists who had participated in an earlier national study (Kuyken, et al., 1998) were followed up one year later. Taken as whole, the study suggested that the population of trainees reported psychological adaptation in the normal range for employed adults, suggesting considerable resiliency in this population. However, over the three years of clinical psychology training, trainees reported significant increases in work adjustment problems, depression and interpersonal conflict, with the significant change being between year one and two of training. Consistent with earlier work (Kuyken et al., 1998), when sub-groups of trainees were considered on a multi-dimensional profile of adaptation, a significant proportion of trainees reported difficulties on one or more dimensions, which were enduring over time. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.