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Practice to Policy: Clinical Psychologists' Experiences of Macro-Level Work

Browne, N; Zlotowitz, S; Alcock, K; Barker, C; (2020) Practice to Policy: Clinical Psychologists' Experiences of Macro-Level Work. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice 10.1037/pro0000301. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Aims: Many clinical psychologists have ventured beyond therapeutic and assessment roles to undertake public policy work. However, little research has systematically examined clinical psychologists’ roles in policy work and the implications of such work for the profession. This qualitative study examined the influences, processes, skills and knowledge underpinning policy work by clinical psychologists, and the challenges and facilitators encountered. / Method: Participants were 37 UK clinical psychologists, from a broad spectrum of specialties, who had engaged in public policy work. They were selected by purposive sampling and snowballing to take part in a semi-structured interview about their experiences of policy work and social action. Transcripts were analyzed using Thematic Analysis. / Results: The analysis yielded six themes, grouped into two domains: (1) ’Getting There’, describing participants’ professional journeys to policy work, including early influences and career paths, and (2) ‘Being There’ describing their experiences of working in this way, the challenges and facilitators in the process, and the skills and knowledge upon which they drew. / Conclusions: Clinical psychologists already possess core clinical and research skills that may potentially be adapted to work within broader political systems. However, they need to learn to use their existing skills in a different context, and also acquire some additional skills unique to policy-level work.

Type: Article
Title: Practice to Policy: Clinical Psychologists' Experiences of Macro-Level Work
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1037/pro0000301
Publisher version: https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/pro/
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: policy, social action, clinical psychology, psychologists’ roles, qualitative
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10089834
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