News and Views

First Doctors of Clinical Psychology graduate

23 Oct 2019
Throughout their three-year training, the Trainee Clinical Psychologists have also been employed by the HSE. Photo: Provision.

Eight students have graduated this week from the Doctor of Clinical Psychology at UCC, an exciting new partnership between the Schools of Applied Psychology and Medicine at UCC and the Health Service Executive (HSE). 

Research from this new programme has informed the international knowledge base, as well as psychological practices in Ireland in child and adult mental health and disability, however, this programme has gone beyond the research parameters of traditional doctorates.

Dr Chris McCusker, Programme Director, said: “Throughout their three-year training, our Trainee Clinical Psychologists have also been employed by the HSE. In their practice placements, they have contributed to innovations in psychological services in Cork, Kerry and beyond, as well as improving access to psychological services more generally.

"Time and again, mental health service users tell us they want access to psychological therapies, rather than simply being medicated for their distress. However, mental health services are bedevilled by long waiting lists with new figures revealing almost 1500 children and teenagers have been waiting for more than a year for an appointment with a public health psychologist."

This has been a mutually productive partnership between UCC and the HSE, with service users benefiting, he added. "We wish all of our graduates every success in the new careers in Clinical Psychology in the HSE.”

"The development of this programme has been strategic in growing and sustaining the number of Clinical Psychology staff working across the health system, particularly in Cork and Kerry," said Daniel Flynn, Principal Psychology Manager in the HSE.

“We look forward to continuing the partnership and see these and future graduates provide critically-needed public psychological services."

New graduate Dr Emma Hennessy said: “These three years at UCC have facilitated a journey of immense personal and professional development. I have not only become a qualified Clinical Psychologist and obtained a permanent post in Primary Care Child and Family Psychology, but I have also researched how psychological interventions can improve outcomes for children with chronic illnesses and disability.

“I especially like how the programme has prepared me for clinical practice in providing me with exposure to a range of fantastic clinical services and supervision within the Cork area.”

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