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  • drconniegeyer

Reflective practice - Building a solid base for your private work

The importance of reflective practice

Reflective practice (RP) is a core competency for practitioner psychologists and a requirement for ongoing professional development and maintenance of professional standards (HCPC, 2023).


For many psychologists, individual supervision and peer groups are the main RP forums, providing a space to think about clinical work in depth, learn from experience, and develop skills. In larger organisations, there might also be reflective practice offers for whole teams to process the impact of the work and organisational changes at team level.


There are many benefits to reflective practice, including broadening one's understanding of underlying relational dynamics, processing feelings, becoming aware of unconscious biases and blind spots, and feeling supported and connected to others.


Moving into private practice

As more and more practitioner psychologists move into private practice in the UK, there is an increasing need for reflective practice in relation to setting up as an independent practitioner.


Unfortunately, training programmes offer little if any teaching on this subject. For fully-funded health sector programmes, such as the clinical psychology doctoral training, this is perfectly understandable. However, the reality is that many psychologists now go into private practice with little preparation and guidance, often early in their careers, leading to increased stress levels, professional isolation, and unmet development needs. This can affect the experience and quality of working privately and detract from the many possibilities and joys that it can bring.


Private Practice Starter Group

I have therefore developed a 6-week reflective practice group for practitioner psychologists starting out in private practice. Each week, there will be a brief talk about a topic relevant to working successfully and safely in private practice, followed by reflective exercises and group discussion. The aim is to help participants identify their own unique strengths and professional development goals, process feelings about working privately and what it might mean for professional identity, develop an approach that is aligned with personal values, and connect with peers in a confidential and supportive environment.


Details

The next group will start in June 2024 and will be held Monday evenings, 6-7.30pm, on Zoom. It is open to HCPC registered practitioner psychologists who are new to private practice and want a space to reflect on this transition and build a solid base for this exciting career move. If interested, please contact me at info@drconniegeyer.com .


About me

I am an HCPC registered clinical psychologist and have been in private practice since 2017, initially part-time as an associate at a clinic, now fully independently. I supervise, mentor and coach mental health professionals at various career stages. Prior to going into full-time private practice, I had a senior leadership position in the NHS where I managed and developed Young People's Services in a Central London NHS Trust.

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