A professional doctorate for psychotherapists creating a community of scholarly practitioners in order to serve a community of professional practice: the challenge of the first year
AbstractPsychotherapy in the last twenty years has engaged in a professionalising process. There has been an explosion of training courses, increasingly accredited and validated by universities. There are now a variety of associations and councils (UKCP, BAC), which have attempted to incorporate the widely differing theoretical approaches to training and to practice into a recognised profession. Individuals who have completed long and complex trainings view themselves as highly qualified professional practitioners. They aspire to continuing personal and professional development and doctorates in psychotherapy have been developed to meet the need. The project described in this text critically examines the development, implementation and reflective evaluation of a particular and distinctive doctoral programme in Psychotherapy by Professional Studies (DPsych), which is intended to provide a structure within which senior psychotherapists and counsellors can contribute to the validation of their own profession, carry out major projects within their own work environment and achieve academic recognition. The programme combines the professional expertise of psychotherapy with the progressive knowledge and techniques of work based learning in the form of an innovative professional doctorate. The programme is a specialisation pathway of a university based doctoral programme, which is delivered within the organisational setting of a psychotherapy training institution. The history of the design and development of the programme up to the end of its first academic year is contained in the introductory chapter of the text. The experience of the participants in this programme, both candidates and members of the programme team, is then subjected to a process of initial exploratory evaluation through the methodology of appreciative inquiry (Cooperrider and Srivastva 1987). This involves a process of collaborative and appreciative inquiry carried out through focus groups and individual interviews. The audio-transcripts of these groups and interviews are analysed in order to extract specific provocative propositions regarding the programme from all participants. These propositions are carried forward for further inquiry in the form of a questionnaire distributed to all participants in the programme. The responses to the questionnaire are summarised, reflected upon and then concretised in the form of fifteen proposed changes to the programme as delivered. Further processes of consultative inquiry are planned to take place in a continuing spiral of actionable research. The text includes a series of personal commentaries by the author and concludes with a reflection upon the learning outcomes and implications of this project for the personal development of all senior practitioners, the profession of psychotherapy, the world of education and the wider social context.
Wilson, Jennifer Elton <http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/view/creators/Wilson=3AJennifer_Elton=3A=3A.html> (2000) A professional doctorate for psychotherapists creating a community of scholarly practitioners in order to serve a community of professional practice: the challenge of the first year. DProf thesis, Middlesex University.