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Trainee Clinical, and Sport and Exercise Psychologists’ Experiences of Professional Development: A Longitudinal Study

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Article number102343
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/01/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/11/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The aim of this study was to examine longitudinal professional development in distinct types of UK psychologists. We interviewed 9 trainee clinical psychologists (TCPs), and 9 sport and exercise psychologists’ (TSEPs) 3 times at a minimum of yearly intervals during their 3-year (TCP) or 2-year (TSEP) training programme. Participants were registered on either the British Psychological Society (BPS) Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (QSEP; Stage 2), or a doctorate in clinical psychology. We applied a reflexive thematic analysis to transcripts based on a counsellor development framework. Our findings indicate that diverse types of trainee psychologists experience similar patterns of development. Participants: (a) were developing their practice consistent with their personality; (b) experienced changes in emotions and presence during training; and (c) internal developmental processes were influenced by external sources (supervisors, and peers). Findings may help us to understand how trainees fuse their personal and professional selves during training.