Pictured at their recent conferring ceremony are graduates of NUI Galway's first Clinical Psychology Doctoral degree programme. Back row left to right: Judith McBrinn, Blackrock, Dublin; Samira Hayes, Killarney; Eoin Ryan, Newcastle Galway; Marie Claire Lagendijk, Roscam, Galway. Front Row l-r: Hazel Moore, Kingston, Galway; Elaine Curran, University Road, Galway; Treasa Ní Uiginn, Castleknock, Dublin; Claire Hogan, Blackrock, Dublin; Clare Thynne, Cappagh Road, Galway and Joanne Byrne, Culmore Rd, Derry.
NUI Galway has conferred 10 graduates with the Doctor of Psychological Science in Clinical Psychology, the first course of its kind at the University, which is addressing the current shortage of clinical psychologists in the Irish healthcare system.
Accredited by the Psychological Society of Ireland, the three-year, full-time professional training programme enables graduates to work as clinical psychologists in the health service, and is one of four programmes nationally.
Course Director, Dr Brian McGuire said: "The course at NUI Galway is making an important contribution to health care in Ireland by training high quality clinical psychologists to provide much-needed services in hospitals and the community. This is a proud moment for the trainees, the course team and our partners in the health service".
All trainees are sponsored by the health service and related health agencies for the duration of their training. The programme involves coursework, clinical placements and a research thesis and following completion, graduates work in a range of settings such as adult and child mental health services, community care, intellectual disability services and other specialized services.
The partnership approach to the training course will be confirmed later this year with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between NUI Galway and the HSE.
Mr Pat Brosnan, Health Services Executive, said clinical psychologists are required to provide therapeutic interventions across all aspects of the health sector, including community and acute hospital settings.
"In recent years, the HSE, recognising the need for greater capacity in relation to the provision of psychological interventions, has initiated a more systematic and coordinated approach to post graduate training in clinical psychology. Currently, this approach is being further consolidated and expanded in partnership with four national universities; NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and the University of Limerick.
"It is anticipated that this partnership initiative will facilitate an annual output of clinical psychologists to meet current and future demands within the health sector."