The issues that are important to us
At Headspace Guildford we are focused on building and fostering positive relationships with families. We believe that if a job is worth doing it is worth doing well and are passionate about delivering a service that meets your expectations. At Headspace Guildford we strive to place our clients at the centre of all we do, and we believe that our practice thrives when there is an open two-way relationship that allows both parties to openly communicate, learn and grow.
Our team is committed to growing and improving the service we provide; we encourage feedback from our clients as we believe this is the best way to cater our work to you.
We also strive to be an ethical practice here at Headspace Guildford. We believe it is not only what you do when you are seen, but also when no-one is looking, and we pursue this in every area of our work. We will always work in the therapy room with families and beyond, recognising that systems and circumstances impact significantly on all our mental health.
Our stance on anti-racism
As a practice we are aware that silence on the inequalities that exist in our world is unacceptable. We pride ourselves on being a practice that is actively working to listen, learn and grow in response to the problems in our society. Our stance on inequalities such as racism is clear and can be seen in our Black Lives Matter statement. We have also had to the opportunity to host CPD discussions around being an anti-racist practice. This enabled us to foster more meaningful conversations and gain insight into how, as a practice, we can serve all races. Here at Headspace, we are also involved in projects such as Psychologists for Social Change – a network that is passionate about applying psychology to policy and political action. We know that there is still so much more work to be done and we are committed to the journey.
We believe in order for our practice to best serve all families, it must reflect the diversity in our community; a diverse team is an effective team. We are actively working on new and improved ways to recruit people from different backgrounds to work with us at Headspace. As a practice we believe it is our responsibility to work towards more diversity in the profession. To date we have offered two internships and offer a mentoring programme to groups under-represented in Clinical Psychology. We seek staff who can engage with the issues and the complexity. We are inspired by Margaret Mead’s quote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has”. We will continue to support aspiring Clinical Psychologists, especially from those groups who are under-represented in clinical training.
We also want to widen access to private practice as we recognise the inequalities that exist in the system where some people can afford to see a private psychologists and others cannot. Our team works in the NHS as well as in private practice and contributes our experiences from private work back into the public sector. We continue to offer our skills in other sectors, such as offering training to charities and volunteers. We believe having professional training is a privilege and comes with a responsibility to share knowledge for the good of all.
Looking after our world
At Headspace Guildford we take climate change seriously and believe that silence is not an option. Greta Thunberg has been saying that this planet belongs to the young people of the world and, being a practice which supports children and young people, we aim to tread lightly on the earth and continue to do all we can to look after our planet. At Headspace Guildford, we have already taken many steps towards protecting our planet. We reduce the amount of electricity wasted by ensuring the building is well insulated, turning off switches when we leave the office, closing the door to stop heat escaping, using energy efficient light bulbs and only heating the office when we are in there to reduce our carbon emissions. We reduce the amount of plastic wasted by having refillable soap bottles, refillable cleaning products (which contain Eco Cleaning products), refillable glasses instead of plastic cups, and recycling all pens which have run out. We reuse our resources by laminating them, so we don’t have to print them often, and reuse old folders and files when a case is closed. We recycle printer ink cartridges instead of throwing them away, and have separate recycling for card, plastic and foil/cans. We also encourage clients, where possible, to find alternative and greener ways of travelling to the office; please see the attached sheet for alternative travel options to the office.
As a practice we know that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and realise that there is more we can do. We are currently looking into green walls, solar panels and other longer-term projects which will continue to positively impact our carbon footprint. Some of our other plans include working towards no single use plastic, buying recyclable paper, moving to zero waste refillable products and listening to new ideas which can help us tread lightly on the earth. If you can think of anything else we should be doing, please let us know! Together we are stronger, and we all need to take these necessary steps to making positive changes for our world. We have a commitment to looking after the world and not contributing to its demise.
We welcome dialogue about any of these issues and more besides. Clinical Psychology is all about recognising the individuality and complexity of people and systems and we use this knowledge when we think about the many intersecting issues that we see in the therapy room and in the wider communities we are a part of. We strive to remain humble and curious and want our thoughts about values and issues to be an evolving conversation.
Coming soon - Our journeys towards and into Clinical Psychology
To train to be a Clinical Psychologist you need an undergraduate degree in Psychology or an equivalent, relevant experience and then you can apply for the doctorate. This training course is 3 years funded by the NHS and is highly competitive. In 2021 only 22% of people who applied secured a place. In total it takes at least 10 years to training to be a Clinical Psychologist and the training can be gruelling. It’s not a career for the faint hearted.
Many, many candidates for Clinical Psychology are white and middle class. Most are women (although the men tend to rise fast and end up leading services). There is a huge gap in the admission of people from the global majority, people with disabilities, people who don’t follow a traditional pathway into the career. We know that the profession of Clinical Psychology is not doing enough to encourage diversity in its ranks. I believe this directly impacts on the ways in which we then can offer support and the frameworks and theories we draw on. This means we can’t be truly accessible to anyone who might need our support.
We wanted to highlight the various ways you can get into Clinical Psychology to encourage more people to consider it as a career. Over the next few months we’ll be adding journeys to this blog to show the different ways people gain a place on the doctoral course and progress on to being a qualified Clinical Psychologist.