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Centre for Remote Health

Developing future psychologistsThe Flinders NT student placement program supports clinical supervisors of students on placement in the Northern Territory. One program supervisor, Clinical Psychologist Professor Tim Carey, has provided an insight into the benefits of clinical supervision. Some of his students undertaking placements are completing the requirements for generalist registration while others are also working towards a specialist endorsement in clinical psychology or some other area of specialised psychological practice.

Rural and remote settings provide clinical opportunities that are unparalleled in metropolitan contexts. Clinical skills and expertise required to work effectively with comorbidities and complex problems are essential in these areas. Primary health care is the bedrock of health service provision and psychologists have a lot to offer with skills in providing and evaluating treatments as well as expertise in promotion and prevention.

Tim finds that one of the most enjoyable aspects of supervision is his own learning that occurs with every supervision experience. In particular, discussing the professional and ethical issues that routinely arise in rural and remote practice is thought provoking, insightful, and provides the opportunity for professional growth for both him and his student.

“I really enjoy seeing emerging psychologists learning to establish their identity as a psychologist and discover their areas of clinical expertise. It is especially rewarding when students indicate an interest in working in rural and remote settings after a placement in a remote location”, says Tim.

Some students Tim has supervised have gone on to develop an interest in the psychological treatment he has developed and the theory underpinning this approach.

“It becomes an especially exciting chapter to have students learning, questioning, and improving my own work and a wonderful privilege to be able nurture and contribute to the future of my own profession through the supervision of trainee psychologists”.

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