The internship year is of paramount importance in the vocational training of clinical psychologists. This event assists the student in making the transition from trainee to professional. During the internship year intern psychologists undergo various transitions, for example a change in roles and a change in learning style. The motivation for this study arose from the researcher's own experience of the internship year in a psychiatric training hospital. The study aims at investigating other intern clinical psychologists' experience of their internship year. The intention of this study is to present descriptions of these experiences. The research design of this study is qualitative, using a phenomenological approach. A phenomenological approach has been followed to return to the phenomenon internship in an attempt to reach the lived world of the respondents. Emphasis is placed on the respondents' perceptions of their experience of the internship year. An informal, unstructured interview was conducted with each research participant. Audio tape recordings of the interviews were transcribed. On analysis of the protocols, several themes were extracted. Each respondent did not necessarily experience each of the identified themes. The themes are discussed in chapter four and linked to the existing literature. The following themes have been identified: the value of the learning experience, a sense of apprehension, the experience of stress, the importance of support, the importance of supervision and mentorship, a sense of not belonging, a sense of isolation from social contexts, the challenges concerning culture, and a sense of achievement. The researcher hopes to make a contribution towards the understanding of intern clinical psychologists’ experience of the internship year. It is also hoped that through this study, further research in this field will be encouraged.
Dissertation (MA (Clinical Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2005.