Clinical psychologists seek steps to safeguard their profession

Demand in the wake of replacement of M.Phil. (Clinical Psychology) course with six-year M.A. programme

Published - July 09, 2024 08:44 pm IST - Kozhikode

Clinical psychologists in Kerala have sought steps to safeguard their profession, especially in the wake of the replacement of the seven-year M.Phil. (Clinical Psychology) course with six-year M.A. (Clinical Psychology) in the country.

They claim that the change in name, against the backdrop of the University Grants Commission’s decision to scrap M.Phil. courses, will downgrade the course. Reducing the course duration is likely to affect the nature of training, compromising the quality and standards of clinical psychology education. Sources in the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists, Kerala unit, say that prematurely introducing professionals to handle mental health issues may affect the quality of training and patient care.

Recent UGC orders advising aspirants against joining M.Phil. programmes have left many students in a state of stress, ambiguity, and uncertainty about their future. Also, foreign countries are not reportedly accepting such degrees secured in India, hindering the prospects of students here to pursue opportunities abroad.

The sources point out that the Rehabilitation Council of India, the statutory regulatory body for training programmes and courses in the field of special education and rehabilitation in the country, ignored the views of stakeholders about the new name. Though the Kerala unit of the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists, which has over 10,000 members, had given its input to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, nothing significant happened.

To address their concerns, clinical psychologists have demanded that an expert committee be set up with representatives from the Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Psychology Society of India, Indian Association of Clinical Psychologists Kerala Chapter, heads of clinical psychology in national and State institutes, and senior clinical psychologists as its members. A Psychology Council of India too should be set up to address issues in the sector, enhance the quality of training, and set standards for the field of psychology, aligning with global practices.

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