Trainees, honoraries and volunteers

My Experience at Queens by Libby Lyons, trainee counselling psychologist

As a final year Trainee Counselling Psychologist, I have recently had the honour of conducting a 12-month placement in the psycho-oncology department at Queen’s Hospital. It has been a rich and valuable learning experience, contributing hugely towards personal and professional growth. I expanded my knowledge and practice of several different models of therapy including psychodynamic, humanistic, existential and third wave CBT. This developed the capacity to practice integratively and with flexibility so that psychological interventions are tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Working with a diverse caseload of clients and across all stages of the cancer trajectory, I gained a deep understanding of the impact of disease processes and the importance of working within a multi-disciplinary team to provide patient-centred whole person care. I also valued the insight and experience gained from being actively involved in psych-ed. workshops and group therapy work.

Such a myriad of rich experiences, including stimulating supervision, provided fertile ground to learn, develop and improve my psychological knowledge and practice. Working with cancer patients and their families has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences across my training and one I would highly recommend to other trainees. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the psycho-oncology team, for their unwavering support and encouragement, in particular to my supervisor, Dr Sylvia Puchalska. I would also like to extend my deepest thanks to my clients who I feel privileged to have met and who remain my greatest source of learning.