A River Runs Through It : Enhancing Learning Via Emotional Connectedness. Can Problem-Based Learning Facilitate This?
The ability to undertake therapeutic work either directly or indirectly is central to many Clinical Psychology posts. This paper focuses on the acquisition of skills and knowledge gained through experiential learning components of a clinical psychology doctoral training programme following the introduction of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) into its academic curriculum in 2006. At UH, PBL began life for many trainees as a content-focused exercise developed to highlight how one might assess, formulate and intervene with issues presented within a case. Over time the task has increasingly incorporated a process focus, in which the content facilitates PBL groups to reflect on a broad range of concurrent processes, including personal contexts, interactions with others, and the influence of wider systems. This paper explores the overall learning experiences of PBL for trainees within one PBL group and how the exploration of underlying personal and group processes may facilitate a personal and emotional connection with the ‘client’. Further, we consider modes of conveying this information to enable an audience to emotionally connect with the case and the experiences of the group members. We conclude with a consideration of what we may learn for the benefit of future PBL groups within other disciplines