As part of the School of Nursing and Public Health, College of Health Sciences, a primary role of the Department is to provide teaching and training in Clinical Health Psychology and behavioural medicine to medical students at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
The undergraduate training spans six years and is a hybrid problem-based curriculum. The postgraduate student teaching and training is an integrated teaching platform in the departments of: Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Public Health Medicine and Occupational Health. The Department also offers Masters and Doctoral research programmes in Behavioural Medicine.Another key area of focus for the Department is research. Staff and students are actively involved in a variety of projects.
There are several ongoing projects in collaboration with other institutions, both nationally and internationally.The Department also overseas the provision of Clinical Psychology services and the training of Intern Clinical Psychologists in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The Clinical Psychology Internship programme is a 1-year supervised, broad spectrum programme that is approved by the Professional Board for Psychology of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The ethos of the training programme mirrors the guidelines set down by the HPCSA and Division of Clinical Psychology of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA). The primary goal of the training programme is to provide a year of intensive exposure to a wide variety of clinical presentations.
The training, not aimed at specialization, is designed to maximize personal and professional growth. Although exposure to and philosophy about clinical experience is designated top priority, consultation, assessment, treatment, and supervision experience receive equal emphasis during the internship. Training is varied and includes working in general as well as in Mental Health Hospitals. The internship programme stresses the development of clinical psychologists as clinicians and scientists who will be able to grow in the profession and exercise their expertise in the field of mental health as a whole. The two key sites from which coordination for these activities take place is the Durban Hospital Complex and Midlands Hospital Complex.