Claire Shaw (RNMH, MSc) is a Nurse Consultant. Claire undertook an MSc at the Tavistock and latterly the Multi-disciplinary psychoanalytic psychotherapy training. Claire’s background is in working within the NHS, primarily working psychodynamically with patients with histories of abuse, trauma and self-harm. Claire has been engaged in developing and providing training for approx. 20 years and is interested in the application of psychoanalytic ideas to the provision of care in frontline NHS services. She is currently engaged in developing and providing training, facilitating work discussion groups, providing supervision and undertaking clinical work in the Trust.
Claire writes: “I went into nursing originally as I was interested in working with people. I was unsure what I wanted to do when I left school, so I arranged some work experience in a cottage hospital. It was when I worked within a mental health service, however, that I really became interested and motivated to train as a nurse. During my nurse training I was lucky enough to work within a psychodynamic service, which provided a very different way of understanding patients’ difficulties to the usual medical model approach. I knew that I wanted to explore and learn more so I developed my interest and understanding through doing an MSc in Institutional and Community Care at the Tavistock. I did this whilst still working as a nurse.
“It was quite an intense experience to start with but has been one of the most valuable and influential learning experiences for me. I was taught by people who had immense experience and understanding but most importantly shared their real interest and passion for the application of psychoanalytic ideas to everyday mental health care. In the following years I continued to work psychodynamically as a nurse, gaining extensive experience in both group and individual work, supervision, developing and providing training and the daily running of an NHS service. I decided that the next step would be to train as a psychotherapist. Fortunately, at that point a staff post became available on the M1 (interdisciplinary adult psychoanalytic psychotherapy) training at the Tavistock which I successfully applied for. I undertook the training part-time and have since worked across psychoanalytic psychotherapy, training and nursing.
“My training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy was a rich, complex and demanding experience. I feel very grateful to the supervisors who enabled me to learn and develop my skills and understanding. However, undertaking the training with a young family was quite a challenge!
“It was very important that the department supported me to work flexibly in order to manage both – which they did. The Tavistock makes space for working families and having peers in similar positions was also really helpful.
“I hold different roles at the Tavistock relating to psychotherapy, nursing development, training and research. I love that my work here is varied and interesting and I feel fortunate to work with a wide range of people who are incredibly committed and experienced in their areas. The Trust is committed to both delivering a high level of patient care and treatment and developing understanding of the inherent and complex dynamics of the provision of mental and physical health care. I am still learning every day and still enjoying this.”