Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thoughts?

This section is for discussion relating to the Layard report, and subsequent schemes like Improving Access to Psychological Therapies where lower intensity inteventions are offered in primary care

Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thoughts?

Postby maligreen » Tue May 24, 2016 12:41 pm

Hi everyone,

I have been invited to an interview for an Assistant PWP position. As far as I can tell, the role doesn't differ from the responsibilities of a Trainee PWP in terms of the therapeutic work that you do (psycho educational groups, telephone support etc) but you don't do the 1 day a week at university and qualify as a PWP after.

I'm a bit sceptical of the role because it seems more efficient to just hire trainees, but it does still sound like really good experience and could lead to a trainee PWP role. It probably also reflects the fact more staff are needed to meet the needs of the service.

I'd love to get your thoughts on this. I'm going to attend the interview to see what happens but I'm unsure if it's a wise move if I could get a trainee post instead. Any advice?
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby smiley91 » Tue May 24, 2016 7:11 pm

Hi there,

I am currently working as an assistant pwp. My role includes conducting initial assessments and co facilitating psycho educational groups, however this may vary depending on the service. I've received some in house training and attend regular clinical skills group supervision.

Given the competitive nature of trainee posts, I think this is a good stepping stone in terms of preparing you for the LICBT training (if that is what you are aiming for). There may be an opportunity to apply for a trainee post within your service.
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Spatch » Thu May 26, 2016 6:16 pm

I have been invited to an interview for an Assistant PWP position. As far as I can tell, the role doesn't differ from the responsibilities of a Trainee PWP in terms of the therapeutic work that you do (psycho educational groups, telephone support etc) but you don't do the 1 day a week at university and qualify as a PWP after.

I'm a bit sceptical of the role because it seems more efficient to just hire trainees, but it does still sound like really good experience and could lead to a trainee PWP role. It probably also reflects the fact more staff are needed to meet the needs of the service.

I'd love to get your thoughts on this. I'm going to attend the interview to see what happens but I'm unsure if it's a wise move if I could get a trainee post instead. Any advice?


It's a personal view, but I am quite uncomfortable with the idea of an assistant PWP, as in a way it a fairly limited role and reduces it further. Much in the same way I would challenge the existence of of an assistant-assistant psychologist, I would advocate for the opposite direction of travel in making the PWP role more fulfilling, better trained and valued. As the feedback from PWPs is often negative about being restricted and overprescribed, I can't imagine how enjoyable an even less trained and more precarious role would be.

Then again, I may be wrong. I guess it is paid after all, rather than expecting you to work for free...
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Milka » Fri May 27, 2016 5:18 pm

We have assistant psychologists in the service I work for who are doing the same as a assistant PWP. They are paid band 4 like the trainee Pwps but don't get to do the training. it's a good way to get a foot in the door but the cynic in me thinks its a way of getting cheaper staff
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Misfit » Mon May 30, 2016 2:36 pm

I see what you mean, but if I was offered the job, I would take it, then when the next round of applications for PWP training opens, I'd apply for it. This role will help you gain the experience and realise what to expect from a PWP role. I think it would feel weird working in the role as it may feel as though you'd be "better off" in a trainee PWP role, but if you don't take the job, and instead apply for PWP training, you may not get a place. I don't mean that in a rude way, I'm just thinking in terms of how I view things in my life and how I feel about job opportunities. Keep us updated? x
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby maligreen » Mon May 30, 2016 2:59 pm

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice. I have exactly the same feelings as most of you for both sides of the coin - I do feel a bit cynical about it, but I also appreciate the role would be great experience and would help me get my foot in the door/make me more likely to get a potential trainee post in future. I think I want to follow the IAPT career path through and you have to start somewhere.

I haven't had the interview yet and I may not even get the job but I intend to ask questions about job progression. This is a maternity cover post so I'll have to see if there is any opportunity for it to be extended or if a trainee post may come up. The way I see it, no experience is bad/wasted and I do feel I need a change (currently a mental health support worker which is great but I'd like to be doing more therapeutic work than I'm able to in this role).
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Misfit » Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:12 am

Hi,

I have an interview soon for the role of Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and just wondered if anyone could tell me about the role please? How have people found the role if they have worked in it, or worked with people who are in that role? What sort of interventions are used?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

x
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Sam1987 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:03 pm

As someone else said in an earlier post, it is pretty much the same as Trainee PWP but without attending university. I had experience for 6 months in 2013 as an Assistant PWP. I was pretty much thrown in at the deep end, so were the others. I initially completed assessments and did reception type duties. I then took on a CBT treatment group, but did not do individual treatment sessions, I did not feel comfortable in doing so without appropriate training (which we were promised but not given). It was a good taster of IAPT life before commencing Low Intensity training after my 6 months as an Assistant PWP.

I hope this helps. If anyone has any questions please message me or reply on this thread :)
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby YellowNutshell » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:03 pm

I haven't held the role of "Assistant PWP" but I have been a Psychology Assistant within IAPT. I have to say my experience wasn't the best; I basically just did the assessment stage, meaning 6 assessments a day, 4 days a week. It was repetitive and dull! There was the scope to apply for the PWP training later on, however after 6 months I needed to move on.

I would really look at the job description and the type of work you'll be doing. Also the supervision you'll get, as IAPT can be quite isolated at times (in my experience) and it can feel very lonely. It can be a good stepping stone however and if you feel it can lead onto something else then it can be worth doing.

Good luck!
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Monroe » Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:17 am

YellowNutshell wrote:I basically just did the assessment stage, meaning 6 assessments a day, 4 days a week.

I used to work in IAPT and really didn't like it. Your role sounds even worse than mine. How can anyone think non-stop assessments is a safe way to work for anyone? How can anyone maintain empathy and motivation for the job when it's THIS monotonous and relentless?

I kind of hate IAPT.
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby hitraineeperson » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:33 pm

Hi maligreen,

I was an Assistant PWP for 6 months, then a trainee PWP straight after with the same service and now I'm currently a trainee HI practitioner.

My two cents are:
-Assistant PWP role is amazing in giving you an insight into the job without uni pressures. I am grateful for it.
HOWEVER, there were a lot of downsides:
-When I started the course, some of my coursemates had never done assessments or any kind of treatment (e.g. groups) before. I was ahead of them in confidence in this respect but the downside was that I had to un-learn how I had been taught to do assessments because the uni had very specific guidance/wording they wanted us to use. I sometimes think I benefited from the confidence side of things but it was definitely a downside in terms of having to un-learn habits.
-Uni didn't seem to like that I'd already been trained to do things a certain way instead of being a blank slate.

My service told me that took on APWP because there's a high rate of people leaving once they qualify for other services or leaving the profession entirely. Quite rightly, they wanted to give people a chance to experience the role before they invested in educating you formally via uni as it is a big loss for the NHS when people drop out/move on.

My advice would be: if you're certain about the role, forego the APWP role and go for a trainee position because the 6 months of APWP made me restless! I wanted to get into the meat of the course by the end of month one! However, if you think you'd benefit from building up confidence in service and understanding the role's demands first, the APWP position was perfect for that.
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby myotai » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:37 pm

The PWP role is so restricted I'm unsure what an Asst PWP could do that has less interventions that the PWP role proper. Unless it involves performing as per the PWP role as advertised, for instance treating PHQ/GAD at 14 or below. Unlike the complex OCD, ADHD, and various personality disorders I was asked (made) to treat in both services I worked for....for 10k less that the HI CBTs of course.

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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby myotai » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:40 pm

On a side note. The service I work for is taking on unqualified people as PWPs. They're leaving in droves as they're feeling overwhelmed and out of their depth. Not particularly ethical in terms of duty of care. Sad as they're lovely people meaning well.
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Re: Assistant Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner - thought

Postby Misfit » Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:36 am

Thanks for your replies. I didn't get the job x
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