A week in the life of an assistant psychologist

A week in the life of an Assistant Clinical Psychologist


8:45 – I arrive at CAMHS to begin my week, the Monday morning feeling sets in as ever.

9:00 – Time to check emails and phone messages in case anything important has happened over the weekend, it never has. I also reply to any emails I didn’t get chance to answer on Friday.

9:30 – This morning is going to be spent continuing the creation of a new set of guided self help workbooks which myself and my fellow AP will be using to conduct mid level guided CBT for low mood and anxiety. It takes ages to gather my stuff back together after the weekend but I eventually spend the rest of the morning drawing together materials from a number of different manuals and resources to finish the creation of one super resource book! … 5 different ones left to go.

12:00 – Lunch!! I’ve been clock watching since 11am for this.

12:45 – Back to the desk, I think I need computer glasses so I don’t destroy my eyes one of these days. The rest of today is set out for data entry into our outcomes research (CORC). It’s boring to some but somewhat satisfyingly mundane to me. The task is taking questionnaires and entering them all onto our database.. I have a backlog of about 50 because I usually end up prioritising something else, but not today!

13:30 – Chocolate hobnobs appearing in the staff kitchen definitely outrank data entry, short biscuit break then back to it.

17:00 – I leave work with a mild headache from too much computer use, but none the less satisfied that I can now avoid more data entry for at least a week.


8:35 – Arrive into work, no school traffic makes my journey in take half the time, I need to remember to set off later.

8:45 – Another morning of creating guided self help manuals begins. Eventually when these are finished over the next month, this time will become 6 hours worth of clinical slots each week for actually doing guided self help which is kind of cool. Since our second AP started my job has changed a lot and I get loads more clinical time now.

12:00 - Lunch again!!

12:45 – Admin time for my clinical work and any other outstanding reports
14:00 – Time for supervision of my psychometrics with one of the clinical psychologists, nothing much needs changing in my latest report, just bits here and there.

14:30 – Spending this afternoon providing support for our new complex case clinic, lots of work to do to get it up and running.

15:30 – Supervision with my supervisor, another clinical psychologist in the department. Always an important part of my week.

16:30 – Finish off bits of work I started for complex case clinic support

17:15 – Head home, tired today.


8:30 – Arrive at work, I still didn’t remember to set off later.

8:40 – This morning is going to be spent typing up transcripts from the interviews I did a while back for some joint research with the Youth Offending Team. It’s pretty interesting but it takes so long to transcribe interviews. This is also the time set out for writing up any outstanding psychometric reports, but I haven’t got any outstanding.

12:00 – Business meeting for the service, my stomach is rumbling a lot.

13:00 – Lunch, finally, I hate late lunches.

13:30 – Normally this afternoon is my CPD and any other meeting time, but this weeks a weird one, I’m spending my afternoon coordinating the service user involvement panel who are interviewing for a new job in the department. It all goes fairly well and as usual the service users love being involved. I really enjoy doing these days.

17:00 – Home time! Good day today.


8:30 – Arrive at work, I need to arrive early on Thursday to get set up.

8:40 – Set up for the Stressbusters, computerised CBT clinic that I run on a Thursday. I really do enjoy the clinic but it certainly doesn’t bust my stress.

11:30 – Clear away for the CCBT clinic, it was a heavy morning today, we had 3 young people needing full risk assessments, the running around to get on call clinicians and trying to contain everyone can be daunting and stressful.

12:00 – Lunch/Meeting for the CAMHS Day Unit

13:30 – This afternoon is set out for my new Functional Analysis clinic. This is a new timetable addition and so I’m not yet doing actual functional analysis, I still need more training and more reading up! So that’s what I’m doing with this afternoon.

16:00 – I decide to take some time owing and leave a bit early, time to cathartically shoot people on Call of Duty!


8:50 – Arrive at work, my entire day today will be spent working on our Day Unit. This gives us naturalistic observations of the more complex young people coming through CAMHS. Fridays means primary age children and so is the best part of my week every week. I get to spend the day having awesome conversations with 5 year olds who are immensely cute. I also get to run the groups, do painting and because it’s school holiday time, make rice crispie cakes during what would normally be school… have to be careful not to eat any of the ones the children have made by accident.. there has been a lot of bum scratching and nose picking today, along with a general disregard for hygiene.. oh well, they’re still cute. My colleague however enjoys placing trays of them in the staff kitchen for general consumption.

17:00 – Head home for the weekend ready to crash but finishing on a high!

I am currently a band 4 Assistant Clinical Psychologist working within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Ben (Bdawson)

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