Increase hours or diversify

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Randomswirls
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Increase hours or diversify

Post by Randomswirls » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:38 pm

Ill try to keep this concise!!

I completed my undergraduate degree in 2006 and got a low 2:1. I subsequently moved abroad for 18 months and on my return ended up working in admin. I've always wanted to work in Psychology and so started my Masters in Psychology with the OU which I completed earlier this year.

Having always struggled with my mental health I hit rock bottom and ended up in hospital several times over the last few years. During this time I stopped working (though did some voluntary work)and tried to concentrate on coping with things as well as I could and have not had an admission in close to two years now although I am still a service user in part this is due to being under the Early Intervention Service.

During this time I did a peer support course funded by my local mental health trust and whilst waiting for jobs to come available I started working with my local recovery college running courses as a peer trainer on a variety of topics. I run the courses with various professionals including psychologists and I continue to do this sporadically.

In February I started working at my local CMHT as a peer support worker (2 days a week) working individually with clients for up to 12 weeks and its very client lead due to the way its set up i will work with clients who are being treated in the community, under the crisis team or who are inpatient. i am however based within one MDT but don't have much contact with psychologists currently.

I am also working for the same trust within an early intervention service (not the one I'm under!) and we are doing peer led groups (ultimately half a day a week)although this has stagnated slightly currently due to changes occurring with the community teams. This has had psychology input as the jobs were designed with Rachel Perkins and a trainee helped set it up as part of her placement although she has since left.

So I currently work 3 days a week within 3 areas although the service lead is the same for each job. If things continue to go well with my mental health at Christmas I will be looking to up my hours as ultimately I want to apply for the doctorate and here is my dilemma - should I look at trying to get voluntary work with a psychologist or increase my peer support hours where I have no real contact with a psychologist? I can see pros and cons for both!!!

alexh
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:57 pm

Re: Increase hours or diversify

Post by alexh » Sat Sep 14, 2013 6:41 pm

If you are able to get supervision from a psychologist, get it.

Ruthie
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Re: Increase hours or diversify

Post by Ruthie » Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:10 pm

Use your network! Can you ask if one of the local psychologists if they would appreciate your assistance through service user involvement? You could be involved in cofacilitating a psychology group or you could do some service evaluation getting feedback on patient experience of psychological interventions in the services you are working with or something else entirely. From there, you may want to look at applying for assistant psychologist or research assistant type jobs. Good luck! Don't be afraid to ask the psychologists you come across - we don't bite!
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.

Randomswirls
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Joined: Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:21 pm

Re: Increase hours or diversify

Post by Randomswirls » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:54 pm

Thank you!

Ruthie that seems a good option as my concern with diversifying would be that I was doing lots of different pieces of work I guess a random kind of 'Jack of all trades master of none' but if I can volunteer along those lines then I will be continuing to work within service user involvement.

So far everyone I've come across has been really friendly and despite my nerves around the switching roles (I'm working with staff who have treated me as a service user) there has been no real awkwardness etc and my role seems to be valued!!

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