What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

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ellie2603
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:42 pm

What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

Post by ellie2603 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:26 am

Hi,

I am a bit stuck with what to do next in my career and was wondering if anyone had any advice?

I have 3 years of experience working as a PWP (was promoted to senior after 1 year) plus my training year. I also have 18 months experience in CAMHS as a support worker and in social services. I left my job as a PWP last year and took a year out to go travelling, I am now looking to get back into psychology but I am not sure where to go next.

Academically I have a 2:1 in psychology and a distinction in a Research Psychology Masters.

I have now applied for the doctorate 5 times and have only had interviews with one university following a test, this year I was offered no interviews. Because of this I feel that it may be time to move on but I would still like to stay within Psychology.

I have considered doing CBT training but to be honest after 4 years I am feeling a bit jaded with IAPT and I have always wanted to work with younger people rather than adults. I have considered doing OT or social work but I worry that they may take me further away from Psychology and into a different field that I do not enjoy so much. I would be keen to hear people's thoughts on this though. Another option is family therapy but I have seen that you need a prior professional qualification in order to train which I currently do not have.

I wondered if anyone has any general advice on what to do next, or thoughts on the careers that I've mentioned?

Many thanks.
Last edited by miriam on Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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maven
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Re: Career help needed!

Post by maven » Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:28 pm

I'd suggest that you get someone independent to look at your application form, as that sounds like great experience so I can only assume you are selling yourself short. I wouldn't divert from your career aspirations if it is something as simple as getting the form right!
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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hs577
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Re: Career help needed!

Post by hs577 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 9:29 am

As Maven said it may be worth having your form looked at. If you wish to work with children you might be able to do high intensity CBT for children and young people's IAPT as I know someone who travelled (similar to yourself) and when they returned to the UK they went to the Midlands to do that. (I know from what they said they were fed up of IAPT too and they'd been working in an adult service but said they're enjoying the IAPT work with children.

ellie2603
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:42 pm

Re: What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

Post by ellie2603 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 11:44 pm

Thanks, those are really useful suggestions. You are probably right I could probably do with some help on my application, there were not really any clinical psychologists in my IAPT service so it was difficult to find people to ask. I think if I apply again I will try a bit harder to find someone who can advise me though.
I hadn't thought of children and young people's IAPT but that it a good suggestion and I will definitely look into it, thank you!

ash123
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Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:26 pm

Re: What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

Post by ash123 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:24 pm

Hi Ellie, I’m just wondering if you can tell me a little about your PWP role. I’m currently working as a trainee forensic psychologist in prison, I have just started but can already see limited opportunity to conduct therapeutic work with clients. I’m starting to think I should maybe consider PWP, CBT therapist or an assistant clinical post. I enjoy risk assessment but also have a strong interest in 1:1 psychological therapy. If you have any advice I would really appreciate it. I’m unsure if the PWP role is limited in terms of career progression. I want a job that’s challenging and similar to my trainee position.

ellie2603
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Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:42 pm

Re: What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

Post by ellie2603 » Fri Nov 02, 2018 2:14 pm

Hi Ash,

Sorry just seen this. The PWP role is good for giving you experience in a therapeutic role and I feel the training did provide me with some good skills for working with people (although I imagine forensic training does this too?). You do get a lot of time with patients. I guess what I struggled with was the pressure of the PWP role, we had high targets where we had to see a large number of people in a day (sometimes up to 10) and I often felt that the presentations of patients did not match up with the training I had been given. Whilst this gave me good experience and I learnt a lot I did often feel overstretched. I felt that I was seeing too many people and that often the presentations of patients did not fit with my training. Because of my high caseload (as a PWP this could be around 70/80 people) I didn't really have time in supervision to discuss difficult cases in depth. There was also a fair amount of pressure from my service about getting people to recovery. The time pressure was much better as a senior PWP but I still felt a bit unsatisfied as it felt a bit like a therapy factory.
It's not that I regret being a PWP as I feel that I have learnt a lot and it does give you good experience of working therapeutically. However, there is a reason why most people do not stay in it and I think it would be difficult to do for many years. For me also I have realised that whilst I enjoy working with people I don't want to do solely therapy as I enjoy variety and I like things like working with a range of professionals (limited as a PWP) and research.

In terms of career progression I would say it has been limited and quite difficult from PWP. Most people go onto the doctorate or to HI CBT training. I have found that not having a core profession has really limited the jobs I am able to get. If you wanted to be a CBT therapist within IAPT then the PWP training is a good route, however, I think that if you want to do most other things other training might be better suited. I don't know what stage you are at in your forensic training but I imagine once you are qualified this would open many more doors than the PWP route. You could apply for the HI CBT training after a forensic qualification if you wanted to do that. if you went down the PWP route you would need to do PWP training plus 2 years qualified to get onto high training so it might not make much difference time wise.

lingua_franca
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Re: What next after PWP if not the doctorate?

Post by lingua_franca » Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:08 pm

As maven has suggested, I'd try and get some CP feedback on your form and have another go at applying before setting out on another career path. However, if you definitely only want to work with young people, have you looked into the educational and child psychology doctorate at all?
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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