Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

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Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by Opetha » Wed Aug 22, 2018 5:50 pm

Hi everyone,

This is my first post, so I apologise in advance if I am posting in the wrong section, or if this has been covered elsewhere.

I'll try to keep it succint, I have the following quals / experience:
>BSc - with GBR
> Msc Investigative and Forensic Psychology
> 3.5 years working in Intelligence for the Gvt at the National Crime Agency
> 6 months experience as a Psychiatric Nursing Assistant (this was over 5 years ago)
> Voluntary Work - with MH charity, Samaritans, Peer Support at University etc

I've been applying for AP posts.
I had my first interview a few days ago and didn't get the job.

The AP jobs come up so rarely and I am stuck with only looking in the North-West region as I'm unable to re-locate.

Yesterday I saw a job advert for an Assistant Psychological Well-Being practioner, and I am considering applying. However, I have a few concerns / questions.

The Role Duties - as described in job advert.
The duties involve co-facilitating psychotherapeutic groups and courses and delivering digital therapeutic solutions such as computerised CBT with clients presenting with mild to moderate anxiety and depression, within a NICE compliant stepped care model. The role will also involve the development and maintenance of relationships with other local service providers and co-facilitation of CBT based treatment packages under the supervision of qualified CBT staff.

* Would work of this nature be considered valuable experience in either gaining a place on the ClinPsyD or an AP post?

It also states in the job advert that:

The role would also be ideally suited for those who are passionate about commencing a career in mental health who have no formal University education.

Should I still consider applying for the role even though I have a MSc? Would they overlook me for being over-qualified? I also wondered whether I could apply for a PWP post that isn't an assistant? Or is there a particular qualification required in order to be a PWP?

I am so sorry for the long post and all the questions, I am just finding everything a bit overwhelming!

Thank you in advance for anyone who manages to read this far or can offer some guidance! :D

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by rhapsodyinred » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:47 am

I would certainly recommend applying! They might consider you over-qualified, but they might very well think your experience is what they want.

It sounds like you certainly have some interesting experience, but getting direct recent experience in mental health would probably be useful. The things described in the job advert overlap quite a lot with what some AP positions do, and some people I know who are on the course have actually done similar things during their placements! So I would certainly apply, especially if it fits with your location and is NHS-based. It seems that it would give you recent and relevant NHS experience, which can help for both AP positions and the DClinPsy.

(Of course, others may think differently! But that's my two cents.)

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by alexh » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:35 pm

I think the role as set out is relevant experience for AP jobs and eventually for DClinPsy. Although I have some reservations about the role, thinking back to when I was applying for AP jobs I'd definitely have considered applying.

I expect over-qualification will not be an issue. The bottlenecks in the clinical psychology pathway mean that highly qualified people, some with lots of relevant experience, are willing to take roles at low pay bands and which would not normally require a degree in order to get the work experience in the healthcare system.

There is a qualification required to be a PWP. You could also apply for trainee PWP posts. They're at least as competitive as AP jobs though. You do training alongside your trainee role in an IAPT service for a year before qualifying as a PWP. Because of this training I think they often take cohorts in yearly (at least in London), or less often and whenever there is sufficient need in some parts of the country. I don't know what the situation is for training in the northwest. Check out the IAPT subforum

I find the concept of an assistant PWP worrying and possibly unethical but I've tried to set that prejudice aside above to not take your thread off topic... There's been some other discussion of the role on the forum here that would be interesting for you to read. I would hope that any good assistant PWP was put forward for PWP training at the earliest opportunity or that they found an AP post.

Another thread on APWP

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by NotReally » Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:52 pm

Have you made any changes to your applications recently? Just going off my own experience, as somebody who is also based in the NW and not able to relocate currently (the only AP position I did get was when i relocated, but that was more of a situation of the stars aligning for me at the time), i'd suggest that, with the sort of experience you have, interviews will (hopefully) not be as hard to come by now. I'm not sure if that's because the style of your applications has changed, or if there are more roles atm (or any other reason), but i've always found that, although the positions are scarce as you mentioned, once you get an interview for an AP position, it's sort of a tipping point in itself. Of course, that doesn't mean to say an AP position is inevitable now, but finally having got an interview for an AP position suggests you are doing something right.

I can't tell you too much about PWP posts, but i'm pretty sure (as alex says above) that a separate qualification will be required.

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by Northernlad » Thu Aug 23, 2018 6:02 pm

In the IAPT service I trained with we had a large workforce in these roles - they were called 'therapy support workers' but the duties seem very similar to the role of an assistant PWP. They delivered initial telephone assessments, step 2 telephone and computerised work and ran psycho-educational groups - the only work they didn't do was face-to-face. Many TSWs had degrees so I doubt you would be seen as overqualified.

When trainee PWP roles became available in the service, most were able to secure a post. I guess it would also give you a huge advantage if applying for trainee posts externally due to your direct experience with IAPT.

Maybe go for the interview and if successful take it as a short-term post whilst keeping your eyes open for other opportunities?

All the best

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by Opetha » Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:27 pm

I am genuinly suprised by the amount of thoughtful, considered and helpful replies I have received to my post. I want to thank you all very much for taking the time to read and reply. I am only new here but I am getting a really nice feeling from the forum here, everyone seems very supportive and helpful, I am really glad I found this place!

As it turns out, I probably shouldn't have hesitated - only two days after the job advert was posted it disappeared. I assume they must have received sufficient applications and so took it off-line. So, I've certainly learnt a lesson there regarding acting quickly!

From reading through your replies and looking at the links, it seems like I still have so much to learn about clinical psychology and the various routes into the profession. It's easy to start feeling overwhelmed, but at least while i'm searching for work experience I can continue to try and educate and inform myself as much as possible.

Genuinly, thank you all so much.

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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by maven » Sun Aug 26, 2018 7:35 pm

I'd suggest looking for posts outside the NHS. Roles in prisons, secure facilities, education or residential care providers might be a good stepping stone, and AP posts outside the NHS are often less competitive - especially if you find ones that only advertise on their own websites, or apply to the vacancies posted exclusively on here. But yes, with NHS applications you need to apply within hours of the post going up because they often close quickly with the sheer numbers involved. Finally, ensure that you tailor every application to the post and spell out how you meet every point on the person spec. Don't just send the same generic application to lots of posts!

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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Re: Struggle to find AP job ; considering PWP work.. advice please!

Post by Opetha » Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:11 pm

Maven, once again thank you for your guidance and advice. As always your words are very much appreciated and attended to.

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