Working Abroad

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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Brogueee
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Working Abroad

Post by Brogueee » Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:44 pm

Hey!

I am currently in my second semester of my MSc Psychology Conversion course and I work part time within CAMHS as a secretary to the two clinical psychologists. When I hopefully graduate at the end of this year myself and my partner are hoping to go abroad next year for approx 12 months. I am currently trying to explore my options and see where I stand in regards to work opportunities.
We have both applied for the working holiday visa in Canada and I have spoken with The College of Psychologists of Ontario and I know I’m not eligible to register with them at my level but I could potentially register with College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario as their entry requirements differ and you can register if you are only at master level, depending on if my course has covered what they ask for.
Another of our options is potentially going to New York as my partners current company has an office out their so he might be able to move out their with them. I have no idea what my options would be for work in America, I’m not sure if they work the same as Canada but from the research I have done I don’t think I would be able to work as an assistant psychologist due to the differences in how they work out there. I have tried to contact the APA and a board I came across within New York (I have completely forgotten the name) but no one is getting back to me. I am also concerned what kind of visa I would be able to go over to America on as my partner could possible transfer but he was also born in America and lived there for the first 6 years of his life so he is currently looking into gettting an American passport anyway.
Could anyone please help or share any information to any of the above? Any little help is massively appreciated right now!!

Thank you :)

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persephone56
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Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:37 pm

Re: Working Abroad

Post by persephone56 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:10 am

I might be able to offer some guidance. I lived and worked in Vancouver for two years following my MSc, and I looked into going to the US.

I'll start with the US, because it's harder. Essentially, you would need your own visa, separate to your partner. You get these by being sponsored by an employer, generally speaking. If you can get a job offer before you go, your employer can apply for a H-1B visa - but they'd have to really want you as it's time consuming and expensive. You're also tied to that job. If you get fired, your visa essentially ends. There may be some J category visas available, but I think they're quite short term.

I don't believe there's any such thing as an assistant psychologist over there either. You'd likely be looking for a research assistant type role, or healthcare assistant etc.

In the case of Canada, like the US, it varies from province to province, but again, there's no such thing as an assistant psychologist. It would be relatively easy to get work as either a research assistant or psychometrist (but the latter is totally about psychometric tests, so you'd need reasonable familiarity with the administration and scoring of things like the WISC, WAIS and so on). There are also roles like Mental Health Worker. But the visa process is obviously a lot easier so you'd save yourself a lot of stress by going to Canada over the US (not to mention, it's one of the best standards of living in the world, and you wouldn't have to deal with guns or Trump!).

Brogueee
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Re: Working Abroad

Post by Brogueee » Wed Jan 30, 2019 3:19 pm

Thank you so much for your response!
What work did you do when you was in Vancouver?
I thought this might be the case. Myself and my partner are currently engaged and have discussed the idea of potientially getting married sooner than thought if that would help with visa issues but if I can avoid a rushed wedding I would rather. We have also now both been invited to apply for our Working Holiday Visa’s for Canada so I think for now we are going to focus our attention in this.
The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario have informed me that the requirement to join is masters level training but it will be based on what I have learnt from my course etc to if I will be accepted or not. Have you heard of this potential option before? Thank you! Do you know of any sites or organisations I could potentially look into for these kind of roles? My university can sometimes offer part time research assistant roles or internships so if I need to get some experience to be considered out there I am eager to try and get this as soon as possible.
Haha yes most definitely! There seems no competition really!

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persephone56
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Re: Working Abroad

Post by persephone56 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:15 pm

Just FYI, when I looked into going to the US, the H-1B visa wouldn't cover my husband. The US is VERY strict about entry, so even if you were married and he got a US passport, you wouldn't be guaranteed anything.

I worked as both a research assistant and subsequently a psychometrist in Vancouver. It was an excellent experience, but quite heavy on the medical model. It was hard to shift my thinking when I started training.

I looked at the requirements to join the BC Royal College of Psychologists, and was eligible to join at a certain level (associate member, maybe?). However, it was very expensive and required me to take a number of exams. Also, the only benefit to it would have been to register myself as a Registered Clinical Counsellor, to work therapeutically, and I was NOT qualified to provide therapy unsupervised to people, no matter what they said! Unless you have done other qualifications in counselling, I'd suggest staying away from that too. At best I reckon it's ill-advised as you could do some damage, and at worst it could prevent you from eventually getting on clinical training (if that's what you want to do) as I doubt courses would be happy that you'd been working unsupervised in a role beyond your training (again assuming you don't have counselling qualifications).

To work in the roles I mentioned, you certainly don't need to be registered with the College. I doubt that's different between BC and Ontario.

Jobs in Canada are heavily based on networking, so it's a lot about reaching out to people via email and asking to pick their brains in return for a coffee or such. There's a lot of advice online about that. But normal jobs websites, such as indeed.ca are useful and most jobs will be advertised there. Keep an eye on the websites for universities and hospitals in your chosen city too.

Brogueee
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Re: Working Abroad

Post by Brogueee » Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:30 pm

Oh wow ok, thank you for pointing that out.

Ah I see, yes I when I was researching I came across the possibility of working unsupervised and didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of that. This is the latest that they have said to me, since I messaged them after your response:

“You are certainly able to apply with an English degree and it will be assessed during the review of your application. The application process looks at the contents of the education program rather than requiring a specific credential, so it is flexible for those who completed their training in other countries. We receive applications from international applicants regularly.
If you meet the registration requirements, you would be registered as a Registered Psychotherapist in the Qualifying category. This would mean that you need to receive supervision from a qualified supervisor until you gain additional hours and write the Registration Examination to transfer to the full RP category. It is up to you where you wish to practise to get those hours. Please see this page for more information about the Qualifying category:
https://www.crpo.ca/new-members-registe ... ualifying/

I’ve had a look at fees they don’t look too bad and there’s just the one exam. Do you think this would be worth pursuing or do you think this could also damage or prevent getting onto clinical training as that is what my aim is? I wouldn’t mind getting some research experience but I would really love to be able to get some supervised face to face patient experience, as I am super eager to do this!

Ah I see! Thank you, I will have a look at hospitals, universities etc that could potentially be in my area and see what opportunities they might be offering!

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persephone56
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Re: Working Abroad

Post by persephone56 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:15 am

Have you ever actually worked therapeutically? Have you been trained in any specific therapeutic modalities? Would you be able to work as a psychotherapist in the UK at the end of your Masters? If not, I'd wonder why you'd be aiming to work as a psychotherapist in Canada. I looked at the guidelines for that exam, and it assesses:
I. Make an initial assessment

II. Establish a working relationship

III. Therapeutic relationship

IV. Working towards change

V. Manage separation and ending

VI. Professional practice

VII. Make use of supervision
Are those all areas that you have experience with?

From your post, I'm getting the sense that you have very limited experience working directly with clients. Have you been an AP or similar before? Even an AP would only be doing quite basic work with clients and would be very closely supervised.

I don't want to shatter any dreams here, but it sounds like you're jumping from 0 to 60 with what you're proposing! Canadian Masters are typically two years long and will have a practical element to them, like a placement. Have you done placements as part of yours? Take, for example, the MA in Counselling Psychology from The University of Western Ontario:
Full-time students:

Students will normally complete the program in five consecutive semesters beginning in September. The first three semesters are devoted to course work and thesis proposal, with the remaining two semesters constituting the Internship plus writing and defence of thesis.
I can see two options playing out: 1. You apply, they assess your qualification and don't approve it as suitable, or 2. You apply, they accept it and you start to practice in a potentially unsafe manner that's beyond your scope of experience. The third option is that you haven't mentioned here that you have qualifications in counselling and all this is moot! Or, I suppose in theory there's the potential that someone would be willing to hire you regardless of your lack of experience and closely supervise you while you learn, but that seems like it would be hard to find. Also, for full registration, you need 450 hours of direct client contact and 100 hours of supervision - that's a fair chunk of time.

The posts that I have mentioned - research assistant and psychometrist - can and do involve a lot of face-to-face work with clients. A psychometrist certainly would work clinically, and I worked as a research assistant within a mental health unit. There are plenty of roles that will provide client contact without being potentially risky or unsupervised.

Brogueee
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:28 pm

Re: Working Abroad

Post by Brogueee » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:39 pm

I’m not looking to work as a psychotherapist the CPO said I wouldn’t be able to register with them at master’s level as their requirements are different so put me in contact with The College of Psychotherapists.

I don’t have any experience, I have completely changed career path hence why I am on the MSc Psychology Conversion. I am currently going through the process to volunteer with Childline on the phones and I work in CAMHS as secretary to clinical psychologists, they have recently had an AP start and we do similar tasks, I just don’t do any direct work with clients etc. I just want to put myself in the strongest position possible due to the career change etc I don’t want to waste my time doing something that will not benefit my future, that’s why I was curious of your opinion for the psychotherapy route in Canada. I’m still extremely new to this let alone throwing a whole new country in the mix haha! I think I will do some searching into research assistant roles though as this seems to be looking like the most likely and beneficial route.

I also randomly ended up speaking to a Canadian girl on my course last night so I think we are going to meet up for coffee!

Thank you for your help!

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persephone56
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Re: Working Abroad

Post by persephone56 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:02 am

Best of luck with it! Living and working in Canada is a fantastic opportunity and experience, so I hope you thoroughly enjoy it. Fingers crossed you can get something clinically relevant, but do keep it in mind that research is also a core skill of Clinical Psychologists so they're as valuable as each other :)

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mungle
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Location: Midlands

Re: Working Abroad

Post by mungle » Mon Feb 04, 2019 11:16 am

Getting some work as a support worker or similar would be great first experience post-graduation. You'll not only gain clinical experience but also insight into another healthcare system and ways of working. You could also look at writing up the experience for Aspire or other appropriate publication or presentation.

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