The right kind of experience?

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g4reth
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:23 pm

The right kind of experience?

Post by g4reth » Mon Sep 14, 2009 12:57 pm

I'm currently working as an Independent Living Advisor for a national charity that supports disabled people to access Direct Payments via Social Services. We support the Service User to recruit and manage the ongoing employment of PAs/Support Workers under the scheme.
I'm also starting a Diploma in Psychology (Conversion for Postgraduates) with the OU in October, which I aim to complete in two years time.
I should probably also point out that I currently live in Mid Wales - hardly a bubbling hub of opportunity re: ClinPsy.
My question is: do people think my current job counts as good experience towards my longer term goal of training in Clinical Psychology? I intend to seek out AP posts once I have secured the Diploma, which will almost certainly entail moving, but if possible I would like to keep hold of my current job in my current location for as long as I can. I work with several client groups (adults and children with mental health issues, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairment, older people) on a one-to-one basis in their own homes while supporting them with Direct Payments, but I am aware that there is no clinical dimension to this.
Do you think this constitutes good work experience? I am keen to maximise my chances of securing clinical training in the future, not least because I am, ahem, of more mature years - is there anything else people think I could be doing at this stage that would help?
Many thanks in advance,
g4reth

Ruthie
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Post by Ruthie » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:59 pm

It is very good experience at the pre-degree stage of the game. I think the question to ask is what have a learned/developed from this experience and how is it relevant? So you’ll have learned to relate to very wide range of people in difficult circumstances, who may be distressed or vulnerable. You’ve learned to work as part of a team in a system that isn’t a million miles away from the NHS - limited resources, liaising with multiple agencies (the charity, social services, perhaps others).

What you don’t have from that role is an awareness of the role of a clinical psychologist and using clinical psychology in that setting. Until you have your psychology degree and GBR, you won’t be able to get an AP post anyway so staying put and maximising your learning within that setting is probably your best bet.

You could investigate IAPT jobs (e.g. low intensity worker) but it would probably be far too big an ask of anyone to do both the diploma in psychology and the low intensity training as well. It would give you more direct experience of working within a psychological framework in the NHS - maybe something to think about as an alternative to an AP role after your diploma.

I doubt there is much more that you can do until after your degree and the focus needs to be on getting the highest marks you can get in the coversion course to demonstrate your academic abilities.

There are other threads on older/mature applicants so I’m sure if you do a bit of searching, you’ll find some useful stuff.

Ruthie

jadeywadey
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 3:33 pm

Post by jadeywadey » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:13 pm

Sounds like you have some really good experience. Maybe you could contact a local clinical psychologist and have regular meetings/ discuss progress and perhaps look at ways to incorporate clinical psychology into your current job. Check out the BPS register.

Good luck

g4reth
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:23 pm

Post by g4reth » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:42 am

Thanks guys - duly noted!

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