Mental Health Practitioner in the NHS – one graduate’s experience

clinicalLast week I blogged with ideas on gaining experience related to clinical psychology.

As I was browsing the NHS careers website this week I came across a case study which perfectly illustrates how one psychology student has built up her experience to enable her to become a mental heath practitioner in the NHS. This is a career in its own right, or can be a stepping stone to gaining a place on the Clinical Psychology doctorate.

Charlotte built up her experience by:

  • temping in administrative work in mental health services during vacations during her psychology degree
  • studying for a certificate in counselling skills after graduation
  • completing a mental health module with the Open University
  • unpaid work running a therapeutic group for anxiety management
  • agency work as a healthcare assistant on mental health wards
  • a variety of voluntary positions in relevant areas

This experience led to Charlotte’s success in securing her current position in the NHS. As she puts it

‘I had to work really hard to get this job. There are a lot of people seeking this type of work so there is a huge amount of competition. ……… Without the knowledge and skills I have gained whilst trying to get this job, I would not be able to do it well.’

So if you’re thinking that a career in a clinical psychology-related area is for you, be inspired by Charlotte’s experience – read her full case study  – and start/continue building up your body of relevant experience to enable you to move forward in this career area.


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