This is a question I hear more and more Psychology Graduates ask me. This is the job role that would be ideal for any Graduate looking to put all the learnt theory into practice; however UNIVERSITIES DON’T PROMOTE THIS JOB ROLE ENOUGH in my opinion. I remember when I first decided I wanted to pursue a career in Psychology; I thought my days would consist of seeing clients and then formulating what they needed for the next session. I was shocked that it took me A WHOLE YEAR OUT OF UNIVERSITY to find such a job role that I could have jumped into straight away without needing a doctorate. If you’re interested in knowing what this magical job role consists of then read below on WHAT PWP’s ACTUALLY DO.
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Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP) is trained to assess the needs of clients suffering from low to moderate levels of mental health difficulties. Majority of the clients that they assess have been referred to IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Services) due to difficulties with anxiety and depression (Low-Intensity). Now before you freak out and think “I can’t do that!” RELAX! You WILL be trained on this which will sharpen up your formulation skills. Many PWP’s that I know say to me that this is the most exciting part of their job as no two clients are the same which does keep you on your toes. However, it’s not all fun and excitement as there will be times were a case will just be too complex for your skills. In those cases you will be able to refer up to the High Intensity Therapists.
I remember speaking to one of the selectors for a Clinical Psychology Course and she told me that they can tell when someone has trained as a PWP as they have a lot of knowledge about formulation and what to do in different scenarios. One of the main features of any psychological intervention is formulation. It’s what separates us from other allied health professionals, so it’s imperative you sharpen these skills. Becoming a PWP will help you in this department as you see lots of clients throughout the week.
Now here’s the rewarding (and most stressful) part of the job. Being a PWP means you receive a real grounding knowledge base of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). This means that you already have a model to work with. Again you will have a lot of support and exposure during your training so by the time you’re qualified; you’ll be a master (or at least slightly competent). It’s also important to remember that you’re not expected to be able to help everyone. There will be times were you have to refer your client to see a HIGH INTENSITY CBT THERAPIST.
Where Do I Look?
Now if you’ve made it this far into the article (or you sneakily scrolled down the page), you must be wondering where you can find these mystical job roles. Well look no further. Usually you would look out for TRAINEE PWP JOBS on the NHS JOBS website; however these jobs have increasingly started being advertised on other popular jobsites. It’s also worth mentioning that these roles are SEASONAL and they will usually be advertised around MAY-JULY times (to start in September) and OCTOBER- NOVEMBER (to start in January).
PLEASE BARE IN MIND THAT THESE ROLES ARE HIGHLY COMPETATIVE AND REQUIRE PRIOR MENTAL HEALTH EXPERAINCE!
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