Hello and WELCOME to PsychAssist. Lately, we have received a lot of messages from recent Psychology Graduates asking whether they should pursue Assistant Psychologist jobs or to go down the PWP route. This is a very controversial topic but one that we thought we had to address as it is a question many Psychology Graduates have. Within this article, we will explore whether or not PWP’s are becoming the new AP’s.
Just Graduated? Check out: 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?
Don’t know what Assistant Psychologists do? Check out: So What do Assistant Psychologists Actually Do?
Don’t know what PWP’s do? Check out: So What do PWP’s Actually Do?
Missed the last PsychAssist Article? Check out: 3 Skills Before You Apply For Assistant Psychologist Roles
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PWP’s Have More Clinical Time
Ok, so it’s no secret that IAPT prioritizes clinicians seeing clients and will often have targets for clinicians seeing patients. This could potentially be seen as a negative but for keen psychology graduates who want to start putting their skills into practice, it’s a huge positive. This is evidently one of the reasons why PWP’s are becoming widely known as the new AP positions simply because not all AP roles gives you access to 1-1 work. Bottom line is if you prioritize seeing patients and putting your skills into practice, then maybe PWP is the route for you.
PsychAssist Tip: Most trainee PWP roles crop up around May/June for a September intake and October/November for a January intake. If you are interested in applying for these training roles, then don’t just limit your searches to NHS jobs as many private charities offer trainee roles and they advertise on sites such as Indeed.
AP’s Psychologist Supervision
One major counter-argument to PWP’s being the new AP’s is that many PWP’s don’t receive supervision from a qualified psychologist. One strength to being an AP is that you always receive supervision from a qualified psychologist, to think things through in a psychological way. These skills will help you develop your formulation skills and your knowledge and understanding of different psychological models. This also means that AP’s are exposed to a wide breadth of psychological models rather than PWP’s that only indulge in low-intensity CBT.
PsychAssist Tip: whether you’re a PWP or AP, make sure you utilize supervision as this time is crucial for your development (Check out How to Best Utilise Supervision, Pre-Qualified! for tips on how to do this). Also, AP’s have more frequent supervision than PWP which to some could be quite daunting however for others that crave that guidance, it’s very helpful.
PWP’s are expanding
Ok, so the final point is one that is probably the most controversial. Many people within the world of psychology have very strong opinions about the IAPT system; however, despite this, it does appear to be growing throughout the UK. The IAPT service originated in the adult mental health system, however, has now expanded into children’s services and even the forensic services. This could be one of the reasons why people view PWP’s as the new AP’s as there are more of them in the country.
PsychAssist Tip: Being a PWP also means a lot more job opportunities once you’ve completed your training. This could be very tempting to recent graduates as a career in Psychology is notoriously risky and uncertain. Nevertheless, it does appear that PWP’s are popping up everywhere at the moment and something that isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
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