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Psychology work experience

I’m in my second year of psychology at Salford uni and I want to gain some experience that would help me with my job search after uni but I’m unsure where I can find it or where to look. I’ve googled so many different things and am struggling.
I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist but I feel like this would be hard to achieve or find. I also wouldn’t mind volunteering or doing a placement anywhere related to psychology.
Also is it necessary to do a master once I’ve finished my degree? I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve.
Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! :smile:
Original post by ssnowcube
I’m in my second year of psychology at Salford uni and I want to gain some experience that would help me with my job search after uni but I’m unsure where I can find it or where to look. I’ve googled so many different things and am struggling.
I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist but I feel like this would be hard to achieve or find. I also wouldn’t mind volunteering or doing a placement anywhere related to psychology.
Also is it necessary to do a master once I’ve finished my degree? I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve.
Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! :smile:

Does your university not have a careers service which can help with finding some work experience?

Also, you say "I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve." However you don't actually mention what you want that career to be. (Saying you "just want to help people" is a tad broad.)

Finally, you mention shadowing a "clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist". Are those your potential career paths? Strange as it might seem, they're actually quite different from a post-graduate education perspective. For example, to practice as a Clinical Psychologist you need a HCPC-approved doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To practice as a counseller/therapist, you technically don't need a degree (although many employers would expect it, along with additional training and membership of a professional body like the BACP.)
Reply 2
Original post by DataVenia
Does your university not have a careers service which can help with finding some work experience?
Also, you say "I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve." However you don't actually mention what you want that career to be. (Saying you "just want to help people" is a tad broad.)
Finally, you mention shadowing a "clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist". Are those your potential career paths? Strange as it might seem, they're actually quite different from a post-graduate education perspective. For example, to practice as a Clinical Psychologist you need a HCPC-approved doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To practice as a counseller/therapist, you technically don't need a degree (although many employers would expect it, along with additional training and membership of a professional body like the BACP.)

They do but when I tried to book an appointment with them to discuss my career options it’s fully booked until march 2025 when I will be in my final year and I was looking for some guidance before then.
I didn’t mention what the exact career I want to be because I am unsure hence the word ‘lost’ and I just wanted to gain any experience in psychology generally as it may help me to decide. I was just giving examples on some work experience when I mentioned clinical psychologist but I was looking for some help or advice on where and how to find work experience in psychology as i have looked and found it difficult to find places. You said I would need additional training and that’s what I was asking about how would I go about finding places where I can get training.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by juicycc
I’m in my second year of psychology at Salford uni and I want to gain some experience that would help me with my job search after uni but I’m unsure where I can find it or where to look. I’ve googled so many different things and am struggling.
I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist but I feel like this would be hard to achieve or find. I also wouldn’t mind volunteering or doing a placement anywhere related to psychology.
Also is it necessary to do a master once I’ve finished my degree? I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve.
Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! :smile:

Can a placement be determined to count as credit, I know some courses do and some dont?

Necessary to do a masters, for what? what do you want to do?

Nevertheless you have a HUGE mental health department in Salford that you could approach for work experience, they'll naturally try to pass you to the psychologists but this is not necessary as an undergraduate as you'll be observational at best.

My advice would be to set out some parameters and contact the local departments and managers to see if they will accomodate you.
(edited 1 month ago)
Original post by juicycc
I’m in my second year of psychology at Salford uni and I want to gain some experience that would help me with my job search after uni but I’m unsure where I can find it or where to look. I’ve googled so many different things and am struggling.
I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist but I feel like this would be hard to achieve or find. I also wouldn’t mind volunteering or doing a placement anywhere related to psychology.
Also is it necessary to do a master once I’ve finished my degree? I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve.
Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! :smile:

When I say set out some parameters by the way, I mean almost go in with a CV, what you require, what you can do and what clearances and experience you have (or will get).

If you say email the CMHT team manager and say "I'm a year 2 psychology student looking for a placement" you'll just get ignored or deleted 99% of the time, they just don't have the time.

I can go into what I would say/want to see but I may be strong arming in so will do so if you wish/consent
Reply 5
Original post by wanga_wanga
When I say set out some parameters by the way, I mean almost go in with a CV, what you require, what you can do and what clearances and experience you have (or will get).
If you say email the CMHT team manager and say "I'm a year 2 psychology student looking for a placement" you'll just get ignored or deleted 99% of the time, they just don't have the time.
I can go into what I would say/want to see but I may be strong arming in so will do so if you wish/consent

I really appreciate the advice and yes please go into what you would say/want to see
Original post by juicycc
I’m in my second year of psychology at Salford uni and I want to gain some experience that would help me with my job search after uni but I’m unsure where I can find it or where to look. I’ve googled so many different things and am struggling.
I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist but I feel like this would be hard to achieve or find. I also wouldn’t mind volunteering or doing a placement anywhere related to psychology.
Also is it necessary to do a master once I’ve finished my degree? I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve.
Any advice or recommendations would be appreciated! :smile:

I would actually try to research some NHS Trusts local to you, check out their Health Psychology websites, see if they mention anything about placements. If not, send them an email enquiring if they have the capacity to offer summer placements.

I am currently in placement year and the Trust I am working in does this - ie., offer summer placements. You'd be surprised by the amount of students who manage to get a placement doing this!

I would say though it might be too late in the year for them to accept applicants, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Psychology-related volunteering opportunities would probably be mentoring/support groups, befriending schemes etc. Its worth looking at local charities in your area and seeing what they offer.

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep
Original post by juicycc
You said I would need additional training and that’s what I was asking about how would I go about finding places where I can get training.

For the "counseller/therapist" approach, a good place to start would be the "Training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist" page on the BACP web site.
Original post by CardiffUni Rep 2
I would actually try to research some NHS Trusts local to you, check out their Health Psychology websites, see if they mention anything about placements. If not, send them an email enquiring if they have the capacity to offer summer placements.
I am currently in placement year and the Trust I am working in does this - ie., offer summer placements. You'd be surprised by the amount of students who manage to get a placement doing this!
I would say though it might be too late in the year for them to accept applicants, but it doesn't hurt to try.
Psychology-related volunteering opportunities would probably be mentoring/support groups, befriending schemes etc. Its worth looking at local charities in your area and seeing what they offer.
~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep

Health psychology?
Original post by DataVenia
For the "counseller/therapist" approach, a good place to start would be the "Training to become a counsellor or psychotherapist" page on the BACP web site.

I dont think this is the ask. A psychology undergraduate degree is very academic in comparison
Original post by juicycc
I really appreciate the advice and yes please go into what you would say/want to see


OK

So firstly dont email a swamped nhs mental health department like you're waiting for them to fit you in.

"Dear sir/madam I am a second year student wondering if..."

Absolutely not.

You can articulate a generic email that sounds more.personal or takes minimal adjustments to not sound like fishing.

Id say something (top of head)

Like

Dear Juicycc,

I was wondering if you could support me with some work experience in your department.

I want to be upfront about what this means rather than have you try to fit me in.

I'm a second year undergraduate psychology student that can utilise a value placement for course credit whilst experiencing your department and not just reading about it in a book. I'm particularly interested in insert whatever early intervention in psychosis.

I have full enhanced dbs clearance including barred list and can evidence this.

As Im an undergraduate I understand I can mostly observe and to fulfil this course credit I need around 20 hours of this.

I can do this over the evening and weekend (whatever you can) and it takes a minimum input from yourselves as its mainly a reflective log about what I've observed. My tutor may need to call you but its x

A more concise version can be made mostly generic but more interested and less lazy.

Its probably easier to get this in an adult or post 16 service than kids
Original post by wanga_wanga
I dont think this is the ask. A psychology undergraduate degree is very academic in comparison

Agreed. I don't think it's what they're really looking for either.

The OP originally wrote "I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist". I picked-up on the difference and pointed out that "to practice as a Clinical Psychologist you need a HCPC-approved doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To practice as a counseller/therapist, you technically don't need a degree (although many employers would expect it, along with additional training and membership of a professional body like the BACP.)"

OP then picked my "additional training" phrase (which I only mentioned in the "counseller/therapist" context), and asked "You said I would need additional training and that’s what I was asking about how would I go about finding places where I can get training." That's why I sign-posted them to the training which a "counseller/therapist" might require.

Given that OP has said, "I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve," it's not terribly clear whether they're trying to head down the psychologist or counsellor/therapist route.
Original post by DataVenia
Agreed. I don't think it's what they're really looking for either.
The OP originally wrote "I would like to shadow a clinical psychologist or counseller/therapist". I picked-up on the difference and pointed out that "to practice as a Clinical Psychologist you need a HCPC-approved doctorate in Clinical Psychology. To practice as a counseller/therapist, you technically don't need a degree (although many employers would expect it, along with additional training and membership of a professional body like the BACP.)"
OP then picked my "additional training" phrase (which I only mentioned in the "counseller/therapist" context), and asked "You said I would need additional training and that’s what I was asking about how would I go about finding places where I can get training." That's why I sign-posted them to the training which a "counseller/therapist" might require.
Given that OP has said, "I’m just really lost when it comes to my potential career I just want to help people and it feels like it’s impossible to achieve," it's not terribly clear whether they're trying to head down the psychologist or counsellor/therapist route.

fair enough
Original post by wanga_wanga
Health psychology?

Yes - I would suggest this just as its an area I'm more familiar with, and there tends to be a couple placements offered in this field (as I am unsure how likely placements would be offered for straight mental health placement). Health psychology involves supporting the mental health of people with long term illnesses. It's an interesting area of psychology worth looking into!

~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep
Original post by CardiffUni Rep 2
Yes - I would suggest this just as its an area I'm more familiar with, and there tends to be a couple placements offered in this field (as I am unsure how likely placements would be offered for straight mental health placement). Health psychology involves supporting the mental health of people with long term illnesses. It's an interesting area of psychology worth looking into!
~ Fatiha, Cardiff University Student Rep

Oh it is, my only reticence was the, as you've said, less accessibility. But if this is the genuine interest of the OP and ive missed in Manchester has a vast paediatric liaison services as does Liverpool.

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