Experience in private practice

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Experience in private practice

Post by ClinPsyHopeful91 » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:54 pm

Hi all,

I'm a psychology conversion student and an aspiring clinical psychologist. Prior to starting my MSc, I've gained several years experience in the NHS in a clinical role. Despite my experience with patients/up to date DBS/voluntary work, I'm finding it difficult to secure any shadowing experience. I admit I've only attempted to contact clinical psychologists in the NHS, with those getting back to me saying they either have an AP or don't have the time. On adverts, honorary AP posts seem to be for those who already have GBC.

I thought I'd try private practice next, but not sure if that's going to be even more difficult? I'd even be happy with a day or two shadowing.

Any advice would be much appreciated.


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Re: Experience in private practice

Post by maven » Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:07 pm

You might want to read the wiki about why I can't always take volunteers, as your idea of shadowing is quite unrealistic. There is absolutely no way that anyone would be allowed to sit in with clients, or read files, because services are confidential and this offers no advantage to the client or clinician.

If you can offer to provide something to a CP then they might consider the effort of checking DBS checks, making up contracts and references, but they won't just do it for what you want to get from them! But even if they did think that it was worth offering some kind of placement or internship for the benefit of early career stage psychologists, if they advertised the opportunity they'd be able to pick and choose amongst lots of applicants (for example, I got 68 graduates with GBC applying for a voluntary post when I was in the NHS). I'm probably not alone in receiving quite a few speculative approaches though.

So you will need to think much more about getting a foot in the door by offering to do data entry, literature reviews, audits, or filing if you want to speculatively approach people looking to spend time in CP services, whether in the NHS or private sector.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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Re: Experience in private practice

Post by laurenr » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:03 am

My two pre-training AP posts were private companies. I got both of them by sending my CV to CPs and companies who may employ APs and a covering letter asking them to consider me if they ever got any AP posts, research work or internship opportunities. It's very alien when you're used to applying for jobs on NHS websites, but my experience was that if you can demonstrate what a Psychology graduate can offer a private CP or company, you might be lucky. For example, a letter and CV can convince a CP "on the fence" about employing an AP to make that leap. In my experience, I had to offer to pay for my own DBS (I never ended up actually paying), but then I could help summarise case files in medico-legal work (or checking what the CP thought they'd read), typing up reports, sitting with relatives and doing some psycho-education or offering an outside perspective and an ear to support workers. Good luck

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Re: Experience in private practice

Post by astra » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:14 pm

As a private practitioner I struggle to think how I could use an assistant. There's lots of admin type stuff they could usefully do, but as I rent a single room to practice from I wouldn't have anywhere to put an AP. I wouldn't want someone having remote access to my practice details and so on, so I'd only be happy if I could keep an eye on what they had access to, which then limits the work it would be possible to offer them. If I was cleverer with IT it might be possible to come up with some solutions, but so far I haven't been able to offer much to the many well qualified graduates who have approached me.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn

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