When considering a future in psychology it's prudent to start working in the field in some capacity as soon as possible to increase your knowledge and experience level. When looking for jobs in psychology there many different routes you can take, as psychology is a huge discipline! Are you wanting to work with companies? Individuals? Groups? In a school? An office? A hospital? Private practice? What if you don't know yet?
It's perfectly natural to not know for certain what, specifically, you want to do for the rest of your life. Or even if you need to think about the rest of your life yet. What about right now? What opportunities are available?
There are a range of psychology jobs, psychology internships and psychology volunteering opportunities out there but, it's good to remember, many of these opportunities are dependant on your current experience level, so please be realistic with your expectations. It's also helpful to think about what kind of role you are best suited to and what you would enjoy. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your role so that you can be as confident and effective as possible. Here are a selection of psychology jobs which may be right for you.
These roles are primarily focused on personal interactions with clients residing in care. You may be based at a psychiatric facility, a rehabilitation centre, a specialised private care centres or even a client's home. These roles involve providing a social outlet for clients, delivering meals and administering medication and assisting the medical team in their duties. This role can be challenging, but are also rewarding. All Healthcare Assistants (HCAs) undergo a high level of mandatory training before they are permitted to work with clients. This training prepares them to deal with behavioural difficulties and teaches de-escalation techniques and basic CPR.
The primary function of a befriender is to work with individuals with long term mental health conditions that suffer from isolation. This role also usually includes training, although sometimes this needs to be funded by the individual. Befrienders are matched with an individual and meets with them a few times during the week to offer regular, community-based support, companionship and encouragement. This can help clients become more independent and increase confidence. Befrienders often take clients out to the movies, to Bingo or other social events to improve overall wellbeing and self-esteem.
Mental health support workers focus on people with long term mental health problems. The support they provide is to assist people in the community who have mental health issues to adjust to life outside of a hospital. The main role is to support individuals who have spent some time as inpatients in a psychiatric facility to live as independently as possible. This work is predominantly support- based and involves providing advice and guidance as well as social support. Support workers usually have multiple clients at one time and work in a variety of settings.
Activity Support Worker
Similarly to the mental health support worker, Activity Support Workers often work in hospitals, residential centres and care homes and are responsible for running interactive, therapeutic activities for residents. This role can involve challenging stigma as well as promoting recovery. Often these roles are multi-faceted and challenging, as they involve working with diverse client groups of various ages and abilities in groups as well as one-on-one. All of our opportunities at SLV.Global involve Activity Support work and are a great way to beef up your CV if you're lacking in practical experience.
Assistant psychologist jobs, which exist to provide support to clinical psychologists, are highly competitive and are primarily for psychology graduates looking to pursue the clinical doctorate themselves. Assistant psychology jobs are viewed by most as a step towards becoming a clinical psychologist, as the ability to work so closely with a clinical professional affords a huge amount of relevant experience. Typical responsibilities of an Assistant Psychologist are; assessments, writing reports and analysing research, implementing treatment under supervision and administering psychological tests and evaluating progress of patients.
All of the above psychology job opportunities are a great way to expand your experience level if you're looking to move towards a future working in the mental health sector. If you're passionate about mental health, and are looking to increase your practical experience, we'd love for you to join us on one of our placements abroad. You can find out more by requesting an Info Pack.