Clinical Psychology Doctorate Student

SLVeteran Aisling

SLVeteran-Aisling

Education: Psychology - University of Lincoln, UK

SLV.Global Placement: Mental Health Placement, May 2015

Current Role: ‘As soon as I returned I worked as an Assistant Psychologist in a Psychiatric Hospital. I’ve just been accepted onto the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Course at the University of Sheffield! Before that I worked as a support worker in learning disabilities and mental health.’

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: ‘I went to Sri Lanka with SLV in May 2015. At first I thought it was only going to be mental health placements but I’m SO glad that I was in a variety of different settings with different populations and challenges…it meant I could add to my experiences as it was the first time I had had experience of teaching. This was the thing that gave me the most confidence I think.’

Tell us what you gained from the placement: ‘Mainly in terms of being able to reflect on my experiences and not just that I had had the experience. SLV meant I worked in so many different settings with such different people in a completely different culture. Being able to reflect on how this has impacted on how I work, relate and empathise with people from a wide range of backgrounds has really what has been beneficial for me. SLV gave me the opportunity to see a different way of working and doing things and the impact of culture and society on mental health – things which I think are really important topics in Psychology at the moment.’

‘Confidence. Being able to work, live and travel with a brand new set of people has made me much more confident in everything from my current role to interviews. Also, just being able to see how other people experience things and how they understand things without being limited by my own culture and perceptions. I think the biggest thing is being able to empathise with others and being able to relate to people who are from such a different culture – but in a way that they feel supported and interested in and don’t just have this experience of westerners coming over and “doing their bit”. SLV was about the people and services I was working with and it was just lucky that I benefitted from the experience too.’