Honorary Psychology Assistant

SLVeteran Jackie

Education: MSc Psychological Research Methods - Nottingham Trent University, UK

Further Education: 'In October I will start my PhD in forensic Psychology; looking at the relationship between personality disorder and sexual preoccupation in sexual offenders'

SLV.Global Placement: Mental Health Placement June 2013

Current Role: 'For the past year I have been working as an honorary psychology assistant at a psychiatric hospital; low secure and locked rehabilitation units for individuals with borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia.'

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: 'My experience with SLV is something I will never forget and will forever be grateful for. It gave me the knowledge and confidence to follow my dreams and pursue my career in psychology. I had always loved psychology but was at a cross roads; not exactly knowing what or where I wanted to go with it. Having the privilege to work with some of the most kindest, altruistic people I have met opened my eyes and reinforced to me that this is the kind of work I want to continue doing. Becoming a volunteer co-ordinator gave me the confidence to realise I can be a leader and be very efficient and organised when needs be. I loved my time in Sri Lanka and can't wait to go back and visit the beautiful people and beautiful country!'

Tell us what you gained from your placement: 'Volunteering in Sri Lanka certainly helped to develop my CV, making me stand out from the rest of the crowd; showing that I am motivated and determined to pursue my career in psychology. During my PhD interview I gave examples of volunteering in Sri Lanka and what I had learnt, how teaching English and taking lead in some of the classes had proven to me I am also interested in teaching, and would love to continue this by lecturing whilst studying.'

'The ability to get along with all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. To communicate with people not only by verbal communication, but facial expressions, body language and gestures. To be able to lead a team and be confident in my decisions. To realise the beauty of the minor things, and not to take everything for granted. I learnt in Sri Lanka that although some of these people have nothing, they are still prepared to give you everything - something I like to bare in mind.'