Assistant Psychologist

SLVeteran Asha

Education: BSc Psychology and MSc Psychological Research Methods - University of Exeter, UK.

SLV.Global Placement: Advanced Placement, Sri Lanka

Current Role: Since my placement with SLV.Global I returned to university to finish my undergraduate degree and then I carried on and did a MSc in Psychological Research Methods. During my masters I volunteered as an Assistant Psychologist with Virgin Care and a Grief Support Worker with a local charity called Balloons. I also did some voluntary work as a research assistant and at Headway Devon working with individuals with brain injury. After I finished my masters I became a Graduate Teaching Assistant within the Psychology department at the University of Exeter. I have just started my PhD at Exeter which is examining how psychological therapies (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Behavioural Activation) work to treat depression.

Tell us about your SLV.Global experience: 'My 5 weeks in Sri Lanka was jam packed with loads of activities. I had the opportunity to teach English to Monks and to children in development centres, as well as volunteering at the women's rehabilitation centre and a psychiatric facility. This was the first opportunity I had to work in clinical settings, and what an incredible experience it was to get an insight into working with patients, but also the lovely Sri Lankan culture. Not only did I get to experience this, I met loads of lovely people and still keep in touch with them.'

Tell us what you gained from the placement: 'For most of the voluntary positions I managed to get after getting back from Sri Lanka, the interviewers were always so intrigued about my unique volunteering experience in Sri Lanka. It has opened up so many doors. I still use the planning and organisation skills that I developed when I had to prepare English teaching lessons for the Monks and children at the development centres. Because of the language barrier, a large part was developing the ability to answer questions in different ways and this has helped so much in my role as a graduate teaching assistant, where I mainly teach statistics. Another important skill that I still use is reflection. The ability to look back on my experience and how I could better myself in the future. And I have gained so much confidence, after meeting a variety of different people in Sri Lanka.'