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Hey Lawson, thanks for making the time for this conversation. Please could you introduce yourself to the network?
Of course. I am a first-year Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology Training and Research within the University of Oxford. I am also the Pre-Qualification Representative for the BPS Division of Neuropsychology (DoN).
Ah, I'm looking forward to finding out more about your roles! What’s your favourite part of training to be a psychological professional?
That’s a tough question. In my eyes, training to be a psychological professional is fascinating and rewarding because of the variety of settings in which you train. Mental health professionals are increasingly being integrated into various health services such as physical health settings, enabling psychological professionals in training to discover which kind of services they would like to work in most. Perhaps the best aspect of training is that you can do so alongside compassionate, supportive and likeminded people within your training cohort.
Given your BPS DoN hat, I get the sense you discovered that you like to work in neuropsychology services. I’d be interested to hear about what this BPS DoN role entails..?
That’s certainly correct! My role in the BPS involves representing and supporting people who have not yet qualified as mental health professionals, who are either working in settings where neuropsychology is relevant, or who would like to pursue a career in neuropsychology. This includes being a voice for Trainee Psychologists, Support Workers, Research Assistants, and Assistant Psychologists to name a few. I have a particular interest in using a pre-qualification perspective to increase diversity in the field and make neuropsychology more inclusive as a profession.
It’s great to hear you are interested in increasing diversity and inclusivity, which is one of priorities too. This leads us nicely to ‘Mind the Gap’… Please could tell us a little about it?
Absolutely. ‘Mind The Gap’ is a platform aimed at supporting individuals who would like to become psychological professionals. ‘Mind’ refers to psychology, and ‘the gap’ refers to the ‘bottleneck’ many pre-qualified psychological professionals find themselves in after graduating. ‘Mind the Gap’ offers content and collaborations which provide tips and advice to people who would like to work in the field of mental health. This advice comes from the up-to-date perspectives of individuals who have just been offered a training place or are currently in training, who know what training courses are currently looking for in a psychological professional.
Sounds like an innovative resource, Lawson. Speaking of innovation, what are your thoughts on the first National Vision for Psychological Professionals in England?
In my opinion, the national vision for psychological professionals in England is an encouraging one. As the number of mental health professionals increases, I hope to see psychological professions become more even more welcoming to people from a variety of backgrounds to ensure services can best meet the needs of the public. I also hope to see organisations support staff from different walks of life when they join the psychology field to crucially maintain them in the different professions.
Yes, I do agree with that. Well, that’s all my questions. Thanks for making the time today Lawson. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Well, just to say thank you for taking the time to interview me, and thank you to anybody who has read this blog. If you have any thoughts about how pre-qualified psychological professionals could be supported through my role in the DoN, or you would like to know more about myself or ‘Mind The Gap’, follow this link: https://linktr.ee/MindTGap.
You can also find out more about the Clinical Psychology profession by visiting the Psychological Professions Career Map.
Trainee Clinical Psychologist, University of Oxford & BPS DoN Pre-Qualification Representative