The financial assistance provided by the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary has enabled me to more comfortably participate in my placement year. I currently am part of the ChYPS team which provides support for young people and families with mental health problems. I have only been on my placement for a short while but I already feel intergraded into the team and have been given jobs that I feel are significant assignments that are important to the service. This could include things such as analysing feedback from certain events that ChYPS had organised – this feedback would determine if the events would become more frequent, and potentially get commissioned to do so. These events included an open day intended to reach out to the reach out to the public and relevant services. It allowed various services to talk to the clinicians and as there is often miscommunication between everyone and therefore the continuation of events such as this will mean that services will work together more effectively, ultimately easing transitions and referrals for clients.
I was given a similar task for an ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) Day the clinic I am working in ran. This day was intended to be an educational day for parents whose children had recently been diagnosed with ASD. This is a developmental disorder and so would have been present from birth, meaning any challenging behaviours would have been present long before the formal diagnosis. This day was intended to address these behaviours by teaching them about the typical thinking styles of individuals with ASD in order to induce more appropriate responses from the parents. I therefore felt that this day was important to continue – and for this to happen it must be commissioned. Commissioning requires feedback information and therefore my presentation of such feedback could encourage support for these events.
I was also given a number of ROM’s to upload which are a time 1 and 2 measures for assessing any reduction in symptoms. Such tasks are mandatory within this field and are often required for the next stage of my career and I am therefore happy to be competent in them. However due to them being somewhat menial, my supervisor always matches any work like this that I do with relevant clinical experiences. This includes; sitting in on first time meetings with clients (and I am beginning to make notes for clinicians during these meetings so they do not have to multi-task), assisting in leading group therapy sessions (of which I will be doing my project for the university on their effectiveness), observing follow-up sessions and the occasional individual therapy sessions. This is a rare experience for a student as often clinicians fear that the therapeutic alliance will be threatened in the presence of an observer (or even outsider). I therefore am grateful to the team I work with for going out of their way to further my experinces. I am also grateful to the University of Kent Work Experience Bursary as without this assistance, it would have made my transition here much more difficult.
– Anaise Leney is in her penultimate year of BSc Applied Psycholgy at the University of Kent