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Here is the next installment in our "A Week In The Life Of" series!

Hello! What is your name and where are you from?

Hello, my name is Vivien and I'm from Leeds. 

Where do you work and what is your job?

I am an Assistant Psychology at a psychiatric hospital in West Yorkshire. 

Please can you tell us a little more about where you work and the industry it is in?

I work in the acute psychological services at a psychiatric hospital for people with severe mental health.

What is a typical day like in your job?

Usually, I start the day discussing the current patients with the multidisciplinary team, then spend the day doing formulation based work, exploration of trauma, interventions, assessments and therapies with the patients. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There is so much variety in the role, patient-facing work, it's intellectually challenging, and there's lots of room for growth in your role.

Did you go to college or university? If so, what did you study and where?

I studied Psychology at the University of Liverpool. I then studied my Masters degree at San Diego State University studying Rehabilitation Counselling, specialising in psychiatric rehabilitation and cognitive disabilities.

Why did you choose to study this subject/s?

I find these subjects really interesting and they help me work towards my goal of becoming a Doctor of Clinical Psychology.

Does your degree relate to your job? If so, how?

Yes it does, working with people with mental health issues and cognitive disabilities requires applying theory, models and interventions, all of which I learnt from my degree. 

How has the COVID-19 lockdown affected your job?

When I worked in the Out Patient Community team, I had to work from home and couldn’t meet patients face to face. This Had a big impact of therapy we could do. Now I work in inpatient, covid only effects the safety measures we take and PPE we have to wear.

Please can you tell us about your "Career Journey"?

When studying for my undergraduate degree I did placements in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program in a prison, and volunteered for 3 years at an eating disorder charity to gain experience. I worked in a variety of different settings to see what area I liked working in, including support work in mental health homes, learning disabilities in schools, brain injury programs, older adults out patient and inpatient psychology. I have always wanted to be a psychologist so it’s been a matter of finding what area of psychology I liked best.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who is looking into the job sector you work in?

Get placements and do lots of volunteering to gain experience and see where your passions lie.

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