My placement year was a great time to reflect and think about my future career

  • Date

    Thu 3 May 18

One of our psychology students, Rachelle Malcolm, is completing a successful year placement at iCope: the Camden and Islington Psychological Therapies Service, part of the local NHS Foundation Trust.

Rachelle said: "I’m completing my placement year at iCope, a psychological therapies and wellbeing service for people who display common mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and stress. I am a Honorary Assistant Psychological Practitioner.
"There are a range of things I have had the opportunity to get involved in over the course of my placement. I have three 'lead areas' each with different responsibilities. One of them is working on how to improve staff wellbeing. Weekly responsibilities include calling patients to introduce the service and book them in for their first appointment with their therapist. Another is helping the low intensity therapists with reading over patients' referral notes and previous episode notes to write a mini summary of them ready for the therapist to decide the best course of action.

"Other responsibilities include involvement with groups and workshops. These include the sleep group for people with insomnia, the emotional eating workshop for those with eating disorders, the feeling good group for those with anxiety and depression, just to name a few. It has been very thought-provoking to be able to observe the groups to learn the theory and strategies to help with some common mental health problems. 

"On a weekly basis my supervisor has clinics where she holds guided self-help therapy sessions and initial assessments, this is something which I am given the opportunity to observe. It’s interesting to follow and see the outcome of the weekly therapy sessions of a specific client. I write notes during the sessions and we go over them in our supervisions for me to type up and upload on to the database.
"Overall, I am really enjoying my placement year and am glad of the opportunity. It has involved a real mix of admin and clinical tasks. It’s also given me a chance to experience working life, see the daily life of a few professions in this mental health setting and talk to therapists and psychologists about their career path and choices. It has been a great time to reflect and consider what I would like to do in the future whilst getting hands on experience. I would recommend anyone to do one too. "