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First month as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist

Month picture, illustrated calendar

Tips and tricks from my first month.

This blog was written for any other provisional psychologist or fellow psychology student, or even anyone interested in what it’s like to work in this field. So now that I am through my first month as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist let’s talk about the nitty gritty stuff shall we?

Thank you for reading this far along and joining me in this adventure, it’s exciting right?

Just like every other human Psychologists have a stress trigger and response.

I find it ironic that the person that is meant to have all the knowledge and skills to avoid stress , just like every other human has a stress trigger and response. This just in, STRESS HITS US ALL. Boutique Psychology, two words I now hear in my sleep. Provisional psychologist and St Kilda are more words that I hear in my sleep.

I say these words every single day, at least 15 times day. No one knows what provisional means and they don’t really get it. People hear early career psychologist and that makes a little more sense, but still not so clear. Let me clear things up for anyone that is itching their scalps with a confused look on their face.

What is a provisional psychologist?

A provisional psychologist is like a child riding a bike for the first time, they have their training wheels on. In this job have my metaphorical training wheels on and a flotation device around my body so that I can’t skink ever. Still following?

First, you go through at least 4 years (that’s 2 different degrees of education so you build your foundations. Make sure they’re strong. Top tip, it’ll all be helpful even the dreaded statistic lectures). And then you have a choice. You can get your third degree and do a masters and then do a year of your internship. Or you can do a 4 plus 2 program. Which is essentially masters and internship grad year rolled into one. Are you following me or have I lost you?

Now I may be biased but I have heard that some of the best psychologists have came out of the 4 plus 2 program. Personally I think it is because when you are brand spanking new you have a basic understanding. But this program lets you build all those areas up in a supported and also self-paced kind of way so I feel like things just stick.

Pressure pushing down on me.

I know, I know, It is a lot to take in. The amount of pressure that we put on ourselves is insane!!! Forget the pressure that sits on us from our peers, our boss, the medical board. Not to scare off any early career psychologist thinking about this or in the first 6 months of their registration. I do a lot of outside hours reading. A LOT.

Lots of case conceptualisation. Lot’s of research. Lot’s of planning. Oh the amounts of planning. AND THEN on top of that plus a full time workload and you know, actually living a life (if my coach is reading this. I am sorry but I do not have time for 12k steps daily. I now settle for 3 times a week. Good enough right?). We also have national board requirements. We have log book.

Top tip from my first month as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist.

Don’t get behind in your log books. If you can do them weekly if not daily because trust me! Learn from my mistake, I let it go for 3 weeks and just no thank you. Never. Again. Ever. Please and thank you).

This role isn’t for the faint of heart. This is a protected title. You are crafting your skills. Learning assessments. Learning new approaches. New systems. New everything and then also writing essays and case studies and sitting exams and doing all these other things. People may give you grief about it, but it is a little bit of persistent and a whole lot of dedication to yourself and your craft.

Sorry for the waffle. By now you should now that I love to waffle……. I mean, come on it’s in my job title if you read super finely at the invisible printed ink, I literally get paid to talk guys.

Recap and Top Tips: first month as a Provisionally Registered Psychologist.

  1. Provisional Psychology is learning and working at the same time.

  2. Stress is okay. But don’t let it get the best of you.

  3. Please don’t let the pressure get to you. Make sure you add fun and joy into your life. Whatever that looks like.

  4. Do those log books. If you can daily. It will help trust me. Never ever let them get more than a few weeks behind (p.s count everything. Everything you do in your day-to-day work life counts. So log them).

  5. Lean on your peers and your support.


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