My early journey as a Provisional Psychologist seemed like a blur.
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. Hopefully there is some pieces of information that you wish you knew but no one ever really states.
This blog aims to give insight to what this industry is like from someone that is new and finding their feet.
How to manage life and student commitments as a Provisional Psychologist.
After studying for what seemed like forever I did a Bachelor’s in Psychology, followed by 4th-year post-graduate honours. Maybe it’s not that long but coping with the COVID chaos felt like losing my momentum at some stages of the journey. Hoping to have a career in psychology. Funny that right?
A few degrees in psychology to become a psychologist. Who would ever have thunk it? Once I finished my study and thought, ‘Shit, what now?’ . Don’t want to sugar-coat it, I struggled to find a 4 plus 2. The 4 plus 2 is essential, it’s an internship into the world of psychology. The 4 plus 2 is a pathway towards full registration and independent work as a psychologist.
How to navigate as a new clinician in the field.
After around a year of hunting for a full-time Provisional Psychologist position I found a fantastic place. In St Kilda, at Boutique Psychology, with Cindy and her team. So, here’s a heads up! If you’re planning to take this pathway and explore the world of supervision, be ready to do a lot of paperwork… I mean a lot.
Finding a primary and a secondary supervisor can be daunting. Finding your feet is even trickier. I went into this role thinking, ‘I’m prepared, I’m ready, and I know enough’ . It turns out, I don’t know anything and that’s cool because I’ve heaps of room to grow. Learning in an environment that’s preparing and prompting me for an amazing career is just what I wanted.
Some aspects I didn’t know that I would need in my life as a Provisional Psychologist
You may be overwhelmed, nervous, excited, and scared out of your mind about doing everything on time and perfectly. Worse still, what if despite crossing ‘t’s and dotting ‘i’s, your plan still gets rejected by the Board?
So many hours of supervision, professional development.
That AHPRA wanted you to print and fill in a gazillion forms, sign them and scan them and attach them as PDFs.
Proving my English skills by contacting the Victorian education department to buy my Year 12 exam scores.
That my internship proposal plan had to be so exact.
Some stuff that’s worked out in my life as a Provisional Psychologist
Being super stressed about not finding anywhere, then out of nowhere Boutique Psychology opened its doors to me. My friend was a provisional psychologist working with Cindy at the time and after a few conversations and a sheer stroke of luck, the stars aligned. Cindy was hiring and looking to mentor a student which meant giving them an opportunity that not a lot of places were offering.
We had a phone conversation, then a face to face interview and “BAM”, I landed myself this role. Cindy has made the process so easy, so calm and straightforward. Phew!!! A little background to most of these roles, they come with a tone of paperwork. Navigating completely new terrain and finding your feet as a new clinician is a huge adjustment. Cindy made it all seem much more attainable.
Some stuff you might like to know
Blogging about my life as a Provisional Psychologist I can look back and smile when it’s over. If something I write here gives you giggle or helps you put some pesky bit of the ‘being provisional puzzle’ in place, that will be cool too.
Loving psychology, loving having this job and being so supported by the Boutique Psychology team. There are loads of ups and downs, and sometimes I feel like crying and throwing myself in the bin, but I don’t. This is a brand new chapter for me, and I’m fully ready.
Get your admin head in gear and get your ‘document ducks’ in a row. You probably didn’t get into psychology for the paperwork, but your life in psych will be immeasurably easier if you get a grip on it early.
Just when you’re thinking ‘something’s gotta give’ or I’ll never find that elusive 4 and 2, something gives.
Hold tight friends. We’re in this together.