We interviewed one of our alumni, Megan Holden, about her career to date. Megan graduated from the BSc (Hons) Psychology in 2019 with a specialism in Clinical Psychology. She now works as an Assistant Psychologist supporting a team of Clinical Psychologists, and is working towards applying for the doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Which course did you do at Northumbria and what have you done since graduating?

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology, specialising in Clinical Psychology in 2019. Since graduating I have gained full-time employment, working within the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley, NHS Trust. I initially started as the Activity Coordinator on the inpatient organic assessments wards at Auckland Park Hospital, where I also volunteered during my degree. In November 2020, I was successful in obtaining my current position as Assistant Psychologist. I also continue to work alongside Dr Jenny Paterson and Dr Genavee Brown to expand my dissertation research project. 

What is your current job title and what does your job involve?

I currently work as an Assistant Psychologist, within the Care Home Liaison team, across County Durham and Darlington. My role involves supporting the Clinical Psychologist based within the team, to deliver a formulation-based model of care. This involves: completing direct and indirect assessments with patients, families and care home staff; supporting formulation meetings with members of the multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to understand the person’s needs; helping to develop behaviour support plans collaboratively with staff; and promoting the use of non-pharmacological interventions to meet the person’s needs, reduce behaviours that challenge and distress.

What inspired you to follow your career path?

I have always been interested in mental health, which is supported by the clinical specialism of my degree. I was particularly inspired to continuing working within Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) as by volunteering with services users living with dementia and having personal experiences of the impact Dementia can have on a loved one, and how it can impact the family unit as a whole, it sparked my interest in organic mental illnesses. I hope to continue my career and grow as a professional within psychology by completing the Clinical Psychology Doctorate.

What advice would you give to current students wanting to follow a similar path?

The main piece of advice that I would give to other students wanting to follow a similar a career path to myself, would be to try and gain as much relevant experience whilst completing your degree as possible. Psychology is a very competitive field, so having obtained sufficient clinical and research experience during your time as an undergraduate, will put you in a good position to hopefully be successful in Assistant Psychologist roles after graduation.

What was your favourite thing about studying at Northumbria?

My favourite thing about Northumbria University was that I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people on my course, and I am sure we will remain life long friends! 

Want to hear more about careers in psychology? Head over to our Careers in Psychology blog

Interested in Clinical Psychology? Take a look at the British Psychology Society Careers Pages

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