Warren obtained a BA at University of Cambridge and then went on to complete a PhD on the cognitive processes in social anxiety and social phobia at the University of Oxford. Following this, Warren completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. Since June 2005, Warren has worked as a lecturer and a clinical psychologist for a primary care mental health service on an honorary basis.
I ended up working in clinical psychology as I conducted my research for my undergraduate course in the area and found it extremely interesting. I enjoyed the fact that research could be used to improve people's mental health. I got into the profession though quite an unusual route as I completed my PhD and through that met several researchers in the field. I was then accepted onto the clinical doctorate course. Once I had completed the course I got a job quite quickly doing both research and clinical practice, this work balance is quite effective as my clinical practice informs my research and vice versa.
In order to get into the clinical psychology profession it is important to take lots of small steps towards working with a clinical psychologist. Start with small modest roles such as working with a charity, helping with research or doing support work; think carefully about your dissertation topic and try to get articles published in magazines or online. Don't be disheartened by starting with smaller roles.
My degree subject was quite relevant in securing my current position. The most relevant skills I gained from my degree was the ability to develop an awareness of the psychological approaches to mental health and understanding of the importance of keeping up to date with current theories and the latest research.
Over the years my role has developed as I have been given more responsibilities, such as lecturing and teaching others. I now collaborate between different groups of people and have to work hard to balance my time between my clinical work and research. The most rewarding aspect of my role is being able to see a positive difference. I provide the opportunity for clients to talk to someone in a different way than they would to family and friends. This is liberating for them. The worst elements of my role are the sheer amount of work and trying to manage my time to fit it all in. I also find it challenging to work with other health professionals who have more rigid views on psychological distress.
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