Case study

Psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) — Miriam

Miriam needs excellent time management and communication skills to deal with the high demand for her services. Find out more about her typical working day

How did you get your job as a PWP?

During my PWP training I contacted many local services and also spent time with two of the teams at my current organisation to get a better sense of the role in action in my area.

On completion of my training course I applied for a trainee position with a view to being employed as a qualified PWP once my qualification had been confirmed.

What's a typical day like?

I spend the first three hours of the day with a series of three clients whose difficulties include panic, health anxiety, obessive compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, social anxiety and generalised anxiety disorder. I then complete the admin regarding these clients before I break for lunch.

After lunch I might leave the office to facilitate a psychoeducational course off-site with a colleague. This could involve presenting information and techniques to up to 30 clients and encouraging feedback and questions. I then return to the office and complete the course-related admin. I will probably have a further client session before ending the day and receiving one hour of case management supervision, discussing my clients.

What do you enjoy most about being a PWP?

I love the range of clients that we speak to and are able to help. Every day is different and every session is a different problem and approach. Working alongside nurses and high-intensity colleagues means that I can learn about additional things to help me work with clients more effectively.

The courses are a great way to get out of the office and provide a different aspect to my day, as well as requiring a whole different set of skills.

What are the challenges?

The biggest challenge is the workload and high demand. Time management skills are a must in this role but if you get the balance right, it is definitely achievable and rewarding.

Learning to allow clients to take charge of their own recovery can initially be a challenge but comes with time and experience.

How has your role developed?

Over the last two years my role has developed in terms of the complexity of the clients that I'm treating. For example, I've received additional training to qualify me to treat clients with OCD.

In addition to client work, I've completed training to allow me to supervise a fellow PWP and also to facilitate clinical skills supervision.

My role also now includes involvement in the data monitoring of our system, facilitating courses within businesses and furthering my knowledge on the key subjects which I lead on.

What are your career ambitions?

I hope to continue my training to become a high-intensity therapist, although this is a difficult training route and less available due to demand.

How relevant is your degree?

The PWP qualification is essential and it's not common for people to be employed in this role without it. The course itself was integral and forms the basis of what I now do every day.

Theory and process is always complemented by the skills that you learn by doing the role and from the expertise around you.

What advice can you give to others?

If you want to pursue this role, be organised and always follow your passion for learning. There are often opportunities for development if you can follow your nose and not be afraid to stand out and say yes to things.

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