My experience as an early career psychologist

My experience as an early career psychologist

psychologist Nov 22, 2018

Welcome to PPH! You have met Leza and now I would like to introduce myself and share some of my experiences throughout my career in psychology. Thank you for joining us, I am Susie Upton, a fully registered psychologist, Board Approved Supervisor and co-owner of Child Aware a counselling and psychology service. I am excited to share PPH with you and hopefully support you on your pathway to full registration.

I completed the 4+2 pathway over 10 years ago and learnt so much during this time! I have had great supervisors along the way, however nothing prepared me for the challenges early career psychologists face when working on the frontline with clients that are vulnerable, high risk and experiencing severe mental health issues. Part of my motivation to become a board approved supervisor and shared value of Leza and mine is the importance of support when working in psychology.

One of the most defining moments of my early career was the first time I needed to call an ambulance for a high-risk client who had engaged in self-harm and was experiencing a drug induced psychotic episode. It was the first time I experienced feeling ‘let down by the system’ in that I had done all the right things, all the steps that I was taught from the ‘text book’. 1. Assess risk 2. Call an ambulance 3. Remain with the client ……. And I waited….waited….waited for over an hour. The ambulance did arrive, and they supported the client to be transported to the hospital. Phew! This was the first time I realised things don’t always go to plan and I was alone, with my distressed client, trying to convince her to wait until the ambulance arrived. Just 2 hours later she had been released back into the community, back into my care as her treating professional. Ummmmm! Help!?! This was not the way it was meant to happen, this was not the process! She was meant to remain in the adult mental health ward until she was 100%!? Right? Wrong!

This moment was such an eye opener to me that has impacted on my career and motivated me to be board approved supervisor to support provisional psychologists in these crucial early years. I realised that the system didn’t let me down I had unrealistic expectations! Through PPH I hope that we can help you navigate through your own experiences, ensure your clients are adequately supported and ultimately achieve full registration with a well rounded understanding of the role and responsibilities of being a psychologist.

The thing I love about psychology is that you can do so much when you achieve full registration! Throughout my career I have used my degree in lots of ways, including management of counselling services and teams, working clinically with clients with a range of presenting issues, supervision of provisional psychologists and other professionals, developing and facilitating training and workshops, work in schools and homelessness services, the list goes on and the opportunities are endless! We are looking forward to working alongside you on your pathway to registration to see where your psychology journey takes you! At PPH we don’t have any lock in contracts – so stay for as little or as long as you need! Lets get started!


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