05 March 2021 | by Guest
Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWPs) support people experiencing anxiety, depression, panic, stress and insomnia by providing low intensity Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
These CBT based strategies are delivered through a “guided self-help” method, aimed to equip people with tools and techniques to manage the symptoms they’re experiencing.
I work in an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service in London that can be accessed by anyone registered with a local GP.
This means that some of the people we speak to have never talked to anyone about their mental health before – we’re their first contact with any mental health service.
Our work days are balanced between clinical work and projects to develop the service we work in.
A day of clinical work includes a mixture of assessment calls with people wanting to access the service and ongoing therapy sessions.
The way we interact and support our service users is varied, with therapy delivered in one to one sessions, online or in groups.
Other important aspects of the role are supervisors, both individual and in groups with fellow PWPs, and taking part in training to develop our clinical skills.
As PWPs, we’re always looking out for colleagues and aim to be just as good at our own self-care. We know that to be able to support others in such a fast-paced role it is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Breaks and chats with colleagues are always a good way to recharge.
Check-ins with each other have become even more important during the pandemic with the changes brought on by working from home and the disconnect felt by not seeing each other in the office each day.
There is no one path in to the role as a PWP, which makes for a diverse workforce.
I trained as a PWP after having completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in psychology followed by some years of clinical work, in a forensic community service and an NHS crisis resolution team.
Becoming a PWP has allowed me to do really meaningful work whilebuilding on a career in mental health. It’s an incredibly rewarding role – you meet people in a variety of life circumstances and get the privilege of providing support through teaching them methods they can use to continue to support themselves after therapy has ended.
Hedvig Nesse has been working as a psychological wellbeing practitioner in Islington since completing her training in 2019.
She is originally from Norway and has been studying and working in the UK for the last 10 years.
The society is supporting the development and recognition of the psychological professions, including the PWP role, in a number of ways. The BPS is the accrediting body for PWP training in the UK, providing quality assurance and oversight of the training route.
An individual registration scheme is also being pursued with NHS England so that individual practitioners in roles such as PWP can be registered as part of a voluntary scheme.
This will enable PWPs to demonstrate that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and competence to practise and provide assurance to employers and the public that competency, safe practice and high standards are maintained.