Fiona Glenn (2002 Leaver) – Understanding and Meaning: A Journey to Clinical Psychology
Understanding and Meaning: A Journey to Clinical Psychology
I’ve always been driven to understand people and situations better. While at Merchants I volunteered with the school’s Listening Service and the Stroke Association – these gave me the opportunity to use my curiosity about others to support people. I loved Biology with Mrs Fairburn, and Politics with Mr Cox. These subjects allowed me to appreciate the complexity of our world, and the chance to start developing an interest in the scientific method, and think about how larger, social / systemic factors impact on our lives. Following from this, it was Psychology that I settled upon for university. Psychology has a basis in scientific understanding, with strong theoretical underpinnings; it also offered me the potential to develop into a career in which I might be able to help others too.
It’s been a long process to finally qualify as a Clinical Psychologist – the academic demands (undergraduate, a master’s and then a doctorate) can seem to take forever! Each step has been varied and fulfilling – I’ve worked with many different people, been part of lots of interesting teams and made amazing friends along the way. Most recently, since I qualified, I took up a post in a Drugs and Alcohol Service in Middlesex.
The role of a Clinical Psychologist varies hugely. In my current job an average week involves: conducting an evaluation of the service, supervising the work of colleagues, working with clients in individual and group settings, and delivering training. I have the opportunity to help people to address their drug and alcohol use directly, but also to support their development of ‘recovery capital’ – the resources that will help someone to recover from drug use. With this in mind, I work directly to support people’s mental health, relationships and parenting skills. I work as part of a team of Occupational Therapists, Social Workers, Nurses and Psychiatrists, and together we are able to support most aspects of a person’s recovery – we also link up with voluntary organizations wherever possible.
While at Merchants I had the opportunity to understand some of what I wanted from life, the values I held, and what careers might be able to achieve this. Psychology has given me one way to achieve these values, and as such is both challenging and rewarding.
Dr Fiona Glenn (2002 Leaver)
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