As part of my MSc course I was given the opportunity to undertake a yearlong placement within the AnDY Research Clinic. The main aspect of this role was to conduct semi-structured diagnostic interviews with adolescents, and their parents, to assess and understand current mood difficulties. This role allowed me to develop a range of clinical skills such as building rapport with the young people and their parents, as the interview encourages disclosure of sensitive information that may be particularly difficult to talk about. The presence of a clinical psychologist was also beneficial as it provided opportunity to observe and work alongside an experienced clinician in practice and see how they interact with the patients and their families.
The experience and contact with a clinical population was a particularly valuable tool for personal development, and cemented my long term goal to work therapeutically with individuals experiencing internalizing disorders. The placement also provided the skills necessary to undertake a clinically relevant PhD as it is essential for me to be able to recognise and manage distress whilst conducting experimental research.
Overall, I would highly recommend working as part of the AnDY Research Clinic as it has been hugely beneficial for both my personal and professional development.