For my undergraduate placement as part of the BSc Psychology (Hons) degree at University of Bath, I worked as an honorary research assistant from July 2010 to May 2011. I conducted systematic assessments of maternal diagnostic status prior to treatment within a treatment trial of childhood anxiety (MaCh trial), producing detailed assessment records and clinical reports. I also attended weekly clinical supervision to discuss complex cases and to reflect on my decisions regarding diagnosis. I conducted research assessments with children with anxiety disorders and their families, pre and post treatment using a strict research protocol. I also transcribed child treatment session recordings and coded mother treatment session recordings for working alliance and treatment adherence.
This placement is the reason I am now in my final year of the PsychD Practitioner Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Surrey. The placement experience was extremely valuable and why I decided to pursue a career in clinical psychology in the first place. I learnt the true value of completing research within a clinical setting in order to refine and improve treatment protocols. I also learnt the importance of having a hard working, supportive team around me and the necessity of using clinical and research supervision in order to increase my skillset and identify my strengths/learning needs. I enjoyed this placement so much that I stayed on until September 2011 and then jumped at an opportunity to go back and work there when I graduated in 2012.
For anyone looking to go into either a research or clinical role, I would highly recommend this placement as you have the opportunity to experience both in practice. This will put you in a very good place for a future in research, therapeutic practice or clinical psychology (which involves a combination of the two).