If you already work for the NHS or in Social Care as a support worker, psychology assistant, or even as a nurse, you may decide you’d like to change your career by moving into a psychological wellbeing practitioner (PWP) role and entering the IAPT arena.
You can apply to train as a PWP if you are already band 4, and will qualify when you successfully complete your training, enabling you to move on to band 5. Training will usually consist of one day a week academic work and 4 days supervised on-the-job. This band 5 pay level will enable many to continue on this career path, however there will also be many more opportunities to progress your career if you wish to.
There are also many opportunities to move into senior PWP roles, which will include supervision or even management, teaching and eventually specialism. Research has shown that two years working within a psychological role is needed to fully develop psychological wellbeing skills, before moving onto high intensity training.
What does a PWP do?
undertake patient-centred interviews, either face-to-face, on the telephone or via other media
identify areas where the person wishes to change how they feel
make an assessment of risk the client poses to themselves and others
provide self-help, liaise with other agencies and provide information about services
you will generally work with people with the following mild / moderate conditions:
- Panic Disorder
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
What does the future hold?
Low intensity, therapy based solutions as an alternative to drug-based treatments has been investigated by the NHS, government departments and private companies. Employment prospects for therapists are continually improving as a result of this, with focus on improving mental health, public health, and tackling obesity. There is likely to be an increase in cross disciplinary and community based opportunities for therapists in the future.