Find out about Jamie’s experience studying an MSc Early Intervention in Psychosis at the IoPPN at Kings College London.
During my undergraduate degree, we learnt about abnormal psychology and one aspect of this was psychosis. It was a disorder that immediately caught my interest due to its complex symptomology. I wanted to understand this condition at post-graduate level.
Early Intervention in Psychosis is important because there is evidence to suggest that early treatment of the illness results in reduced risk of relapse, better clinical outcomes and higher social functioning. This makes the study of this approach incredibly important.
I feel the course is structured very well because it gave me the opportunity to understand treatment and research from a holistic perspective. For example, we learnt about anti-psychotic treatments, as well as psychosocial treatments.
I enjoyed the way the course was taught. We had lecturers who were at the cutting edge of their respective fields, such as Professor Robin Murray, who would make seminars incredibly engaging. I also enjoyed the practical aspects of the course that include role-playing aspects of psychosocial therapy, as well as getting first-hand experience of psychosis from service users.
I did my clinical placement in the Lambeth Early Onset Community Team which is part of the South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. I came in twice a week and shadowed the mental health nurses in the community. I learnt how the multi-disciplinary team works together within the community and saw the different challenges that mental health professionals face. The most interesting thing about my clinical placement was shadowing mental health practitioners in the community and watching them use motivational interviewing techniques, as well as building therapeutic relationships with service users.
After completing the MSc Early Intervention in Psychosis, I worked as a support worker within a secure mental health facility and eventually gained a position as an assistant psychologist within this placement. I am now training to become a psychological wellbeing practitioner.
The MSc Early Intervention in Psychosis helped me progress in my career as it helped me gain a holistic understanding of psychosis and because of this, when I started working with service users who were suffering from this mental health problem, I was able to understand their experience from both a clinical and human perspective.
I would recommend Early Intervention in Psychosis because you will be taught by world-renowned mental health professionals and researchers who are at the top of their field. The course covers a huge amount without feeling overwhelming. Perhaps most importantly, it made me feel prepared to work with service users who were experiencing this complex mental health problem.
To write a successful application to the course, I think it is crucial to show that you’re passionate about the subject. I think one thing that was particularly helpful for me when applying was understanding why I wanted to do the course and then articulating this within the application.
On the course, actively engage in discussions and do not be afraid to challenge some of the material. When I was studying for the masters, I found that questioning some of the studies really clarified what the counter arguments were to my points and which views had the strongest evidence base.