Placement update and End of MSc!!

As you know, I didn’t succeed at the first placement interview so I emailed the course secretary at my university  to ask her if it’s possible to get an interview at a different place. Well, guess what they replied me with details of another Children and Young People Service Centre! This time they were specific that the centre has agreed to accept a first year trainee. This news revived my excitement! I’m so glad I am able to have another go at trying out for CAMHS. I will try my best and hope that I get it.

Anyhow, I handed in my dissertation today!!!! Finito! Another degree K.O! (not like I’m planning to do loads of degrees). In the end I cut it down to about 14.5k words but packed full of my hard work and dedication for the past few months. I am so proud of myself.

It had been one eventful morning which consists of me waiting patiently for a printing shop to open, pacing about waiting for them to finish printing and binding and handing it in! And what a lovely surprised I had when I bumped into few of my course mates. Followed by lunch with an ex course mate of mine which is going on to do Clinical Psychology. We talked about some of the differences and similarities between Counselling and Clinical Psychology. She doesn’t think there are many differences except maybe the Clinical Psychologist Trainees get paid while we don’t! Anyhow, Great stuff! It was just absolutely delightful to catch up with them before I leave for England next week. Next week! One more month to the start of my professional training in Counselling Psychology. To put it in a cliche way: The end to all beginnings. Finally, I got into something that I have been working towards. All those jobs here and there in counselling centres, support work, charities, research paid off. It has been a truly outstanding experience.

By the way, for anyone who are interested, the abstract for my dissertation is as follow:

Tittle: Vicarious Traumatisation Revisited: Capacity for Growthful Experience for Therapists Working with Traumatised Children and Young People

ABSTRACT

It has been well documented that work with these client groups is hazardous in nature and therapists could potentially experience a change in previous memory and schema as a result of this exposure (vicarious traumatisation). Moreover, growth following adversity has been displayed in survivors of trauma (posttraumatic growth). This dissertation aims to bridge the gap between these two phenomena in an effort to explore the personal development of therapists as a result of negative emotional demands. This is done through obtaining rich descriptive accounts from counsellors and psychotherapists. The interviews showed that it is difficult not to acknowledge the phenomenal role personal values and beliefs plays in counsellors and psychotherapists process towards achieving growth. Also, analyses of the interviews found that they were more aware of the real world and this comes with the notion of uncontrollable circumstances, realising that children and young people are extremely resilient which encourages hope and that they gain personal growth from observing client’s growth. They appeared to have rearranged their previous schemas to accommodate the knowledge they acquired through work with traumatised children and young people.

 

 

16,055 words and I’m done!

First draft done!

My final thoughts as copied from my dissertation

Before I conclude my study, I would like to say that this dissertation does not intend to disregard the phenomenal pain and distress trauma could cause, nor the struggles that practitioners face when working with highly undesirable materials. There would be some who might find life unappealing after a great tragedy or lose faith in humankind and might never regain it again.

This research had touched me deeply especially Arnold, Calhoun, Tedeschi and Cann’s paper on vicarious posttraumatic growth. I believe I have achieved a degree of personal maturity from interacting with the participants in this study. Their determination to make sense and find light amidst such emotionally demanding work is indeed admirable. I walked away from this study having the concepts brought to live for me. No doubt, I would still experience vicarious trauma of my own during and after my training as a psychotherapist but I certainly am more prepared than I have been few months ago. It is certainly true that

An explicit recognition of trauma work’s potential for positive outcomes might well encourage clinicians to adopt the perspective underlying so many of the reports of the clinicians – that the tears that they shed on behalf of their clients represent an extraordinary opportunity for personal growth. (Arnold, Calhoun, Tedeschi and Cann, 2005: 260)

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