Every year The Mind Room provides placement opportunities for up 6 provisional psychologists from an outstanding pool of applicants and offers a rare opportunity for professional growth within a private practice setting.  From working on front of house, to client-facing hours and facilitating group programs, provisional psychologists are introduced to the full gamut of experiences available. "Baby psych" is our affectionate name for the very talented and minimum six year trained student psychologists that join us at The Mind Room.

We sat down with our newest recruits - Lucinda Poole and Thea Bridgman – to talk placement processes and provisional practice.

Hi Lucinda and Thea *waves
Lucinda/Thea: Hi

So tell us, what is a provisional psychologist?
Lucinda/Thea: Someone in a post graduate psychology program who practises under the supervision of an endorsed senior psychologist. In both our cases we are supervised by a clinical psychologist (since we’re in the clinical stream).

How do you apply for a placement generally?
Thea: At my uni, we have a placement coordinator who submits our applications, based on our preferences. An application consists of a resume cover letter like any other job you might apply for and for most places you also have to go to an interview.

Were you worried about not getting a placement?
Lucinda: 
No, if you don’t get one, then you’re sure to get another.  I felt as though I was well supported by my university.

What have you done to prepare for professional work?
Lucinda:
 Just like a fully-fledged psychologist we are strictly supervised. At university we are observed, examined and given thorough feedback.

What experience do you bring to this placement?
Lucinda and Thea: Clinical Doctoral students have to complete 2 years of practical placement (2 days a week).  So currently we’re in our final 6 months. From leaving school it takes about 6-7 years of University to complete your training. Then another 2 years or supervised practice to become endorsed in your area of specialisation.

What populations have you worked with?
Thea: child and family mental health, youth drug and alcohol, aged psychiatry
Lucinda: Young people aged 12-25, adult psychiatric inpatients and outpatients

How are you supported in your role as a provisional psychologist at The Mind Room?
Thea: Each provisional psychologist has one-on-one supervision once a week. It is as space where you can ask questions and develop your learning goals, discuss cases and treatment plans in a supportive and confidential environment. The aim of supervision is to develop professionally with an expert in the field. I also love attending group supervision, because you get to hear from other clinicians with diverse professional experiences.

What interested you about the mind room to apply?
Thea: The major things that were that it is a mindfulness based clinic and uses a lot of ACT and positive psychology and place a lot of emphasis on wellbeing. I wanted to develop my skills in ACT because I like the idea of moving away from symptoms focus i.e. reduction, which is sometimes difficult, I’d like to connect with people’s values and help create a meaningful life as being more important.
Lucinda:  Emphasis on positive psych and everything that goes a long with that was more suited me in terms of practise and philosophy. I’m interested in promoting on wellbeing and happiness rather than illness. Also exposure to positive psych group work with practical ways that people can learn about mindfulness in other contexts, not just individual psych sessions.

Lucinda and Thea are currently in their final placement as part of the Doctorate psychology program at Deakin University.  If you would like to apply for placement with the Mind Room please click here – Placement Application Form.