Clinical Associate Psychologist, NHS Tayside Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Mairi Lawson,

MA (Hons) Psychology, 2008,

MSc Applied Psychology for Children and Young People, 2015

My current career
On completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Edinburgh I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in psychology. The lecturers and staff in the Psychology department had an obvious enthusiasm and passion for their subject areas, and I was drawn to the potential for a diverse and interesting career.
Following university I worked as a Behavioural Support Worker in a High School, and then moved to work as a Family Support Worker in Children and Families Social work. I enjoyed the hands-on work with children and adolescents and believe these experiences helped me develop my communication skills with this age group which has been very useful for my career as a Psychologist.
I was accepted into MSc in Applied Psychology for Children and Young People, and commenced the Masters in February 2014. The course was one of the most intense of my life, but also one of the best!
Following completion of my MSc I began working for NHS Tayside as a Clinical Associate Psychologist in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. I provide evidence based psychological therapy for children and young people with mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, OCD, or developmental disorders such as Autism and ADHD. Part of my time is also spent as the psychologist for the Paediatric Oncology team at NHS Tayside.

What I enjoyed most about my MSc

Some of the lecturers who taught on the course are very well known in their field and I felt very privileged to have the opportunity to learn from them. The course content was interesting and relevant and we had a lot of experiential learning which was very useful to take into practice in clinic. The intense nature of the teaching weeks in the course, which were always 9am-5pm and sometimes up to four week blocks, meant that the people on the course all developed a very strong bond with one another. We all still keep in touch and there is a feeling that we have shared an experience that was very special.

Skills I developed at the University of Edinburgh

I feel that the MSc course helped me to become more reflective about my own practice and helped me understand the importance of working collaboratively with service users in order to promote behaviour change. I have also learned specific therapeutic skills and therapies.

Why study this MSc 
Fantastic course team, fantastic course, brilliant career.

How my experience at Edinburgh helped me in my career
The MSc I completed was created specifically for the job I am doing now. I could not work in my role without this degree. It was a very worthwhile year.

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