I have always wanted to pursue a career in clinical psychology to help those suffering from mental illness. I decided to study the MSc in Mental Health Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP) because of its worldwide reputation for psychiatric research and interdisciplinary training.
I had the opportunity to work with classmates from various backgrounds, who shared the same passion as mine for understanding the causes of and treatments for psychiatric disorders. At the same time, I interacted with and learnt from leading scholars in multiple fields of psychology. Outside the classroom, I participated in seminar series with prominent speakers from all over the world.
One of the most important aspects of the Programme was the chance to apply my textbook knowledge in research and clinical settings. My research project further developed my skills including collecting data independently while working as part of a team. The Programme also offered me a clinical placement at the Maudsley Hospital as a research assistant that gave me first-hand experience of working with psychiatric patients.
I have already been accepted onto the clinical psychology programme in my home city of Hong Kong and I believe my experience at the IOP has provided me with a strong foundation to become a practising clinical psychologist in the near future.
The MSc helped to broaden my knowledge of applied mental health and clinical psychology, and allowed me to develop my skills in research. The academic components of the MSc really helped to develop my understanding of mental health and its management. The MSc provided extremely valuable experience that prepared me for the demands of the doctorate in clinical psychology that I am currently undertaking.
My favourite memory from King's is the great friends that I met, the interesting subject matter of my MSc, and the fantastically helpful and encouraging staff and supervisors who helped me to achieve my goals.
Having now completed my doctorate in clinical psychology, my future plan is to begin my career as a qualified clinical psychologist and try and gain as much clinical experience as possible, in any field that I can.
After my undergraduate degree I wanted to learn more about the clinical aspects of psychology. I chose to complete the MSc part time, giving me enough time to complete the academic requirements for the course, as well as working part time for the NHS.
The compulsory Basic Mental Health module increased my understanding of the spectrum of psychiatric disorders, and concepts such as assessment and formulation. The lectures were taught by a range of professionals such as researchers, psychiatrists and clinical psychologists, all experts in their fields.
The MSc offers a wide choice of optional modules, which allowed me to develop my knowledge of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and pharmacotherapy. I also took advantage of the optional clinical placements organised by the university, assisting at a mindfulness-based cognitive therapy group. This gave me extremely valuable practical experiences, helping me to develop my own clinical practice.
I built upon my research skills through the dissertation, and valued the encouragement and guidance from my supervisor and other staff members. Overall, doing the MSc was a fantastic experience and I strongly recommend it to anyone wishing to pursue a career in clinical psychology.
Since finishing the course, I have been offered a position to train as a psychological wellbeing practitioner at an IAPT (improving access to psychological therapies) service. This MSc has given me a strong skills-set including knowledge about CBT principles, research skills and clinical experience, which I hope to build on as I progress in my career.
I am a child and adolescent psychiatrist working in North East London. I have been working in psychiatry in three different countries and I have always been interested in the application of the base science into the clinical practice. I am currently investigating with colleagues of an Italian university the subjective experience of adolescents who are taking antipsychotics and how it correlates with their compliance and their quality of life. I am also currently writing a text-book on antipsychotics and adolescents for Italian universities.
I am moving my research interest towards subjective experience and ADHD. This opens the possibility to any student who is interested to collaborate with me on this project. Needless to say that there are several possibilities for clinical attachment in child and adolescent psychiatry in my department in North East London.
Madeleine trained as a Systemic Family Psychotherapist at the IoP, and also as a psychonanalytic psychotherapist at the Institute of Psychotherapy and Social Studies. She has twenty years of experience as a clinician working in mental health settings in the NHS and voluntary sector. Since 1997 she has taught and supervised post-graduate students at the Institute of Psychiatry and Maudsley hospital. She is the editor of a multi-media training package in Family Therapy, produced with the Marlborough Family Service. Madeleine is the leader of the Basic Mental Health and Psychological Therapies modules on the Programme and was nominated for the King's Teaching Excellence Award 2010.