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InPsych 2015 | Vol 37

Cover feature : The next generation of psychologists…

Psychological value in a grassroots community

When I first moved to the Top End after my Master’s degree, I was overwhelmed by the idea of starting in a role in a new place with no professional support. Human connections are imperative in any location but none more so than in a rural area. In my first month here, I attended a meeting of the APS NT Branch and was greeted with friendly faces and was promptly co-opted onto the Committee. Two years later, I was encouraged to take on the role of State Chair.

The Northern Territory membership is a dynamic group servicing a diverse community. From assessments in remote Indigenous communities to hospital interventions, the work is varied and requires an extensive therapeutic toolbox. I feel pride in what our energetic team has achieved. Immersing yourself in your professional community, with the motivation of generating a nurturing, supportive, humble and creative environment, will make you a better clinician.

Understanding the cultural guidelines and principles of therapeutic interventions with clients involves many factors being considered at once. Linking with local psychologists has allowed me to learn some of these
factors quickly and enabled a safe place to discuss ideas. It has also provided me with opportunities to seek peer consultation with like-minded practitioners.

To early-career psychologists, I would say find a supervisor you trust who will challenge you. Growth does not always come from neat and tidy therapy sessions. Having someone to navigate those murky (sometimes uncomfortable) waters with will help you keep perspective.

With the increasing influence of social media and the idea of ‘mental health and wellbeing’ now readily accepted in the community, psychology must evolve. The public are seeking services from psychologists now more than ever, highlighting the need for our profession to adapt by operating in easily-accessible ways. Young professionals seeking more from our profession should get involved to help shape our future.


Disclaimer: Published in InPsych on December 2015. The APS aims to ensure that information published in InPsych is current and accurate at the time of publication. Changes after publication may affect the accuracy of this information. Readers are responsible for ascertaining the currency and completeness of information they rely on, which is particularly important for government initiatives, legislation or best-practice principles which are open to amendment. The information provided in InPsych does not replace obtaining appropriate professional and/or legal advice.