Featured Job, January 2021: Associate Psychologists

Employer: Connect Psychological Services

Gemma Clarke, Director and Clinical Lead of Connect Psychological Services, says ‘The business has grown organically since I founded it in 2014. My aim is to create a bigger team of associates and employees to meet the increased demand for expert witness services, in predominantly prison law cases. With more team members on board conducting risk assessments, we will be able to expand on the organisation’s consultancy, therapeutic and training services.’

The advertisement and recently revised company website give a good idea of  the flexible way in which these associates work. I asked Gemma to describe the sort of person who would thrive in the role.

‘Some of our associates have other jobs; for instance, in the NHS. This role provides them with flexibility and a secure way of experiencing self-employment. Others are fully involved in private practice. Whatever their situation, it’s rewarding and varied work. The role comes with a huge responsibility: we have the potential to make a significant difference in people’s lives and can be the difference between someone progressing in their sentence and being released back into the community, or not. There is a power imbalance, and we need to be considerate of this when meeting and interviewing clients. Compassion is essential but this must balance with protecting the public.’

‘When recruiting, I look for experience in our areas of work. Associates should be reliable, organised, diligent, thoughtful, and considered. I’d welcome people who are prepared to offer innovative ideas to develop what we do. Writing understandable, well-presented reports which are evidence-based and informed by psychological theory and knowledge is key. Associates also need good verbal communication skills if called to a parole hearing. CPS has developed a good reputation based on the high standard of reports produced, evidenced by the testimonials received. It’s important associates have these qualities for this to be maintained.‘

What do you provide associates?
‘Training and development opportunities: commitment to CPD is critical. We also provide access to assessments and relevant resources to help them in their role. Importantly, we offer support and a personal approach with peer supervision through the duration of a case, and a network of psychologists/specialists whose knowledge and expertise can be drawn on. I like to meet and get to know them. They are part of our team and I want them to feel they can contact me whenever. I also try to get them together socially whenever I can.’

- Read more at Jobs in Psychology [link live from Thursday 10 December]

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