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Old 29.04.2013, 12:28
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Psychology jobs and studying

Hi,
Iím fairly new to this so I am not sure if this is exactly the right place to post this, so apologies if not.
I am a 24 year old who is currently living in the Lausanne area, working as an Au Pair. I am from England and have a BSc Degree in Psychology and an MSc in Clinical Psychology. Haven taken a year off from studying in the UK, to live in Switzerland and to learn French, I am currently looking to apply for my Doctorate degree next year. In the mean time I would like to gain some more clinical experience, within Psychology here in Switzerland. I am finding it difficult to gather information, so I was wondering if anyone had any experience in finding employment in psychology here as an English native, and /or volunteer opportunities. My French level is not great, but I am learning, is there any opportunity to work as an assistant psychologist, or health care assistant? Or even just volunteering at a mental health charity? Any advice on the mental health system/Psychology training here would be most welcome. Thank you.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:48
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

The best thing you can do is make contact with the Professor who you would like to study with. Sending them your CV and a cover letter explaining why their research focus interests you and how it compliments your own research interest.

AFAIK the qualifications to become a clinical psychologist here are very expensive and this is offset by doctoral students doing clinical practice- so they pay for the education but clients pay them. So it is rather different to the NHS supported clinical psychology courses in how they are structured but not in how competitive they are.

I know from the increase I have with my own students, they are often those unsuccessful at gaining a place on the MSc. of one of the clinical chairs.

Unless this is very different in the French speaking part of the country, I would say without the language skills necessary for practice, even at a voluntary internship level, you will find it extremely difficult to get into institutions without the support of a Professor. As those places will be kept for their students.

Good luck with your search but I really think the best place to start is to make an appointment with the clinical profs in the local universities.

Gal
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Old 29.04.2013, 13:10
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Or maybe you could look at doing a BPS sponsored (I assume you are a member) CPD module (usually a couple of days) in an area that you may be interested e.g. mindfulness techniques for stress reduction, that is in a related but non-clinical area, and using this to volunteer your services in that particular specialisation. Helping people who are not necessarily labelled as 'ill' and in need of 'treatment' maybe a good way to start! You can build some good experience but I don't believe you can later use anything you log in your clinical training, but should make you stand out when seeking placements.
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:33
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

You're not going to like this but without excellent language skills, both French and German, you're not going to get a job here easily.

If you can't communicate and analyse what people say in their own language, it just isn't going to work.

Sorry to be brutal but you need to be a little realist i think.
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:43
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Sorry to be encouraging and positive (not common on this forum) but you are fluent in English and there are hundreds of thousands of people in Switzerland for whom English is a first or fluent language, and who are relatively accessible. Lots of people have been successful through businesses or volunteering to help them with integration, health, coaching, leisure, sport etc. so if you are self-motivated and ingenious you can do the same.
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Old 29.04.2013, 21:20
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

not sure if you would be interested in doing research in psychology but it is an option and most commonly it is in english
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Old 29.04.2013, 21:38
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

You should also make contact with the professional association for psychologists in Switzerland. It is my understanding (from a colleague who has a PhD in clinical psychology) that Switzerland does not have a PhD equivalent and a MSc Psych may be acceptable for registration as a therapist/clinical psych.

Psychologists generally work under the 'supervision' of a Psychiatrist, as that is necessary to get payment under the health insurance system, but there are definitely plenty of social services, organisations where psychologist can be found.

Also, psychology is a recognised degree for the purpose of child-care, and you may find that you can take a job working with small children in a childcare setting, and be paid as a qualified childcarer. It would be a very steep learning curve if you haven't worked in long-day-care before, but it'd pay better than an aupair job...

Maybe you could try red cross, 'heilsarmee' (salvation army) or other social/charity organisations to see if they can put you in contact with their support teams to see if there's something that fits you. I'd also try the university, definitely, to see if they have any research positions / university based jobs that might suit you. Uni jobs usually pay pretty well, even if they are part-time.
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Old 10.12.2014, 14:48
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Hi Jen1!

How did it work for you? Im in the same position at the moment. I would love to set up a buisness for Enlgish speaking community but first I believe I would need to have my Diploma recognized and that costs - so looking for a position that would help me with the expenses.

If you can, please share your experiences.

All best,
Patricia
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Old 10.12.2014, 15:01
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

This is who you need to contact to get your qualifications recognised.

The Psychology Professions Commission (PsyCo) is responsible for recognition of foreign higher education qualifications as well as continuing education and training qualifications in areas falling within the scope of the Psychology Professions Act (PsyPA, SR 935.81).
Contact: Psychology Professions Commission (PsyCo) Secretariat Tel. +41 (0)31 324 38 18 psyko@bag.admin.ch

Though you will need a high level of both written and spoken German/French depending on where you base yourself I think to be able to practice here.
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Old 10.12.2014, 17:27
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Hi Medea Fleecesteale,

I just learned it today that not only I will have to pay a lot for my Diploma recognition but also work on my German - I have started learning German recently, so long way in front of me.
Thats why I wanted to find something else before I will apply for my Diploma recognition - and I was wondering if at Univeristy or somewhere else I could find a job related to my area or a job where my expertise in Psychology could be of use to the company.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 06.01.2015, 00:45
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Quote:
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Hi Medea Fleecesteale,

I just learned it today that not only I will have to pay a lot for my Diploma recognition but also work on my German - I have started learning German recently, so long way in front of me.
Thats why I wanted to find something else before I will apply for my Diploma recognition - and I was wondering if at Univeristy or somewhere else I could find a job related to my area or a job where my expertise in Psychology could be of use to the company.

Thanks for the info.
Patricia,

I am in a very similar position to you. I have just moved here from Scotland. I worked as a CBT Therapist there. I am currently learning German but not for use in clinical practice. I will keep you updated when i have any progress in this area.

Siobhan
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Old 15.01.2015, 18:31
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Hi Siobhan,

Thanks for a message. I'm sorry to hear that you are in same position. How is it working for you? Are you learning German in purpose of finding different job or you are working on getting proficiency level requested for diploma recognition?

Anyway I wish you all the best! And I hope everything will go smoothly for you.

All best,
Patricia
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Old 15.01.2015, 19:53
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Hi Paticia,

I am learning German as my partner is Swiss & I would like to talk to him in Swiss German at some stage. Further, his parents do not speak any English and it means I will be able to talk to them much more in depth. My main reason is for general integration.

I have little to report on the job front as I have only just started looking for employment. I wasn't aware that in order to get diploma recognition you needed a certain level of proficiency in German. I thought you provided them with your qualifications/relevant data and paid them & you were awarded a title they deemed appropriate. It was my partner who spoke to them & they may not have told him that.

Siobhan
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Old 16.01.2015, 10:15
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Re: Psychology jobs and studying

Hi Siobhan,

Then you have a great motivation Sounds good.
If you will know anything jobwise or regarding diploma recognition please let me know. As I said I don't know German yet and all info I have is from different websites so I might have understood sth wrong.

How do you like it here?

All best,
Patricia
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