Jake is the first Provisional Psychologist to move through Vida Psychology’s internship program. Recently generally registered, he sees four or five clients a day. Currently, the majority of his sessions take place via telehealth due to Melbourne’s lockdowns. While working from home can be isolating, Jake reminds himself that he chose this job for a reason.
“For many people, the end goal of therapy is to stop coming. When a client doesn’t return, it’s bittersweet. I’m proud of them for the progress they’ve achieved, but I don’t get to see them live the happy part of their life. Even if I don’t have visibility over that, I know the work I do impacts people’s lives. That’s the most rewarding sensation.”
Jake has enjoyed kick-starting his career at Vida, and willingly offers advice to other psychology students or recent graduates beginning to forge their own professional journey. His biggest piece of advice? Go easy on yourself.
“Many people feel like they don’t know enough, but you’re trained in this – and the rest will come. As long as you have an underlying attitude of curiosity, recognise your knowledge gaps, and make an effort to seek resolutions, you’ll be okay.”
Jake went through his school life without a clear idea of a career path. He attended Melbourne High School after his Mum bribed him to take the entrance exam with the promise of a new Xbox. This turned out to be a fantastic motivator, and he passed the test. But Jake felt he lacked the drive shown by his peers. He just knew he wanted to help people.
After graduating, Jake enrolled in a Biomedical Science degree, but within his first year, he realised it wasn’t a path he wanted to pursue. The only things that piqued his interest were the psychology electives, so he decided to give higher education a last-ditch effort and switched to a Psychology degree. The stats-heavy content meant it wasn’t love at first lecture, but he’s glad he stayed the course.
“A lot of the undergraduate courses were pretty cool, and the further in I got, the more I enjoyed it. The fourth-year research project was great, and the fifth-year practice-based work really solidified that I’d made the right choice.”
To celebrate the completion of his Masters degree, Jake went travelling. Luckily, he returned to Australia just before international borders were shut in 2020. It was a time of great uncertainty, and Jake was keen to find a job, sending more than 100 applications. His first choice? Vida Psychology.
“Vida was the first place I applied for. They were advertising for a General Registered Psychologist, but I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring just in case. They came around to the idea of hiring a Provisional Psychologist, and I’m so grateful they took a chance on me.”
In the year since Jake joined Vida, he’s worked on putting his theoretical university learnings into practice. He describes the admin work as a big learning curve, as it’s not taught at university – tasks like scheduling, Medicare reports, and intake assessments. Jake says the supervision he’s received from Carmen has been instrumental to his development, and the rest of the team has also been a great sounding board. Reminiscing on the past year, Jake hopes he can use his learnings to benefit others in the future.
“I’ve loved the opportunity I’ve had here to be a Provisional Psychologist and develop into a fully certified Psychologist. That’s something I could see myself doing someday – being a supervisor for other emerging Psychologists. Until then, I’ll be working on developing my skills, beginning to work with more complex clients, and building my caseload.”