As mental health issues become more and more of a problem around the UK, at universities and at work, more and more students are looking to take action and help people that are affected by psychological issues or mental health issues, this is where the PWP comes in.
What are psychological wellbeing practitioners?
PWP stands for psychological wellbeing practitioners. Psychological wellbeing practitioners are trained to assess and support people with common mental health problems and conditions. These can include anxiety disorders and depressions.
PWPs will support people in their self-management during their recovery, either through low intensity or high-intensity treatments. Treatment can be delivered face-to-face, on the phone or online on a one-to-one basis. It can also be part of a group setting, with PWPs working with adults from many different backgrounds and experiences.
You’ll work with a large number of people, with each client session typically lasting between 20 to 30 minutes. A fully-qualified PWP can help more than 250 patients every year.
High-intensity therapies look at people with problems like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What work do PWPs do day-to-day?
After PWP training, the practitioners will use a range of psychological interventions and skills to support people with mental health problems. PWPs work closely with other professionals in healthcare, including high-intensity therapists, Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) counsellors and employment advisors. They also work alongside other clinicians and GPs.
There are several things as part of their job role, including:
- Patient-centred interviews
- Identifying areas where the patient wishes to change how they think, feel or behave
- Carrying out thorough risk assessments
- Providing a range of evidence-based psychological interventions, including guided self-help based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), psycho-educational workshops and groups, and online psychological treatment
- Liaising with other agencies and providing information regarding services, like employment and housing to patients
What is PWP training?
PWP training and IAPT PWP training consists of an accredited course typically involving 45 days of academic work as well as supervised practice. The academic days tend to run one day per week, and the supervised practice will run over an academic year. During their PWP training candidates are employed by a local IAPT service.
The PWP training is open to people with a range of experience, not just those in the health of psychological backgrounds.
Do I need a degree to get onto a PWP training course?
Those with a degree will usually start a PWP training course postgraduate certificate and those without a degree will tend to undertake an equivalent graduate-level qualification.
The PWP training courses are accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The low-intensity PWP training is different to high-intensity therapists who have patients with OCD and PTSD
How to apply for PWP training?
To get onto an IAPT PWP training course, you need to apply for a post as a trainee or an apprentice in an IAPT service.
This can be found on the local IAPT provider website, the NHS jobs website or the apprenticeship website.
Who provides PWP training courses?
The local IAPT provider, NHS centres or an academic course provider. There are trainee jobs or apprenticeships available, and supervisory roles for those who have been working as a PWP. PWPs tend to work and study at the same time before they are fully qualified.
What is PWP low-intensity training?
A PWP training course will look into low-intensity therapies for mental health problems like anxiety and depression. It also means low as in fewer sessions and interventions, or the need for shorter face-to-face sessions.
The low-intensity PWP training is different to high-intensity therapists who have patients with OCD and PTSD.
What is Cognitive Behavioural Interventions?
Cognitive Behavioural Interventions are the tools PWPs use to support their patients. It is a talking style therapy helping people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.
PWP training and IAPT PWP training consists of an accredited course typically involving 45 days of academic work as well as supervised practice.
What is high-intensity PWP training?
High-intensity therapies look at people with problems like obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A large part of the role is to assess a person’s suitability for psychological interventions, implement treatment and evaluate the progress.
High-intensity PWP is specialised in comparison to PWP training, which looks at anxiety and depression mental health problems.
Typically this work is done by a high-intensity therapist and not by a PWP. However, PWP will work alongside high-intensity therapists at an IAPT provider or service.
Is there PWP supervisor training?
PWP supervision training can be offered once you’re qualified and have gained experience as a practitioner. Once you complete the further IAPT PWP supervisor training, you’ll be able to provide case management and clinical skills supervision to other PWPs.
What are the entry requirements for PWP training?
There is a level 6 apprenticeship for PWP training courses, which offers opportunities for people without a degree but useful life experience to become a psychological wellbeing practitioners. This also suits those who would like to make a career change and contribute to the local community.
To get onto an apprenticeship you will need to apply for a position with an IAPT healthcare provider. Graduates or those who can demonstrate that they meet the academic requirements will sit the postgraduate level qualification.
For those which English is not their first language, a 7.0 score on the IELTS test is required for most establishments, but each course provider is different and this would need checking before applying.
PWP stands for psychological wellbeing practitioners.
Is there self-funded PWP training available?
No, there are no self-funded PWP training courses as entry needs to be through a PWP position in local IAPT service. Employment as a trainee PWP is a prerequisite for applying to university courses related to the role.
How much is a PWP paid?
Most jobs in the National Health Service (NHS) are covered by the pay scales system for all staff except for doctors, dentists and senior managers.
Trainees and apprentices are appointed at band 4 on the pay scale and will work 37.5 hours per week. Once qualified after PWP training, you would progress to a band 5 scale usually.
What are the career options with PWP training?
After receiving your qualifications and experience whilst working as a PWP, you can apply for more senior positions at bands 6, 7 and 8a. These include additional management and leadership responsibilities, clinical specialism, or even IAPT PWP supervisor training, which is part of the management roles.
The role is constantly evolving which increases opportunities for PWPs to progress and develop their career.