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The role of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner and career progression

With Improving Access to Psychological Therapy (IAPT) services expanding and developing their workforce in line with objectives set out in the Mental Health Five Year Forward View it is an exciting time to be a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner (PWP).

The role is an integral part of IAPT services and has evolved since the programme began in 2008. Career opportunities are developing, the PWP role is becoming established and recognised, and is now a popular career path for many. Heather Stonebank explains more.

My IAPT journey began in 2008 when I started training as a PWP; ever since I have been extremely passionate and committed to the PWP role and motivated by its impact and ability to improve the lives of people experiencing anxiety and depression.

The PWP role sits within step two of the mental health stepped care model – providing low intensity cognitive behavioural-based interventions for people experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and/or depression. The aim of stepped care is to provide the least intrusive and most appropriate level of care to meet the needs of the person.

The PWP workforce provides short-term, evidence-based treatments in line with NICE guidance to help people manage their symptoms. As PWPs, we work with people to equip them with the tools and techniques they need to manage anxiety and depression effectively and work towards their goals. Our aim is to help people make positive changes to improve their wellbeing and quality of life.

The PWP role is fast-paced, varied and constantly evolving with the evidence base and guidance. IAPT services around the country strive to meet the needs of people who need to access services. Therefore, PWPs offer a wide range of treatments, including telephone and online treatment, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes, psycho-educational groups, courses, workshops and one-to-one work. Adapting what we offer to make our treatments accessible is a critical characteristic of IAPT services.

The PWP role is integral to IAPT services. As a PWP, treating a large majority of people who access the service is incredibly rewarding. I have seen first-hand the positive impact the treatments can have on someone’s life. From supporting a patient to overcome panic attacks and being able to visit their local supermarket to helping a patient understand and manage depression to achieve their goal of socialising with friends again – it really can make such a difference. It is a privilege to work alongside a person, be part of their journey to help them manage anxiety and depression. For me, this is why I am an advocate for the role.

There is a wide range of career opportunities open to PWPs, which start from developing special interests within areas such as older adults, perinatal mental health, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities, and supporting people who are managing long-term health conditions. Other career development opportunities range from senior PWPs, lead PWPs, clinical educators and IAPT managers. Some PWPs may also go on to become CBT therapists or embark on a career in clinical psychology. With the role becoming more established and recognised, there are many more exciting doors to open and future career development opportunities.

I feel extremely privileged to be a Lead PWP in Sheffield IAPT and Clinical Advisor in Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network. I have an insight into national, regional and local topics for IAPT services and the opportunity to contribute at a strategic level and influence change. My contribution from a clinical perspective has been welcomed and valued by colleagues, and I believe this is a fantastic development for the role and its future influence at a strategic level.

I am passionate about bringing the workforce together to share best practice, learn from each other and generate innovative ideas, also working in partnership with other services to provide the best quality of care. Yorkshire and the Humber Regional Senior PWP Network is a great example of this; we are currently working together on how we can support the wellbeing of the workforce and improve access for different patient populations.

My vision is to continue to develop the role, support the workforce, share best practice and provide clinical leadership to contribute to developing IAPT services and patient care. I am very much looking forward to continuing on this career path and working alongside other healthcare professionals to provide high quality patient care.

Heather Stonebank

Heather Stonebank is Lead Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner for Sheffield Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Service (IAPT), a role in which she provides clinical leadership for the PWP workforce.

Heather has 11 years’ experience of working in mental health services within Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, working as part of Sheffield’s drug and alcohol team and on an acute mental health ward.
In October 2016 she was recruited into the Yorkshire and the Humber Clinical Network, NHS England, on secondment as a Lead PWP Clinical Advisor.

She is also co-chair of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies Low Intensity Special Interest Group.

Heather has a keen interest in research to inform guidelines and clinical practice, is a member of the Northern Practice Research Network and has been involved in several research studies which have reached publication.

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130 comments

  1. Suzie says:

    Hi,
    I’m really interested in your journey of progression.
    I am a qualified children’s PWP working within CAMHS. It appears that progression within CAMHS/NHS is limited as a PWP because anything above a band 6 senior PWP position currently requires professional registration and/or high intensity training.
    In order to progress further what would you recommend?
    Or, as this position is relatively new within children’s services, do you think this will change over time as the role becomes more established?
    Would appreciate your opinion.
    Thanks

  2. Holly Betton says:

    Hi Heather,
    I am hoping to apply for a trainee PWP post and wondered if you could offer some advice on how I could improve my chances of being selected for this course. I have a degree in Textiles so am not from psychology background, although I do have an A-Level in it. I currently work as a communications officer at a women’s therapy charity along with running my own creative business. I’ve also worked in a secondary school for 8 years as a teaching assistant/technician.  I know that spaces on these courses are highly competitive so I want to build on my experience in working with people with mental health issues. I have applied to volunteer at Mind but I wondered whether it would be useful for me to do a short psychology course? In short, what I am asking is, what do I need to do in order to give myself the best chance of getting selected for the PWP training programme considering my previous experience and qualifications? Any help or advice you could provide would be great!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Holly

      Thank you for your message and interest in the role of a PWP. Sounds like you have lots of great and relevant experience for the role and are already preparing well with your voluntary role in Mind too. If you already have a degree, this is enough to demonstrate you can work at post graduate level. Please see the links below for more info on the role. My advice would be to do your research about the IAPT service you are applying too and the role itself, match all of the essential criteria and some of the desirable too as much as you can on the Person Specification and demonstrate this in your personal statement. Making reference to all the transferable skills you have and also gain experience in mental health which you are doing with your role in Mind. If you require more info, feel free to email me. Hope this is helpful.
      Good luck in applying. 🙂

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  3. Festa Nwadike says:

    Dear Ms. Stonebank
    I hold MSc mental health and wellbeing of children and Adolescents. I was not sent for a placement by the University so I have no clinical experience to enable me work as a mental health nurse. I was told by my lecturer that my degree was academic. I am finding it difficult to get registered by a professional body and progress in my job hunting because the job requirements keeps asking which professional body that I am registered. Earlier before this MSC degree I had trained to hold a Diploma in Education and training level 5 in further Education but they wouldn’t let me teach except I gain QTS which will cost me £3600.00
    I really need your best advise on which pathway to follow. I have already applied to get trained as EMHP a post graduate certificate which is for another 1yr duration. I am feeling depressed having to undergo through education over and over again.
    Is there any shorter training for my level of education. Please help me.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Festa

      I am sorry to hear about your difficulties in progressing your career. I am probably not the best person placed to advise you in this area as this is not my area of expertise. Is there a careers advisor in your local area where you could contact to arrange a discussion to help problem solve next steps. I hope this is helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  4. Shubhnam Bhamber says:

    Dear Ms. Stonebank,

    Hope you are having a nice day.

    I am an IT consultant with over 15 yrs of experience and 42 yrs of age, is it possible for me to pursue a career as a PWP?

    Though I don’t have any background in psychology, I am very passionate about human well-being and feel that I can contribute in a positive manner in this field.

    Hope to see a response from you soon.


    Regards
    Shubhnam Bhamber

    • Heather says:

      Hi Shubhnam

      Thank you for your message, I hope you are having a lovely day too.

      Thank you for your interest in this role. My advice would be to try and gain some experience in volunteering or paid employment in mental health. I would also speak to your local IAPT service to talk to them about what you would need to do to prepare yourself for the role of a PWP. Also thinking about your current skills and how these could be applied to the role of the PWP. Please see links in comments below for further info about the role, if you have any more questions, please let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  5. Joanna Hart says:

    Hello Heather,

    My situation is a bit complicated. I wonder if you can give me some advice.
    I finished a PG Diploma in CBT four years ago, but I didn’t go for BABCP accreditation. I have been doing quite a lot of work in CBT and worked for 3 years for the Anxiety Uk providing CBT from low to severe case presentations and also worked for 2 large Uni’s in London doing CBT. Just to clarify my first year was the PG Certificate in CBT (more low inte) as such but I haven’t got IAPT experience but lots of experience in CBT and child adolescent counselling as I am a qualified teacher as well (worked for 17 years) .
    I am applying now as a home working PWP as for the past year I have been working remotely (providing digital therapy) .
    Do you think I have chances of getting somewhere as a PWP on a remote basis ? I have tailored my CV though and empasize low intensity than CBT complex presentations.
    Would be great to share your thoughts
    So many thanks(Accredited NCP-forgot to tell)
    Joanne

    • Heather says:

      Hi Joanne

      Thanks for your email, sounds like you have lots of relevant experience and transferable skills for a PWP role in IAPT. Do you have the specific IAPT Post Graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Interventions? As this is required to work in IAPT services. Happy for you to email me and we can discuss further.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  6. Komal says:

    Hi, i am interesting become psychological well-being practitioner. I am doing BSc in psychology and want to more further information.

  7. Shirley Connellan says:

    Hi thanks for a really informative article. I have a question. I have worked as a HCSW on an acute psychiatric ward for 6 years and have done a PGdip in Mental Health Recovery. Would this experience and degree help in applying for the PWO training.

  8. Julie Shipton says:

    Hi
    I am interested in becoming a Psychological well being practitioner and wondered if you could advise me on the correct career path? I am in my final year of Bsc Hon Psychology degree with the Open University and will graduate next year. I live in Swansea and would like to know how to train for this career.Thank you

  9. Alice Wilks says:

    Hi Heather

    I came across your blog post when researching the role of a PWP, as I’m considering this as a career.

    I currently work as an ABA tutor for a client base with a diagnosis of ASD. As well as this, I have previously experience as a mentor for people with learning disabilities, and a helpline advisor offering emotional support to students.

    As much of my experience is LD and ASD, I’m concerned my application to work with mental health conditions, like anxiety and depression, will be overlooked. Do you know of many PWP’s who have a background in ABA?

    Thanks
    Alice

    • Chloe says:

      Hi Alice,

      Just came across your comment and wanted to assure you that it is possible. I was also an ABA tutor and have just qualified as a PWP, however I did have to get clinical experience before I was accepted for an interview. I volunteered for my local MIND service for this.

      Good luck!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Alice

      Thanks for your enquiry into the role, sounds like you have some great experience. I would think about transferable skills when applying and thinking about how you have supported people in your role with depression and anxiety. Any experience in mental health and working with people is really valuable when applying for the role, so any voluntary or paid employment in this field, I would make reference to. As Chloe said below she has come into the PWP profession from this role and we have PWPs from a variety of backgrounds with a range of experience. Hope this is helpful. If you would like anymore advice just let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  10. Anne says:

    Hi
    I would like information on doing the course. What requirements do I need to take the course and do I need to go to university or open university to study to become PWP?

  11. Sommer says:

    Hi Heather, thank you for this post it has been more than helpful.

    I am wanting to apply for a PWP training post next year once graduated, I am currently studying Education with Psychology and Counselling and I work part time as a mental health nursing assistant and volunteer once a month with the psychologists at the hospital. I am not sure if this is enough or my degree is relevant enough to apply for the role.

    Do you have any advice on what I could do in this next year to make me a good candidate for the PWP trainee role?

    Any advice would be much appreciated

    Thank you

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sommer

      Thanks so much for your lovely message, it’s great to hear you are interested in becoming a PWP and it sounds like you have very relevant academic and working experience to apply for the role. My advice would be to think about how your experience relates to the PWP role and the transferable skills you have to bring to the role. Happy to have a chat if you would like.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  12. Teresa says:

    Hello Heather,

    I’m wondering if you can help me… I am a certified clinical psychologist from Portugal, and I was interested in working as a PWP in the UK, for I believe it would be na incredibly rich experience.

    What do you believe should be my first step in doing so? Would it be something actually feasible?

    Thank you!!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Teresa

      Thank you for your lovely message and interest in the role, I am so pleased to hear you are interested in becoming a PWP. The first steps would be to have a look at local IAPT services in your area and set up an alert on NHS jobs for PWP trainee jobs. You could speak to an IAPT service and I would be very happy to speak to you to advise.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  13. Mandy kaur says:

    Hi Heather,

    I have an interview coming up for a trainee PWP role and wanted to ask you for some advice… where would be the best place to find the specific role of a PWP outlined?
    Thank you for your inspirational story of how you became a wellbeing practitioner.

    Mandy.

  14. Aimee says:

    Hi Heather, I stumbled across your article whilst seeking some advice on applying for the PWP trainee course and really enjoyed reading it. I am a recent psychology graduate from the university of Sheffield (first class) and have three years experience volunteering as a mental health recovery coach for Mind. I have also been involved in research discussion groups for Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation trust as well as volunteering to help conduct a recent discussion group for research to improve access to physical activity for those with mental health problems. Do you think I have enough experience to apply for the PWP trainee program? I was also wondering if you have any advice how best to create my supporting statement?

    Thanks in advice,

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Aimee

      Thank you for your kind comments, I am really pleased you enjoyed the article. Sounds like you have some good and relevant experience. My advice would be to read the person specification and evidence how you meet all of the essential criteria and if you can evidence any of the desirable too. Based on your comments above you have both academic and experience working in mental health. My advice would be to structure your application in a clear way, making reference to the criteria and how you meet it.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  15. Festa Chinasa says:

    Hi Heather,
    I am interested in working as a PWP. I have already submitted my dissertation in Child and Adolescent mental wellbeing MSC level 7. What chances do I have in getting a job with this qualification because my pathway is not nursing, although I have a degree in health Education, level3 health and social care and have other qualifications. But I am interested in getting a job that is related to my present qualification. Do I still have to get some training to get more skills to get this job (PWP). I am currently working with people with dementia and brain problems and children with disabilities. I need your best advice.
    Kind regards
    Festa.

  16. Nick says:

    Aloha Heather!

    I am thinking about the next steps in my professional career and I stumbled across your article. It was very insightful.

    I wanted to ask you how much time the PWP training takes, and if university postgraduate degrees are the only available option? Also, if I wanted to progress to a Clinical Psyschology PhD later – how many years of PWP experience do I need to apply?

    Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

    Nick

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Nick

      Thanks for your lovely message. I am pleased you found the article helpful.
      The PWP training would involve being employed by an IAPT service for a year whilst studying at University for one day a week. The usual route is via a University course and being employed within an IAPT service at the same time. There isn’t an exact number of years in which you need to have been qualified as a PWP to apply for the Clinical Psychology PhD, I guess being successful in you application for the PhD depends on the individual, experience and requirements of the course. There are also lots of career development opportunities within the PWP career and opportunities to develop within IAPT services.
      Hope this is helpful. Do let me know if you have anymore questions.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Nick

      Thanks for your kind comments, I am pleased the article was helpful. In regards to your questions, the usual route is via a post graduate degree. Regarding how many years experience you need for clinical psychology, that very much depends on the individuals previous experience and skills. It is helpful for your development to work as a qualified to consolidate skills after the PWP training.

      I hope this is helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  17. Samantha says:

    Hello Heather,

    I am a Dramatherapist (MA, HCPC registered) based in York and would love to work in the NHS where I have previously supported Mindfulness groups for people with anxiety/depression. Am I qualified for a PWP role? I am really interested in this pathway.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Samantha

      Lovely to hear from you, it sounds like you have relevant experience having worked with people experiencing symptoms of depression/anxiety and you also have transferable skills. I would recommend applying for a trainee PWP role. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  18. Agnes says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you so much for writing this useful article! I am wondering whether you could give me some feedback on my experience. I graduate with First Class Hons in Forensic Psychology last year. For the past three years I have worked as a healthcare assistant in various psychological settings. Currently, I support the ward psychologist to run the DBT group on the ward which I work on. Additionally, I spend plenty of time with my patients and teaching them CBT skills etc. Will this be ok to apply for the trainee PWP role? Your feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Agnes

      Thanks for your comments and positive feedback, most definitely you sound like you have lots of relevant experience working in mental health, good luck in your application.
      If you need any other advise, just let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  19. Vick says:

    Hi Heather, thanks for the really informative article. It’s clear you’re really passionate about your job and the role of PWPs.

    I have a question for you. I’m about to graduate with a first/ 2:1 (depending on dissertation grade!) in Psychology and have been accepted on a psychology masters programme. My end goal is to do a phd in clinical psychology, but CBT/DBT/CFT type therapies are where I see myself.

    I’ve seen some adverts for post grad pap training roles available in sept and I’m wondering if that is a better route?

    I have 5 years volunteer experience with Samaritans and am now branch director.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Vick

      Thanks for your lovely feedback about the article, I am really pleased you found it informative. It really depends on your preference, sounds like you have some good experience working in mental health and the PWP trainee role would also equip you with more experience and Low Intensity CBT training. If the masters is something that would help to achieve your end goal then I guess it would be worth thinking about the best next step for you, sorry I can’t be of more help with this one, is there a careers advisor at your University that could advise on the different routes, who is more informed to advise? Let me know if you have any other questions about the role, happy to help and best of luck in whatever you decide to do.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  20. Nia says:

    Hi Heather! Really great article, I’m currently working as an Learning Support Assistant with the hope of becoming an PWP as I have a Psychology degree. Could you provide some advice on relevant work experience for the role? Either Paid or Voluntary?

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Nia

      Thanks for your lovely feedback and yes of course happy to provide advice. You have the relevant academic experience. It is good to try and seek experience working with people who have depression and or anxiety and you may well be getting this experience in your current role. There are lots of voluntary roles for example MIND, No Panic, Samaritans where you could gain experience. Also it is important to do a bit of research around the role to understand fully what it involves, especially around the service which you are applying too, for e.g. have a look at there website. You can set a job alert for PWP trainee on NHS jobs or speak to your local service about when they are planning to advertise PWP jobs. I hope this is helpful and do let me know if you would like a chat to discuss anything further. I wish you all the best in applying.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  21. Leena says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this article, it’s really helpful.

    I’m wondering if you could help me with advise. I’m a graduate member of BPS with background in Psychology, currently studying counselling abroad on a part time basis (this qualification will not be accredited in the UK).
    I’m full time employed as administrator in Mental Health charity. Also working as bereavement volunteer once a week.
    I’m very interested in building a future clinical career and becoming a psychotherapist.

    Would be the best route for me to apply for PWP now? If yes, do you think I have enough experience/qualification?

    Thank you in advance!

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Leena

      Thank you for contacting, it sounds like you have lots of relevant experience to apply for the trainee PWP role. My advice would be to set a job alert for NHS jobs for PWP trainee and also contact IAPT services in your local area to clarify when the roles will be advertised. I hope this is helpful and I wish you all the best in your application, if you would like to chat further just let me know and we can arrange a call.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  22. Amber says:

    Hi Heather,
    thank you for having taken the time to right this post it’s been very helpful. I am currently working as an activity coordinator in a mental health setting and I wondered if that would count as relevant experience. I also have an undergraduate degree is psychology, is there anything I need to do before applying for a trainee role? Or anything that might help?

    Many thanks,
    Amber

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Amber

      My pleasure Amber, I am so glad the post has been helpful, sounds like you are gaining some good relevant experience and are able to study at post-graduate level too, this is all good when apply for a PWP trainee post. Any experience you can get is great. My advice would be to look at the website of your local IAPT service too. Happy to chat about the role if this would be helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  23. Jade says:

    Hello,
    I love helping people and have always wanted a career where I can do just that. I am soon to be a newly qualified nurse and while I absolutely love my role, throughout the course of my training I have found my passion is helping people with their mental well-being rather than just their physical conditions.
    When I read about PWP and I have never been so sure that this is the right career for me. Would my best route be to apply for a trainee PWP postion? Any advice you can give me would be gratefully received.

    • Qualified PWP says:

      As a PWP myself, I would not recommend applying for a Trainee PWP post if you are soon to be a qualified nurse. Depending on the type of Nursing degree you have (RMN ideally), some services might accept you as a PWP already (but you’d have to contact them and it depends on their contracting needs etc).

      If you are soon to be, or already are, a qualified Nurse then you are eligible to apply for Trainee High Intensity CBT Therapist posts, which are also within IAPT services. It is more helpful if you are an RMN, but you can contact your local IAPT service for more information.

      • Jade says:

        Thank you, this is really helpful.
        I’ll be qualified in July as a registered nurse (RN). The experience I have had of mental health has been within my placements and within my home and family life.
        I’m not sure how confident I’d be to jump straight into a PWP role without some training. I’ll definitely look into what’s around locally to me in IAPT.

        Thanks again

        • Heather Stonebank says:

          Hi Jade

          That is great that you already have experience within placements. You would need to complete a PWP trainee course before working as a PWP, usually you can access the course through an PWP trainee position in your local IAPT service.

          Best Wishes

          Heather

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Jade

      Lovely to hear from you, congratulations on your nursing qualification. That’s lovely to hear about you wanting to apply for the PWP trainee role. My advice would be to find out your local IAPT services, research their websites and you could contact to ask when trainee positions will next becoming available. You could also set a an alert on NHS jobs to ensure to are notified when positions become available. Have you experience working in mental health? If you want to drop me an email, I am more than happy to have a chat over the phone.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  24. Lindsay Suttill says:

    Hi i am based in harrogate, i have a background in health psychology but would love to train as a pwp.what are my first steps to take? What course do i need to do? Do i need a placement? Etc. Thank you

    • NHS England says:

      Hi Lindsay. Thank you for your interest in the role of Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. You can find a wide range of information about the profession, including training opportunities and entry requirements, at the Health Careers website.

      Kind regards
      NHS England

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Lindsay

      Thanks so much for contacting – good advice from NHS England. I would also set your job alert on NHS jobs for a PWP trainee role. Sounds like you have some good experience. It is worth checking out your local IAPT service and their website.

      Hope this is helpful. Any other questions just let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

    • Fiona Wallace says:

      Hi Heather

      I too love helping others. I’m a qualified secondary teacher never worked within health service before. I am searching for a new career path and noticed advert for trainee PWP. I was wondering if you think I maybe a suitable candidate? Or any advice would be gratefully received. Many thanks. Fiona

  25. melissa kerr says:

    Hi,

    I have an interview for trainee PWP and it involves role play, presentation and interview.
    Do you have any tip so how to prepare for PWP interview and types questions they may ask or any help regards to the role play?

    Kind Regards
    Melissa
    mhkerr1988@aol.com

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Melissa

      Congratulations on your interview, the best advice I can give is read up about the role and IAPT and do your research about the service you are applying for – look at their website, understand what treatments they offer. Make sure you sell yourself and skills and talk about how your experience has equip you for the role of trainee PWP. The role play is to see how you engage with people and your interpersonal skills. Hope this helps. For info on the role see the links in the comments. Good luck. 🙂

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  26. Subanki says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am an university student currently doing a gap year. I have no experience in mental health yet I want to pursue a career as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. For someone like me what kind of advice can you give me in order to become a pwp.

  27. mandy palmer says:

    Hi I am currently in my last year at university studying drug and alcohol treatment and counselling I am very interested in becoming a wellbeing practitioner and would be very grateful for any information you can give me I have left my email below look forward to your reply.

  28. Fiza says:

    I am a medical doctor graduated from Pakistan (MBBS),n a resident in uk .Guide me regarding practicing PWP in uk .if not possible then any medical practice which I can do in uk ,apart giving lengthy exams .i want to work in a medical profession field so kindly guide .thankyou

  29. Rachel Leggett says:

    Hi do you have a email address that i can contact you on for some advice please.

  30. Heidi says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am a psychiatric nurse, currently working in mental health research. I have five years experience in mental health (as a HCA and qualified nurse) mainly on an acute ward and an inpatient dementia unit.

    In the future, (12-24 months) I would like to move into CBT therapy. Ideally, I would like to do High intensity CBT. Do you have to complete a masters for this? Or is there a route to it through the PWP role? As I’m concerned about the finances involved in doing a masters full time!

    Many thanks,

    Heidi

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Hedi

      Thanks for your message. Sounds like you have lots of experience in mental health. If you would like to do High Intensity CBT within an IAPT service my advice would be to apply for high intensity trainee position in your local IAPT service as you would be working and training at the same time and therefore being paid too. Hope this is helpful, if you would like anymore advice, send me an email and happy to arrange a call.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  31. Rachel Gregory says:

    Hi Heather

    I am a qualified PWP looking to register with a professional body, who is the lead body for PWPs. Many thanks

    Kindest regards

    Rachel

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Rachel

      Thank you for getting in contact. The BPS offer accreditation for IAPT courses and they offer accreditation for PWPs with a Psychology degree. The BABCP did offer accreditation for PWPs but this has currently been withdrawn and under review. There is a BABCP Low Intensity Special Interest Group which I am involved in to support people delivering Low Intensity CBT. Hope this is helpful, happy to have a conversation if this would be helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  32. Victoria Harvey says:

    Hi Heather,
    Thanks for that article, very helpful. I’m really interested in changing my career and getting onto the IAPT PWP course, however unlike others who have left comments here I do not have a degree or any other qualifications in psychology (I do have a BA and MA in other areas). I know to be considered for the course I need to do some volunteering or work in mental health (which Im starting to do) but I cannot see any pre-qualifications I can take to help with my application. I cannot afford to take a degree at this time. I have heaps of life experience and mentor in other areas, and am also a nutritionist, which might help. Is there any advice you can give? It seems an impossible dream to get onto one of these courses/jobs unless I have a degree or years of working in mental health. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give. I’m willing to work anywhere in the country and have already looked at all the websites and job openings in NHS portals and charities.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Victoria

      Lovely to hear from you and it’s so great to hear your enthusiasm for the role. It doesn’t have to be a degree in psychology, it can be in other areas, it really is just to demonstrate you can work at post-graduate level. That’s great regarding volunteering in mental health as experience is really helpful, so I would recommend continuing with this. Is this helpful? Happy to have a conversation to advise further if you drop me an email.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

      • Hayley says:

        Dear Heather
        I am in a similar position to Victoria. I currently work as a Head of year in a Secondary School. I have a BA and Teacher status but do not have an MA. Would it make sense to do this? I really am passionate about this area and would like to move into a new career in this area as my pastoral experience has shown this to be an area of deep interest but how do I go about making this change? Would it be wise to stop teaching now and do further study whilst continuing work experience? I am at a bit of a cross roads really.
        Thanks
        Hayley

        • Heather Stonebank says:

          Hi Hayley

          Thanks so much for your message. That’s great and you sound like you have lots of transferable skills. Shall we arrange a chat over the phone to have discussion? If you contact me by email and we can arrange a call.

          Best Wishes

          Heather

  33. mandy palmer says:

    Hi,
    I am currently working for Nottingham Recovery Network, supporting people with drug ad alcohol issues. I am in my last year at Leicester University doing drug and alcohol counselling and treatment. I am interested in the training for a PWP position can you please advise me where to apply or if there is any opportunities in Nottingham my contact number is 07788197064.

  34. Joe Maddalena says:

    Following sessions PWP and seeing the benefits her work has had on me, in managing my mental health, now without medication. Would my conditions be a bar to me working as a PWP

    Many thanks,
    Joe

  35. Amanda Clements says:

    I am interested in training to become a PWP .I am an RGN with 35 years experience and currently work on a dementia unit .I have volunteered with both Samaritans and CAB .I also have lived experience of a mental health condition.Is it possible to undertake this training and what does it involve ? What qualifications do you need to do this course

  36. Milan says:

    Hi Heather,

    Thank you for sharing information about your role as a PWP.

    My brother suffered from depression and took his own life in 2010. Since then I’ve wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. I stumbled upon the PWP career path today and it has sparked my interest in the role.

    But I don’t have a degree. I have A-Levels in the sciences and I’m 38. Would I need to complete a degree before applying for a role as a PWP or is there another way to train for the role? Also, is there an age limit?

    I’d appreciate any advice you can give.

    Kind regards,
    Milan

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Milan

      Thank you for your message and reading the blog.

      I am sorry to hear about your brother.

      Sounds like you have you have a passion for helping others.

      There is no age limit to becoming a PWP.

      There are different ways to access the PWP training course, a lot of courses do require a degree but there are alternative routes too, I have attached a link with more information about training. I would also contact your local IAPT service and ask who their training provider is and you can contact them directly to ask questions about requirements to access the course.

      https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/explore-roles/psychological-therapies/roles/psychological-wellbeing-practitioner

      I hope this information is helpful and if you require any further information, please let me know. More than happy to advise.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  37. Sara says:

    Hi.

    I am studying a Foundation Degree in Mental health Practise. I am keen to train as a PWP.

    I have personal experience of Depression and Anxiety, so can empathise with people who experience it.

    Would I need a full honours degree to get onto a training program? Or is there a way of getting onto one with a Foundation degree?

    Many thanks,

    Sarah

  38. Alison says:

    Hello. I have a 2:1 degree in Psychology and went into teaching prior to hopefully becoming Ed Psych but life got in the way and 25 years later am interested PWP specialising in CAMHS. Having recently experienced children suffering terribly I want to support them.
    I have worked with children aged 5-15.i am finding that much more of my work is counselling and supporting various mental health issues and would like to continue this support as a profession. What is the best way forward please?

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Alison

      Thanks for getting in contact, sounds like you have lots of useful and relevant experience and a passion for supporting children with their mental health.
      There are PWP positions available in CAMHS. My advice would be to keep looking out for these and maybe enquire in your local CAMHS service when they are next advertising for these posts and apply for a trainee PWP position within CAMHS.If you would like anymore help or advice just let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  39. Nicola Merritt says:

    Hi. I have worked within the NHS for the past 20 years and within Cancer Services as an MDT Coordinator for the past 10 years.
    I have an English Literature/Sociology degree.
    I am keen to train to become a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner, please can you give me some guidance on how best to achieve this/who to apply to/when to apply/whether it will be funded etc.
    with thanks
    Nicola Merritt
    07920052054

    • Anna says:

      Most PWP training courses are advertised on the NHS jobs website. My advice is to think seriously about this area of mental health work. A lot of burnout amongst PWPs and more frequently you will be asked to work with patients you are not trained for due to lack of other services.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Nicola

      Lovely to hear from you, its great you are considering the PWP role. More than happy to provide some guidance. First of all I would add an alert to NHS jobs to make you aware of PWP trainee positions available in your local area. They should be coming out shortly. Happy to have a conversation if you would like to drop me an email and we can arrange a time to speak.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  40. Danny G says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am 26 and currently work with dementia patients in a care home and I am studying my level 3 RQF in Health and Social Care currently. I was at university but only have a Foundation Degree in Crime Psychology as I had to drop out of the Bsc course. I wondered what would be my best route to becoming a PEP without a full degree as I wouldn’t be able to get financed for a full bachelor’s degree.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

  41. Fatima says:

    Hi Heather,

    I will be graduating this summer with a Psychology degree at Goldsmiths (UOL), and am really intrigued by the PWP role. I was wondering what the best way to apply for a trainee post would be, online or through a uni. Any tips/advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks
    Fatima

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Fatima

      Congratulations on graduating, that’s great to hear you are interested in becoming a PWP. One way to apply is through NHS jobs, you can set an alert to let you know when PWP trainee jobs come up in your local area. Happy to have a chat if you want to drop me an email.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  42. Rach says:

    Hi Heather,

    I am a graduate in psychology and have 2 years experience working within mental health inpatient services.

    I would definitely like to pursue a career within the PWP role.

    Do you have any tips/advice for a successful interview?

    • Heather says:

      Hi Rach

      Thanks for your message, that’s great to hear. Sounds like you have relevant experience for the role, with both academic and experience of working in mental health too.

      Happy to have a discussion regarding any helpful advice, just drop me an email.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  43. Kathryn Crumpholt says:

    Hi,

    I am looking into becoming a PWP, but im stuch as to the best route. Should i get an undergrad degree first, or try and get into one of the PWP trainee positions? Any help would be greatly received.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Kathryn

      Thanks for your message. Great to hear you are looking into becoming a PWP. It’s helpful to have a undergraduate degree or equivalent as the main PWP training courses are at post graduate level. There are some that offer alternative route but the main route is to apply for a PWP trainee position in an IAPT service and complete the postgraduate course in the training year. Hope this is helpful info, please do get in touch if you have any other questions. Wishing you all the best for the future.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  44. Emily says:

    Dear Heather

    I came across your blog when doing some research on the clinical advisor role, and it is really nice to see how dedicated and passionate you are about being a PWP!

    I am currently a senior PWP role in a small but well established service and am really keen to start up some clinical audit/research and find some innovative ways of monitoring and improving our clinical work. I would be really grateful if you could point me in the direction on any information on the clinical advisor role/clinical leadership as a pwp, research/clinical audit, cpd/training opportunities and anything else that you think may be helpful.

    Thanks so much in advance.

    Best wishes
    Emily

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Emily

      Thank you for your message, lovely to hear from you and about the fantastic work you are planning.

      Yes more than happy to point you in the right direction, advise and discuss ideas – lets arrange a chat over the phone and we can have a discussion. If you drop me an email we can arrange a call.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  45. Ameera Kapadia says:

    hi my name is Ameera and i am currently in my final year at univeristy. i wish to do a trainee course as a pwp but some where locally as i live in nuneaton and London is too far out as i cannot afford to move out. is there any where that do this programme locally and if not is there a way i can some how do this course. thank you

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Ameera

      Thank you for your message. I hope you are enjoying your final year at University. My advice would be ask IAPT services in your local area where their training provider is located. Usually the training is accessed by being successful in gaining a PWP trainee post within an IAPT service. I do hope this information is helpful.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  46. Deborah says:

    Hi I am thinking of applying for a pg course for psychological wellbeing practitioner in London, I hold a masters in social work, is there an upper age limit as I’m 58

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Deborah

      Lovely to hear from you – that’s great you are thinking of applying for the role. Sounds like you have a lot of relevant experience. There is no upper age limit. We encourage people of all ages to apply for the role. I would definitely encourage you to apply, your application would be very welcome.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  47. AS says:

    Hi Heather,
    Its nice to read about your clear account of PWP role. I am a PWP myself and would like to find out how can I move into developing special interest areas as you mentioned. Is there specific training available that I can access ?

    many thanks

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello

      Thank you for reading the blog and the lovely feedback. Yes, there are opportunities to receive training within specialist areas depending where you are and what specialist areas you are interested in. I would be more than happy to discuss over the phone and advise. If you drop me an email and we can arrange a time to have a discussion. Look forward to hearing from you.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  48. Vicky Carroll says:

    Hi Heather, what a fantastic blog explaining your role/career path and great for a parent of a soon to be trainee PWP.
    After completing a Bsc & MSc in Clinical Psychology, as parents we thought she would automatically apply for assistant psych roles, however can now see where her skills and passions lie. Many thanks

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Vicky

      Thank you so much for your lovely feedback, it is very much appreciated. I am really pleased the blog has been helpful in explaining the PWP role/career path. That’s great news, I do hope your daughter enjoys her new role as PWP trainee. If I can be of anymore help at all, please do drop me an email.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  49. Vediz Yilkan says:

    Hi,

    I am hoping to become a CBT therapist and a CBT therapist I work with said that I could possibly go through IAPT. If this is the case please could I have a little more information.

    Kind Regards

    Vediz Yilkan

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Vediz

      Thank you for your message, yes that is correct. There are trainee CBT opportunities within IAPT. These posts will be advertised through your local IAPT service when they become available. Keep a look out and you can also set an alert on NHS jobs to notify you when these positions are advertised.

      Hope this is helpful. Any questions please let me know.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  50. Hannah Conroy says:

    Hi there

    I am very interested in this job role, I am currently doing a psychology degree and I am volunteering with people with mental health problems. I was wondering what the career progression was like in this area (not just progressing to become a clinical psychologist) and what training is needed after a degree?

    Thanks

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Hannah

      Thank you for your message – that’s great to hear you are interested in the PWP role.

      There is a lot of career progression within the PWP role – from specialist PWP roles, Senior PWPs to Lead PWPs, researchers to clinical educators. There is definitely a career path developing, which is a great development for the role. Also there are roles within IAPT such as team managers or high intensity CBT positions which PWPs go on to. Lots of great opportunities! PWPs can train as supervisors once qualified and have gained some experience, so it is a great role to gain lots of additional skills, transferable skills and CPD.
      It sounds like you on the right lines with your degree and experience, my advice would be to complete your degree and continue to gain experience in mental health and then you can look into applying for the role. Happy to discuss if you would like any further advice.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  51. Jordon Murdoch says:

    Hi,

    How can I start training to become PWP?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards,

    Jordon

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hi Jordan

      Thank you for your message.

      To start training to become a PWP, you can apply for a trainee PWP post in an IAPT service. Keep checking for ‘PWP trainee’ jobs in your area. You could have a look at a job description and personal specification in the meantime to look at the criteria. Hope this is helpful.

      Many thanks

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  52. Jennie Harper says:

    Wow what an inspiration you are and from my neck of the woods too. I recently qualified with an upper 2:1 in psychology, studying while working full time and am now working on a male psychiatric intensive care unit. I have applied 3 times for a trainee PWP position before I started on the unit but didn’t even get an interview. Is there anything more you can advise or is it just a case of persevering. Thanks Jennie.

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Jennie, thanks so much for your lovely feedback about the PWP blog. Sounds like you have relevant qualifications and some experience too, I would definitely keep trying. Making sure you are clearly matching all the essential criteria when completing your application. More than happy to have a chat over the phone and we can speak in more detail, if you would like to speak drop me an email and we can arrange a time to speak. Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks, Best Wishes, Heather

  53. Abbey says:

    Hi Heather, you sound like you really enjoy your job which must mean you’re very good at it! How do you encourage people to actively participate in-spite of their mental health symptoms and help them recover?

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Thank you Abbey – I do really enjoy my job and find it very rewarding.
      I think it’s important first all to acknowledge the difficulties people experience, help them to understand, normalise, empathise as well as instilling hope that engaging in treatment can be beneficial. We help people make changes gradually to build their confidence and discuss any barriers to help people overcome any challenges they may encounter along the way. We also help the person to identify and set individual goals, which really helps and motivates a person to make changes and participate in treatment when they have something specific in mind they are working towards. Hope this information helps, if you have any other questions please let me know, more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the role. Many thanks, Best Wishes Heather

  54. Tee says:

    Hi, thanks for writing that inspiring blog post. I hold a first class degree in economics and have recently gone back to work after having 3 children, for a mental health charity as a community development officer. It was only for 8 months or so but I never felt so enthused going to work. I have an A level I psychology. Please advise if it’s possible for me to train as a PWP and the route I could take?

    • Heather Stonebank says:

      Hello Tee

      Thank you for your message and kind feedback. Sounds like you have relevant skills and experience and it’s lovely to hear you enjoy your role in the mental health charity. To become a PWP, the usual route would be to apply for a PWP trainee post in an IAPT service, where you will work whilst studying one day a week for a Post-Graduate Certificate in Low Intervention Psychological Interventions, which takes one year to complete. If you would like anymore information, happy to discuss further.

      Best Wishes

      Heather

  55. Claire macfarlane says:

    Hello. I have been a school health nurse for the last 10 years and have in this time developed my 1:1 emotional support therapeutic work using a strength based approach incorporating solution focus therapy and motivational interviewing. My background is Paediatric nursing , mainly Adolescent based . I also recently completed a Public Health post grad diploma, which encorporated a Systemic module, i am keen to focus on wellbeing. Would you be able to advise me of a route I could take to become a PWP?
    Best wishes

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Claire, thank you for your message. It sounds like you have some excellent experience. Great to hear you are exploring the PWP career path. To become a PWP the usual route would be to apply for a PWP trainee post within an IAPT service. You would then complete a Post graduate Certificate in Low Intensity Psychological Interventions alongside working in an IAPT service. Hope this is helpful, if you need anymore information please do let me know happy to have a discussion.
      Best Wishes
      Heather

  56. Charles Green says:

    I came across your blog by accident and enjoyed reading it. I am working on temporary contracts at the moment in Wakefield and enjoying the fast pace.How are you? I hope you and all the IAPT teams in Sheffield are well.
    Best wishes
    Charlie

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks Charlie, great to hear from you. I am very good thanks. Glad all is good and you are enjoying the role.
      Best Wishes
      Heather

  57. Lesley says:

    Hi Heather

    I was good to read you passionate account of your role as a PWP and it evolution. I wonder if it would be possible for me to talk to you about the career structure for PWP in your service and if you are aware of any good practice examples of career structure nationally for the PWP workforce.

    Thank you

    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Lesley

      Thank you for your lovely feedback. I would be more than happy to discuss PWP career structures and good practice examples. It would be great to speak. If you could me directly on my email: heather.stonebank@shsc.nhs.uk
      we can arrange a time to speak.

      Many thanks

      Heather