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Desire to help dad inspires Shanley to pursue Psychology career

A desire to understand more about the mind after her dad suffered a stroke has led to a career helping others for Shanley Lewis.

The 25-year-old pursued her passion for Psychology at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and is now an Assistant Psychologist for the NHS.

Shanley main

                                                                                                    Picture: @anya.r.thompson

Still keen to learn and develop she is also planning the next stage of her career - applying for a highly competitive place for further training as a Clinical Psychologist.

Shanley said: "My interest started when my dad had a stroke. He lost most of his memory and didn't know who we were. I was only little and it was a real shock.

"We had to teach him about everything and he did get back his long-term memory.

"This led to an interest in the brain. I did A-level psychology and it helped me make sense of his behaviour.

"I knew I wanted to help people and decided this was my purpose."

Born and raised in London, Shanley wanted to move away to study, choosing DMU after attending an Open Day.

"I picked DMU because it suited everything I was looking for and the course was accredited by the British Psychological Society," she said.

Studying at DMU helped Shanley focus on her interest in mental health, with the aspiration to be a Clinical Psychologist, and she is full of praise for the course and lecturers.

"I'm still in contact with tutors, they're incredible," she said. "They're readily available and still supportive and I wish I'd made more use of them.

"Studying was exceptional. It was challenging and I learned a lot about myself and had to develop skills such as time management, which still helps me today."

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Graduating in 2013, Shanley wasn't sure of her next step. Being unable to volunteer while a student due to work commitments back in London, she felt she lacked experience.

After speaking with peers she became a support worker at a forensic unit and then moved to a mother and baby unit, both within the NHS.

"I met psychologists who supported me applying for an Assistant Psychologist post," she said.

From there, Shanley gained her first role as an Assistant Psychologist on an acute female ward.

Now a member of an Early Intervention for Psychosis team, Shanley said she felt "over the moon and privileged" to land the role with North East London NHS Foundation Trust because "it is so competitive".

"I am getting a lot from it," she said. "I am learning and developing and getting opportunities to be involved in research.

"It is also helping me prepare my application for Clinical Psychologist training."

Shanley is combining her demanding role with preparing to launch her own brand. Good To Me UK is aimed at empowering people who have experienced mental health problems in the practice of self-care and will include workshops and boxes filled with products to help people self-soothe their senses.

Posted on Monday 19th February 2018

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