As a GP you are faced with the dilemma of choosing the best psychologist to suit the needs of your patient. In order to assist you in assessing my suitability for a particular patient, I will give you a comprehensive outline of my academic background, skills and areas of competence.
My first degree was a four year Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy. As the first two years of study was done in conjunction with the medical students, I was privileged to do anatomy in its entirety plus physiology. In third year we covered subjects like psychiatry, pathology, abnormal psychology, movement and pain, and the fourth year was devoted to internships at mental hospitals, emergency rooms and rehabilitation facilities.
A huge part of the way I was trained to treat patients was to treat both the physical and mental aspects of the problem, and to assist a patient to become completely independent at home. The reason I am telling you all this is that I believe that my training and experience as an occupational therapist puts me in a unique position to understand the underpinnings of physical illness and pain and the havoc it can wreak in a patient's life. Also, I am well trained in the practical aspects of rehabilitation and techniques to assist patients to be more functional.
Having sustained a back injury myself (lifting a patient), I decided to focus on what we called "psych OT" ( as opposed to "physical OT") and furthered my studies in psychology. By Divine Providence (or serendipity if you prefer) I found my true passion and soared, passing honours in psychology and then my Masters in clinical psychology with distinction.
My clinical masters involved the study of mental illness and its treatment in depth as well as a complete thesis involving research and design expertise. The internship involved working full time at mental hospital training in diagnosis, psychometrics, individual psychotherapy, group therapy, psychodrama and behaviour therapy. I dealt with varying degrees of illness from outpatient to long term inmate status.
I worked as an occupational therapist for three years, first with geriatrics and then in a half way house with patients suffering various mental and physical disorders. Since 1982 I have worked in private practice as a clinical psychologist. In total I have been treating patients for 31 years.