With a natural desire to help others and better understand the workings of the mind, registered psychologist Alana Howells returned to study a Master of Applied Psychology (Clinical Psychology) – while continuing to build her successful practice and gain more experience in clinical placements.
“From a young age I always wanted a career that was truly meaningful. Personal experiences also inspired me to learn more about how the mind works, and people’s behaviour.
I had been a fully registered psychologist for six years when I decided the time was right to do my masters in Clinical Psychology. I chose VU because I have an interest in psychodynamic therapy, so I was drawn to the dual stream of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and psychodynamic training.
I started my practice Aurora Psychology around the time I began my masters. I provide counselling to children, adolescents, adults and couples – with a particular emphasis on helping clients to improve relationships. The practice has grown and I enjoy having a team with a range of interests and talents.
Building my own private practice while I studied meant I could work flexible hours, and my background in management provided me with good time management skills.
During my masters I did two internal placements in the VU Psychology Clinic. I also did two external placements in a private hospital, in their alcohol and other drugs unit, and in their psychiatric unit.
All these placements were so beneficial. The VU Clinic placement included close monitoring and supervision, which really helped me to improve my skills in assessment and treatment.
The course has also given me great career opportunities and it’s really rewarding to now bring all of my experience and learnings with me to the classroom at VU as a lecturer and supervisor.”