Meet Adrienne Kirk who has had a long and successful career since graduating in 1994. Adrienne currently works a Psychotherapist.
|Current job role||Psychotherapist|
|Year of graduation||2010|
|Course of study||BSc (Hons) Psychology|
Exploring a new path
Initially Adrienne spent twenty-one years teaching Clinical Communication skills in medical schools. Her role encompassed teaching students in the essential methods of communicating as a medical professional, giving them tangible and applicable knowledge of these professions in practice.
Topics included how to take a medical history and how to deliver information and break bad news to patients. Adrienne also designed and ran the clinical practical exams. She found supporting struggling students the most rewarding element of the job which led her to making this her focus. She later retrained as a Psychotherapist.
Skills for success
Adrienne says her Psychology degree helped develop her critical and analytical skills as well as how to evaluate risk in relation to health. She says, 'I learned how to use statistics to understand data. The Social Psychology modules taught me that we are not always logical addressing social conventions and we are unaware we are applying them to our decision making.'
Adrienne was a mature student when she began her degree having worked for six years before her studies. She says, 'It was wonderful to get back into studying. I had inspiring lecturers who challenged me to think deeply and critically. There were quite a number of mature students, so I never felt that I was not part of the cohort. And I met my best friend, who I still see every week!'
Adrienne encourages new and prospective students to make the most of all the opportunities available through their programme. 'This is a time for exploration, for seriously investigating your ideas and beliefs, for meeting new people and having new experiences. I attended every lecture and there was always something interesting to think about from every one of them.'
'A psychology degree is a launchpad to so many opportunities. I went on and did a Master's in Health Psychology at UCL and from there developed an interest in doctor-patient communication. Working with medical students was so rewarding, but I decided to retrain to help others. I think it is important to have an open mind about where you might be in the future, but a psychology degree has given me an understanding of theories and a means of reading and evaluating research.'
Aspirations for the future
Adrienne is now setting up a private practice as a psychotherapist. She wants to develop a programme to help people with lifestyle changes, and to be the best version of themselves that they can be.