Interview with Psychologist Dr Tracey Swaffer
We recently built a new website for Newark based Psychologist Dr Tracey Swaffer, and after some interesting chats asked her if she’d like to do an interview. Find out more about Dr Swaffer’s work and how it’s changed in the lockdown below.
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Dr Tracey Swaffer, and I am a Consultant Clinical Psychologist. Clinical Psychologists have specialised training that enables them to work with people who experience mental health distress from a wide range of disorders such as anxiety, depression and relationship issues
How did you become a psychologist?
I initially undertook my Undergraduate Degree in Psychology in the late 1980’s at the The University of Birmingham. I then undertook a period of pre-qualification training working with adolescents whilst undertaking a PhD, once more registered with The University fo Birmingham. I then worked as a University Lecturer teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate psychology students before returning to practice as a Forensic Psychologist in the late 90s. Once in practice, I then undertook the necessary further training to become a Clinical Psychologist in 2005. Since then I have worked extensively with adults, who experience common mental health disorders, continuing to update my practice by training in relevant therapies and techniques.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Being able to support someone to achieve a positive transformation to their mental health; bearing witness to change that allows someone to feel empowered and able to be in control of their psychological wellbeing is privilege to be part of.
What’s your weekly routine like?
Alongside providing 1:1 therapy, I also provide expert opinion reports for local organisations, read relevant articles and maintain contact with other colleagues working in independent practice. I also work hard to make sure that I exercise on a daily basis and I enjoy reading fiction and watching TV..
Has your job changed during the lockdown, and if so, how?
The clinical work that I offer has remained the same; what has changed is that I am now working completely online. Within my own practice the use of online methods of communication has not impacted upon the therapeutic process, and the flexibility it offers in regard to place and time of appointment, as travel time or distance is no longer a factor to accessing therapy has been really beneficial to the people who I am working with.
What are you looking forward to learning about in the future?
I am really hopeful that people will continue to make use of online therapy once we leave lockdown, given the quality of the psychological service provided remains high and it increases accessibility. On a personal note, I am rather looking forward to being able to meet friends and family, and to have a huge hug!