Well, out of all of the places in the world-wide web, you ended up here! That's kind of amazing.
My name is Ashley, and I'm a Registered Provisional Psychologist practicing at a lovely private practice called Heart Body Mind in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Shout out to Meg Hasek-Watt, the amazing psychologist/guru of all things that I get to work alongside!
So, what does it mean to be a Registered Provisional Psychologist you ask? Good question.
In Alberta, once someone has completed an undergraduate degree (check) and a Master's degree (check) in Psychology, their credentials need to be reviewed and approved by the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP). Once approved, CAP then requires that you complete the first 1600 hours (approximately the first year) of practice under the supervision of a more senior Registered Psychologist.
Now, I know the word supervision can often bring to mind ideas like "shadowing" or even "babysitting", but in this case supervision basically means that I consult often (in my case usually once a week) with a more experienced Psychologist who makes sure I'm doing a really good job.
If CAP approves your proposed supervisor and supervision plan, you are awarded a provisional registration number, and allowed to call yourself a Registered Provisional Psychologist until you have completed your 1600 hours (and a couple of final tests, but that's another post!). Once your hours are completed and your tests have been passed, then you are officially a Registered Psychologist.
Okay, Ashley, but what does that mean?
Listen, it basically means that I have two degrees (B.A. (Honours) Psychology from Concordia University & MC Psychology degree from the University of Calgary), including a year-long practicum where I got to facilitate therapy with a lot of different humans struggling with a lot of different things.
Here's the thing, did I need two degrees to become a Registered Provisional Psychologist? Yes, definitely. It's the law.
But, those degrees are not why I'm good at what I do.
I am good at what I do because of my experience. I'm not just referring to the fact that I've worked in a wide range of mental health settings, or with diverse populations, but also my own experiences as a human. I have been on the other side of this process. I know what it means to struggle with mental health, and I know what it takes to come out on the other side.
At the risk of sounding incredibly cliché, going to counselling changed my life on more than one occasion, and I am so honoured and grateful to now get to do this work with others.
If there is one thing that I know, it's that we are all just people (and we all have stuff).
Do I have a specialized set of skills and knowledge to draw from? Yes. But I am also another human who is willing to see, hear, and hold space for you wherever you are right now, and help support you moving towards where you'd like to be.
Welcome to my blog, I am so glad you are here.