Rosie talks about her DPsych research

Rosie Parry, doctorate in  Counselling Psychology student

Former primary school teacher and Royal Navy reservist, Rosie, who lives in Devon, is in the final year of the three-year Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.

"My doctoral study explores the lived experiences of primary school-based counsellors delivering their service during a crisis, be it the current one of COVID 19, a natural disaster, a criminal or terrorist attack. Sadly, I feel there is only going to be more of these events, so I hope my research will contribute to a broader understanding and have more impact.

"My experiences of working with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities led me to do a doctorate in counselling psychology. I saw what children could do if they had the right help and support, particularly support for their emotional health and wellbeing; if they could think and feel differently and believe in themselves, they could thrive and achieve so much.

"It wasn't easy being open about my own need for support when I returned to full-time education, especially as a mature student with Multiple Sclerosis, a health condition I didn’t have twenty years ago as an undergraduate. There was something about having a disability - and one with invisible symptoms - that made it difficult, and I suppose I also had a fear of stigma.

"Now, in my counselling psychologist training, I realise how important it is to try to be open about difference and diversity, and raise awareness to others that disability/health conditions are about what people CAN do rather than what they can’t because of additional needs. For anyone reading this in a similar position to myself, I’d say it’s about finding a ‘sweet spot’ between what you can do and what you are passionate about. I have definitely found mine with counselling psychology.

"The University's Disability Advice Team is brilliant in how it coordinates and supports students in a sensitive way. My MS affects my vision mainly so I’ve had to have adaptations with printed materials or presentations and my sitting position in classrooms.

"Life will always find a way of challenging us, and every situation will impact each of us in different ways. It’s okay not to be okay during such times and I hope that I can inspire fellow students to adapt and to continue their studies but also to reach out when those challenges become too much."

Find out more about being a doctorate or PhD student at USW.