Career Interview with Farzana Naeem: Senior Clinical Psychologist

What is your job title and where do you currently work?

I am a Senior Clinical Psychologist at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals and current Vice President of the Zimbabwe Psychological Association.

What exactly do you do?

I provide counselling and psychotherapy to mentally Challenged people.

Tell us a little bit about your career history?

I started out my career as a clinical psychologist in 2006 working at the Ministry of Health and child care.

Was this always your dream career or it changed somewhere along the line?

This was always my goal and it never changed at any time.

 How closely does your academic education fit in with your job?

My studies feed very well into what I do, in all dimensions of my work.

What qualifications do you hold? 

I have a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and am currently studying towards a Phd.

What are the tasks that you do regularly in your profession?

  • Case history taking
  • Assessment
  • Psychometric testing
  • Psychotherapy
  • Counselling
  • Advisory services

 Can you tell us some of the projects you have worked on, which you found interesting?

Several Projects: I have worked as a head of department for a Crisis Support Center, supervised psychology interns, and reports for psychological assessments. Most of all though, I love giving talks on positive mental health in Africa.

 What is it that excites you the most when you are doing your job?

Each day I deal with new people and new problems, this gives me great learning about the other peoples’ life experiences and I just cannot get bored.

What bits do you find boring in your daily tasks?

Nothing really, it is great fun to work as a psychologist.

Any advice to those studying or aiming at this job or career?

It’s a great profession with lot of potential in it. In Zimbabwe you are required to first register with the Allied Health Council. You will then go through a three-year internship under the supervision of a Senior Clinical Psychologist. After this, interns are required to submit their files to the Allied Health Council outlining whatever they did in those three years. After the files are approved, the intern is required to write exams and if they pass, then they can become Clinical Psychologists.