Evy Maasakkers studied Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
My choice of Master's
"During my Bachelor’s programme in Psychology at Utrecht University, I specialised in Children and Youth. As I found the courses in this specialisation very interesting, it made a lot of sense for me to pursue a Master’s in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology afterwards. Still, I’ve had my doubts. This was because I also took neuropsychology courses during my Bachelor’s programme. Preferably I wanted to combine these two; that’s why I ended up looking for a work placement in the field of neuropsychology aimed at the target demographic of children and youth. In the end, I had a nice combination of both! My advice would also be to look for a work placement that matches your interests, so that you can find out whether this suits you and is something you enjoy.
The elective I finally chose was Juvenile Forensic Psychopathology. There was also a course focused on neuropsychology, but as I had already learned a huge amount about this topic during my work placement, I felt that choosing an elective was a great opportunity to learn more about something completely different. The nice thing about the elective is that you can specialise just a little bit more in one particular field.
As already mentioned, I chose a work placement focused on neuropsychology with the target demographic of children and youth at Kempenhaeghe. This institution treats children and adults with complex epilepsy. In addition, there is a centre for sleep disorders and neurological learning and developmental disorders. During my work placement, I concentrated on the Epilepsy in School-Age Children programme (ESK: epilepsie schoolse kind). Kempenhaeghe mainly focuses on diagnostics to investigate whether epilepsy and/or medication influences a child's cognitive development.
At Kempenhaeghe, you also have the opportunity to write your Master’s thesis. Together with a PhD student from a university of technology, I developed a new task to measure the cognitive effects of medication on children. My question was whether this task could result in a valid measurement of these cognitive effects at all. The outcome was positive. Since I am now working at Kempenhaeghe, I will try to convince the new trainees to build on this study, so that this task may be implemented in neuropsychological practice."
REBECCA SAMUEL STUDIED CLINICAL CHILD- AND YOUTH PSYCHOLOGY
"I always wanted to be a pediatrician, but the study programme takes so long, and in the end, it was always the psychological aspect of children with disorders that really fascinated me. I wanted to examine and study the underlying reasons for problems. So my first step was the Psychology Bachelor’s programme, with a focus on Child- and Youth Psychology, and then the Master’s in Clinical Child- and Adolescent Psychology.
I chose for Utrecht because the Faculty of Social Sciences at Utrecht University has several very good lecturers. The Psychology department, especially, has an excellent international reputation. But I also thought Utrecht was just a fun city.
In the Master’s programme, you go deeper into all of the different psychological disorders, and the course Applied Developmental Psychology was especially interesting. The theory in that course was really applicable to my internship, so I could combine the two very well. I did my internship at Orthopedagogen Psychologen Praktijk Utrecht, where I diagnosed children ages 6 to 18 with all sorts of problems, and gave recommendations for treatment. One of the things I noticed was that ADHD is expressed differently in boys than in girls.
In September, I earned my degree and I got married. Those were two exciting experiences combined in a single month. Today, I work as a freelancer at my old internship practice. At this point in my career, it is more interesting to work in a medium-sized practice than to work in a large hospital or institution. In the future, I would like to be able to treat patients and to work with children who suffer from multiple disorders. So I’m going to enrol in a health care study programme and the clinical psychologist curriculum."
- Rebecca Samuel, Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology alumna