Local yoga teacher Sarah celebrates becoming a Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner with help from UCLan
A local yoga teacher is using her skills to support people with mental health issues by embarking on a new career as a psychological practitioner after studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).
Sarah Smith-Sergeant has spent the last five years teaching yoga to hundreds of people in Preston and South Ribble and working as a yoga therapist for children and young people. It was during her yoga therapy training that Sarah learned about the psychological theory behind developmental trauma and other mental health conditions and how yoga therapy can help.
Sarah said: “I wanted to reach a wider population to support the increasing number of people with mental health concerns but knew I needed additional qualifications to do this. As I already had a degree, I was able to complete a year-long MSc Psychology Conversion degree at UCLan and I’m really excited and proud to graduate this week.
"I wanted to reach a wider population to support the increasing number of people with mental health concerns but knew I needed additional qualifications to do this. "— MSc Psychology Conversion graduate Sarah Smith-Sergeant
“I’m now working as a Trainee Associate Psychological Practitioner (TAPP) supporting people in Blackpool to manage their mental health and will fully qualify in March next year. It’s a very rewarding job and I’m enjoying providing mental health prevention and promotion services in GP surgeries.”
It is not the first time that the 46-year-old, who lives in Fulwood with her husband Anthony and ten-year-old twins Marlow and Oka, has changed careers. Sarah was a high school geography teacher for 20 years before leaving the profession in 2019.
“I decided to leave full time school teaching because of the immense pressure the education system was putting on young people” she said.
“It’s not always been an easy journey to get to this point. My dad was diagnosed with dementia early in the course and then died five months later. Thankfully was I was well supported at UCLan and managed to get through it.
"I love my new career and the difference I am making to people’s lives. "— MSc Psychology Conversion graduate Sarah Smith-Sergeant
“I'm enjoying my career and the difference I am making to people’s lives. Working as a TAPP means I’m gaining lots of valuable clinical experience so who knows, I might apply for a clinical psychology doctorate one day.”
Sarah’s loyal yoga clients needn’t worry too much though, as she hasn’t completely left her old career behind.
She added: “I love being a yoga teacher and still plan to teach my antenatal yoga classes. It will be nice to continue doing something I’ve been passionate about for a long time and, ultimately, inspired my new career.”