Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clinical?

Issues related to pay, contracts, Agenda for Change, the NHS, the BPS, unions, etc.
Post Reply
Imogen22
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:59 pm

Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clinical?

Post by Imogen22 » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:56 am

Hey there,

I have just graduated with a 1st in psychology. I originally set out to study psychology with the intention of becoming a clinical psychologist. However, during my studies i developed an interest and fascination in evolutionary and comparative psychology. Now after graduating i feel i am at a crossroad and i feel torn between two directions.
I tried during my studies to get a 'taster' for both area's of work. I volunteered with elephants in Thailand, i volunteered with a chimpanzee research centre in Africa, I volunteered at my local eating disorder unit and i also visited once a week an elderly lady who had depression and early dementia. But i found this only confused me further! as i enjoyed it all.

At the moment i am planning on doing a Masters and then phd in psychology...but in the area of evolutionary and comparative psychology...possibly at St Andrews...afterwards post doc research in that area for a while and then set my horizon on clinical.

In your opinion what do you think the odds are of me going into research in the area of evolutionary/comparative psychology and then later switching to clinical a little bit later on in my life? ..we are talking early 30's?

I think that the main problem will be that even though i will have a phd in psychology, i won't have any experience research or practical in clinical psychology and i don't know how i would go about getting that experience. Would i be expected to get a AP post first? or would they say i am 'over qualified'. Suppose i could get a research post in clinical, but then again i don't know what the probability of that would be given i would only have experience in evolutionary research...
Would my research in evolutionary psychology be taken into consideration, or would it be seen as irrelevant?

I basically just want the opportunity to do some research in evolutionary psychology, hopefully publish research and then turn my attention back to clinical psychology.

Imogen

User avatar
miriam
Site Admin
Posts: 7338
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:20 pm
Location: Bucks
Contact:

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by miriam » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:15 pm

There is no such thing as "overqualified" for AP posts - they are highly competitive. As to whether the evolutionary stuff will be considered relevant enough to get them, I don't know. But I'm a big fan of following your heart and enjoying the journey, you can often figure out where you want to go best by trying stuff out!
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

lizzabadger
Posts: 133
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:52 am

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by lizzabadger » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:02 pm

I agree - do what you enjoy and see where it takes you.

You may find you want to stay in research.

If not, age isn't usually a barrier to clinical training. I started at 38 from a research background. You will need some clinical experience first but you can sort that out if/when you need to.

Good luck!

cral
Posts: 81
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 11:37 pm

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by cral » Tue Jul 15, 2014 6:52 pm

I agree with the above-life's too short for regrets so do what makes you happy.

Also with any kind of research there's transferable skills for something with a more clinical approach. The key would be reflecting on these experiences.

I would also say the very topic of evolutionary psychology isn't completely irrelevant to clinical psychology after all look at compassion focussed therapy and social rank theories-both draw on evolutionary ideas.

User avatar
HedleyLamarr
Posts: 202
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:46 pm

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by HedleyLamarr » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:03 pm

cral wrote:I would also say the very topic of evolutionary psychology isn't completely irrelevant to clinical psychology after all look at compassion focussed therapy and social rank theories-both draw on evolutionary ideas.
Very true - I think David Buss' text book on evolutionary psychology has a chapter dedicated to clinical issues. There's actually quite a lot out there on this subject.
My mind is aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.

User avatar
Ruthie
Moderator
Posts: 3100
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:32 pm
Location: London
Contact:

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by Ruthie » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:11 pm

I second Miriam about following your heart.

I did a PhD before training. I managed to get half a day a week with a clinical psychologist as CPD time which allowed me to develop some awareness of clinical work and the NHS alongside my PhD (which was also very clinical and involved contact with people from a clinical population, NHS clinicians and services). From there I got an AP post very quickly which I did whilst writing up and then I got straight on to a DClin - at the point of applying I hadn't started my AP post so not having substantial AP experience didn't stop me getting shortlisted.

I started training at 26 - so certainly not over the hill (I don't think anyway!)

Ruthie
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.

Imogen22
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:59 pm

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by Imogen22 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:44 pm

Hey,
sorry i never got back to this, i completely forgot!

Thanks for your replies, i am still not decided, i am taking a year out to decide.

I do really want to do the evolutionary psychology, but then i don't want to hinder any future work in clinical...

It's really driving me crazy.

I was thinking i could do the Msc and phd in evolutionary, but during the phd i could try and squeeze in some voluntary work that would be clinical related and then when finished phd try and get an AP job and then keep trying to get onto clinical training.

OR

Give up the idea of doing evolutionary psychology and do a MRes in clinical research as originally planned and then try get an AP job, followed by trying to get onto clinical training.


What's your story? how did you all get onto the path you ended on, what were your choices?

Amina
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat May 24, 2014 10:28 am

Re: Switch from evolutionary/comparative psychology to clini

Post by Amina » Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:54 pm

Hi there,

I don't have a great deal of expertise, but I do know that in the world of 'attachment/natural/evolutionary' parenting, there is a lot of interest in how evolutionary/developmental psychology/biology can inform our understanding of what constitutes 'normal' sleep/nursing/development/behaviours in infants, so I wonder if there is a possibility that research in this area could also be clinically relevant?

It can feel really hard when you have two options which both seem intetesting, but as others have said, going with what you feel you'd most enjoy is so often the most beneficial.

I also hear your need for a 'template' of how others have made their decisions and found their path, and this can be reassuring and give you insights into how different options can work. However, your own journey is unique to you- trust your own knowledge, instincts and decisuin-making about what mught work best for you.

I wish you all the best and hope you can frame this as an exciting time of opportunity and possibility and not get too bogged down with feelings of missing out or making a 'wrong' decision!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests