Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

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Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby witcher2424 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:01 pm

I am a second year psych student hoping to eventually qualify as a Clinical Psychologist. Is this possible if I have previously been sectioned? I was under section for approximately 1.5 years. However, this was 6 and a half years ago and I am now about as happy and healthy as most 2nd year students!
Would the section(s) affect future applications?
I am happy to give more detail if necessary.
Thanks in advance! :alien:
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby Geishawife » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:50 pm

Having been sectioned in the past certainly does not debar you from doing the clinical course. There are numerous examples of people with a history of mental health difficulties working very successfully as CPs (Rufus May being an obvious example). All I would say is be aware of what your needs, vulnerabilities and strengths are so that you are able to recognise when your mental health needs might be affecting your ability to work. This, of course, is true of any of us, whether we have a documented mental health issue or not.

In some respects, your personal experiences could give you a unique perspective on things that could ADD to your effectiveness as a clinician. So long as you are mindful of recognising when (if!) your practice is being affected and you might need support your previous history does not have to be a hurdle.

Good luck with your journey.
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby Randomswirls » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:50 pm


Whilst I have never been sectioned I have had several admissions to hospital with the most recent being far more recent than yours.

I have been working in mental health since then and have encountered lots of clinical psychologists who know about my past who have said it will be an asset (none as yet have said anything else). I have been open in job interviews and got said posts and was also open on the Clinical Doctorate form and in my one interview last year and got very close to getting a place. So my experience is it definitely won't preclude you.and may even be an asset.

There has been an ongoing discussion in the psychologist magazine published by the BPS around this very issue with lots of different viewpoints and it's made for very interesting reading. Some senior figure in the profession such as the BPS Vice President have disclosed a history of bipolar for example.

Things I would say to be aware of are to think about what impact your mental health may have on your work and vice Verda eg I know I would find it hard to work with client group X as I may find it triggering but equally I know working shifts would make me ill. Also you will have to go through Occupational health if working in larger organisations and they may ask questions but should and will be able to put support in for you where necessary.

Most important though is the fact it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of disability alone!!!
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby witcher2424 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:48 pm

Sorry for the very late reply! Thank you this is really very encouraging and helpful. :D
Can I ask whether it is a good idea to disclose everything, on a form? I am a (relief) support worker with people with learning disabilities at the moment but have got a new job as a bank healthcare assistant in a psychiatric ward. I am technically a service user of the mental health team where I live, so I don't know how much of an issue this is, or how much to disclose, as I don't know if they can find out if I only partially disclose my history. I suppose I worry that if I tell them everything they will decide for me that it is too much. I am currently well, and although I know like you said that I would need to be mindful of certain client groups and environments, I think this is something I can do. I do have to admit though, that the stress of knowing what to disclose and what not to, is not conducive to good mental health!
I also worry because this is with the nhs, so any disclosures I make now will be on record for any AP or CP applications in the future unless I move city. So quite a big decision!!!!
Although I am doing well now, my history is not pretty and I don't know how much they can find out, if anything. I also read somewhere that they can fire you if it turns out you lied on an occupational health screening, is this right? Although, of course Rufus May didn't tell anyone until he was qualified.
Thank you again for all your advice. :mrgreen:
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby elkie » Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:38 pm

As far as I can remember occupational health forms tend to ask specific questions and set a time frame e.g. 'have you had mental health problems in the past 5 years?' and then give a couple of lines to say more. In my personal experience employers don't seem particularly inquisitive about one's own experiences of mental health difficulties in interviews although I have seen person specs where personal experience of mental health difficulties is on the desirable criteria list. Perhaps things have changed since I trained a few years ago but on my training programme there wasn't much, if any, discussion around personal experience however I know that on other courses there was. So it might be a good idea to find out how things are on the courses you're interested in applying to. Training is stressful enough without having to keep a big secret/worry that you're breaking the rules and I would think it makes more sense to be ready to disclose so that you can access support if needed. If courses aren't prepared to take you on because they don't think your mental health is currently stable enough to cope with the demands and the challenges of training that is one thing but I can't imagine that if they felt you were ready for training they would want to dig up your old medical records- but don't quote me on that. Basically, in my opinion, its a bit of a mixed bag and I would say just to take your time and try to find out as much as you can about the approach of particular courses that you wish to see if they're the right fit for you.
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby miriam » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:33 pm

Working for the NHS doesn't give your employers access to your NHS records. They only get the information you declare on your occupational health forms, and that doesn't pass from one job to another. You can be open there, as it is confidential, and for the purposes of making suitable adaptation to the role. It would be discrimination to withdraw an offer based on your health, and in my experience most people working in mental health services would be reasonable about stuff that happened a long time ago and has been fully resolved, so whilst there might be some people who make some negative assumptions, I think your worries are not things that would happen in reality.

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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby witcher2424 » Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:38 pm

Thanks very much, this has been really helpful. I will take everything on board and see how it goes. Take care! :) xx
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Re: Can I enter a DClinPsy course if I have been sectioned?

Postby sparkling » Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:42 pm

Just came across this and thought I would add my experience incase anyone looks at this thread later on and it could be of any use. I got a place to start this year (2017) and have been a service-user for a good many years! I'm now 35 and have two young children and have actually been remarkably well since they arrived, albeit with a little wobble a few months ago (this really WAS little). I was open on my occupational health screening and was asked to come in for a chat with them. Given the lack of severity of my illness (in terms of what I disclosed), I was surprised when I got hauled into the university in front of 3 of the clinical/NHS leads to discuss whether I thought I would be able to manage the job! Obviously without context of what I disclosed this is difficult to assess - however I have only ever had a week off work due to my mental health ever so I'm not exactly a risk in terms of taking a lot of time off ;-). It was done under the pretext of knowing how best to support me but it really was quite an indepth discussion as to whether it was the right choice for me given I have a mental health diagnosis and two small children and whether I wanted to reconsider. I was not amused!!! :evil: However, I am very glad I disclosed what I did - I think it gives your some protection if you need to take time out/things aren't going so well and also it helps them to look out for you in terms of whether you're having a difficult time and aren't in a good enough position to provide high quality care to your clients which, at the end of the day, is the most important thing. Together with keeping yourself well! x
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