Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

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Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby HWoody » Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:28 am

Hello

Please can I pick the brains of those of you who are (or have been) on the clinical psychology training, who previously had done a clinical psychology relevant MSc, e.g. Mental Health Studies?

I wanted to find out how much it helped you with the academic side of the doctorate, ie how much had you learnt already from your masters?

Also, how does the workload from the teaching side of the course compare with doing a masters?

My situation is I'm doing a mental health masters now and I'm finding it very useful and interesting, but am wondering how similar what I am learning now is to what is taught on the doctorate and as such whether I'd have a bit of a "head start" with training if I were to succeed in getting a place (realising that alot of others will also have a masters, or above, as well).

My masters is part time, so I'm expected to do 20 hours a week, but I often do more (mostly because I'm aiming for a distinction).

So just wondering how much time you spend on the teaching / learning / reading on top of the placements? I realise there'll be a individual differences here, and I imagine is dependent on which year of training as well.

Thanks for any insight you can provide!
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Re: Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby astra » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:29 pm

I didn't have an MSc when I trained, but we were a very varied cohort with different qualifications and experience, some had PhDs some had no post grad study, some had research experience, some had clinical. It just really varies. Your MSc will help as you will have some post grad academic experience and some relevant knowledge that may be ahead of others, whereas others will have greater knowledge say of applied therapy skills if they've been a PWP for example. It'll all even out in the end and you'll all have the same chances of qualifying. Just enjoy what you're doing now and the rest will fall into place.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Re: Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby maven » Mon Dec 19, 2016 5:53 pm

In my experience MSc level study is much lower level and less applied than the doctorate. I'd not assume it will give much of a head start compared to other forms of experience.
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Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare
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Re: Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby HWoody » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:45 am

Thank you Astra and Maven for your replies.

Yes I assumed that the doctorate level would have to be more applied, at some stage you'd have to learn how to practice e.g. CBT rather than just learning the theory.

I'm finding my MSc much more relevant than my BSc as it is directly to do with mental health rather than my BSc which was just Psychology. It may also be more useful to me than a recent undergrad as I'm coming to clinical training late after over a decade in a different career. Because of this I am always looking to make sure I'm making the best use of my time to apply for training, but then again I'm sure everyone is no matter what their age.

Thanks! Have a great Christmas!
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Re: Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby astra » Thu Dec 22, 2016 12:49 pm

Don't worry about the age thing. I started my undergrad at 27, finished clinical training at 40 and have the next "big birthday" coming up soon, it all turned out despite the agonising I did about "getting there, at my age" and all that. In between all that I had a family and did lots of nice things. I now have a small private practice, flexible hours, decent income - it all worked out somehow! Enjoy the ride and don't worry about things too much - is what I would tell my younger self.
From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you're breathing there's more right with you than wrong with you. Jon Kabat-Zinn
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Re: Does a Mental Health MSc help with clinical training?

Postby HWoody » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:30 am

Thank you Astra for your words of encouragement about my age. I really love what I am doing, but it is so different to the paths everyone else I know is on, where they are becoming more and more established in their careers and I am starting again on this very long road where I don't even know I'll succeed at the end. I used to earn very decent money so sometimes I have moments of panic, and wonder if I'm mad, but overall I feel pleased I've taken courage to pursue a career I will feel proud and privileged to do.

I'm glad everything has fallen in place for you Astra in a relatively short time, it is encouraging to hear positive stories from those who came to the profession later in life.
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