Counselling Psychology Doctorate - concerns

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Counselling Psychology Doctorate - concerns

Postby evangelinesmum » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:36 am

Hi all

Just wondering if anyone may be able to shed some light on some queries I have about pursuing a counselling Psychology doctorate. I have been considering various routes to become a psychologist over the last few years since gaining a merit in my msc psychology conversion in 2014. Up until recently I was focusing on gaining experience to get on the Ed Psych doctorate so have a couple of years experience in a special needs school as a family support worker, and an early years teacher qualification/Counselling certificate. However I have realised I am more interested in mental health and direct therapeutic work (and much less about learning interventions) so have pretty much ruled out Ed Psych.

Therefore my options are Clinical or Counselling Psychology. I like flexibility both in study, gaining relevant experience and jobs, so feel Counselling Psych may fit me better. I have a young family so find it difficult to pursue AP posts due to location issues and many of them are full time. Also I do not have high grades in My A levels or undergrad degree so my nearest uni (Bath) is out for Clinical. Exeter is my next closest but still 1.5 hours away, and as it's a full time course I would never see my kids even if I spent the next few years pursuing AP/RA positions and was successful. So although paying £££ for the Counseling Doctorate is a big negative (thank god for the new doctoral loans!) I think the flexibility the Counseling Doctorate gives fits me best, both in terms of learning different models, option of part time learning etc.

With this in mind though, I have some concerns... I am an evidence focused person (mainly quantitative methods), I also really enjoy research. I read a thread on here from a Counselling Psych who graduated a few years ago and was very disillusioned with his training and said Counselling Psych in general was very lost, and his training specifically was poor. I am really concerned about investing in training that is seen as second rate and choosing a uni that doesn't have strong research underpinnings. Could anyone advise on Counselling Psych in general regarding this, and more specifically whether there are recommendations for doctorates with a more empirical/research focus? My closest option is UWE.

I have just been accepted onto a foundation course in systemic therapy but am unsure whether to accept the offer as it's a lot of money and don't know if it will help me progress onto a doctorate unless I go back to my original plan of ed Psych if my fears of Counselling Psych are founded.

Any advise would be much appreciated.

Thanks

Holly
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Re: Counselling Psychology Doctorate - concerns

Postby hs577 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:20 pm

Hi,

I just finished my course. I published 2 papers (one of which was before going on the course) and had prior involvement with a multi centre study. You can do quants although quals is more in alignment with Counselling Psychology's philosophy - even with quantitative you will still be required to articulate your epistemological stance which will be positivism if you go for quants.

As all my experience had been quantitative I did a qualitative study and used systematic review strategies. I also went through the NHS using 4 different trusts so it's what you make of it. I'm also working on publishing 5 further papers (2 of which will be from my course - I just had my viva in June 2017). Good luck.
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Re: Counselling Psychology Doctorate - concerns

Postby evangelinesmum » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:06 pm

Thanks hs577 that's really helpful. Can I ask did you get a lot of flexibility regarding who your placements are with? I am mainly interested in working with families and children, although I know breadth is important when training to be a clinical or Counselling psychologist I have a strong interest in that field. I originally pursued Ed Psych for that very reason but am just not interested enough in the learning side, more the semh/systemic issues.

Thanks

Holly
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Re: Counselling Psychology Doctorate - concerns

Postby hs577 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:45 am

Hi,

Yes you choose your own placements. I'd qualified as a primary teacher and done some research with children and young people as well as other roles so I chose not to have a child placement. I enjoyed working with adults with poly trauma and or personality disorder presentations so chose my placements in accordance with this and worked for 2 years of the course on these so you can get depth. However, as you say it may be worth on your first year gaining more breadth then focusing on depth. I fit mine around 22.5 hours of work per week so restricted myself more placement wise.
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