ed psych or clinical psych confusion

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ed psych or clinical psych confusion

Postby theballboy » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:34 pm

Hi everyone,
Im new to the forum and very interested in getting some responses from people on here who have applied or are qualified / currently training on the doctorate clinical psychology.
Some background on me firstly I'm 43 years old and will be applying for the doctorate in Educational psychology this coming nov / dec however i am also considering applying for the doctorate in clinical psychology
I currently work in a school for children with severe, moderate , profound and multiple learning difficulties. I have done for the past 12 years with various age groups. Before that I worked in a secondary school with senco responsibilities for two years and managed a community learning facility.
I had always intended to move into psychology but due to a young family and other significant issues , the time was never right. However i feel that now it is, and i am looking to move on to new challenges.
My undergraduate degree is a BPS recognised psychology degree from Queen's University Belfast. 2:1 (63/64 actual mark if i remember)
My plan was always to move on to educational psychology which is why I did a PGCE because at the time of graduation, a teaching qualification and at least 2 years teaching experience was required for the then MSc.
However I have a very personal deep interest in the clinical side of things and always have. But i felt i always carried too much baggage of my own to enter the field. That is until now. I was hospitalized when I was 21 with very severe depression and anxiety for two months. I had another breakdown around 4years ago which required hospitalization but only for a week that time. Following that I finally decided i was going to get to the bottom of this life long emotional struggle. I subsequently engaged with almost a year of intense psychological therapy with a clinical psychologist and was assessed as presenting with some schemas consistent with emotionally unstable personality disorder. I do not have a diagnosis of BPD or EUPD (and wouldnt meet the criteria )) but i do struggle emotionally from time to time. However i have gone through a huge transformation process as an individual over the past three years, having engaged with dbt and counselling. I really feel for the first time in my life that I now have insighy andam beginning to understand myself deeply, and hopefully coming out the other side of this life Long struggle or at least very much managing it ( as of course it just doesn't go away) Therefore I have excellent insight and a very good understanding of the content and the actual experience, and feel i would be very well placed to help others.

In my current post and for the past 12 years I have utilised various forms of psychological intervention with children and young adults experiencing and presenting with special needs, social and emotional difficulties and challenging behaviour. For example, conducting assessment of needs based on existing medical, psycholological and other professional reports, observing, baselineing, testing and formulating programs of intervention utlising applied Behavioral Analysis , various behaviour modification techniques and the design and implementation of individualised programs for pupils designed to assist them in overcoming barriers so they can work towards inclusive participation as a member of society.
Whlist i love working with children presenting with such needs and feel that I have a very good chance of securing a place on the educational psychology doctorate, I also have a burning desire to help others who are experiencing mental health issues, either with or without special Educational Needs. As such I would love to apply for the clinical doctorate also. It might offer me the opportunity to experience both areas of intervention. Essentially, I want to work in a capacity where I am utilising evidence-based psychological Theory to assess, plan , intervene and ultimately help people experiencing significant emotional distress. my own lifelong battle to date has been and continues to be motivational in my desire to deepen my knowledge in this area, and a create an insatiable appetite to provide significant support or change in the lives of others afflicted by similar challenges.

And so (and finally to the questions) As previously mentioned at the start of this post I am very interested in people's opinions on the following specific questions.

Is it going to look like I am confused or unclear on what I want to do if I apply for both courses, and ultimately go against me? (I can only apply to QUB as i have children here in. Ireland meaning i cannot (nor will not move away)

Would the experience I have to date be enough for application to the clinical doctorate, if i was able to demonstrate and link it to the core competencies?

Am I now too old and having been out of formalised education for so long (despite having continuing professional development) and only having a pgce on top of my psych degree, kidding myself on applying to either doctorate, and also be a cause of concern for the panel?

And if unsuccessful, could anyone suggest any ideas on where or what to do next to gather more relevant experience or better place me to reapply the following year?


Thank you to all and anyone who takes the time to respond and give their opinions on these questions and my situation. It has been a significant decision to make but I will be applying this coming November December for the educational psychology doctorate. However I would deeply love to secure place on the clinical course. What are your thoughts?

Thanks
Eoghan
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Re: ed psych or clinical psych confusion

Postby maven » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:25 am

Congrats on addressing your own issues and good luck in your applications.

Is it going to look like I am confused or unclear on what I want to do if I apply for both courses, and ultimately go against me? (I can only apply to QUB as i have children here in. Ireland meaning i cannot (nor will not move away)
No, if they are like the courses I know they won't even know that you've applied for both.

Would the experience I have to date be enough for application to the clinical doctorate, if i was able to demonstrate and link it to the core competencies?
Maybe, but realistically, probably not. Your experience is all in one setting and with one client group, whilst CP spans the lifespan and a range of services, plus I can't see any experience supervised by a CP or in the NHS or health settings, and the level of competition is such that your degree mark of a low 2:1 may not be competitive without a masters qualification or a publication, except on courses that do an assessment day rather than traditional short-listing.

Am I now too old and having been out of formalised education for so long (despite having continuing professional development) and only having a pgce on top of my psych degree, kidding myself on applying to either doctorate, and also be a cause of concern for the panel?
I don't think the time elapsed is a big issue, but as I said your academic profile meets the minimum standard, but may not be competitive for clinical courses compared to applicants with high 2:1/first class degrees and/or postgraduate qualifications. I don't think it would be as much of an issue for EP training, as you have directly relevant experience and they will like the PGCE and consider it relevant.

And if unsuccessful, could anyone suggest any ideas on where or what to do next to gather more relevant experience or better place me to reapply the following year?
For clinical, I'd suggest you need a post supervised by a CP and/or a relevant postgraduate qualification specific to CP or mental health and/or a research post relating to mental health from which you can gain publications.
Maven.

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: ed psych or clinical psych confusion

Postby theballboy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:11 pm

Thanks for the comprehensive reply. Im in 2 minds really if i should apply for clinical. I personally feel i wouldnt have the experience required despite being able to evidence competencies. Spoke to a lecturer who said i would but that i would be weak in evidencing research or academic capability. Will apply for ed psych and research masters courses if i dont get in. Think the competition is even stiffer there with around 70 applicants and only 5 places. Can but only try
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