Undergraduate Advice!

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:15 pm
Location: Liverpool

Undergraduate Advice!

Post by WilliamsonE » Fri Nov 21, 2014 6:21 pm

Hi Guys,

I'm new to all this so thought I'd introduce myself and ask for a bit of advice as I'm sure many of you have a lot of experience behind you!

I'm Emily, in my last year of University.. Aiming to do a DClinPsy.. eventually!! Essentially after my degree I'd like to to apply for AP/PWP posts, gaining experience for a couple of years before applying for the Doctorate.. Although I'm well aware it won't happen as smoothly as this (wishful thinking for now!)

So... During my time at University I've been boosting my experience:
- Research Assistant Post
- Carer of Dementia
- The Psychology lead of merseyside helped me gain experience with two Assistant Psychologists: The first at a dementia centre, second, community healthcare centre
- Conducted cognitive behavioural therapy sessions at a mental health unit including service users with depression, personality disorders and schizophrenia
-Voluntary work at a mental health hospital
- Worked alongside occupational therapists conducting group sessions to relieve anxiety/suicide prevention/ coping strategies
- Headway volunteer interacting with those with a brain injury and their carers/families
- Work experience in a school assisting children with learning difficulties

I am also currently waiting for placement at a brain injury unit and an autistic school sitting in on regular sessions with the OT/Clinical Psyc.

I was just wondering if anyone could advise of any other relevant experience that would be beneficial whilst I finish my undergraduate as I'm extremely eager to develop my knowledge of clinical psychology before going out into 'the big wide world'!!

Thank you!!


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Mikel Arteta
Posts: 469
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:16 pm
Location: North West

Re: Undergraduate Advice!

Post by Mikel Arteta » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:01 pm

Hi Emily,

Sounds like you know what you want to do and have started with gaining some useful experience. Assistant Psychologist and PWP posts can be difficult to gain, particularly just after graduating. I think your experience sounds useful, but try not to do a million little bits as in can end up looking quite bitty on application forms and although helpful, I think being in a job for around a year will help you develop better and have something a little 'meatier' for applications. I always advise to enjoy experiences and not do them for the sake of it. If you struggle to gain an AP post, look out for support worker type posts, which can be in a variety of environments e.g. Brain injury rehab, in-patient wards, residential settings, schools, etc. Once you have done this for a year or so, an AP/PWP post may be easier to gain (although still hard). You will then at least a couple of years of solid clinical experience before having a chance of gaining a place on the doctorate. As I say to many people, when a trainee CP you're a paid band 6 clinician and need to earn your money. Given the experience of most and what you are learning, the clinical work is complex, which it needs to be to prep you for the even more complex work you do as a CP. Try not to think 'ooh it's going to take years'. As after graduating I was always getting paid, I used to see the different grades as 'promotion' 'climbing up the ladder'. It's very different from most professions e.g. nurse, teacher, fireman, etc, with these professions you can be a trainee much quicker. A big advantage of getting on a bit later is that all the experience will really help you, it did me. I was glad I got on a bit later, my experience was so useful. You have to have a good grounding of the basics as you're suddenly expected to be using new models, which are complex, moving work place every six months and doing clinical case reports, research projects, etc, it's tough! But much easier when you have a good amount of experience.

Just enjoy your experiences and go with it, see where it takes you and reflect upon it at appropriate times. All the best with it :) x
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to arise

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