Career path - advice appreciated

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natalie427
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:43 am

Career path - advice appreciated

Post by natalie427 »

Hi,

So quick background info:
BSc Psychology 2:1
MSc Forensic Psychology merit
5 months support worker - learning disabilities
6 months volunteering with a mental health charity as a peer mentor
4.5 years as a ‘programme psychologist’ (similar to an AP role) in a private company - residential children’s homes. Providing a CBT programme to young offenders and young victims of trauma.

As you can see I have been in my current role for almost 5 years. I feel I am at a stale mate in regards to progression (there isn’t any roles to progress too) and learning. However, financially I have built my pay to the equivalent of band 6.
I applied for the DClin last year - no interviews. I reflected on this and felt I needed further experience and possible work in the NHS

I have been applying for AP roles, thrive practitioner roles and trainee PWP roles.
I have been offered an AP role working with adult offenders with personality disorders - a split role ( PIPES and IIRM ). However, I have also been offered a trainee PWP role to commence in March of next year.

I’m totally torn in what to do. Although my current aspirations are to become either a Clinical psychologist or Forensic psychologist, I don’t feel I know that much about the PWP and CBT Therapist option to say that does not appeal.

I am 30 next year and I’m conscious of my age and career path. The changes with the HEE regarding funded courses has frightened me a little to be taking the trainee role.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Parkleton
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by Parkleton »

Hi Natalie,

Looks like you have a great CV with some excellent experience. However, I can understand why you might pursue NHS roles in the future

For me, the main determining factor would be the new HEE guidance, where (it looks like) for 2023 entry onwards to the DClin you have to have 2 years post qualification experience before you can get funding for the DClin. This would affect the PWP and not the AP role. Personally, it sounds like the AP post is well suited to your background and interests. Full disclosure, I am a CWP looking to move to an AP post. Happy to chat more about my role/training if that would be helpful, just send me a message :)
hawke
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by hawke »

Firstly, to me it sounds like you have a lot of clinical experience, so my initial reaction was not 'you need more clinical experience' to get interviews for the doctorate. Do you have access to a clinical psychologist to give you some feedback on your application? If not, an AP role in the NHS would give you the NHS experience you are after, as well as hopefully some NHS CP advice for your next application. It would also potentially give you a wider range of non-therapy opportunities compared to IAPT.

With your experience I wonder if you might find the PWP role quite constraining and it might not develop you much further in terms of your skills? It also won't give you clin psych contact or non-therapy experiences. You might even be able to apply straight for the high intensity / CBT therapist training in IAPT, rather than having to do the PWP training first, using a KSA application. Or perhaps even self-fund a CBT diploma while working at band 6 equivalent and using your job as your placement hours - while the course itself might be an outlay, it might even out to the same as dropping down to a band 4 salary. And self-funding would also not restrict you from HEE funding in the future.

I guess ultimate question - do you want to work as a psychologist or a CBT therapist? Both have pros and cons, but I hope that question could guide you through your choice.
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Geishawife
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by Geishawife »

To echo what has already been said, I would start by working out what you really want to do. If it's the therapy aspect of things you are most drawn to, the Clinical might not be the best option. If you are interested in the wider application of psychology and psychological principles, then it could be. If it is, the AP post sounds a better bet. From your post, however, extra experience (aside from gaining some familiarity with the NHS) is likely not the issue. I think you perhaps need to take really good look at your form and ensure it is reflective and demonstrates how your experience makes you a good candidate. Simply listing what you have done is not enough - you need to show how you have grown and developed and become ready for the next step. As Hawke says, perhaps get someone to review your form with you.

I am also curious about your current role. You say it is similar to an AP post, and you don't mention being qualified in any particular therapeutic orientation, so I can only assume you receive regular supervision from someone to ensure your work is safe and at an appropriate level. If not, I hate to say it, but this raises questions in my mind about what you are doing and whether you are getting as much from the post as you could. This is bound to come across on your Clinical application and could be another reason for lack of interviews. Either way, whichever post you now opt for, perhaps make personal development within the post a key thing and then demonstrate that on future applications.
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miriam
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by miriam »

To add to the sensible voices above, if CP is your goal, you might want to think what is missing from your CV. Whilst NHS experience and CP supervision are very valuable, it may be that gaining some research experience or developing a new model of working apart from 1-1 work would add more than more therapy work to your application. But I'm not sure that PWP work is the right move. HI would be a step towards becoming an accredited CBT therapist, but you'd need to show evidence of a qualification, or eligibility for HI training.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
natalie427
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by natalie427 »

Hi all,

Firstly, Thank you so much for your replies, I realise everyone in the field of psychology are very busy!

You have all given me much to think about and it was reassuring that some of the points you have raised I had already considered. I am thinking that I would like to pursue the pathway to becoming a clinical or forensic psychologist. Unfortunately, I’m currently overwhelmed with the difficulty and competitiveness of the DClinPsy and it is likely I won’t apply this year (I applied last year). However, my gut is telling me next year will be a good time and I’m hoping the next 12 months are productive in supporting me to think reflectively about my experiences and future plans.

In response to the query about my current role, I am supervised by a registered psychologist, 2 hours every 2 weeks. However, I have on a few occasions raised concerns around some aspects of the role being a little out of line for an AP. Fortunately, these have been listened to and respected.

With the AP role, I’ve talked quite a lot with one of the lead clinical and forensic psychologist and raised to her that I would like the opportunity to complete research tasks ( which she has advised is possible ). In addition, there is very little clinical work in the role and I’m hoping that the role will be similar enough to my previous experience so I can give back to the role but also that the difference is there for me to grow and learn. I’m incredibly excited (amongst fear of being a newbie and whether I can support myself financially) to begin my AP role and I think your replies have reinforced my thoughts of sticking with the AP role.

Thank you again!
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miriam
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by miriam »

What is a "registered psychologist" do you mean an HCPC registered practitioner psychologist? As anything less than that is meaningless.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
natalie427
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by natalie427 »

She is a forensic psychologist
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miriam
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by miriam »

If she's HCPC registered, then that's a practitioner psychologist.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
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mungle
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Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by mungle »

I won't reiterate the very good points above. Just one more to make, you could get involved in audit and service evaluation which services often need and could give the opportunity to develop skills and gain insight into service development. Think about anything you could publish - if you have a publishable project from previous study then great, go with this. However, there might be other ways you can publish e.g read the clinical psychologic forum, psychologist, local BPS branch newsletter etc. and see if there is anything you could contribute. Perhaps something you have done might be useful as a poster at a conference?

Are there any trainee clinical psychologists at you work? If yes, talk to them!
Think about joining a local AP group to get more a sense of what is going in your area. See if you can arrange to shadow each other.
You can also look at getting involved in committees and working groups within the BPS or ACP.
Get on twitter and follow other aspiring CPs, CPs and trainees. Learn, engage and look out for any opportunities to join groups. volunteer etc. advertised on Twitter.
Read some books on clinical psychology e.g. 'Surviving Clinical Psychology'.

If you take the NHS AP role you could speak to HR about having your 5 years experience recognised in the point on the scale you are appointed to.
natalie427
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Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:43 am

Re: Career path - advice appreciated

Post by natalie427 »

Miriam, Yes, She is HCPC registered. Apologies for my wonky wording.

Mungle - Thank you for your reply, I was just considering ways in which I can be 'more involved'. I have so many ideas, concerns and opinions in the area of social care and psychology and was wondering how else I could share these. I think you are a mind reader!

I am really bad with social media, its not something I sit and spend time doing. However, I think I will create a professioanl account on twitter and do what you advise! Thank you.

Also, again, you are a mindreader. I purchased the book 'Surviving Clinical Psychology' last week and have been 'sucked in'. I have an hour long drive to work currently, so i have also been exploring podcasts that I could listen to on the way there and back. So any suggestions for podcasts would be great.

I have also created a reflection folder, including reflective logs from my current role and reflective models I can use.
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