Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

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indigostar
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Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by indigostar » Fri May 16, 2014 11:57 am

Hi all,

This is my first time posting although this site has been a bit of a bible for me over the past couple of years since I decided I wanted to train in clinical psych. I have completed 60 credits in Psychology via a distance learning course at Staffs (distinction), did a first degree in Philosophy and Politics in 2005 and got a low 2:1(mostly as struggling with undiagnosed bipolar I now know!) and also have a diploma in teaching. I have worked in health, social care and education since I was 16 (I am approaching 30) and am commencing my MSc conversion in September at Nottingham University.

I feel pretty well placed in my experience and academic capabilities and am really excited about getting back to studying Psychology. However, I realistically want advice from others on what impact my bipolar diagnosis could have on my future career; not in terms of my management of it but in terms of how it's likely to be viewed or looked upon by others. I was diagnosed in 2010, am now happy and healthy and maintain it well with a low level of sodium valproate, mindfulness work and a wonderful support network of friends and family. I genuinely consider it a plus point that I am able to empathise more effectively with clients having been on the receiving end so to speak! I have not disclosed my condition in employment before this as I am aware of others' opinions, and whilst I would like to think that trained psychologists would be more open minded, equally I do not want to be naive and find that I am precluded from clinical training thanks to my honesty.

I hope this makes sense and sorry if I've wittered on a bit but I really would love people's opinions and experiences of this prior to me throwing myself into the fire. :D

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BlueCat
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by BlueCat » Fri May 16, 2014 2:59 pm

Sounds like you're on top of things....no reason why not!
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Billy Connolly.

Randomswirls
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by Randomswirls » Fri May 16, 2014 7:21 pm

Hi

I have the same diagnosis and am open about it at work as I'm a peer support worker so use my experiences to help others. My grades definately suffered as like you at undergrad I wasn't diagnosed and whilst I was doing my masters I was in and out of hospital that said I got a 2:1 and I passed my masters so I have done enough.

In terms of work I am open about it and when I meet psychologists they all say that I must apply and that I'm getting great experience all of which comes under service user involvement so I am open about my mental health. I will have no choice but to talk about this on the form but I don't think this will be an issue from what I have heard though I have yet to apply!

One thing is that lots of jobs in terms of mental health talk about lived experience being a desired criteria so I thing times are beginning to change!

Alex
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by Alex » Fri May 16, 2014 7:51 pm

There is no reason why you shouldn't pursue clinical training if you able to look after your own mental health difficulties.
You would have to discourse your mental health history to occupational health and sometimes it is actually beneficial to tell the course. This is so they can support you rather than hinder your development.

indigostar
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by indigostar » Fri May 16, 2014 9:10 pm

Hi all thank you so much for your feedback. Randomswirls, thanks so much especially nice to hear from someone with my diagnosis. I don't want to hide it, and know that realistically I can't when it comes to fitness to practice etcetera, but a little reassurance from peers never goes amiss!

daydreambeliever
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by daydreambeliever » Sun May 18, 2014 8:29 pm

I agree with what the others have said - sounds like you're in a good position to pursue CP if it's what you want. Have you read Kay Renfield Jamieson's stuff? She writes brilliantly on how her own bipolar diagnosis has influenced her work in the mental health field in a positive way. If you ever get a chance to meet her, she also has loads of useful and interesting ideas and advice about how clinicians being open about and managing their own stuff can enhance practice. I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to meet her a few years ago.

indigostar
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by indigostar » Mon May 19, 2014 8:48 am

daydreambeliever wrote:I agree with what the others have said - sounds like you're in a good position to pursue CP if it's what you want. Have you read Kay Renfield Jamieson's stuff? She writes brilliantly on how her own bipolar diagnosis has influenced her work in the mental health field in a positive way. If you ever get a chance to meet her, she also has loads of useful and interesting ideas and advice about how clinicians being open about and managing their own stuff can enhance practice. I feel very privileged that I had the opportunity to meet her a few years ago.

This name has cropped up a couple of times in my research around this particular topic, I'll invest in some of her writing if you think it's worthwhile, good to have a reliable recommendation on that, thank you very much :D

Randomswirls
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by Randomswirls » Mon May 19, 2014 12:53 pm

As I say people tend to react really positively to me. At work I'm very open about my experiences whilst at home I'm far less open so when it comes to being open do it at a level your comfortable with as once shared it can never be taken back.

Other people worth reading up on include: Rachel Perkins who is a psychologist with a bipolar diagnosis. In no way has her career been restricted by the diagnosis. Rufus May (?) who is also open about his mental health.

indigostar
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by indigostar » Mon May 19, 2014 3:33 pm

Randomswirls wrote:As I say people tend to react really positively to me. At work I'm very open about my experiences whilst at home I'm far less open so when it comes to being open do it at a level your comfortable with as once shared it can never be taken back.

Other people worth reading up on include: Rachel Perkins who is a psychologist with a bipolar diagnosis. In no way has her career been restricted by the diagnosis. Rufus May (?) who is also open about his mental health.
Thanks for some more references and again thank you for your reassurance. I am so excited about this career path and so good to hear positive things :lol:

lizzabadger
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Re: Clinical Psychology with a bipolar diagnosis...possible?

Post by lizzabadger » Wed May 21, 2014 1:36 pm

Was going to mention Rachel Perkins too. Good luck!

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