Very very disheartened

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Psycgrad63738
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Very very disheartened

Post by Psycgrad63738 » Fri Aug 03, 2018 5:40 pm

Hi Everyone,

I'm just looking for some advice or if anyone is in a similar situation.

I started of a few years ago very enthusiastic about the doing the clinical psychology course, i'm really interested in mental health and I like helping people. I was going to apply for graduate entry medicine but changed my mind last minute when I heard of this.

Over the last few years i have just become more and more disheartened by the whole experience and genuinely feel like I wouldn't be good enough to do it anymore. I feel like i'm having years of uncertainty gaining experience, in low paid jobs with no qualifications just for a chance that one day i might get in but that probably wont be anytime soon!

I'm developing depression and social anxiety which is just making things worse and although I love clinical psychology if i had realized it would be like this I doubt i would have gone through with it! I feel like a failure like i'm achieving nothing. No one outside of psychology seems to understand either most of my friends thought you became a psychologist as soon as you finish your undergraduate degree and the only aspect of psychology is therapy.

So I don't know what to do at this stage. Do i keep slogging along for god knows how long or change to something else? Maybe medicine? or a graduate scheme? I'm not very good at English and I am best at science and statistics so is this the wrong choice for me anyway? Although it would feel like the last few years had been pointless but honestly at this stage that's how i feel anyway. Even getting the low paid assistant psych posts is a mission in itself it's like everything is so hard with so many push backs and rejections which just makes me feel like I wouldn't be good at it, if its this hard for me to get anywhere in the field.

Thank you
Last edited by miriam on Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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miriam
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Re: VERY VERY DISHEARTENED

Post by miriam » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:25 pm

My honest advice is always to focus on enjoying now. If you aren’t enjoying your current post then change and do something different. Life is too short to be unhappy.

That said, you haven’t said what your experience to date has been or why you are getting so disheartened. If you are applying for nhs AP posts and getting knocked back you might just need to change tack. Or it might just be that the depression is taking the sheen off things and when you get that treated your enthusiasm will return. If you give us more information we can help you appraise your chances and plan a way forward.
Miriam

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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by Beggarsroost » Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:34 am

I empathise, I could have written this post myself.

I have 5 years of AP experience in various settings and specialties (neuro, paediatrics, older adults, forensic) I have a 2:1 at undergrad and a distinction in my MSc. I have published my MSc dissertation and have a poster presentation on my CV (undergrad dissertation). I also have other bits of paid and voluntary experience working in mental health in roles like support worker and activities coordinator. I have had my application form checked and have sought advice from clinical psychologists I have worked with who shortlist and interview on courses

Last year I did not get a single interview. This is despite being on the reserve list for a place twice in previous years.

I have come to the end of the road I think. I am obviously not what the courses are looking for and am maybe just not cut out for CP.

I have a family now. I decided I was not willing to put my life on hold for a "maybe one day" job. However, having children changes your priorities and now I am not really willing to continue taking short term band 4 contracts. For one thing childcare costs alone don't make it worth going to work! I need to earn more money and I need stability.

I am currently in a research role and am looking at longer term plan B's. Maybe forensic (my MSc was forensic, maybe why I didn't get any interviews?) or maybe something completely different. I just find it crazy that one seems to need all this experience and has to bust their hump for so long for so little pay just to be accepted onto a TRAINING course. I almost feel like I need to be halfway qualified before I've begun the doctorate. I don't honestly know what more I can add to my application (although obviously I'm aware one can always improve, reflect and grow). I also find it frustrating that I am immediately discounted from certain courses because I have a mid 2:1 at undergrad. I wouldn't even get past the sorting stage at some courses based on that alone, none of the experience or work I've done since I was 21 matters in those cases. I know they have to put a cut off somewhere as they have so many applications and maybe I'm just bitter but it feels unfair.

Apologies for the rant but this is something I have been thinking about a lot recently. Maybe I'll apply again in a few years when the kids are older but for now, I'm out. I would agree with Miriam and just concentrate on enjoying the now. Look for another job if you're currently not happy and apply for those you feel you would enjoy and get something out of regardless of whether you think they would look good on the application form. I guess I just wanted to empathise and say that there are loads of us "failures" out there. Those that try hard and do everything "right" and still have a hard time making it onto the course. Remember, at the end of the day its only a job.
Life is far too important to be taken seriously

Psych4589325353
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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by Psych4589325353 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:55 pm

Sorry for the late reply I just saw this! Thank you it feels nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way!!

Your post actually made me want to do it even less! I have a masters and a years experience as an AP but you have so much more than me and are still struggling to get on!

I think I' going to cut my losses and apply for graduate entry medicine/ get a data based job or graduate job! I thought I would be good as a CP originally but they seem to want close to perfection which I am not, especially as I have social anxiety in terms of long conversations/ presentations and I am a bit socially awkward!

Thanks for the help/advice good luck with everything!

NorthC
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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by NorthC » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:33 am

Hi all

I just wanted to add some comments from 'the other side'. I feel I could have written this post last year or the year before. I applied for the doctorate a total of 5 times - securing a place this year. It was such a tough journey and I totally empathise with those feelings of anxiety and 'not being good enough' and each year - particularly last year - I was ready to walk away as well. Over the last year I've had a great supervisor who really encouraged me to keep going and focus on 'becoming a better clinician' and enjoying my job, and then getting on the doctorate would be a bi-product of this. It is so difficult not to see getting on to training as the only goal and I can completely understand that its easier to say this having gained a place this year.

What I would also say is that my offer turned into a place from a reserve place and those feelings of 'not being good enough' and imposter syndrome, for me, have become more heightened since gaining my place not less. The competition in this process is unreal (as you all know) and the margins between people getting on and not, are so slim so I would encourage a view that its not that your 'not good enough' its the process and number of people applying all of whom would make great psychologists.

It sounds like you are all coming from different places/circumstances and there are lots of factors to consider but I think I just wanted to add that everyone has a different journey onto training and its easy to think that not getting on is personal when its not and lots of factors (level of competition being a big one) contribute to gaining interviews/places. I also think enjoying what you do is the most important thing and this can also help ease the pressure of 'getting on'. Apologies for the rambling post, best of luck whatever you decide to go for.

Reeroo123
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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by Reeroo123 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:50 pm

Hi Psychgrad63738 and all

I'm new to the forum, and appreciate its a rotten feeling, but bear with me...the tide will soon turn...

There may be a silver lining in all of this. You will find I'm incredibly cynical with DClin applications, as an old postgrad. Im looking at it from a wider perspective, and I will make a sportsmans bet with you that this will all change soon.

Its all political. Forgive me if this is old knowledge. The bloody Health and Social Care act 2012, means NHS services are put out for tender for AQP (Any Qualified Provider). The AQP provider will not want to foot the bill for training Clinical Psychologists incase they lose the contract.

Im working for a 3rd sector provider and we have a 5 year contract with 2 year extension....they dont factor into the bid training costs of staff..... (It means the contractor who wins the contract gets the benefit of all the training the new Clinical Psychologist has, without footing the training bill through TUPE). It will eventually mean that the NHS will just be in name only, sold off and privatised.

Ive seen this been done in my area with PWP training. First, it was an NHS funded PG Diploma, then reduced to PGCert, then no NHS funding for PWP training, with the PWP training integrated into the undergraduate degree...so who foots the financial headache for training - the student. The student has to then find a PWP job on graduation (which is ok at the moment as theres lots of these vacancies out there...crumbs I used to get cold calls from recruitment agencies asking if I wanted locum work as a PWP...no thanks)

Its been similar with the introduction of the over 30s Masters loans..Universities want our money, the student is in the driving seat, asking what course is best for them etc.

I can see this happening with the DClin. Its happening already in some universities offering paid places..but they are taking the proverbial in terms of fees. I think the NHS funding for DClin will go. Students will have to pick up the Phd Loan at £25k, or other sources. Universities that are charging exhorbitant amounts for funded DClin will soon realise they have competition, and it will be a buyers market for the student in terms of courses..ok..this means we will have to fund it, and no guarantees of work after, but this means we are free to work in the NHS (that remains) or a 3rd sector provider, or work privately/independently, work abroad....the world will be our oyster.

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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by miriam » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:43 pm

CP funding is regional and not within individual NHS contracts, and the workforce reviews have shown the need for sustained funded training. Only IAPT is within the realm of AQP, all other elements of mental health are block contracted. The clinical doctorate charges/funding do not just cover university fees. Plus we can already work in or outside the NHS and changes to funding for the doctorate would have no impact on how the equivalence process works in other countries around the world. So you seem quite poorly informed, and as a result this post is quite misleading.

I'd also point out that people have been making bleak but unevidenced pronouncements about CP funding like this since before I trained, and I've been qualified 18 years. So whilst at some point there may be changes, there is nothing on the immediate horizon, and even if it does change it may pan out okay. I think we can do a lot to show the value of CPs, and the cost-savings that effective interventions make elsewhere in the system, and there are many folk I've met in leadership and political roles who think we need more CPs.

So rather than doom mongering and stirring up anxiety, why not try to do something about your fears? Write to your MP about the importance of funding NHS mental health services and the inefficiencies of the competitive marketplace and the discomfort you feel about creeping privatisation.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Re: Very very disheartened

Post by Spatch » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:51 am

Universities want our money, the student is in the driving seat, asking what course is best for them etc.

I can see this happening with the DClin. Its happening already in some universities offering paid places..but they are taking the proverbial in terms of fees. I think the NHS funding for DClin will go. Students will have to pick up the Phd Loan at £25k, or other sources. Universities that are charging exhorbitant amounts for funded DClin will soon realise they have competition, and it will be a buyers market for the student in terms of course
This is a really interesting point. In classical economic terms, one might expect for this to happen as DClinPsy's effectively become a market. However, this hasn't happened in the US where Clinical PhDs/Psy Ds charge even higher fees (a friend who graduated recently in the US spoke of $30k-50k tuition fees depending if a student was in state or out of state) and have intense competition and pre-entry GRE exams that also cost money to sit. In the UK, an open market also hasn't reduced the cost of counselling Psychology doctorates (over £6k per year tuition now full time, and 5k part time ), and it could be more with the higher popularity of clinical. I guess the limiting factor here will be the number of people able to afford or willing to get into debt...
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