An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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Spatch
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An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by Spatch » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:58 pm

Course rejection letters tend to be template based, usually official, polite and to the point. However, as someone on the other side of the table, if it were up to me, I would probably have written something along the lines of this:

Dear Rejected Applicant.

Yep, I am aware I am probably the last person you want to hear from considering the circumstances, but there a few things that may have been left unsaid that warrant a hearing. Truth is, in an ideal world we would have time and insight to write to each of you individually. While others may disagree with me, I feel the fact that you have chosen to follow a path in providing care, and comfort to others, and have made personal sacrifices to do so, warrants something more.

In a world that all too readily encourages personal gain and promotes those looking out for their selves, it's an admirable trait. The fact that you are even applying in the first place puts you on the side of the angels. I could go on at length about this, but I am going to stick to three main points I would like you to consider. Feel free if you want to quickly shuffle them to your own discard pile, as doing so may be therapeutic and a form of poetic justice.

1) You have, through no fault of your own, arrived at the party at a difficult time. Not to disrespect your predecessors who have faced their own challenge (lets just say that this party has always had a sturdy velvet rope and a lengthy queue outside it), but you seem to have come at a particularly tricky time. Government policies enacted before most of you were born have ensured that the supply of graduates, psychology graduates in particular, have never been higher. Expectations that were once viable for a small minority have now been instilled in the hearts and minds of nearly half the population, which has made clinical training a possibility for a large number of people who would never had a shot of applying. Never lose sight that your rejection is 99% not about you, but more about the "tyranny of crappy numbers".

2) If your form passed my desk this week, you would probably have made it in most fields. Forget that, you would probably have constituted the top 10% of the field you would have applied (barring some fields like law, pop stardom and the Olympics). With the dedication and experience most of you pitched up with, you would have probably been a "sure thing" for most graduate schemes. This is the general calibre you are operating at, and its easy to forget this when you never hear back from those endless AP applications, or letters of doom start to pile in.

I would never advocate comparing yourselves with others, but if you are of that persuasion, I would say that comparing yourself on this board is probably less helpful for your mental health than comparing yourself to the average graduate who is not on this path. Few will have the experience, determination and motivation that you possess.

3) In those long dark night times of the soul, it may be tempting to give in to despair and wonder if the low level, difficult and often demeaning work you may have had to do was worth it, when you feel no further on professionally.I would contend that if those experiences have even brought you closer to one other person, a person you weren't there selling advertising or screw over in some way, it would have made you a better person. That's before the discipline, empathy, understanding and ability to work under pressure that you will have had to develop, that people like me start take for granted as 'a basic' in all of you.

It's not a basic. We can see the lack of these aptitudes and experiences in our political and economic leaders, and have all seen the impact that this has had on us. Whever you end up, I would hope you can hold on to that. More than the WAISes, the SPSSs and the PHQs in any case.

Having counted myself among your ranks in the past (same story, different season) I am under no illusion that this letter is no substitute for one bearing happier news. Yet some things just need to be said.

I wish you all the best for the future.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/

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ClaireEmma
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by ClaireEmma » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:25 pm

Thanks for this, really kind gesture.

pennythrale89
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by pennythrale89 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:00 pm

Thanks for this Spatch, I received my fourth red half an hour ago and this has made me feel a little less like a complete failure! It's a hard old game this.

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rabbit
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by rabbit » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:08 am

Thank you Spatch :)
The time will come when men such as I will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men. (Leonardo da Vinci)

md21
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by md21 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:35 pm

Thank you :)

nunnkle
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by nunnkle » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:16 pm

This is definitely needed. Thank you so much for taking the time to write something like that :) . Its really annoying when a lot of your peers work in business industries and seem to think its dead certain youll 'just get on' and seem shocked when you don't...again. It's nice to read something which values the experience done so far.

This made me re-evaluate my situation and try to look for the positives. MY experience probably would be great for many other roles or jobs even industries. But right now I want to keep applying. So Ive sat down and begun to think about how I might plan out my working year and how I might try to get feedback from collegues and trained psychs I work with. This letter has given me the urge to carry on and see this year of all rejections as just a step to becomming even better qualified for a trainee role next year.
Its also helped me to think of other ways I could use my skills: ie my work are willing to see me through full CBT training which could be useful experience and also provide a career in itself if clinical doesnt work out. I could also continue on to a PhD in order to improve chances of having a career involving clinical practice and research/ teaching and leadership.

So whilst clinical is still my ultimate aim, I hope others find your words inspiring enought to help pick themseleves up and carry on realising they have great skills and talents, and a world of opportunity.
Thanks again.

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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by shadowfox » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:47 pm

Although I am not officially a 2014 rejectee quite yet ( waiting for the two scottish courses) I just want to say thanks to Spatch for writing that. It means something to me and I suspect others that are wrangling with disappointment and a hefty dose of self doubt from this year.

If we the masses send that to the BPS DCP and Clearing house do you reckon we could persuade them to send that out instead? we plea for more psychologeee friendlee approach to rejectee's! ( not spelling mistake but rather pronounciation guide. hint of desperation optional)

p.s if so I vote for Spatch to get a £1 royalty out of the £25 paid by rejectee fee's!

Orangeade31
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by Orangeade31 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:46 pm

Thank you for this! I was reading it in front of the the TV where there was a movie on with music that was epic and beautiful and very fitting for reading such a letter! :)

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Spatch
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by Spatch » Fri Feb 20, 2015 5:21 pm

Although it's a year on, I was thinking that this may be a relevant post to bump around this time of year.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/

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Nads
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by Nads » Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:39 pm

Cheers Spatch. As someone who has 9 years clinical experience I really appreciate the letter. I graduated in 2008 and chose A-level Psychology at the age of 15 because I wanted to pursue a career as a Clinical Psychologist. I am now 27. I have always sought posts that fit in with my home life and sometimes I felt that this held me back but I am happy that I did try and have the best of both. I have learnt a lot about myself in those 9 years and I am still learning now! We all have our own story so far and it's nice to reflect on it in a positive way rather than thinking about how long it is taking, especially in comparison to others.

Was just wondering whether you will be interviewing this year? I am just thinking that it would be great to have some reflections on the interviews from either yourself or any other willing interviewer? :D

Sushiroll
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by Sushiroll » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:57 pm

This is an incredible post! Thank you, Spatch. Posts like these really make me value this forum and feel proud for being a part of it. Stay strong everyone, we can do this.

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BlueCat
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by BlueCat » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:44 pm

Hang in there guys x
There's no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Billy Connolly.

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MindfulMouse
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by MindfulMouse » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:45 pm

Nads wrote:Cheers Spatch. As someone who has 9 years clinical experience I really appreciate the letter. I graduated in 2008 and chose A-level Psychology at the age of 15 because I wanted to pursue a career as a Clinical Psychologist. I am now 27. I have always sought posts that fit in with my home life and sometimes I felt that this held me back but I am happy that I did try and have the best of both. I have learnt a lot about myself in those 9 years and I am still learning now! We all have our own story so far and it's nice to reflect on it in a positive way rather than thinking about how long it is taking, especially in comparison to others.

Was just wondering whether you will be interviewing this year? I am just thinking that it would be great to have some reflections on the interviews from either yourself or any other willing interviewer? :D
I'm 28, first year trainee, all I know is it was worth it to try that one more time for me. You might be very very close.

ElizabethB
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by ElizabethB » Tue Mar 24, 2015 10:18 am

Nads wrote:We all have our own story so far and it's nice to reflect on it in a positive way rather than thinking about how long it is taking, especially in comparison to others :D
I think this is a really important point and something which I'm trying to focus on now. Comparing my journey with other applicants, trainees and some of my friends from my 2003 graduation who are now working within senior/consultant cp roles, really isn't helpful and perhaps just induces learned helplessness over time, upward social comparisions, a glass ceiling effect and real knocks to my self efficacy. I'm trying my best to stay positive by recognising my strengths and accomplishments and distracting myself with various things to help me stay focused. I'm also trying to direct my attention to the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or future and using strategies to reduce typical cognitive errors I tend to slip into (all or nothing, filtered thinking, catastrophising, forecasting the future etc etc). Redefining and gaining some perspective that this process is simply a career option rather than as some sort of inference of my potential or self worth is helping me stay grounded. In essence, I can't control the competition or this horrendous admissions process, but I have some control in how I respond to this process, which helps me stay positive.

I have no idea if any of my 3 (or possibly 4) DClinpsy interviews materialises into a place, but I can definitively say that I've progressed in some way from three years of 4 outright rejections, which is a positive outcome regardless.

Best of luck to everyone in this process :)
"I am different, not less."—Temple Grandin
'A door opened and I went through it!' Temple Grandin
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill

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workingmama
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Re: An open letter to the rejectees of 2014

Post by workingmama » Sat Mar 28, 2015 4:23 pm

I didn't read this last year, but noticed it now. Lovely letter, and I felt all warm and teary reading it.
Fail, fail again, fail better.

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