Experience/Application Advice

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Dan89
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Experience/Application Advice

Post by Dan89 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:50 pm

Hi all,

I have been thinking about applying for a clinical psychology doctorate for a while now. But I have been reading all the various different experices which people had prior to gaining acceptance onto a program along with publication/research experience. I’m quite daunted by it all, to be frank.

I graduated with a first class honours in psychology and then studied behavior analysis which I also graduated from with a first class honours. I am board certified and I have been working in the area of autism for 5 years now. I have been involved in some research projects which I have presented on via poster sessions or talks, and I hope to publish one of the projects soon. During my undergrad and at the beginning of my post grad I working with individuals with depression for a year and then people who have OCD for 6 months.

I just don’t know if a) I would have the experience that these programs are looking for or speak to my experience in a way that would prove readiness and b) if I would have the research skill set that many seem to have when applying for a course. I was thinking of doing the clinical psychology foundations masters degre in Southampton uni. This would be as means to get myself more varied experience and make my application more desirable.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Northernlad
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Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by Northernlad » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:25 pm

It can be tough deciding when to apply but I would advise only applying when it feels right for you; not based on when you feel your experiences match that of others. I remember when I first started out and how daunting it felt hearing stories of people who had years of experience without even getting a sniff; but conversely many get on with very little experience. The path to clinical training is so varied, there is no script or winning formula, so I would advise focusing more on your own journey and how that plays out for you.

There doesn’t seem to be any problems with your academic credentials if you got a first for your undergraduate degree. The course in behaviour analysis you mention, is that a MSc? Even if it isn’t I’m not sure how much a MSc in clinical psychology would add to your application. Unless it is a course you are genuinely interested in doing, I feel your time would be far better spent building on your clinical skills. You mention you worked with people with depression and OCD – in what capacity? Was this a care or therapeutic role? Perhaps seeking out opportunities which would allow you access to supervision from a clinical psychologist would be a good next step, whether that be in a paid capacity or if you have any spare time, a voluntary AP role. This will give you a greater sense of the role and how psychology operates in different services.

In relation to your research experience, if you have been involved in research projects which have led to oral and poster presentations and have a possible publication in the pipeline, I wouldn’t worry too much. There are people on my course who have far less research experience than this.

It’s an uncertain time, and I can empathise with how difficult it can be to gauge whether you are getting the right experiences and whether those experiences are enough but keep focused on you and your journey and I hope it all works out for you.

NL

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miriam
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Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by miriam » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:01 am

Can't see the point in adding a taught MSc to a first, personally. I'd just keep on getting relevant paid experience, and apply when you feel ready. We can't judge your experience as we don't know how many hours per week you spent, who was supervising the work and whether your qualifications and experience are all in the UK, but on the face of it you seem to have enough to apply.
Miriam

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

RJParker
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:44 pm

Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by RJParker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:41 pm

To reiterate all my posts on the subject, the expectations of different courses in terms of access to 'experience' vary hugely and start at none at all. People do not need clinical experience, postgraduate training, published papers, or experience in research to get a place on a DClinPsy. I'd look at the approaches and requirements of different programmes.

lakeland
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Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by lakeland » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:52 pm

RJParker wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:41 pm
To reiterate all my posts on the subject, the expectations of different courses in terms of access to 'experience' vary hugely and start at none at all. People do not need clinical experience, postgraduate training, published papers, or experience in research to get a place on a DClinPsy. I'd look at the approaches and requirements of different programmes.
This is a derail but I'd not be best pleased to get a trainee on placement with no clinical experience.

RJParker
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Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by RJParker » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:19 pm

lakeland wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:52 pm
RJParker wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:41 pm
To reiterate all my posts on the subject, the expectations of different courses in terms of access to 'experience' vary hugely and start at none at all. People do not need clinical experience, postgraduate training, published papers, or experience in research to get a place on a DClinPsy. I'd look at the approaches and requirements of different programmes.
This is a derail but I'd not be best pleased to get a trainee on placement with no clinical experience.
We work closely with our supervisors to ensure that the combination of supervisor, placement, and support is appropriate to the trainees individual stage of development.

Dan89
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by Dan89 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:28 pm

Northernlad wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:25 pm
It can be tough deciding when to apply but I would advise only applying when it feels right for you; not based on when you feel your experiences match that of others. I remember when I first started out and how daunting it felt hearing stories of people who had years of experience without even getting a sniff; but conversely many get on with very little experience. The path to clinical training is so varied, there is no script or winning formula, so I would advise focusing more on your own journey and how that plays out for you.

There doesn’t seem to be any problems with your academic credentials if you got a first for your undergraduate degree. The course in behaviour analysis you mention, is that a MSc? Even if it isn’t I’m not sure how much a MSc in clinical psychology would add to your application. Unless it is a course you are genuinely interested in doing, I feel your time would be far better spent building on your clinical skills. You mention you worked with people with depression and OCD – in what capacity? Was this a care or therapeutic role? Perhaps seeking out opportunities which would allow you access to supervision from a clinical psychologist would be a good next step, whether that be in a paid capacity or if you have any spare time, a voluntary AP role. This will give you a greater sense of the role and how psychology operates in different services.

In relation to your research experience, if you have been involved in research projects which have led to oral and poster presentations and have a possible publication in the pipeline, I wouldn’t worry too much. There are people on my course who have far less research experience than this.

It’s an uncertain time, and I can empathise with how difficult it can be to gauge whether you are getting the right experiences and whether those experiences are enough but keep focused on you and your journey and I hope it all works out for you.

NL
Thank you, NL. My masters degree was an MSc in behavior analysis for the university of Ulster and I worked as a group facilitator for those individuals with OCD this was supervised by a counselling psychologist at the time. But like I mentioned, the rest of my experience has been with individuals with ASD and has not been supervised by a clinical psychologist, rather, all my supervison came from Board certified behaviour analysts.

Dan89
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by Dan89 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:32 pm

RJParker wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:41 pm
To reiterate all my posts on the subject, the expectations of different courses in terms of access to 'experience' vary hugely and start at none at all. People do not need clinical experience, postgraduate training, published papers, or experience in research to get a place on a DClinPsy. I'd look at the approaches and requirements of different programmes.
Thank you for your response. Are you referencing any particular program based on the criteria you mentioned? From my research, I haven’t seen any programs which don’t emphasize experiences, grades to some degree, and research experience. That said, I have only looked at a select few at this point in the UK.
Last edited by maven on Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: to fix your quotes

Dan89
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Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by Dan89 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:34 pm

miriam wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:01 am
Can't see the point in adding a taught MSc to a first, personally. I'd just keep on getting relevant paid experience, and apply when you feel ready. We can't judge your experience as we don't know how many hours per week you spent, who was supervising the work and whether your qualifications and experience are all in the UK, but on the face of it you seem to have enough to apply.
Thanks, Miriam. I have worked full time (40 hours) with individuals with ASD for 5 years and this has been fully paid. I did just mention in my response to nl that none of this was supervised by a clinical psychologist. My experiences cover Ireland, the UK, and the GCC.

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maven
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Re: Experience/Application Advice

Post by maven » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:41 pm

Dan89 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:32 pm
Thank you for your response. Are you referencing any particular program based on the criteria you mentioned? From my research, I haven’t seen any programs which don’t emphasize experiences, grades to some degree, and research experience. That said, I have only looked at a select few at this point in the UK.
Courses with selection assessments tend to have lower minimum requirements of experience and grades, as they then interview those who score highest on the assessments.

And your experience sounds substantial enough to be credible. Plenty of people get onto training without CP supervised posts. But there is definitely an advantage to having NHS experience. You will also need to meet residence requirements, and demonstrate a commitment to stay in the NHS for them to fund the training.
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

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