The multiple pathways to clinical training: lessons from a first year trainee

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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PinkFreud19
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Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 3:08 pm

The multiple pathways to clinical training: lessons from a first year trainee

Post by PinkFreud19 » Fri Nov 15, 2019 3:35 pm

Hi everyone.

This is a thread for all those who may be struggling to get that first AP or IAPT post, or those who feel that years as an AP may be financially unsustainable.

This time last year, I was finalising my doctorate application for another year's attempt on the DClin application wheel. At the time, I was under the erroneous impression that to get onto clinical training, you either needed to be an AP or an IAPT worker to stand ANY chance of getting on the doctorate. Moreover, I thought that there is no other career option that can move you towards the DClin goal that actually involves good pay.

Since starting as a first year trainee, and meeting my fellow trainee colleagues, these beliefs were radically transformed. Based on my own cohort alone, here are the possible *alternative* careers that can lead to successful enrollment on the DCLin:

- Social worker: someone on my course successfully got onto training with no prior AP or IAPT experience. They worked as a band 6 social worker and gained excellent experience in risk assessment, some therapeutic experience, clinical assessment, and much more. Social work is an excellent career to explore for those who are interested in the doctorate but wish to also work towards an alternative and valued career. It is possible to get onto the DClin before the age of 26 via this route.

- School teacher: this career path is one that I would have never thought of when considering clinical psychology as a long term plan. However, it's a job that provides excellent experience in working with children professionally, having an understanding of safeguarding and mental health, and involves a high degree of teaching and facilitation skills. A teacher on my course was able to quickly switch to an AP job and then went onto successfully gaining a place on the doctorate. It is possible to get onto the DClin before the age of 26 via this route. As above, the pay is competitive when contrasted with an AP role.

- Occupational therapist: unfortunately, this requires a separate undergraduate. However, for all those who have OT undergraduate degrees and are interested in converting to clinical psychology, it is absolutely possible and the work experience gained from this career is highly relevant. As above, trainees who completed an OT degree got onto training before the age of 26.

- Paramedic: In a similar vain to above, paramedics have excellent training in safeguarding, mental health, de-escalation, etc.

- PhD: this is a more well-known path, but nonetheless works. Two of my cohort have PhDs and this was instrumental to them gaining a place.

Finally, there are several people on my course who have successfully gotten onto training via a psychology conversion course. It's definitely possible!!

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workingmama
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Re: The multiple pathways to clinical training: lessons from a first year trainee

Post by workingmama » Fri Dec 06, 2019 1:37 pm

As I frequently threaten to change my autosig to 'You don't need to be an AP to get onto training', I couldn't agree more. Over half my training cohort had never had an AP post. These opportunities are doubtless extremely useful in many ways, but they don't always offer lots of skills that are accessible by other routes to training.
Fail, fail again, fail better.

altruisticmall
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Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:54 pm

Re: The multiple pathways to clinical training: lessons from a first year trainee

Post by altruisticmall » Mon May 11, 2020 9:31 am

Just chiming in as someone who was successful on their 5th attempt. I got zero interviews for the last two years preceding this try.

I spent years as a trial manager, getting bits of experience here and there through CPD placements, as well as support work. I have a psychology conversion course, too.

What helped me more than anything this year was having a trusted person to be ruthless with my application and really encourage reflection on experience in my personal statement. I really echo the AP-not-essential thing!

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