phd to clinical doctorate

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theballboy
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phd to clinical doctorate

Post by theballboy » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:22 pm

I wonder if anyone has any experience of the following
Im currently doing an MSc (applied - mental health) and Im considering a PHD next year (self funding - part time) alongside parttime work as a PWP

I also intend to apply for the clinical doctorate over the coming years. Say I had 2 years PT of my PHD done and got an offer for the doctorate, surely I could just continue my PHD within my doctoral thesis - ie use what I have done so far in PHD - just complete?

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hawke
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by hawke » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:29 pm

I would suggest contacting a few universities to get their opinion, but mine is that it probably wouldn't be that simple. Different course requirements, different supervisors, different ethics boards (NHS and university)... I think it could get quite messy, and I can imagine a lot of universities just wouldn't want to get involved. On my course, we are strongly encouraged to pick a research thesis from the ones suggested by the course team, rather than devising our own - the ClinPsy is much more prescribed than a PhD.

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ell
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by ell » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:22 am

It may not just be what the course are happy with, but what your PhD supervisor/university is happy with. But also, the scope and scale of the DClinPsy research dissertation is much smaller than that of a PhD so it wouldn't be a case of directly transferring your work over. Furthermore, university regulations are that the work done is not work done as part of another course. So you could choose to do something in the same area, thus meaning you have already read round the subject and know the field. But reusing data would be very tricky ethics wise, and the university your PhD is with may want to keep that data for themselves. Anything written and submitted for the PhD would also not be allowed to be submitted for the DClinPsy; this is plagiarism.

IF it was agreed by both courses to do what you suggest, then the other factor is that the DClinPsy research dissertation needs to be on a clinically relevant subject, so your PhD would need to be too.

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Geishawife
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by Geishawife » Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:55 am

Also, most (if not all) courses state very clearly that you cannot be registered for another course when undertaking the D.Clin.Psych. So if you were part way through a PhD you would have to leave that and I very much doubt you would be allowed to take the data already accrued with you if you were leaving and going to another university.

lingua_franca
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by lingua_franca » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:27 pm

I'm curious - why would you want to double up your PhD research as a DClin thesis project, even if it were permitted? If I were to do clinical training, I'd feel frustrated and hemmed in if my research were too close to my PhD topic. The best bit about research is the excitement of finding out something new. It sounds as if you're more interested in the qualification than in the research process, and if that's the case, I really wouldn't recommend a PhD. It takes a lot of focus, and it will be too frustrating for you if your heart's not completely in it.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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maven
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by maven » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:33 pm

It doesn't sound like a sensible plan to me either. I'm not sure doing a PhD part-time alongside work is viable in the first place, and an unfinished qualification is just a waste of time and money - it doesn't give you any credit in the application process and wouldn't transfer to clinical training. The clinical thesis needs to be tied into the course and supervisors, and will reflect the experiences and interest you develop - which may be very different to any topic you come up with now (which you might lose interest in before you gain your clinical place).
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

theballboy
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by theballboy » Sun Oct 14, 2018 11:08 am

Thanks for all your responses. Not getting any notifications, not sure why, so only seeing this now.

My thinking was this, (for those unclear)
I am assuming the following few lines are relevant for all.
1 we are all seeking a way to get into the doctorate
2 the doctorate is massively oversubscribed and the minimum criteria just doesn't cut it.
3 so we attempt to consider ever inventive ways of gaining appropriate experience to evidence core competencies.


But. (This is where it gets personal for me)
I don't want to completely limit my options to the clinical doctorate (in that it must happen) and as such I am considering either high intensity CBT training next year or a PhD. Haven't decided. Just keeping my mind open and will see how I'm feeling about it having completed my pwp training and research project for my MSc come june. I will have to continue t teach as normal alongside whatever I do next year (2 days per week - to facilitate living expenses). I'm thinking I might enjoy the PhD and eventually move into university teaching perhaps. Or maybe Ill be looking to just move into clinical practice.

Due to personal circumstances I can't apply for the doctorate for 2019 intake, and believe I need to move forward in some Direction next year so my thoughts were this if I didn't go down the high intensity route.
Apply to undertake the PhD part time, with a view to completing it but at the same time over the coming year apply for the doctorate.
My thinking is that
A. The current PhD I would be pursuing would relate to evidence and competencies in my application and therefore assist in the compiling of relevant and personal experience towards gaining a place on the doctorate
B. i will spend the time making a significant start in Reading around an area of great interest, which would have clinical application and relevance, that I could then suggest to use in the doctorate (loosely) if successful in gaining a place and subsequently have a clear idea of where I am going in the doctoral thesis, thus managing the balancing act better.
C jump ship to doctorate
D park PhD to be returned to at a later date perhaps

However, considering your answers above it seems that there are a multitude of issues and intricacies that I haven't been considering

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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by lingua_franca » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:54 pm

There is lots of advice on the forum about doing your best to enjoy the journey rather than worrying too much about the destination. I know it can be hard to take on board, but I think it's very good advice, especially when considering investing your time and effort in something like a PhD.

It needs to be done for the right reasons. I really loved my PhD - I had a project that fascinated with me, with a child population whose rights and needs I am a very passionate advocate for - but even so, there were days when I was sick of the sight of it. This is a normal feeling when you spend three or four years working on one relatively narrow project. Things do go awry, you worry about the quality of your data, you doubt you're up to scratch, someone else publishes something painfully close to your topic area (this happened to me in my first year!), and so on. If you have an underlying passion for your work, it will carry you through the wobbles. If you're just doing the PhD as a means to an end, you're unlikely to last. Hardly any students in my department dropped out, but the ones who did were people who had been clear from the outset that they only wanted a doctoral degree because it might help them to advance in some other area of their lives, and I don't think that's a coincidence. You need to really care about the specific thing you're researching. If you don't have a burning research question that suggests itself to you, or you haven't seen a project advertised that makes you think, "Wow - I want to do that and find out the answers!" this probably isn't the right idea.

It's a good idea to have a pragmatic plan B if clinical training doesn't work out, but a PhD isn't particularly pragmatic. It's easier to get a place on a PhD than on the DClinPsy, yes, especially if you're funding yourself. But once a clinical psychologist qualifies, they are pretty much guaranteed a job, providing they aren't too choosy about specialty and location. For PhD candidates, the bottleneck is at a different point - the end of the PhD. University teaching is not a realistic plan B, because getting a permanent post is just as competitive as the clinical doctorate, if not more so. So I'd say HIT training is the better option if you want a realistic fall-back. And bear in mind that most DClinPsy trainees don't have PhDs, so they must have found a way to cut the mustard without going to those lengths.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

theballboy
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by theballboy » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:28 pm

Thanks. I appreciate the thoughts and advice.
I am genuinely considering a PhD because im interested in it, not as a means to clinical. Was considering how if I wasn't enjoying it and tried for the doctorate, how it might transfer.
I'm genuinely interested in research and specific areas. I am already a teacher and have taught now for 15years (secondary trained - surely that would give me an advantage) and just thinking that it's a possible option. Just considering things at the minute and their relative juxtaposing.
Thanks again

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maven
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by maven » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:52 am

You didn't need to explain it to us again. I think we understand your thinking, but we disagree. To those of us who have completed training and/or are working in the profession, your proposal seems poorly informed and based on incorrect assumptions.

You've again said something entirely contradictory in your above post: that you are "considering a PhD because im interested in it, not as a means to clinical" but are wondering "if I wasn't enjoying it and tried for the doctorate, how it might transfer". If you are not enjoying it, you won't want to transfer it. And we've already told you it almost certainly won't be transferable. So don't try to fool yourself that starting a PhD has a purpose beyond completing it and gaining a PhD. It doesn't. An incomplete PhD is pretty much time and money wasted. And a part-time PhD in itself, let alone a self-funded one, sounds like a recipe for disaster - IMO a PhD needs all of your attention, and a substantial block of funded time in which you can be single-minded enough to complete it. It can't run in parallel with lots of other activities, and I don't know a single person who has successfully completed a part-time PhD who wrapped it around anything other than family life.

From my perspective, your ideas would not be "an inventive way to prove yourself for the clinical doctorate". As we've all said, an incomplete PhD gives no credit towards your application and is not transferable. It seems from what you have written that you are already doing too many things at once, and trying to second guess the system, rather than making the most of each experience. As Lingua says, you need to enjoy the journey and do each step for its own sake, not to try to tick off boxes to find a short cut or more certain path to the doctorate. There isn't one.
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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Spatch
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by Spatch » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:02 am

I have found this issue comes up a lot when people are thinking about pre-qualified clinical training experience, and I think that this is partly driven by how opaque the PhD route actually is. I completely can appreciate where the OP is coming from in viewing it as a way to stand out from the competition, but also the concerns other posters express, as I think they are coming from the same place of someone not being aware of what they are potentially getting into.

For the record, I think it is possible to be interested in the area or the idea of research, but still not understand what a PhD entails. In reality a PhD is a major project that requires considerable planning, understanding and commitment. It also will involve a supervisor who will have (reasonable) expectations about a candidate being fully invested in the project until it's completion or not seeing it as something that can be "parked" or "jumped ship". Also the idea that it can be picked up and dropped in favour of another pathway or vocation is massive disservice to the supervisor who will have to hold some of the responsibility of managing this project. As a doctoral supervisor myself, this is what would concern me the most and there are so many red flags in your post, that the kindest thing to suggest is for you and any potential supervisor is for you to really do something else.

As for the idea of coming back to it later, there is also the added psychological burden of having an incomplete thesis hanging over you, which people don't tend to talk about. It is something I have seen really destroy people's wellbeing and suck the joy from people's life. It's hard to articulate this to someone not in that position, but I would liken it to having a massive debt hanging over you that's constantly in the back of your mind. Unfortunately, the PhD route is something that most people don't really learn about until they are in it, and it's way too late to back out.
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hawke
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Re: phd to clinical doctorate

Post by hawke » Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:26 pm

Your reasoning really resonates with me - I also started off as a secondary teacher, before becoming a PWP, and had a few frustrated years of not really knowing what I wanted to do, followed by a couple more frustrated years of knowing I wanted to do the DClinPsy but finding it difficult to get there. I considered a PhD at various points throughout the journey, sometimes for 'interest' reasons, sometimes for 'I don't know what else to do and I think it will move me further towards my ultimate goal' reasons.

The first thing I would say is don't underestimate how difficult the practicalities of applying for a PhD can be. I sent off numerous emails to potential supervisors that were completely ignored - even when supervisors were actively advertising for potential candidates. A couple of times I did line up potential supervisors, once with an advertised project and once with my own idea. It was a huge amount of work to even get this far, lots of time invested in developing a research proposal, lots of meetings and discussions with people that were very willing to rip my ideas to shreds - and both ultimately came to nothing, although admittedly this was because I was applying for a very competitive funding stipend. Although self-funded places are less competitive, the university does still invest in you through your supervisor's time, so they are generally still looking for a very high standard and evidence of both the commitment and the financial ability to see the project through. If you're looking at doing a PhD part-time, this usually means a commitment to 6 years.

I wonder if there are other ways that involve less commitment, but would still get you what you want from the process? Both in terms of contributing to your interests in research and your desire for career progression. You seem genuinely interested in lots of different topics and career paths, and so I wonder if you might be better off trying your hand at other smaller things rather than making one massive commitment? You talk about needing to move forward in 2019 - a part-time PhD would commit you (potentially) until 2025! Would you be limiting yourself, with such a variety of skills, by doing so?

I know many people would disagree with me here, but the reality I am seeing on the ground as a new DClinPsy trainee is that many people do indeed have further academic qualifications, but usually at Masters level rather than PhD. There is also the option of working in research assistant roles. While still competitive, there are often 'foot-in-the-door' roles as data collectors. Or within services, you can get involved in research-based projects if you look hard enough and badger enough people. Sometimes these things are voluntary, but I am assuming you'd be open to that, if you're open to self-funding a PhD.

My last reflections are that things have tended to go better for me when I have stopped trying to force them - choosing the next step because I would genuinely enjoy it and I'm willing to give my all to it for a significant chunk of time. I think interviewers see right through trying to use something as a stepping stone, and I've never been successful at anything I've only been halfheartedly committed to. There have also been times when I've had to accept that I'm not progressing in my career - and at those times, I've had to focus on progressing my life in another way (like health/friends/family etc). In the grand scheme of things, a year doesn't seem too long to wait (although I appreciate it very much does at the time!)

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