Application for Postgraduate Diploma: CBT

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Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:23 am

Application for Postgraduate Diploma: CBT

Post by adeleflan » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:00 pm

I know this is probably a long shot and this is a clinical psychology forum but I am currently in a process of applying for a Postgraduate Diploma in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy at the University of Birmingham.

As the course if fully funded, I'm guessing there will be a lot of competition and having applied for hundreds of assistant psychology positions with no luck, I was hoping someone might be able to check over my personal statement if I post it on here/email it?

It has to be submitted by Thursday so hoping to get it finished today/tomorrow at the latest.

Thanks in advance,


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Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:23 am

Re: Application for Postgraduate Diploma: CBT

Post by adeleflan » Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:05 pm

This is what I have so far...I haven't written a personal statement for a while, so it's not brilliant but any advice, comments, feedback would be greatly appreciated:

I am applying for a place on this diploma course because I believe it will offer me an opportunity to channel my desire to help others. The choices I have made in my academic and professional career have been to develop my skills and experience, in order to support those facing difficulties in their lives. I believe this course will enable me to continue developing professional and apply the skills, knowledge and experience, I have already gained.

I am particularly keen to study at the University of Birmingham because of the expertise and clinical experience within the academic team and reputation of achieving excellent career prospects for graduates. I believe it will be a stimulating environment in which to study at postgraduate level. Having worked in Birmingham for the last 3 years, I believe that my working knowledge of mental health needs of individuals within its diverse population will support me in the clinical aspect of the course.

I began considering studying cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) after always being drawn to the cognitive behavioural approaches, when studying psychology. I believe my logical and practice mind-set, fits well with the methods of CBT. The combination of workshops, supervision and clinical placement, within the course, appeals to me and I believe will cater to my skills and experience. I would also value being able to begin to work towards an accreditation with the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP) that is offered by the course.

My academic experience began during my undergraduate degree in psychology, for which I achieved a 2:1. During this time I covered modules on clinical, counseling and cognitive psychology. I found that I had a particular interest in these fields and believe that the knowledge I gained, such as Pavlov’s learning and conditioning and Bandura’s social learning theory will support me.
I am analytical and well versed in critical thinking and problem solving. In my currently role, I have sought out evidence-based research to critically evaluate the work that I do and develop my own perspective on psychological debates within the models of addiction.
I have needed to learn independently, become self-reflective, and evaluate my own strengths and weaknesses. I often complete reflective journals, after difficult sessions. For example, when a client contacted me, whilst intoxicated and expressing suicidal intentions, I completed a journal exploring my feelings of anxiety and reflecting on what I learnt during the experience and evaluating what I may do differently.
In my employment, I have needed to link and apply the psychological theories, I learnt at university to support my understanding of client behaviour. I applied my knowledge of attachment theory and child development to understand the difficulties faced by the children I worked with and how to help them overcome these. As a substance misuse worker, I have used and developed my knowledge and understanding of theories and models such as the functional model, the cycle of change and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

I currently work with young people who are suffering from mental health problems including anxiety and depression, alongside a substance misuse problem. When working with a young person who was suffering with anxiety and alcohol dependency, an assistant psychologist and I, we were able to explore and develop her self-esteem and confidence to support her in overcoming her difficulties, using cognitive behavioural techniques such as ABC model worksheets.
I have supported children with mental health problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and attachment disorders, who had suffered trauma as a result of abuse. During this time, I was able to develop many counselling skills, such as empathy, rapport building and unconditional positive regard.
I also believe that my work experience means I understand and use many of the BABCP standards of conduct, performance and ethics. I already ensure that I maintain high standards of assessment (2) which in current role include mental health, risk management and care plans and how to implement these to achieve successful outcome for clients. I keep my professional knowledge and skills up to date (6). When new psychoactive substances use emerged, I attended training provided by HIT and a multi-agency event ran by Public Health England.

Whilst working, I have been required to clinically observe client behaviour, analyse the function and report and record in a clear and concise manner. I have developed my written and verbal communication skills to provide effective support and advice. When a parent contacts the service, due to their child’s substance misuse, and I will discuss with them the impact this is having and what support is available to them.
I have developed my self-management skills and am well-organised and highly motivated. Much of my current work has required me to use my own initiative and work independently to ensure targets and client needs are being consistently met. I am currently responsible for managing my own diary and arranging client appointments, as well as ensured client’s electronic and paper files are kept up-to-date.
I am skilled in working with other and work closely with professionals, including Forward Thinking Birmingham, seeking their advice and clinical supervision. I recently worked with a young person diagnosed with depression and using substances. By working with a consultant psychiatrist, we were able to support the young person to reduce their substance use and begin taking the correct medication to manage their depression.

Since leaving university, I have always sought to continue my professional development, seizing opportunities to attend further training. I hope this course will allow me to continue, and if I was to be successful, to use this diploma either within the research field or to apply for a clinical psychology doctorate.

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