Psychotherapy course interview

Discuss what to expect in job and course interviews, what topics might be covered, how to manage anxiety, and how to get the desired result!
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luckyblackcat
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Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:52 am

Psychotherapy course interview

Post by luckyblackcat » Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:54 am

Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum and really pleased to have discovered it. I have an interview coming up for clinical training in psychotherapy and would be very grateful for any advice anyone can give me - it's a UKCP-accredited course that would eventually lead to an advanced diploma and MA.

This is a second career/career change for me as I've been working in an unrelated field. I have some introductory training in counselling, I'm a trained volunteer for a charity relating to mental health and I'm also in therapy with a practitioner in the modality I wish to train in, so I'm not a complete beginner, but I am mostly a beginner...

It's an individual interview with a senior tutor. I'm really pleased to have got this far as this course is by far my first choice. The application was very in-depth and I'm expecting to be asked some very personal questions, which is fine, but there are a few things I'm wondering about and would appreciate advice on.

Firstly, I'm a bit stuck on what to wear! Super-smart business style feels wrong for this place and isn't something I could pull off anyway. I would feel most comfortable in smart dark denim or black jeans with a nice wrap dress, but are jeans a no-no?

Secondly, I have heard and read some conflicting advice about explaining why I want to be a therapist. (I hasten to add I'm not asking anyone to tell me what to say, just wanting to discuss the general content of what I might say.) Basically, some people say: don't claim you just want to help people, because that's never the whole reason. So I was prepared to be more honest and reflective about how my life experience has led me onto this path. But I've also had someone tell me: oh no, just say you want to help people as that's all they expect to hear at this stage. I'm not convinced by the latter, but I'd be really interested to hear any thoughts on this... thank you!

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Mikel Arteta
Posts: 469
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:16 pm
Location: North West

Re: Psychotherapy course interview

Post by Mikel Arteta » Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:36 pm

Hi lucky,

Congratulations on your interview :) Hope it goes well.

Dress wise, I would go for something fairly smart as you want to look professional. Although for a lot of things it is about being comfortable, I think this is lightly different. I feel comfortable in tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt, but wouldn't attend an interview in this attire :D Obviously you want to be comfortable, but at the same time, smart. As you mentioned a dress, I am presuming you're female. I'm male and normally go for suit, shirt and tie. Maybe some of the female members will be able to advise better than me, but a smartish shirt/blouse, with a suit, or skirt/trousers??

As for if they ask you why you want to attend the course,/work in this field, just be honest. Don't tell them what you think they want to hear. I am always honest. Some courses/trusts may not like it, but others might and it is more than likely that if they like what you're saying, you will like their ethos. I suppose if your answer is about helping people, try to add some more depth about why e.g. that you like working colloboatively with people, help guided them to recovery as it can be really frighteneing living with such difficulties, etc.. Also think about how your desire to work in the field originated e.g. for me it was when I was working in a children's nursery and I was really interested in their development; I then started studying psychology at night school, which I loved, degree, taught, gained practical experience, started working as an AP, etc. Build up the narrative, rather than 'I want to help people'. Just be yourself, that's the best bit of advice I could give.

All the best :)
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to arise
:)

luckyblackcat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 9:52 am

Re: Psychotherapy course interview

Post by luckyblackcat » Mon Mar 16, 2015 2:55 pm

Thanks for your advice. On the dress front I took advice from my therapist who said just be myself. I wore smart dark jeans in the end - and it evidently didn't count against me as I've been offered a place :)

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Mikel Arteta
Posts: 469
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 2:16 pm
Location: North West

Re: Psychotherapy course interview

Post by Mikel Arteta » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:17 am

Yay, well done!!! Congratulations :) Let me know how you get on.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, all your life
you were only waiting for this moment to arise
:)

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