Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Discuss any aspect of applying for posts or courses (apart from the clinical psychology doctorate which has its own forum section), CVs, application forms, etc
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charlisteele
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 2:16 pm

Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by charlisteele »

Hi people,

Submitting this later today. Please have a look at my supporting statement - any feedback greatly appreciated!

I believe I would be a great assistant clinical psychologist. I feel I meet the specified requirements and have a passion to develop a career within clinical psychology.
Previous experience of working with people with mental health problems or other disabilities:
My previous roles have included working with those with a variety of mental health problems and other disabilities. These have included depression, anxiety, personality disorder, OCD, ADHD, Bipolar and learning difficulties. I have worked with these clients in a supportive and positive led environment. This required assessing their needs with their support workers/ family members present, identifying barriers to progressing, establishing a plan of action and reviewing progression. I believe as a result of these experiences I would be able to undertake protocol based psychological assessments of clients applying psychological, including neuropsychological, tests, self-report measures, rating scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews with clients, family members and other involved in the client’s care. My previous roles have included facilitating small and large groups with those with mental health therefore I would be able to contribute to the coordination and running of groups. I understand and empathize with the distressing nature than some individuals may experience and believe I have the tools to be able to comfort and professionally guide the person to reduce their discomfort. This can be achieved by explaining the progress, using positive language and reinforcement.
I have worked with clients who require a translator present in order to identify needs. This required much patience, understanding and professionalism. I believe as a direct result of this experience I would be able to effectively deal with a variety of clients within the service.
My role with West Essex Clinical Commissioning group has given me an insight into the different services within the NHS. I have desire to change and make a difference whilst using my academic background. I assisted managers within the Transformation team identifying gaps within the local population for the creation of new pathways and services. I learnt the importance at interpreting information whilst focusing on both inputs and clinical outcomes for services. This approach was also used within my role at Ingeus to focus on the clients outcomes throughout their journey on the work programme.
Appropriate education:
My BSc Psychology degree and MSc Mental Health degree have provided me with great insight into not only mental disorders but also clinical practice. I have an understanding of assessments, evidence based intervention method and the impact on family dynamics. I further have been educated on the collection of data, the understanding of statistics along with undertaking evidence based literature reviews. After graduating in 2011 I took it upon myself to volunteer as a research assistant to Doctor Sarah Bate to assist in research in developmental prosopagnosia. I believe this shows a direct correlation between my desires to work within a clinical setting, my level of understand and my passion to gain more experience.

High-level communication skills (written and verbal) including an ability to communicate and work in settings in which the atmosphere may be highly emotive:
My previous roles have required me to produce initial assessments, monthly reports and consistent case notes regarding my client caseload. I believe it is important to write concisely and objectively within a professional setting. I have had clients become distressed within an environment and believe I have the personality, previous experience and ability to deescalate the situation. From working with clients I have experienced there is some difficulty in understand processes and clinical procedures, thus identifying expectations, addressing worries or anxieties during, before and after a session could be appropriate.

Experience of analysing and processing complex information through the use of databases, SPSS or similar packages:

I have had experience of data collection, interpretation and analysis at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am competent in using SPSS and statistical analysis including multi-factorial ANOVAs, t-test, Pearson’s correlation and chi-square. During my time at my undergraduate level I participated and assisted in social qualitative research. I believe these experiences would be useful within the position. I have conducted research individually and at postgraduate level. This required time planning, effective research and extensive literature reviews. I believe as a result of this experience I would be able to successfully undertake data collection in order to map baselines and outcomes; analyse and produce reports and summaries, using IT and statistical programmes.

An ability to interact with people with mental health difficulties and their families:
Within a variety of my roles including my current role, my role as a Case Manager and as an Advisor I had to directly interact with individuals with mental health and their families. This included a professional setting with care leavers and discussing their progress, their risks and future planning. Additionally this included within initial assessments as an advisor. I believe psychoeducation is important and providing the family with understanding and reassurance. I have a passion for mental health and understand the link between psychological and social elements. I have worked with many people who have been under the care of local authorities and have engaged within multi-disciplinary teams. As a result of this it has made me determined to effectively contribute and seek a more direct role within a clinical team.


Tried to upload the JD but wouldnt accept PDF. JD summary below..
JOB SUMMARY
To support and enhance the psycho social care of clients within the Enfield Services by
working as part of the Enfield Enablement Programme, reporting to the two part time
Enfield Psychology Leads and contributing to the various projects at both a clinical level,
where appropriate, as part of the “Virtual Enablement Team”, and to assist in clinically
related administration, conduct of audits, collection of statistics, development of audit
and/or research projects, supporting teaching and project work within the Borough’s
Enablement Programme.

KEY RESULT AREAS
Clinical:
1. To support delivery of the Enfield Enablement Programme via some psycho
educational interventions under supervision.
2. To undertake protocol based psychological assessments of clients applying
psychological, including neuropsychological, tests, self-report measures, rating
scales, direct and indirect structured observations and semi-structured interviews
with clients, family members and other involved in the client’s care.
- To assist in the coordination and running of groups.
- To assist in the development of a psychologically based framework of
understanding and care to the benefit of clients within at least one clinical setting.
- To attend and contribute to appropriate multi-disciplinary clinical meetings.
Teaching, training, and supervision
- In common with all clinical psychologists, to receive regular clinical supervision in
accordance with professional practice guidelines.
- To gain wider experience of professional psychology within the NHS across the
range of Enfield Community and Mental Health Services.
- To develop skills and competencies that assist in the delivery of current duties.
- To assist in the training and support of other staff as required.
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firegal
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Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by firegal »

You'll find advice on supporting info/personal statements all over the boards but I'll throw you a couple of points

a) it is long. Shortlisters will be wading through a stack of applications, they won't thank you for making their life harder by giving them dense paragraphs to read
edit: word tells me it's 875 words which may not seem super long so it could also just be the formatting on the boards which makes it look very long and dense, but I do recall a thread on here where people agreed around 700 words as a good target length for these
b) chunks of what you've written are just descriptions of your employment history and basic duties which I would have hoped you'd covered elsewhere in the application or on your CV

Hope this gives you a place to start, bear in mind I'm not a CP or anything, just another person applying for her next AP post, so don't think I have any great insight, I'm essentially just repeating the advice that's been given on this forum many times before :)
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ClaireEmma
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Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by ClaireEmma »

I'm no expert, I've never selected for an AP post but I've been successful in acquiring a few posts and based on my experience of what worked for me I can give a few quick tips. As firegal said, you can probably find all this info elsewhere, as this topic has been discussed a lot, so have a look around.

I agree that it may be helpful to make it shorter and snappier, the first section in particular is quite long. I think the more concise you are, the clearer it is how you meet the criteria and the more it sticks in the mind of the person reading it.

Try to make every sentence count eg rather than simply saying that you would be a great AP, you might want to say more directly why this is - eg having worked in X service developing X skills/learning X, would enable me to X.

It can help to tailor your application to the specific role you've applied for - why you want this particular post and how you imagine your experience would assist you in this particular job.

Try to avoding listing things you've done, lots of people will also have done XYZ but what did you learn, how does it make you better equipped to be an AP. I appreciate that it's hard to do this concisely, but it's more interesting to read and gives it a bit more personality.

Also be careful with the language you use - 'mental disorders' is very medical model and could be seen as pejorative.

Good luck, it looks like you've made a good start, just needs a bit of refining.
Randomswirls
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Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by Randomswirls »

I don't have any real experience but what strikes me is your first sentence surely everyone feels they would be a great assistant clinical psychologist or they wouldn't be applying for the post!

I think where you list the diagnosis you are wasting words as bar schizophrenia/psychosis you have listed most of the common mh issues.

Where you say I believe as a result of these experiences I believe I would be able to undertake..........have you ever done any of these if yes say so. If not your application will be lacking so can you gain experience I your current role? Its difficult as a lot of psychology roles require these but to gain experience outside of psychology in these is very tricky!

When you talk about facilitating groups with those with mental health what do you mean we all have mental health! Was it a peer support group or?

As I say though those where my thoughts it they may be worthless but I agree with Claire Emma to look at your language re mental disorders and also I saw the job advertised but actually couldn't tell you what population the job was looking at e.g adult community or adult inpatient or Camhs and I think tailoring your application more would help.
Charlie
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Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2014 5:40 pm

Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by Charlie »

ClaireEmma wrote: It can help to tailor your application to the specific role you've applied for - why you want this particular post and how you imagine your experience would assist you in this particular job.
Absolutely. I've shortlisted for a lot of research posts and so often applicants don't express their interest or enthusiasm in the particular client group or post. It can be really frustrating- you want to know the person actually wants to work in the role and is genuinely enthusiastic about it. So definitely tailor your application to the specific post.

As others have said, tighten it up. Keep in mind you probably have about 30 seconds to get a shortlister interested, so the more concise it is, the easier for them to read and to see that you meet the criteria. Make sure there's no repetition. Avoid just listing things like the stats tests you've used, as you already mentioned you've studied statistics so you don't need to list every test you know how to do.
Esuma
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by Esuma »

Firstly I just want to say it's very brave of you to post this for everyone to see, I hope you take something useful from the comments.

I would agree that your introduction needs to be more snappy - again I'm no expert but I've recently had three AP interviews (no post though booh!). I think why you actually want that specific job is missing from your application.

how I like to start is:
Introduce myself very briefly e.g. psychology graduate and very brief description of experience ive had and fact that I want to be a clinical psychologist
Very brief description of why I want the post using the specific job title / any experience I have that is specifically relevant e.g. if it's a mental health role then mention if you've worked with the client group before. I also specifically mention the hospital / trust / company and why I want to work there and why with that client group

Then I go on to the actual person spec which I try and group together so it flows sensibly so any points that link well to each other I keep together.

I've also started writing it more like a covering letter so at the end I have a signing off sentence or two again stating my enthusiasm and mention the exact job is title again

It takes me a little while but I start by going through the person spec and making sure I cover each point, then group and rewrite and try and make it flow well.

Best of luck to you, it sounds like you have some great experience :)
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firegal
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Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by firegal »

^^^ This, listen to this. Wonderful advice Esuma, this is what I attempt to do too but I think next time I might come back and re-read your post to make sure I'm hitting all the points I want before hitting submit.
Esuma
Posts: 483
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Re: Assistant Clinical Psychologist - supporting statement

Post by Esuma »

firegal wrote:^^^ This, listen to this. Wonderful advice Esuma, this is what I attempt to do too but I think next time I might come back and re-read your post to make sure I'm hitting all the points I want before hitting submit.
Ooh thank you! :oops: Glad I've been useful for someone! Now if only I could do well at the interviews I might eventually get an AP or similar role!! I seem to have been getting on OK recently at getting the interviews but not so much with doing well at the interview itself! However my last interview went relatively well and I had some really helpful feedback at my last interview and I think got over a bit of a mental obstacle so fingers crossed my next one will be a success. I hope I've not now jinxed myself and when I look at jobs again don't get any interviews though!
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