Integrated undergrad and DClin? What is your view?

Discuss the content and style of the different clinical psychology doctoral training courses, the differences between them, placements, teaching, chat to other trainees and connect with other people who have places on the same course

Do you think an integrative 6-year programme that included the first degree and Clinical Doctorate would be better?

Yes
11
13%
No
63
74%
Maybe
8
9%
Don't Know
2
2%
Don't Care
1
1%
 
Total votes: 85

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lusitanian
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Integrated undergrad and DClin? What is your view?

Post by lusitanian » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:23 pm

Hi Everyone!

We all know that the current route to go into clinical training is via Clearing House. Some of us may think it is a bit unfair, while other view it as the ultimate way of selecting people for courses.

However, what many of us do not know is that The Universities of Hull and York have a different selection procedure.

Basically, they do not use the clearing House, and they select their own candidates from their undergraduates who wish to continue towards a Doctorate in Cinical Psychology. Such places are also funded by NHS. They just integrate those students into a 6-year programme and those people leave University with a Doctorate in hand.

What is your view on this? Should the rest of the country follow these Universitites foot-steps and give their undergraduates a chance? Or should we just continue as it is? Would this discriminate even more on people? Or wWould this give more chances to people to get into the Doctorate?
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irishemma
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Post by irishemma » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:36 pm

I don't think it would be a good idea to have all the courses set up as six-year courses. I guess this is mainly from a selfish point of view. When I was doing my undergraduate, I did not want to be a clinical psychologist. I always wanted to do educational psychology. However, I found it very difficult to get an EP type job, and so applied for assistant jobs while I was doing an M.Sc. in Research Methods. At that point I was starting to think about a PhD. Amazingly I managed to get an assistant post without ever alluding to whether or not I wanted to do Clinical Psychology. However, I really enjoyed the post and was encouraged by the psychologists there to apply for the course. It is a decision I have not regretted. if I had to decide earlier I would not be on the DClinPsy course.

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miriam
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Post by miriam » Mon Mar 03, 2008 10:08 pm

As a person who did my undergrad, masters and doctorate at Hull, I'm not convinced that they have set a precedent that other courses should follow. (I say this as someone who was offered a 6 year place, before they changed the system, but nonetheless chose to do an MSc and 2 years as an AP in between the BSc and ClinPsyD).

I think the experience most courses expect you to gain in between the first degree and doctorate is essential in giving people a work ethic, making sure they have people skills and ensuring they know what the profession is about. Also without a later selection process, you exclude people who are changing career path, or who didn't know at 18 exactly what career they wanted in life. There would still be the same level of competition, only this time it would be pre-degree, and exclude those who convert.

Also, if there were still only 450 funded places, which undergrad courses would get them, and how would people know pre-degree which course to apply for in order to get through to these doctoral courses?

I know of at least one person on the Hull course who got a place and then dropped out 6 weeks in because s/he found it "too emotionally demanding to hear about people's problems". IMHO the NHS and courses shouldn't have to waste money on people that don't know what the job entails and aren't 100% committed, and I think a selection process that requires experience is essential to do this filtering.

By the way, there is a year of GMHW type paid experience for people in between the York undergrad and the doctorate, and internal compeition for only 10 Hull and 10 York places, so its not as simple as you think either...
Miriam

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joanner
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Post by joanner » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:45 am

I am one of the 'later in life' conversion students and am glad that I didn't have to go through another three year degree. Although I did my conversion course in one year and then did two years' NHS work before getting on to clinical training, I feel that work experience was worth far more than two years of extra theoretical knowledge and the practical side of scraping by as a student financially. I have worked as a professional in the NHS before starting my course and I feel that is a great help to me now, giving me the ability to work as a responsible, autonomous clinician in an organisation I am familiar with, able to reach out for support and supervision when appropriate but not as a novice. I have two years of clinical 1-1 and group client experience to draw on and that's a great help, putting me a good position to develop into a more advanced clinician than I would have been otherwise. This is just my own perspective based on my experience so I'm not trying to generalise to others or dismiss alternative experiences, but I am glad I didn't take any other route to training. I know it feels tough en-route and there are probably better future models (as already proposed in the new ways of working debate) but my route has been right for me as I was lucky enough to get a great job not long after graduating.

As an aside, I notice that in the latest Psychologist (p.277), Hull are advertising for applicants for self-funding places on their ClinPsyD course. I didn't know self-funding places even existed. Is this usual?

Joanne
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mungle
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Post by mungle » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:07 pm

Wow - I bet that costs a fortune! I couldn't do it but am intrigued about how it is working. Did they get enough high calibre candiates etc./is it the same course etc.

I know someone that went to York Uni and is considering Clinical Psychology. I was wondering if it worth mentioning the York scheme to her - or are the places only open to current (not already graduated) York students?

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Post by miriam » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:46 pm

I doubt they've had many (if any) people take up the self-funding option, but one of us could contact the course and ask!

As to how they select, I think it is during the degree (and conditional on taking certain options and achieving certain marks). I don't think you can apply retrospectively.
Miriam

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stanley
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Post by stanley » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:49 pm

I really don't agree with this 6 year programme. Although I'm not on a doctoral course (yet), I feel the experience you gain between university and the course is essential for a number of reasons:

a) Dedication - I believe you need experience working in a clinical setting so you can appreciate the difficulties of the role and be aware of the dedication required to be a psychologist. Choosing people straight from an undergrad course cannot establish ones dedication to a professional career in psychology.

b)Life experience/maturity - I don't feel that someone should be able to come out of university at 23 and be fully qualified as a clinical psychologist. I feel that you need a certain degree of life experience and maturity to work in that role. To be honest I don't think you should be allowed to apply until you're at least 25.

c)How would this be funded? Would you pay for your undergrad then the NHS would pay for the training or would this be a 6 year self-funded course? Not appealing at all if that was the case.

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Post by Peach » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:01 am

stanley wrote: b)Life experience/maturity - I don't feel that someone should be able to come out of university at 23 and be fully qualified as a clinical psychologist. I feel that you need a certain degree of life experience and maturity to work in that role. To be honest I don't think you should be allowed to apply until you're at least 25.
I don't agree with an integrated undergrad and Dclin course but this kind of attitude really angers me.

Firstly it would be completely illegal for the clinical psychology courses not to allow people to apply until they are 25.....it's called age discrimination!Secondly why does age have to be the main indicator of life experience?? It's an incredibly patronising viewpoint IMO. Ok yes if you're older, you've lived longer...but so what? That doesn't automatically put you in a better position to do a job. After all clinical psychology is JUST a job not some holy grail, that some people make it out to be.

Also what does the illusory term of life experience mean? Being married, having kids?? I can't think of a single life experience that comes with getting older that increases suitabilty for being a psychologist. Work experience..yes, but not life experience as determined by age.

People are always encouraging of older applicants, ethnic minorities, men, those with disabilities however it seems ok for people to think that younger applicants aren't up to par and be discouraging of them applying. Saying people under 25 shouldn't be able to apply in my eyes is the same as saying men shouldn't be able to apply because they're not as understanding of emotional situations as women or something equally ridiculous. If someone under the age of 25 or fresh out of uni has relevant experince which they can reflect on and has the academic ability, I don't see a single reason why they shouldn't be allowed to apply and go on to work in clinical psychology.

I don't mean to rant but I detest prejudice attitudes in any form and it is completly unfair to judge a whole category of people as not being suitable to do a job soley based on their age.

Quite frankly for someone who wants to be a clinical psychologist, you should know better then to make sweeping judgements about a whole group of people. I do, even though i'm only 20 and supposedly lacking in so called "life experience".

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Post by vars » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:59 am

Hello

I dont agree because although I wanted to do clinical when I left uni I probably didnt have a realistic idea of what it was and what they actually did on a day to day basis. I think experience is important as you could be an AP then think no I dont want to do this but if you were on the doctorate it's a wasted place if you drop out.

I agree completely with Peach, it really angers me when people make statements like that, I'm 24 and will be 25 by time courses start and I think that attitute is quite unfair and I dont really understand why it's an issue. Lots of people have made this an issue throughout my experience saying I probably wont get on as my age will put people off even though my skills are good

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Post by psych_lad » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:05 pm

stanley wrote:
b)Life experience/maturity - I don't feel that someone should be able to come out of university at 23 and be fully qualified as a clinical psychologist. I feel that you need a certain degree of life experience and maturity to work in that role. To be honest I don't think you should be allowed to apply until you're at least 25.
I think this was Stanley's opinion. While I do not agree with it, I don't think it should "anger" anyone!
Psych_lad

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workingmama
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Post by workingmama » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:28 pm

I guess I kinda agree with the positive benfits of being a bit older (but then, I would!). Just as Social work courses can specify that typically students might start at a certain age, or counselling courses can state that it is rare that students under age X will be taken on, statements such as these don't actually state that someone of 23 is categorically incapable of the job, but perhaps that is is more usual for people a bit older to be able to exhibit the perspectives they are seeking.

One prospective student might tick every box going at 23, another (like me) might have taken just a bit longer to find ways of being commensurate with what's needed to work with people. I certainly could not have counselled as well at 23 as ten years on - I (just me!) was too focused inwards at that age, too easily moved by my own emotions, too - lots of things and not enough of others! :lol: Whilst I trained (counselling) at 24, looking back I can see lots of reasons why I could take more out of my training if I did so now (or perhaps I can take things from life now because I studied then - who can say!)

Anyhow, my point being that a guidance around expected stages that someone might be more likely to exhibit traits does not infer that someone else can't do so, rather more that it takes many of us a while to find out feet with ourselves before we move on to tinkering about with other people, and that is perhaps acknowledged in part by age :wink:

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Post by workingmama » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:39 pm

Having said this, I know a few people who I expect will be as much twits at 70 as they were on the day they were born! I do so hope I won't be one! :roll:

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stanley
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Post by stanley » Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:33 am

Peach wrote:I don't mean to rant but I detest prejudice attitudes in any form and it is completly unfair to judge a whole category of people as not being suitable to do a job soley based on their age.

Quite frankly for someone who wants to be a clinical psychologist, you should know better then to make sweeping judgements about a whole group of people. I do, even though i'm only 20 and supposedly lacking in so called "life experience".
I apologise for making you feel so angry Peach, that was not my intention. I don't however, appreciate being called prejudice and patronising for expressing an opinion regarding age suitability of the doctorate. I am simply entering the dialogue on this topic and I'm certainly not prejudiced against young people (I'm only 26 myself). For you to say that I should know better is itself a subjective opinion and it seems that you are placing expectation on how I should feel about an issue - is that not prejudiced to your own point of view?

Furthermore, I need to clarify something, I did not say that young people could never do the job of a clinical psychologist; I said that (I believe) there should be a minimum age to start the training. I feel that after the undergraduate degree people should gain experience either working in the NHS (preferably under a tiered system - a'la New Ways of Working); or in some other relevant clinical position.

My reasoning for this is that having worked with various difficult client groups post-degree, I don't feel that university in any way taught me how to work clinically (and I had work experience at university). Self awareness, empathy, the ability to work effectively and consistently within an MDT across different mental health settings cannot be established when one has just left university (I had no idea what it would be like).

In terms of life experience, I was referring to an individual's maturity, experience of varied situations (both work and personal) and the ability to be able to reflect and learn over time. I simply don't see how one can gain these skills/experiences at university as it is a completely different environment to working full time afterwards.

You do not have to agree with me and I respect your honesty, although I was suprised by the vehemency in your post. It may be more productive in the future if you avoid personal attacks. I feel it is unfair for you to insinuate that I don't have the correct attitude to be a psychologist or that I am osterocising a whole group of people based on my views. That is very misleading as I am passionate about reducing stigma in the mental health services and don't discriminate againts individuals based on age. I was merely expressing an opinion.

I do understand that it's frustrating when you feel people don't believe you have the appropriate ability because of your age but that isn't what I'm saying. It's my belief that the varied experiences of people, the world and systems that develop over time are (in my opinion) vital to work as a psychologist.

If people straight out of university where appropriate candidates for the course, there would be many more being taken on. In actuality people usually have 2+ years of experience afterwards (sometimes 5+).
Last edited by stanley on Wed Mar 25, 2009 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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stanley
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Post by stanley » Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:55 pm

This is how I envisaged this now infamous 25+ route to clinical psychology (I've amended it to 24/25+ now) - just dont "flame" me if you don't agree, I respect that people will think I'm being pedantic/ageist but I champion this position.....

Hypothetical progression for the role of clinical psychologist:

Undergraduate degree - age 18/-21/22 (masters optional)

Trainee Assistant Psychologist (1 year) - age 21-22 (band 4)

Assistant Psychologist (1 year) - age 22-23 (band 5)

Senior Assistant Psychologist (1 year) - age 23-24 (band 6)

Trainee Clinical psychologist (3 years) - age 24/25-28 (band 6)

I believe if we had good progression after undergraduate study and there was a requirement to have a years experience in these different positions before you could take the training, people would find the whole process less demoralising and elitist.

I'm aware of problems with it such as where people who have research and PHD (or other relevant experience) fit in. Also where would these positions come from etc... It's just a model which I feel could work and might potentially make the transition from university to the degree easier and would provide enough time to develop enough experience for the role.

p.s I am aware that this is the NWOW model - My addition is that I feel we should have linear progression through the transitional positions.

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Post by miriam » Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:22 pm

Sorry Stanley, Im not a fan of any linear model. Diversity and competition are good for the profession, even if frustrating for the individual. I don't want a recipe. Also I can get a good experienced team member from many professions at band 6 - we'd never get AP posts funded at that! Hard enough to get them at band 4 and no profession goes up a band per year!!
Miriam

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