Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Anything that does not fit into the above categories, but is related to psychology, including discussion of public and media perceptions of psychology, satire related to psychology, etc.
Post Reply
Sinead13
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2023 11:14 pm

Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by Sinead13 »

Hello forumsters,

I have found it very hard to share what I am feeling with my course mates, and the course staff too. In my second year with service evaluation projects and thesis work to do....and I just feel sick every time I have to start working on the research part in my free time.
It is like body wants to reject doing the work. It just feels so painful...I don't have this issue with attending teaching, doing other assignments, but this research component just does my head in.
I am really not enjoying it! I am not being entitled, I have done many things in my life I did not enjoy to get to where I am- working jobs I did not like, leaving behind significant others etc and I just cannot pin point why I am finding this so painful as an experience.

I have 'wasted' the last 2 days, when I should I have been doing my research, and I just sat in bed and watched films, while feeling guilty I was watching the films.

Is it normal to feel like this? I am too scared to speak to someone on my course about how I am feeling....I am a capable woman like many people here and on dclin, I have not failed anything (yet), but I just feel knots in my tummy whenever I have to work on the research aspects which I have to submit.

It feels more than anxiety, it just feels so draining....I feel horrible just acknowledging how I feel, because I know so many people put dclin on a pedastal, and I am sure some would say I do not have a right to complain, but this is my experience and I know many people feel courses are not what most people fantasize about.

Is this normal? what should I do about it? I just want to be able to get through the next couple of research submissions without breaking down.

urgh, back to literally forcing myself to work xx
User avatar
miriam
Site Admin
Posts: 8430
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:20 pm
Location: Bucks
Contact:

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by miriam »

I'd start by listening to your body and being curious. What is it that is blocking you? Is it that you feel like you need some time to wind down and de-stress that you are not getting? Is it something about the topic that is resonating in a negative way? Or is it that you don't feel competent when it comes to research, and that is tying in to schemas about not being clever enough or not really being capable of the job? Or is it that you are wondering whether the whole scientist practitioner thing is the right fit for you, or whether you'd rather do something that is purely therapy-based? Or is this where increasing anxiety or self-doubt that has an unrelated source (eg hormones, or stressors outside of work) is showing for you? Or is it that the more academic work is where difficulties with attention or procrastination are showing most, and that these traits are things that you have been able to overcome in other areas? Or is it something else entirely? If you can't figure it out yourself, it might be helpful to talk to someone else - whether that is a course mentor, a therapist or a good friend.

I also want to add that none of these things should come with shame - we are all different, and have parts of the job that we love and others that we find more challenging - so I would be curious also about why you feel unable to talk to your peers or course staff about these challenges. There is no reason to hang on to the idea that CP training is such a privilege, or that you shouldn't complain about any bits that are negative, or admit not being good at every element of it - it is good for everyone (course staff, peers, people in the profession and members of this forum) to know we are all human, and that doctoral training is challenging, and that some people find some parts of it tough.

Finally, I wanted to share that I also have times when I procrastinate, or avoid things, or waste time that I've set aside to do things that I have to get done. There are days I just don't want to deal with my email, or to check notes that other people have written up, or to do simple-but-frustrating tasks to do with my latest grant project. Sometimes I sit up late into the night feeling like I ought to catch up with work stuff, but end up watching youtube videos, streaming K-dramas on Netflix, or playing word or number games because I don't want anything else stressful in my head. Yet, when I do force myself to do them they are almost always fine, and I wonder what I was worried about. For me these symptoms have been a big change to my sense of self (as I'm normally very driven and not an anxious person), and almost certainly relate to other problems I'm having with the perimenopause. I mention this because it might be easier to see the key thing outside of yourself - my symptoms don't mean I'm not a good CP, they just mean I need to take care of myself differently and ask for support from those around me (who have been amazing once they knew what was going on).
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
This forum is free to use. If you find the site useful, you are welcome to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee to our running costs.
Sinead13
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2023 11:14 pm

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by Sinead13 »

Thank you Miriam.
I think it is the Schema activating, and it is worth me talking to someone.
"....Or is it that the more academic work is where difficulties with attention or procrastination are showing most, and that these traits are things that you have been able to overcome in other areas?"
I always have found academia challenging, in part due to the amount of reading.... and the amount now I have to do to stay on top of things, I am a slow reader and have to re-read things a couple of times, it never felt like an issue before...
I feel a little relieved after your reply, I suppose it feels abit more 'normal'.
Yes, I am getting through this project! xx
User avatar
Spatch
Posts: 1522
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:18 pm
Location: The other side of paradise
Contact:

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by Spatch »

In my experience most trainees find the research component of the DClinPsy the most challenging aspect of the course. It's the scale and breadth of a doctoral level research project that you have to fit in alongside a full time job. Bear in mind for the vast majority of researchers, that research project is their full time job.

Unlike almost every element that is externally time bound (be it an essay deadline or that you have a 3-4pm therapy slot booked for Jane Doe on your placement), your research project is entirely upto you to time manage. You may have a hands on supervisor who wants concrete small deliverables, but most leave it upto you. Many are not even that invested in the outcome, particularly if they are working clinician whose research is a sideline or they are a PI who has dozens of other researchers they are wrangling simultanously and your DClinPsy is a marginal part of a much larger piece of work.

Even for those who like research, it is tricky because of the lack of a known 'correct answer', people's confidence around a methodology and the fairly brutal process of drafting/ comments/ redrafting/ comments/ redrafting/submission/rejection and so on. For those that are enduring it because they more therapist than scientist practitioner (and there are many of those on DCIins), it is something you don't necessarily value and feels like an obstacle rather than a valuable part of the training.

It's also not really talked about but even in straight up research PhDs there are many who struggle conducting their disseratation projects, and PhDs have a notoriously high level of non completion. This article, albeit not about DClinPsys but American PhDs which have an academic + research component) is a fairly good one that talks about those struggles and you may find it useful for context: https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/0 ... inish.html
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
User avatar
noodle
Posts: 901
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 11:15 am
Contact:

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by noodle »

I’d agree with the helpful advice from Miriam and Spatch. I think the ‘time bound’ point is also really crucial - I was the opposite to you during training in that it was the clinical work that I found more anxiety provoking. Of course it is not possible to avoid when someone is booked in!

With this in mind I’d advise working on your research in short chunks - have a stopwatch with half an hour and just start, even if you are just writing a to do list or ideas. Having anything written is better than nothing. I still use this when I’m struggling with blog writing and it works for me even when I don’t think it’s going to!
You can visit my blog at www.thetravelpsychologist.co.uk
We are a team of UK trained psychologists on a mission to provide credible information about travel, psychology and well-being.
Sinead13
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2023 11:14 pm

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by Sinead13 »

Spatch wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 7:03 pm In my experience most trainees find the research component of the DClinPsy the most challenging aspect of the course. It's the scale and breadth of a doctoral level research project that you have to fit in alongside a full time job....

....your research project is entirely upto you to time manage....Many are not even that invested in the outcome....

Even for those who like research, it is tricky because of the lack of a known 'correct answer', people's confidence around a methodology and the fairly brutal process of drafting/ comments/ redrafting/ comments/ redrafting/submission/rejection and so on. For those that are enduring it because they more therapist than scientist practitioner (and there are many of those on DCIins), it is something you don't necessarily value and feels like an obstacle rather than a valuable part of the training.

It's also not really talked about but even in straight up research PhDs there are many who struggle conducting their disseratation projects, and PhDs have a notoriously high level of non completion. This article, albeit not about DClinPsys but American PhDs which have an academic + research component) is a fairly good one that talks about those struggles and you may find it useful for context: https://slate.com/human-interest/2014/0 ... inish.html
ohh mmyyy I really resonated with these points! I felt like there was alot of energy from staff at the start but no one has checked in with me since! or perhaps thats my responsibility as you say to manage it myself- it just felt like a tick box to them.
noodle wrote: Mon Nov 13, 2023 6:41 pm I’d agree with the helpful advice from Miriam and Spatch. I think the ‘time bound’ point is also really crucial - I was the opposite to you during training in that it was the clinical work that I found more anxiety provoking. Of course it is not possible to avoid when someone is booked in!

With this in mind I’d advise working on your research in short chunks - have a stopwatch with half an hour and just start, even if you are just writing a to do list or ideas. Having anything written is better than nothing. I still use this when I’m struggling with blog writing and it works for me even when I don’t think it’s going to!
Thank you noodle- I attempted this yesterday evening and I certainly felt better with writing something in 45 minutes than nothing and another netflix episode.
User avatar
miriam
Site Admin
Posts: 8430
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:20 pm
Location: Bucks
Contact:

Re: Severe dislike (hatred?) of current stage of training

Post by miriam »

noodle wrote: Mon Nov 13, 2023 6:41 pmWith this in mind I’d advise working on your research in short chunks - have a stopwatch with half an hour and just start, even if you are just writing a to do list or ideas. Having anything written is better than nothing. I still use this when I’m struggling with blog writing and it works for me even when I don’t think it’s going to!
I use various similar strategies in my life. To get to the gym I tell myself "I'll just go there and if I feel rubbish when I'm in the room with my kit on I'll just go for a swim or a sauna" and then "I might as well do five minutes before I give up" by which time I start enjoying my sense of achievement and usually complete my intended activities. To start writing I often dictate something, or ask someone junior to sketch out a first draft, or at a push ask chat GPT to write something to start with, and then I edit and expand on it. Somehow I find it more motivating to fix something irritating than to start something from a blank page. And I also love the non-zero day thing from Reddit, and often think "I'll just do one short burst before I go to bed so I can feel like I've made progress today". Then next thing it is some scary hour of the morning and I've caught up a whole load of work, or written that grant application or whatever. Doesn't help my sleep pattern, but it gets work done I've been avoiding!
Sinead13 wrote: Sun Nov 12, 2023 5:26 pm I always have found academia challenging, in part due to the amount of reading.... and the amount now I have to do to stay on top of things, I am a slow reader and have to re-read things a couple of times, it never felt like an issue before...
Have you had this assessed? Have you discussed this with course staff? Have you tried out having an app read you the document to see if you take in the information better that way? And do you really need to read everything you are asking yourself to read or could you prioritise more?
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com
This forum is free to use. If you find the site useful, you are welcome to contribute the cost of a cup of coffee to our running costs.
Post Reply