What am I doing wrong? Feeling very stuck!

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What am I doing wrong? Feeling very stuck!

Post by fayemacis » Tue Jun 02, 2020 5:48 pm

I'm feeling very stuck right now, and I'm starting to worry that maybe I'm doing something wrong or I'm missing something that will aid my path into being accepted on the clinical psychology doctorate.

A little about me first:
I have a 2:1 in psychology with clinical psychology (BSc) from University of Kent. I have a Merit in Mental Health Studies (MSc) from King's College London. I have been working at Broadmoor on the intensive care ward as a Healthcare Facilitator (basically a jumped up HCA) for 2 years now, which means I have face to face contact on a daily basis with some of the most unwell and violent patients in the country. I do love my job for the most part, and have a good rapport with my patients, so I stick at it. I am also a Bank Assistant Psychologist here too, which honestly hasn't amounted to much thus far. I applied for the Doctorate this year but didn't get in, which I expected.

For the last 9 months I've been trying to move on from Broadmoor. I've been applying for every research or psychology assistant post going, within a 40 mile radius of me, but getting nowhere. I'm not even getting interviews. I applied for a trainee PWP role, and got offered to attend an assessment day. I made it right through to interviews, however they did not offer me the post, as they said they were looking for people who wanted a long term career as a PWP.

I guess it's not really about doing something wrong because I know it's so so competitive, but about what else I can do to bolster my job and doc application. All my colleagues are trying to push me into MH nursing, but honestly that feels like I'm giving up and I feel I have more to give. I was wondering if there are many courses that might be useful? Maybe CBT training or something, but I don't know where to start!

Any advice is very much appreciated!
Thankyou for listening!!

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Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 3:08 pm

Re: What am I doing wrong? Feeling very stuck!

Post by PinkFreud19 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:53 pm

It sounds like you have got some really good experience there. I certainly do not feel that it would be necessary to give up at this stage, unless you're not enjoying your work or feeling difficulty with coping with the process.

Regarding AP jobs, Miriam's blog post "how not to apply for jobs in psychology" is the absolute go-to for AP application advice, in my opinion (https://clinpsyeye.blog). Miriam quite rightly points out that, just by constructing your application in the appropriate way, you can easily get yourself into the top 10%.

I'm afraid that I don't know your own personal circumstances, but it may also help to broaden your search area, if there is any possibility of moving for work. I think some of it is a bit of a volume/numbers game; I applied to 80 posts before I was successful*.It can't hurt to ask for some CPD days and attend some CBT workshops too, which I'm sure would be viewed beneficially by recruiters.

Regarding your doctorate application, I think there's plenty of advice on this forum. Focusing on reflection is the main point of note. You don't want to spend any words waffling about what you did. You need to be sharp and to the point:

"I spent six months of my AP post helping to run a psycho-educational group for stroke inpatients, which involved supporting the patients to understand more about the nature of their stroke, to work on acceptance, and emotionally adjust. This taught me...."


"Running a psycho-educational group on a stroke ward taught me....".

The second option saves you almost a paragraph that you can devote to reflective discussion.

*Please don't be disheartened by that figure; I had not benefited from reading Miriam's post at the time and I had much more limited clinical experience than you do.

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