Am I doing the right thing ?

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
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ryan95
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Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by ryan95 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:31 pm

I am currently part way through a MA in counselling and psychotherapy and my grades are averaging at 60% my aim is to go on to do a MSC conversion in psychology as my undergrad although 1st class wasn't psychology related. I am now 30 years old and worried about the possibility of never being good enough to get into clinical as I am already feeling the academic pressure even now at such a early stage.

My main worries are obtaining a high merit on the conversion degree and also gaining the much sought after AP post.

I have worked in community and private mental health and social care services for the last ten years as well as having significant voluntary experience working with offenders and mental health services, but at times I find myself wondering should I really be putting my life on hold to purse clinical psychology.

What kind of experiences have others had ?

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Geishawife
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by Geishawife » Wed May 29, 2019 5:41 am

I think only you can know if spending the next few years pursuing CP is worth it. There are several threads on the site describing the journey people have taken, so have a browse at them to get feel for whether it's right for you. If you do feel that it is a career you really want and you will enjoy, then don't worry about your age. Many people start on the road to CP at around your age. As far as feeling the pressure of the academic side goes, it might be worth taking a little time to reflect on why that is. Given you have a 1st in your original degree, you are certainly no academic slouch, so it's worth looking at what is contributing to the pressure and, where possible, making adjustments to help you cope better. Is it the delivery or assessment style? Is it pressure of deadlines? Whatever the issue might be, when you choose your conversion, consider these factors and choose a course that is perhaps a better fit for you.

Finally, I really wouldn't be thinking about AP posts and the such like at this point. First of all, AP posts really are not necessary for getting on to the CP doctorate. Many people never work as APs but get onto training and do just fine. More importantly, however, focusing on such things will detract from what is happening in the here and now and could mean you miss out on important parts of the journey. It is important you get the best grade possible in your academic work and worrying about things that really are not necessary is not going to help you achieve this. Plus, it could mean you miss out on other aspects of life that are equally important. You already have what sounds like some good experience which will be helpful further down the line, so for now focus on your studies and make the most of them. The future will take care of itself if you make the very best of the here and now.

Good luck on the journey.

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maven
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by maven » Wed May 29, 2019 8:46 pm

Geishawife has beat me to saying worrying about AP posts is premature and pointless - you might never need one, but even if you decide to go that route it is a couple of years away. I'm curious why you've taken such a circuitous course, via an unrelated undergrad, then an MA in counselling and psychotherapy to reach the place where you want to convert to psychology, and then do a doctorate. That will mean a lot of years in academia, rather than using the qualification you are now doing, something you believe will "put your life on hold", so I wondered what has made you think CP is the goal?
Maven.

Wise men talk because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something - Plato
The fool thinks himself to be wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool - Shakespeare

ryan95
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by ryan95 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:57 pm

Basically I started off thinking about what I wanted to be and all of my jobs involved working with people. My parents wanted me to be a social worker but that wasn’t for me. I guess my two main interests are the police and psychology but I have no interest in forensic psychology. Clinical I feel for me is where my passion lies having worked with vulnerable adults for years I believe I have a firm background basis of knowledge which I can utlize in the role of a clinical psychologist.

It’s taken me so long to realise what I wanted to do as I was trying out different experiences, I feel our lives are guided by experiences so I figured try as many as possible.

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workingmama
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by workingmama » Sun Jun 02, 2019 9:24 am

Just chipping in to add my usual quote that - over half of my doctoral cohort had never been an AP or RA. I took a bit of a circuitous route via counselling, then via NHS management of a rehab service and came to clinical psychology slightly later than the average (entry to course at 34.5 years). If you're sure this is what you want throw all your energy at it, but I would try to take the opportunity to meet with a CP or try to see if you can shadow one for a bit to see if it's right for you first. Good luck!
Fail, fail again, fail better.

ryan95
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by ryan95 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:37 am

Thank you for the input how did you get into NHS management ? Did you have previous managerial experience or just skills from counselling ?. My friend is a clinical psych for camhs in Liverpool but pretty sure you can’t shadow as it’s safeguarding and confidentiality

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miriam
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Re: Am I doing the right thing ?

Post by miriam » Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:04 pm

You can't sit in on clinical appointments unless the clinician judges that it is appropriate and the client gives consent. But you can hear about anonymous cases, and sit in on meetings and otherwise learn about the service. You might be able to volunteer and co-facilitate a group, or help with an evaluation. It isn't a total locked door, so I'd have a conversation with your friend.
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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