What experience did you have when you got on training?

Discuss applications to the clearing house (and to courses that are not in the clearing house system), screening assessments, interviews, reserve lists, places, etc. here
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benbrand
Posts: 67
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:57 am

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by benbrand » Mon May 18, 2020 5:39 pm

It's really quite surreal to be posting here.

31 when I start training.

After experiencing two quite demoralizing rejections after interviews last year, I remember reading through all of these responses and feeling quite hopeless. It took some time to recuperate, but if you are doing as I did, just know that a lot can happen in a year and be nice to yourself now.

Here's my journey:

I applied in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. The first 3 applications were absolute right-offs, I wasn't ready. Honestly awful. 2018 was the first year I was able to secure interviews; though surprising as I didn't have any NHS experience!

Education:
2008 - 2012: BSc, 67% - Psychology with a Year in Europe (it was this year that allowed me to get some excellent experience in research!)
2017 - 2018: MSc, 73% - Mental Health and Psychological Therapies.

Experience:
2012 - 2013: I moved to San Francisco, CA and worked as a research intern for an HIV and Mental health non-profit. This year was fantastic, I loved SF, and made some excellent connections, some of which I have managed to continue to publish work with! But it was here I was able to get my first publication and my first experiences working in community mental health outside of the UK.
2013 - 2016: At a large research university in San Francisco, CA, I found a position as a research worker for a large scale randomised controlled trial that looked at cognitive remediation in first-episode psychosis. My position also involved work on a few other studies focussing on implementing cognitive remediation in some form or another.
2016 - 2018 - Same large institution in San Francisco, CA, I secured a position as a research worker on a trial that looked at gene therapy for Parkinson's Disease. I did a lot of neuropsych assessments as well as general day to day trial management, but I realised that this wasn't for me. I was toying with medical school at the time, and this reaffirmed that the DClinPsy was where I wanted to be.
2017 - 2019 - I went back to a previous research lab and trial 2013 - 2016, but was now placed in more of a senior role. I was apprehensive to do this because naturally, it felt like a step back. However, I was able to get 4 more publications within this time as well as work with my supervisor to get me some good clinical experience. My supervisor was also happy to work with me in completing an MSc full-time and working full-time, so it seemed like a good move. That was quite a year! This was also the year I was offered a fully-funded PhD with two awesome supervisors within a focus I was very interested in; after much deliberation, I didn't take it because I had applied to the DClinPsy with what felt like a meaningful and thought out application. I interviewed in Edinburgh and UEA, but did not perform! That was quite a demoralising and difficult experience.
2019 - After a lot of consideration and quite a dismal performance on interviews, my working visa on the verge of expiration, we decided to move back to the UK. I managed to find work on a large RCT looking at open dialogue in the NHS. This was pivotal- I had some really thoughtful, kind, and compassionate people in my corner that I am so indebted to. This year also gave me something I was really lacking, which was being keyed into the realities of working in the NHS.

Publications:
At the time of getting on, I had 6.

It took about 8 years and I took quite a funny route, but I'm so pleased I stuck with it and just enjoyed where I was. On reflection, I could have moved back to the UK earlier and perhaps gotten on earlier, but the 7 years living in the US gave me some incredible experiences I likely wouldn't haven't gotten anywhere else.

Good luck. And if you are reading this after some difficult rejections, please be kind to yourself.

blaman444
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:21 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by blaman444 » Tue May 19, 2020 9:34 am

I will be 25 years old when I start clinical training :)

My experience:
October 2015 - August 2016: An almost year long placement at a Forensic Mental Health hospital.
July 2017- October 2017: After graduating I couldn't find work for a few months. I had to claim Jobseeker's Allowance to survive.
October 2017 - October 2018: I worked as a Health Care Assistant supporting adults with LD and Mental Health difficulties.
October 2018 - May 2019: Got offered my first AP post. I actually received 3 seperate AP offers - 12 months of learning and developing made a huge difference. I worked in an adult CMHT.
May 2019 - Present: Started as a Band 5 AP in an Intensive Case Management service.

I also volunteered throughout my degree with a young person with a diagnosis of ADHD and ASD, and adults with early onset dementia.

Education:
2013 - 2017: First Class Honours BSc Psychology with Proffessional Placement, Cardiff Uni

Research:
No publications.
Degree research project - I got a first in this.
In my first AP post I carried out an evaluation of crisis assessment from the perspective of clients. I have also contributed heavily to other service development work, including quite a bit of experience of co-production.

This was my first year applying!

ruby08
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by ruby08 » Sat May 23, 2020 2:49 pm

I will be 34 when I start training in September. Started on the route to clinical psychology when I was 27.

Undergraduate degree was BA (Hons) English Literature - 2:1 in 2007
Converted to psychology with MSc Psychology conversion course - 2:1 in 2012

2012 - 2013 - Learning Disability Support Worker - Supported Living in the community

2013 - 2014 - Healthcare Assistant - Neuropsychiatry inpatient ward (4 days) &
Voluntary Assistant Psychologist - Neurorehabilitation Outpatient Service (1 day)

2014 - 2015 - Assistant Psychologist - Neuropsychiatry Outpatient Service

2015 - 2016 - Higher Assistant Psychologist - Neurobehavioural Inpatient Ward

2016 - 2018 - Higher Assistant Psychologist - Specialist CAMHS Autism Service

2018 - 2019 - Research Assistant - Multi-site RCT (3 days) / Higher Assistant Psychologist - CAMHS (2 days)

2019 - 2020 - Research Assistant - different Multi-site RCT (3 days) / Higher Assistant Psychologist - CAMHS (2 days)

No publications at time of application.
2 poster presentations at professional conference.

JustWonderingAbout
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 7:45 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by JustWonderingAbout » Sun May 24, 2020 10:25 am

I applied three times.

BSc Psychology (2:1)
Certificate in Counselling Skills

Briefly volunteered for Mindline

Two years as a support worker for mental health housing service
Three years in a CMHT - case holding/support working/psychology interventions under supervision

Southgate2020
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat May 23, 2020 9:40 am

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Southgate2020 » Sun May 24, 2020 11:55 am

I will be 36 when I start this year. I decided to pursue Clinical Psychology pretty late, my first degree was in Literature.

2013-2014 Conversion Degree (MSc) Psychology, volunteered for Mind in that time

2015 Support Worker

2016 PGDip Mental Health Studies at Middlesex University (placement in IAPT)

which led to
2017 Care Coordinator at a NHS community team (First Episode Psychosis)

I am still in that post

2017 Certificate in Counselling Skills

2018-2019 did my MSc at KCL (focusing on psychosis) while working in the above post - graduate with distinction

applied first time in 2019 - two interviews - was not prepared at all and did not get an offer

second time 2020 and got an offer (from reserve list...)

ruby08
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:41 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by ruby08 » Tue May 26, 2020 1:09 pm

Southgate2020 wrote:
Sun May 24, 2020 11:55 am
I will be 36 when I start this year. I decided to pursue Clinical Psychology pretty late, my first degree was in Literature.

2013-2014 Conversion Degree (MSc) Psychology, volunteered for Mind in that time

2015 Support Worker

2016 PGDip Mental Health Studies at Middlesex University (placement in IAPT)

which led to
2017 Care Coordinator at a NHS community team (First Episode Psychosis)

I am still in that post

2017 Certificate in Counselling Skills

2018-2019 did my MSc at KCL (focusing on psychosis) while working in the above post - graduate with distinction

applied first time in 2019 - two interviews - was not prepared at all and did not get an offer

second time 2020 and got an offer (from reserve list...)
Congratulations! Sounds like we've had a similar path...literature to psychology!

janus
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:58 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by janus » Tue May 26, 2020 11:06 pm

Really surreal but exciting to be posting here! I will be 29 when I start the DClin at Liverpool this year. Began this journey at 24 as I studied Spanish for my undergrad. Still hasn't sunk in that I've got a place!

Education:

2007-2009 A Levels, Psychology (A), Spanish (A), Politics (A)
2010-2014 University of Oxford, Spanish, 2.1
2015-2016 Leeds Beckett University, MSc Psychology (Conversion), Distinction (76%)

Experience:

2009-2010 Gap year admin experience and travelling
2010-2014 During my undergrad I did lots of temping admin work and also did some tutoring in ESOL and Spanish
2014-2015 Leeds City Council graduate training programme
2015-2016 During my MSc I volunteered for an anxiety peer support group and the Prince's Trust mentoring primary school children
2016-2017 Support worker in IAPT
2017 Community link worker for a third sector community-based mental health support service (Richmond Fellowship)
2017-2018 First assistant psychologist job, forensic inpatient service
2018-2019 Second assistant psychologist job, CMHT
2019-present Third assistant psychologist job, infant mental health service

When I applied I had one publication.

Applications to DClin:

2018/19
Leeds (unsuccessful)
Sheffield (unsuccessful)
Leicester (reserve for interview --> unsuccessful)
Teesside (unsuccessful)

2019/20
Liverpool (interview --> offered a place!)
Leeds (interview --> unsuccessful)
Leicester (unsuccessful)
Teesside (unsuccessful)

xxpoogletxx
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:27 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by xxpoogletxx » Wed May 27, 2020 11:50 am

Over the moon to be posting this here! I'll be 30 when starting the doctorate, not because it's been overly difficult for me to get here, but because I've spent a decent bit of time in each job, really relishing the journey and not just rushing to get to the 'goal'.

2010 - 2014: BSc Psychology - High 2.1 (it took me four years to complete this rather than three due to personal reasons)
: Volunteered as an online counsellor for ChildLine
: Volunteered as an Independent Sexual Violence Advocate for a rape crisis charity

2014 - 2016: Worked as a Healthcare Assistant in an NHS low secure forensic mental health hospital (working with men with intellectual disabilities and neurodevelopmental disorders and women with a diagnosis of personality disorder).

2016 - 2017: MSc Neuropsychology - Merit. I completed this masters in Maastricht in the Netherlands. I'd always wanted to experience living in another country, so I lived, studied and worked there for 18 months and absolutely loved it. Also I didn't undertake an MSc just to 'look better' for doctorate applications, I did it because it was an area of psychology I was really interested in and wanted to learn more about.

2018 - 2019: First NHS AP job, working between two different probation hostels with high risk male offenders who had just been released from prison. The job involved working alongside a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist and was very much about helping the probation staff to think in more 'psychologically-informed' ways. I worked within the wider personality disorder service and learnt a lot about formulation, supervision, consultation, training and MDT working. Although I facilitated a few groups in this job there was no opportunity for 1:1 clinical work.
: First doctorate application - interview reserve list for two universities but never got called to interview. I did find the process more emotionally draining than I was expecting but was very much of the mindset that I had more personal and professional development to do and was happy to try again the year after.

2019 - Present: Second NHS AP job, working on a male acute inpatient mental health ward. Lots of opportunities to facilitate group interventions and do 1:1 clinical work. On my ward I work alongside a psychotherapist but there are clinical, counselling and forensic psychologists in our team and a CBT therapist, which I love as it offers many different perspectives. I've learnt A LOT about the difficulties of trying to work psychologically within the 'medical model' but I've loved the challenge.
: Second doctorate application, 3 interviews. I was on the reserve list for a place for one, received an offer (which I'm going to accept) and am still waiting on the outcome of the third.

I think for me, although it's technically taken 6 years from graduating to get here, it hasn't felt like a long, laborious journey. I've been pretty lucky in terms of jobs. I managed to secure my HCA job straight after my undergrad and then managed to bag my first AP job just after finishing my masters. I've only applied for about 5 AP roles (not including the ones I naively applied for straight after my BSc) and from those have received four interviews and three job offers.

VSW
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:41 am

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by VSW » Wed May 27, 2020 12:54 pm

Third time applying for me, first year I had two interviews resulting in one reserve offer but no luck securing a place, second year nothing at all. I'll be 29 when I start training.

Education:
2009 - 2012 - BSc Psychology 2:1
2012 - 2013 - MSc Foundations in Clinical Psychology and Health Services Merit

Experience:
2014 - 2015: 18 months as a support worker in a private sector locked rehab supporting working age adult males with various mental health diagnoses.
2015 - 2016: 6 months as a support worker in an NHS crisis home treatment team.
2016 - 2018: 2 years 9 months as an assistant psychologist working back in the same private sector locked rehab I previously worked in as a support worker. This was a really fantastic role with really diverse work involved. I had a brilliant supervisor too who was hugely instrumental in my development in this role.
2018 - Present: Private sector male low secure ward.

No publications and limited experience of research outside of what I did during my BSc and MSc. As an AP though I have had the opportunity to be involved in a few audit and service evaluation projects.

Mermind
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 12:45 pm

Re: What experience did you have when you got on training?

Post by Mermind » Wed May 27, 2020 11:47 pm

I am very pleased with my outcomes this year, but also very much in shock, as this felt out of reach at times. I will be 28 when I start training.

Education:
2013: graduated from undergraduate psychology and sociology - high 2:1 (68%)
2014: graduated from conversion course, as my undergraduate was not BPS accredited - high 2:1 (68%)
2016: graduated from MRes Clinical Psychology (71%)

Experience:
2015: Honorary Research Assistant (7 months FTE)
2015 - 2016: Honorary Assistant Psychologist post in Clinical Health Psychology (4 months FTE)
2016 - 2018: Paid AP post in CAMHS (2.5 years across generic CAMHS and a specialist CAMHS service)
2018 - 2020: Paid AP post in NHS Secure and Offender Care (15 months across 2 forensic services)
2020 - present: High Intensity CBT Training (not on DClin application, but helped during interviews)

Other things that might have helped my application include early voluntary experience, a publication and a few conference presentations, and attending brief training in a few therapeutic models.

Applications:
2017: no interviews
2018: one interview, resulting in reserve for a place
2019: no interviews
2020: three interviews resulting in three offers, with the fourth course remaining reserve for interview.

It is difficult to say how I went from no interviews last year to three offers of places this year, which just highlights the point that has been many times before, that this is such an unpredictable process. I did not have a plan b, as I knew that this is the right path for me (through a lot of self-reflection and discussions with supervisors, trainees etc.), but I did decide to do High Intensity Training this year, which felt like a positive step whilst waiting for the course to happen. This definitely helped me to feel more relaxed during interviews. I was also confident in my abilities, which helped me to feel calmer and to (hopefully) come across authentically.

Whilst mock interviews and getting the application checked over can be useful for some, I decided against this this year. I wanted to be myself as much as possible, so I tried not to over-prepare. I don’t think there is one way to prepare for interviews, but this worked for me. During interviews, I also spoke about what is most important to me and how this relates to the kind of Clinical Psychologist that I hope to be. Over the years, I have spent time thinking about what attracts me to the role of a Clinical Psychologist, what I have learnt/can bring with me to training and how I hope to develop further.

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