educational psychology to clinical/counselling psych

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educational psychology to clinical/counselling psych

Post by Such_a_lovely_girl » Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:39 am

Hi, just posting here for advice.

I'm starting Y2 in educational psychology training and enjoying it very much. I have gained insights I didn't have before the course and an idea of where I would like to work, and how, in the future.

I've enjoyed most work with looked after children, however would like to take on a broader role with this, more therapeutic work, and support to foster carers. Also possibly training in DDP and a psychodynamic or attachment focused therapy. There are parts of being an ED psych I love (consultation and systemic work) and parts I don't like as much, particularly working in a less time limited fashion with groups like LAC and less opportunities for therapeutic work. The other area that has gotten my attention is paediatric neuropsychology from statutory work. I'd like to work in more depth with a systemic framework and do more family work supporting families of children with long term conditions or SEN psychologically. I'm also loving school consultation, but again, would like to integrate more therapeutic, and particularly DDP based or systemic ideas into practice to support a range of vulnerable children. More work is being done in relational trauma and the implications for educational settings, this is again another area of interest. I've seen lots of jobs recently for clinical psychologists working in independent schools for ASD/MH, this is perhaps my dream role, a mix of school based psychology and therapy, but they only seem to be open to clinical or counselling psychs.

I never wanted to work in adult mental health and ruled out clinical psychology for this reason. I think I would have enjoyed dementia and learning disability though. There were good reasons for this at the time and I have been a service user with the CMHT and experienced a period of particularly poor mental health around 2-3 years ago, and had input from psychology and psychiatry. I am in a much better place now, but otherwise fit and well mentally and physically. I think I would have the mental health distance to be able to effectively support someone with say psychosis, eating disorders etc, or work in IAPT, and can now appreciate the relevance of this work and how it underpins a lot of other things. This probably wouldn't be the area I'd choose to work in on qualifying however.

I am enjoying what I do, but also would like to work in roles/duties in future that would be open to clinical or counselling psychologists alongside some ed psych work, even if this involved a period of further study (although hopefully not another 3 years). I have looked into statement of equivalence etc but this seems to no longer exist. Counselling psych is an option, to become an educational and counselling psychologist

The areas I have the most interest in are:

Neurodevelopmental disorders
Psychology in SEN schools
Paediatric health psychology
Family support
Early years and portage

I'm wondering if anyone, possibly qualified, has any ideas or recommendations?

I'm trying not to beat myself up too much right now as the insights I have developed have come about the last year as a trainee and are things I would not have known about before starting training, but are with greater exposure to psychology and support for vulnerable children psychologically

Thank you

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Re: educational psychology to clinical/counselling psych

Post by Spatch » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:58 am

You could go down the re-training route, but that is long and there may be better options.

One possiblity is that you collaborate with a CP/Couns Psy and set yourself up as offering something that integrates educational and clinical psychology focussed around children and young adults. This could be via the social enterprise route, or charitable entity if you are against the thought of working privately. That route would build on your EP skills and allow you to develop a role that fits your needs as well as the therapeutic skill sets. You would not be bogged down in routine Ed Psy work (e.g. statementing) or be at risk of having deskilled genericised roles if you did eventually qualify as a counselling/clinical psychologist. There is an example of this sort of thing here: ... l-service/

Best thing to do is to meet local clinicans and people who work in the area and get their view. The closer you are to the ground the better idea you will have of what is possible and what isn't.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon ... 00EQFE5JW/

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Re: educational psychology to clinical/counselling psych

Post by miriam » Wed Sep 23, 2020 1:31 pm

I don't think it is worth doing another doctorate. There are plenty of organisations that would happily take you on as an EP, but let you train in DDP and develop additional competencies (may private providers may not get good quality CP and CoP applicants and would probably be more open to considering your application than you think). I work in a children's social care context, and I can imagine having roles that would be relevant for someone like you in a year or two. Plus as Spatch says you could also look to setting something up yourself. I'd think more about competencies and less about job titles.

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Re: educational psychology to clinical/counselling psych

Post by Such_a_lovely_girl » Wed Sep 23, 2020 3:52 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

I am familiar with Amber Elliot and her very good book (along with Miriam's). I am delivering some training to schools on relational trauma (and I know Kim Golding is just about to release a book on exactly that!) as part of the Y2 training and the idea around time in before time out, reconnection etc. My supervisor will be overseeing obviously!

Doing 1 doctorate is hard enough without doing 2, my course is mental health heavy and the ethos is right, supervisors lovely, honestly feel very blessed. It still does make me sad though that a lot of NHS posts doing neurodevelopmental assessment I couldn't go for (although I am really thinking of doing the post qualification paediatric neuropsychology course and going on the register for that), although I know there's a great need for specialists for neurodevelopmental disorders in the local authority too. There would have been no guarantees I would have gotten onto clinical, and for personal reasons although I haven't been affected by any disclosures anyone has made in my present role, I don't think I would necessarily be that effective a mental health clinician in an adult team, having had the near recent experience of being a service user. I like that my course know about me having mental health difficulties and are incredibly supportive, but there doesn't feel like that is at ends with being an excellent ed psych. I do wish we had training on introducing psychodynamic ideas into our practice as EP's, although I think my thinking is a bit out there with that one (I know the Tavistock are very much into it). We do certainly get to introduce narrative, social constructionist and humanistic/personal construct ideas into our work. I do think sometimes that an opportunity was missed when the opportunity was there to combine elements of child clinical psychology with EP training, and I feel ed psychs should have scope to work in a limited range of NHS settings where the training would be an asset (child development centres and neurodevelopmental services come to mind). I'd like to do more family work in my role but am a bit constrained by what schools fund (traded) and the LA allows, against a backdrop of a shortage of people able to do statutory work

Thank you both for taking a few minutes out to reply. I do appreciate it

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