MSc Regretts

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jessey
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MSc Regretts

Post by jessey » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:12 pm

I completed an MSc in Health Psychology after my undergraduate. It was a rushed decision and I worked out in the end any BPS accredited course was a much better option than choosing a random masters if I wanted to complete the DClinPsych and become a Clinical Psychologist.

Now having completed my MSc with merit, and having sucessfully secured a number of interviews and developed my clinical/research work experience, I am in the process of building my career.

Having completed the MSc, I was asked if I was interested in Stage 2 to become a Health Psychologist. I was in two mind about this but opted out & said no. The reason being is because I actually really disliked my MSc course, I was not interested in health promotions or the type of interventions current Health Psychologists were doing. Some were in specialist areas which was somewhat interesting but still I lost interest after a short time. I have former classmates on the Stage 2 of DHealthPsych and they have told me the type of projects they are currently doing and they really don't interest me at all, I often think I am glad I never did Stage 2. Has anyone else felt the same about Health Psychology?

I have worked with Clinical Psychologist from my work experience and have noted there is a clear distinction in the role of the two different fields. Health Psychologist focus more on health promotions and accessing a large population/group of people (often in focus groups) and Clinical Psychologist focus more on therapeautic interventions. Obviously there is some overlap but clearly there is a difference in their job roles.

Where my regrett lies is in completing an MSc in Health Psychology. I did complete my MSc for various reasons, in particular getting onto the DClinPsych. Now I wish I did an MSc in Forensic Psychology to focus my career in an area of Psychology I am far more interested in. I just wondered if others have felt the same, I look at my MSc and often think it doesn't do me any justice, why did I waste my time and money in completing this MSc whereas I could have done an MSc I was far more proud of. Also my problem lies in the fact if I do not become a Clinical Psychologist, would I want to become a Health Psychologist and the answer is no. I feel like completing another MSc would be waste of my time having already completed one. I just wondered what others think and have they had the same thoughts as mine. I have met several Forensic Psychologists and their jobs are far more interesting to me than Health Psychology has ever been.

What options would I have if I did not want to complete a self-funded MSc in Forensic Psychology to become one. A conversion course? I already have an MSc BPS accredited in another area.

Has anyone disliked Health Psychology as much as I have?

I feel like I wish my backup for clinical was forensics rather than health.

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noodle
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Post by noodle » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:28 pm

I'm doing a Health Psych MSc at the moment and definately want to do clinical, and I agree with you about stage 2 Health training sounding a bit dull. One of the things that really appeals to me about clinical training is that it is so broad and you get experience in each specialty, which is just not the case in Health.

I am however, really enjoying my MSc, but by the sounds of it, it is quite different to yours as the health promotion stuff is only a small componant (and its my least favourite bit too). I think there its lots of overlap between health and clinical that you could draw on e.g. comorbid psychological distress and many health conditions, motivational interviewing, CBT and lots of skills that you have probably gained from the MSc that will be helpful on the clinical path e.g presentation skills, academic writing, research skills and knowledge. Also there are a lot of clincal health departments around, and your health MSc would definately be looked on favourably.

With regards to doing a forensic MSc, personally I'm not sure that it would enhance a clinical application hugely as you already have an MSc. Aside from health and clinical, academic psychology is another option if you wanted to do a PhD. However, if you do have a burning desire to do the forensic MSc then its obviously not going to hold you back! If you couldn't afford to do it now, you could keep it in your mind as an option if you decide against clinical.

Hope this helps!

ElizabethB
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Post by ElizabethB » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:37 pm

Hello,

I just wanted to say that yes, I've experienced something similar.

I completed an MSc in Health Psychology in 2005. However, I've always been interested in health psychology. As you've pointed out, it does give a good back up as a health psychologist -that is if you wanted to go for health psychology as a career. Even if you don't choose to go down the health psychology route, there's still loads of overlap with clinical psychology as you've also pointed out. For me, personally, if I was offered stage 2, I would go for it! Health psychology is a relatively new field, but is growing!

For me, I try to look at the positive things about things I've put myself through and the benefits of my decisions and I try to look for the good things in a seemingly negative situation. Perhaps this is a coping techinque I have, but it helps me through things!


Hope this helps!

:D

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psych_lad
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Post by psych_lad » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:37 pm

I haven't experienced this as I have not done a Health Psychology MSc, but my current MSc disseration is using a Health Psychology model and ITS BORING ME NOW! LOL
Psych_lad

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psych_lad
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Post by psych_lad » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:40 pm

Also, although your MSc is in health psychology, it will still enchance your applications for research jobs (if you like research) and many other jobs that require a post-graduate qualification.
Psych_lad

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:51 pm

wow talk about putting me off health psychology! This is still one of my options next September but after reading these comments lol, now Im unsure.

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psych_lad
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Post by psych_lad » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:56 pm

If you have never studied health psychology before, I suggest you read a relevant book- it's sort of similar to social psychology but applied to health.
Psych_lad

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Gilly
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Post by Gilly » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:36 pm

im doing an MSc in research methods, and whilst i dont regret doing it, every time a lecturer walks in with a big smile going

OK, NOW WERE GOING TO DO A 2 HOUR LECTURE ON DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS

my heart breaks just a little bit more :P

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:06 pm

Well I love stats but surely descriptives is something you learn in the first months of the first year?

Tell me your joking lol. Im in my 3rd year and doing SEM/mediation etc, does it get any more complicated than that?

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psych_lad
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Post by psych_lad » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:19 pm

DrFurbs wrote:Well I love stats but surely descriptives is something you learn in the first months of the first year?

Tell me your joking lol. Im in my 3rd year and doing SEM/mediation etc, does it get any more complicated than that?
Yes it does!
Psych_lad

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Gilly
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Post by Gilly » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:29 pm

my course only started in october :) - they assume you havnt done statistics for ages

next year however, 10 week intensive statistics, why my goodness i cannot wait!
Last edited by Gilly on Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DrFurbs
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Post by DrFurbs » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:37 pm

psych_lad wrote:
DrFurbs wrote:Well I love stats but surely descriptives is something you learn in the first months of the first year?

Tell me your joking lol. Im in my 3rd year and doing SEM/mediation etc, does it get any more complicated than that?
Yes it does!
Excellent!

a116
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Post by a116 » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:25 pm

Oo, I just want to defend Health Psychology for people who are considering it as an option!

I did stage 1 and honestly loved it. The most challenging year, intellectually, of my life (and I'm currently a third year PhD). Obviously it's not going to be everyones cup of tea.

I have decided to go down the clinical route because the stage 2 route is just not established enough for me. Now, I could be a trail blazer and push the field forward etc but I just don't want to do it that way. I hope to specialise in Clinical Health and perhaps after that look more to promoting Health Psychology as a discipline.

But don't rule it out if it's something you're interested in. I genuinely fell in love with Health Psychology and the community are great. They are very accepting but they are pioneers in the field (it's only 20-30 years old) so they love to challenge the early careerists.

A

ElizabethB
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Post by ElizabethB » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:35 am

a116 wrote:Oo, I just want to defend Health Psychology for people who are considering it as an option!

I did stage 1 and honestly loved it. The most challenging year, intellectually, of my life (and I'm currently a third year PhD). Obviously it's not going to be everyones cup of tea.

I have decided to go down the clinical route because the stage 2 route is just not established enough for me. Now, I could be a trail blazer and push the field forward etc but I just don't want to do it that way. I hope to specialise in Clinical Health and perhaps after that look more to promoting Health Psychology as a discipline.

But don't rule it out if it's something you're interested in. I genuinely fell in love with Health Psychology and the community are great. They are very accepting but they are pioneers in the field (it's only 20-30 years old) so they love to challenge the early careerists.

A
Hi !

I have to say your post and aspirations are very similar to mine!! I'm also in my final years of completing a PhD (I'm in my fourth year) and I'm looking to specialise in health psychology after clinical psychology training (if I ever manage to get anywhere with my application! :roll: )

As A points out, health psychology is a very new field in comparision with clinical psychology, but I'm currently working as a RA in a health psychology department and I'm loving it!!

My supervisor is a trained clinical psychologist and specialised in health psychology after she became a clinical psychologist, so there are people out there with a duel chartership (which is something I would be interested in following up in).

Although- again, at 28, I'm wondering whether I should be focusing on other things (rather than career etc etc!- given that everyone around me seems to be settling down etc- but that's another story!)

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