Am I ready?

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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MichalS
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Am I ready?

Post by MichalS »

My supervisor has recommended I apply for a Dclin this coming year. I know I want to apply to Lancaster for certain due to my lack of clinical experience (by which I mean 0, excluding support work) and their focus on holistic and less pharmaceutical approaches. My expertise comes more from the research side of things, with three publications in press and a conference. I am starting a postgrad this year in CAMHS ( this is something I want to pursue either way as a personal interest), but with applications being a year in advance, I have been told to apply. I worry that I am only 21 and just starting my psychology journey. I know clinical psychology is my end goal, but I don't feel equipped for it yet compared to so many brilliant people applying every year on this forum. I believe academically, I will be fine with my final undergrad grade being 90%. However, I am uncertain if my lack of clinical experience will be my downfall. This may sound ridicilous, but I want to start applying when I know I have a good chance not to feel disheartened as this is a problem of mine AGH.
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Alex
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Alex »

My reply would be why wouldn't you want to gather some more clinical experience before applying? After all, this is the core of the work.

Also, in interviews often panels ask for examples re: clinical work so you will be armed with the experience to use.
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Geishawife
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Geishawife »

I think you've answered your own question when you state "I don't feel equipped for it yet". Judging by what you've written I have to say you don't sound ready. Lancaster may not expect lots of experience, but they do expect you to have the requisite skills and I agree with Alex - I think you need more clinical experience to develop fully before applying. Sorry.
rachiepsy96
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by rachiepsy96 »

Hello,

Is your supervisor a Clin Psych? I had similar feelings to you last year but the opposite way around - I had a good amount of clinical experience, but felt my research/academic skills were lacking compared to other candidates. I would say to you don't compare yourself to others on this journey - everyone is taking different paths to the same goal, and our paths are in relation to ourselves, not others. I was told by Clin Psychs I had a fighting chance as long as I reflected well in my application on my experiences, was real and honest, and prepped well for the interview. And it worked - I'm on.
I get your worry about being disheartened - failure is really difficult. But with this process, more times than not, failure will be coming. Getting rejections are important just to know what they feel like.
But this is YOUR journey. Don't waste the £40 if you're not ready, but if you want a go just to see what the process is like, do it. You never know. I'm sure myself and many others will be here to support and answer more questions if you have them :)

- Rach
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ell
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by ell »

Take a look at the job description/person specification for a trainee clinical psychologist role, and see how your current experiences and skills compare. If you think of it as applying for just another job that might give you a more objective view.

Also, I want to highlight that none of the courses are going to teach 'pharmaceutical approaches' (beyond maybe a lecture or two about the common medications used). I'd also argue that all courses are going to take a holistic view, though I think that's a bit less quantifiable. I may have missed the point you were trying to make, but i wonder how familiar you are with the role of a clinical psychologist. Doing some research on this might be your next step.
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Spatch
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Spatch »

MichalS wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 6:26 pm My supervisor has recommended I apply for a Dclin this coming year. I know I want to apply to Lancaster for certain due to my lack of clinical experience (by which I mean 0, excluding support work) and their focus on holistic and less pharmaceutical approaches. My expertise comes more from the research side of things, with three publications in press and a conference. I am starting a postgrad this year in CAMHS ( this is something I want to pursue either way as a personal interest), but with applications being a year in advance, I have been told to apply. I worry that I am only 21 and just starting my psychology journey. I know clinical psychology is my end goal, but I don't feel equipped for it yet compared to so many brilliant people applying every year on this forum. I believe academically, I will be fine with my final undergrad grade being 90%. However, I am uncertain if my lack of clinical experience will be my downfall. This may sound ridicilous, but I want to start applying when I know I have a good chance not to feel disheartened as this is a problem of mine AGH.
I would consider what the above posters have mentioned.

That said, and this may be controversial, if your supervisor knows the DClinPsy path well may be recommending you to apply for a specific reason. I know of some people (usually who have come from hardcore research backgrounds or other established background like the military), with minimal NHS clinical experience who are very, very suitable for DClinPsys. That is mainly because they are already an expert or innovator in a particular area of psychology, can demonstrate it, and they need a DClinPsy to implement the next stage of what they need to do. At 21 this is unlikely to be the OP, but there may be other lurkers out there reading this who may be thinking about this.

This kind of applicant isn't ever going to be your typical CMHT psychologist, so it's pointless and arguably counterproductive to get them onto the AP pathway. There has been a handful of people in the last 20 years I have come across that fit this description, and for them it's more about how they negotiate a system that is designed for a very different kind of candidate. So, if you are a future Paul Gilbert, Monte Shapiro or John Raven and you are going to revolutionise the field then go for it (Also, if it happens to be in the field of Eating Disorders or EUPD, do it soon and let me know).
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
RJParker
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by RJParker »

Geishawife wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:12 pm I think you've answered your own question when you state "I don't feel equipped for it yet". Judging by what you've written I have to say you don't sound ready. Lancaster may not expect lots of experience, but they do expect you to have the requisite skills and I agree with Alex - I think you need more clinical experience to develop fully before applying. Sorry.
Lancaster specifically design their process to exclude requirements for knowledge and skills (for a whole host of reasons). They absolutely welcome applications from people who have no clinical experience and some of those people get places every year.

MichalS, if you want to talk through an application to Lancaster then please do get in touch, we'd be delighted to chat about it (dclinpsyadmissions@lancaster.ac.uk)
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Geishawife
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Geishawife »

Surely people have to have the skills applicable to the job, i.e. trainee? I would never expect applicants to have the skills of a CP (if they did they wouldn't need training) but I can't see how any course can train people who do not have the skills for the job of being a trainee. And whilst I understand that clinical experience is not the be all and end all, the OP stated explicitly that they did not feel equipped!
RJParker
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by RJParker »

No, we teach skills. We are looking for potential and personal qualities which you can get from innumerable life experiences and work contexts. This is explained in detail on our website. Unfortunately that is still misrepresented as an expectation of clinical skills by those outside the programme which it is not.

It is no surprise that people say they don't feel ready when the message they are continually given by peers is that you must have x experience in y settings. Although some programmes are this prescriptive, the picture is much more varied than applicant groups often represent.

I would suggest that potential applicants talk to the programmes if unsure... We don't bite.
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Spatch
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Spatch »

Geishawife wrote: Tue Jun 28, 2022 4:50 pm Surely people have to have the skills applicable to the job, i.e. trainee? I would never expect applicants to have the skills of a CP (if they did they wouldn't need training) but I can't see how any course can train people who do not have the skills for the job of being a trainee. And whilst I understand that clinical experience is not the be all and end all, the OP stated explicitly that they did not feel equipped!
Just because they don't have 'formal requirements' (e.g. one year as an AP, a high 2:1) doesn't mean they don't expect the candidates to have those abilities and aptitudes. Lancaster are open in that they use a General Mental Ability test as a prescreen, before inviting people to interview.

In some ways, the approach of examination for ability first, then reflection/experience via interview is more representative of how internationally clinical psychologists are trained (e.g. which US Clinical Psychology Ph.D/Psy.D practitioner programmes that use the GRE as a pre-sorting tool).You could make an argument that it is a more psychologically informed approach, in line with the thinking of Lewis Terman and Charles Spearman. The mainstream model that most courses currently follow semi derive from the NHS 1970s apprenticeship model (where 'assistant psychologist' roles emerged from as they don't really exist anywhere else outside the UK).

I kinda like the diversification. Lots of different routes into DClinPsy are a good thing for diversity of thinking and workforce.
Shameless plug alert:

Irrelevant Experience: The Secret Diary of an Assistant Psychologist is available at Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Irrelevant-Expe ... 00EQFE5JW/
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Geishawife
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by Geishawife »

Not sure where my initial reply went! Actually, I think we're all saying roughly the same thing. Whether you call it potential, skills, aptitude or ability we're all expecting applicants to have the right "bare bones" before they start training. These have to be quantified in some way or else why have a selection process to tease out who does and doesn't have "it"?
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ell
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Re: Am I ready?

Post by ell »

Going back to the OP... It's impossible for anyone here to say whether or not you are 'ready', but hopefully people have given you useful pointers to help think that question through. But it's important to remember that 'ready' is rather subjective, and can encompass a lot of things.

If you don't want to apply for training yet then that's ok, there's a lot of pressure for everyone to do it as soon as possible and if you can see it as part of your own unique life journey rather than as a race with all your peers, then that's a good approach. It's a relatively intensive course with a range of challenges, which people experience in their own way. If you really don't fancy that right now then fair enough. But if it's more about your confidence in yourself or lack of clarity about the career then I would suggest you do some research, talk with your supervisor about their thinking, and talk directly with the courses that you are interested in.

Also, support work is really valuable clinical experience, don't feel that you have zero clinical experience if you have that under your belt already.
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