Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Discuss any aspect of applying for posts or courses (apart from the clinical psychology doctorate which has its own forum section), CVs, application forms, etc
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Basanti
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:31 pm

Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Post by Basanti »

Hi everyone,

So basically I had started an application for the doctorate 2/3 weeks ago, but for the past week I have not even looked at it, as I have been in two minds whether I am ready to apply and even start further training, whether CP is for me if I got a place next year.

I have BSc (hons):2:1, Masters, nearly two years clinical experience working as a therapist delivering CBT 1:1 in an NHS role(permanent job), supervised by a CP. So have enough experience to at least attempt an application.

The problem is I feel quite burned out with studying. I finished the Masters in Jan and I feel like I need time to just enjoy the job, learn more delivering 1:1 therapy and spend time with my kids, husband, caring for my mum etc.

My friends and colleagues have said "you can always put in an application (deadline is on Wed), and see how it goes, and if you get a place go for it", but I don't feel ready, at the same time I am thinking however, about a practise application, but I guess I could still practise one without submitting an application. Another friend, is saying training (if I got it!) wouldn't start till next Sept, so that would give me time to mentally prepare etc, but I feel like I need to be mentally prepared before putting in an application, to have a good chance of an interview.

Just a bit confused. Any advice would be grand.

Thank you!
Sheep21
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2021 1:53 pm

Re: Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Post by Sheep21 »

It sounds like you need a break overall. Realistically chances of getting onto the doctorate are very slim, especially with your first try. There was a 22% success rate for last years cohort, meaning 78% of applicants didn't get on to the course. So, saying that, for a practice run, I think it may be a learning experience for you to apply whilst trying your best to be boundaried in not putting too much hopes or energy into the come up of the doctorate application waiting process. It's like not being sure how much you want a job and getting hung up about the pros and cons when you haven't even gotten the job yet and you might not even get it, there's no point in worrying until you're at least offered a job first, then you can think about things in more detail. My advice would be to go for it, you have nothing to lose especially when you don't really want it yet anyway, that's probably a better mindset to be in compared to REALLY wanting it and getting worked up over it. Best of Luck whatever you decide to do!
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Geishawife
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Re: Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Post by Geishawife »

I'm afraid I would disagree with Sheep21 about going for it as you have nothing to lose. I'm afraid you DO have something to lose - your own health and well being. You do sound as if you are burnt out and really do need time to focus on you and your well being. If you are not "right" you can be of no help to others so your priority has to be you. I think that applying "as a practice run" rarely, if ever, is actually that. It comes with pressures, hopes and expectations that it might actually turn into an offer of a place and that then comes with intense pressure to start and guilt at even thinking of turning the place down - all misplaced guilt I think but it can be very toxic. My advice, as someone who has been in this game a VERY long time and has seen people really struggle, would be to take a step back from all of it, prioritise your own health and give yourself the time and space to breathe and really think about what you want. If it IS CP, the doctorate will still be there next time around and you will be in a far better "space" to apply and start training. If it is NOT CP you will still be in a better space because you can plan a future that is right for you. Sending love and support either way.
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miriam
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Re: Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Post by miriam »

The fact that you could apply (and might even be successful) doesn't mean that you should. I think you already made your decision. You downed tools, didn't work on it for a week or two, and just a couple of days before the deadline you posted on here why you aren't ready to apply this round. So take care of yourself, enjoy your current job, and forget about everyone else rushing to the finish line. Self-care is much under-estimated (and something I am lousy with, but trying to be better at). You'll be a happier person and a more successful applicant and trainee when you've had time to regroup. Kids are only young once. Enjoy a year with them, then worry about your next steps.
Miriam

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Basanti
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:31 pm

Re: Unsure when to apply for doctorate

Post by Basanti »

Thank you so much to all of your replies - it really means a lot. I have never applied before and felt obliged to apply just "to get into the practise" of applying, but I agree with you Geishawife and Miriam, it can have negative effects too.
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