hhatty
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I'm in year 12 and I'm pretty sure I want to study Psychology at uni and go on to be a clinical psychologist.
However, it is hard to get experience in this field and I'm worried when I go to do the doctorate I will find it super hard and stressful. I just want to know what to expect?
If you have done the course/are doing it I would really appreciate hearing about the emotional impact of it and whether you were able to cope.
Thanks
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Lord Asriel
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A DClinPsy (as any doctorate) is a challenging course of study and it is stressful and pressurised. Most trainees find it stressful as you have to demonstrate yourself academically, clinically and produce a lot of research in limited timeframe. However, trainees are selected on their track record and their likelihood of getting through a doctorate, so by the time anyone is on a DClinPsy they will already have had the extensive experience and academic background that they need. That's not to say life doesn't happen, and trainees just like everyone else, experience personal challenges, losses and difficulties.

I found it tough back in the day. My current trainees find it tough. We all got through it though.

If you are in Year 12, you have about another 10 years or so to consider before you are realistically going to be in a position apply for training. In that time focus on getting experiences, getting good academically, maintaining self care and putting in the appropriate support early on.

Also, in my opinion, getting your own therapy is incredibly helpful if you are going to be delivering therapy to others. It's not compulsory, but many trainees and qualified psychologists do this as it helps with the intensity of the work.
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giella
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It is not actually that difficult to get experience in this field once you turn 18. You don’t have to worry about that yet. Even before then you can get work experience working with people through various volunteer programmes.
But at the moment, you don’t really know this is what you want to do. You like the idea of it and the facts that this is the most obvious career path for working in mental health and the most prestigious and well paid will have ensured that it got your attention. You’re unlikely to have considered mental health nursing, speech and language therapy, or occupational therapy as alternatives because you’ve never heard of them or you have discounted them because they are less prestigious or less well paid. I’m guessing that you don’t do science A levels beyond possibly biology. If you were, you’d probably be considering medicine, which is easier to get into when you run the numbers and has far more points of entry. It also takes less time and requires less work experience to get into.

Please do consider all of the above. Make sure you know that this is actually something you want to do. Bear in mind that if you’re stressing already about a doctorate you’re potentially eight to ten years away from doing that maybe you don’t feel especially drawn by academics. Or you don’t have confidence in your ability to perform academically and that’s something that may well be affecting your current level of study that you should seek some help and support with. Or maybe you’re discouraged by competition and uncertainty and perhaps a better option for you would be to do a more vocational degree first. Or maybe just get a little perspective and try to live in the moment and enjoy your current level of study. Because that’s all you need to think about right now. Relax.
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hhatty
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(Original post by giella)
It is not actually that difficult to get experience in this field once you turn 18. You don’t have to worry about that yet. Even before then you can get work experience working with people through various volunteer programmes.
But at the moment, you don’t really know this is what you want to do. You like the idea of it and the facts that this is the most obvious career path for working in mental health and the most prestigious and well paid will have ensured that it got your attention. You’re unlikely to have considered mental health nursing, speech and language therapy, or occupational therapy as alternatives because you’ve never heard of them or you have discounted them because they are less prestigious or less well paid. I’m guessing that you don’t do science A levels beyond possibly biology. If you were, you’d probably be considering medicine, which is easier to get into when you run the numbers and has far more points of entry. It also takes less time and requires less work experience to get into.

Please do consider all of the above. Make sure you know that this is actually something you want to do. Bear in mind that if you’re stressing already about a doctorate you’re potentially eight to ten years away from doing that maybe you don’t feel especially drawn by academics. Or you don’t have confidence in your ability to perform academically and that’s something that may well be affecting your current level of study that you should seek some help and support with. Or maybe you’re discouraged by competition and uncertainty and perhaps a better option for you would be to do a more vocational degree first. Or maybe just get a little perspective and try to live in the moment and enjoy your current level of study. Because that’s all you need to think about right now. Relax.
Thank you- I have definitely considered all of the above- I've weirdly wanted to do Clinical Pyschology since I was 8 or 9!
I have also considered alternative paths after a psychology degree, mainly speech and language therapy or teaching, so I do have back up plans.
As for medicine, I take science a levels and could go into it, however I am more academically interested in psychology and feel it is better suited to me.
I do appreciate that I need to relax a bit more, but I am definitely someone who likes to know what to expect!
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theworrypeople
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I'm on the training course now... while it is demanding, by the time you get on you have so much work/academic experience under your belt that it feels like a natural next step up. Definitely think there are more and more entry-level opportunities cropping up these days, particularly Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner roles, Health Care Assistant positions (alongside your more standard assistant psychologist and research assistant roles).

If you have any other questions let me know
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sophieruiz
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hi! would it be possible to get a quick rundown on your experience (work experience, jobs, postgraduate etc) and timeframes. it would be super helpful if you could: thank you so much
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theworrypeople
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(Original post by sophieruiz)
hi! would it be possible to get a quick rundown on your experience (work experience, jobs, postgraduate etc) and timeframes. it would be super helpful if you could: thank you so much
Sure - I finished my undergrad in 2014 and got on in 2019, after applying twice. I took a year out after undergrad doing non psychology related things, but then I got a job as a TA in a school for children with autism (3 months) and then worked as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist in private practice (3+ years). Alongside that I did a bit of additional work as a research assistant, but these were very short term posts and paid hourly.

Hope that helps . Age range in my year group when we started was between 24 and 36, so it really does vary!!
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