I was thinking of applying (again) for a place on a Clinical Psychology Doctoral course, but now Im wondering if there is still work available in this area. The fees are really high and although there's a training allowance when the fees are taken out of it, it ends up as a very low wage.
It seems like an awful lot of time and money to invest into an uncertain future. What do people think?
Not too well up on it, but you have gone this far which took a significant amount of time and hard work; I think you should still go for it. You will also be in a position to do other work, afaik there is still work out there. I'm just off to bed now very tired, I'll post a bit more in the morning. Best of luck with your decision.
tbh, if your having any doubts don't do it. harder than the majority of post grads from what i hear - so it's more a vocation than anything else (i'm also tired mind you)
Sorry kitkat I was in a hurry with the last post. I do know you have put a lot of work into getting where you are, I don't agree with the vocation thing. I have got a vocation to work clinically and would avoid referring a patient to anyone who described themselves as having one. No offense meant to the last poster.
I know you have done post-grad courses to get where you are, can I ask which ones as we may be able to get something else whilst you waiting on the "magic" course.
It's a cross over to the other thread, but if you don't get in this year, would doing a Dip psychotherapy training be an option as a stop gap to the clinical psych? It may get you working and may help with the next application, if you have to apply again?
However, I always recommend my students to go the psych route now, there is a significant wage difference. Even if someone wants to go the psychoanalytic route, I suggest a psych degree first then psychoanalysis if they want. Apart from the money it opens more doors for post-grad training.
The recruitment ban in the HSE cannot last forever. Also a lot of demand comes from voluntary/charitable organisations, especially those who work with mental handicap. Talk to PSI.
Thank's for your reply Julius. When you say 'talk to PSI' are you suggesting that they will have a list of voluntary organizations who are looking for volunteers or are you recommending that I enquire about the future of psychology careers?
I think you have to contextualise the decision. It is not merely are there jobs in clinical psychology now but will there be jobs in it in the future relative to cognate positions.
If you compare it to, say, counselling and psychotherapy where they are being churned out by innumerable training programmes, clinical psychologists have always been in greater demand than their numbers. The bottleneck in training works in your favour if you become one.
I keep an eye on recruitment ads and over the past year or two when there where few healthcare jobs available there were usually still clinical psychology posts to be had. As JC mentioned many of them tend to be in the area of learning disability. Although I was under the impression that the HSE recruitment freeze excluded clinical psychologists.
The HSE are trying different things to cut costs. Although the moratorium on posts does exclude therapy grades, they are getting rid of posts which are not filled. There are still jobs and there have been a number of national competitions in the last year (and one early next year i think). The voluntary bodies do not get psychologists from these panels. I've actually advertised three times for a Senior Clinical Psychologist and have failed to fill the post I have. So there are jobs but it's all a bit uncertain at present.
I am also hoping to apply for a place in the clinical doctorate programme this year but UCD have yet to announce application dates on their website. I am currently living in Australia and confused as to whether there is still funding for the programme to go ahead for an intake in 2011. Anyone any advice?
Hotspur, do you know does the freeze apply to counsellors/psychotherspists in the HSE like my own service the Addiction Services?
I don't know tbh, others here might be able to say.
Hi I think that there is effectively a freeze on all HSE jobs. However when it comes to frontline staff like counsellors and psychologists there is a ceiling quota for each HSE region rather than an absolute freeze. There appears to be more options for psychologists than counsellors eg. HSE North East has a quota of 51 for counsellors but 134 for psychologists.
Ive included the link to the circular letter below, if anyone wants to check it out.
I was asking as my boss is trying to make either me or my team mate move, whilst the Northern Area did advertise for counsellors last year, none have been take on yet.
I was told that there is not a hope of that happening in my area, I have some people in therapy years, it has taken one client 3 years to be able to discuss their shame about sexual abuse and a history of working in the sex industry; but I'm just supposed to drop them if it is decided it will be me that moves.
The thing is we have lost about 3 therapists in the past 2 years as they hit 65, the age profile is quite high in my sector team, apart from 3 of us I reckon most are due to retire within the next 5 years. On top on this we have 2 people on temp contracts and they will get the chop very soon; they are on 2 monthly contracts, and I think they will only get one more contract.
There are two of us in a very large area with a very high rate of addiction issues, my base have 200+ clients and that is without the community clinics we cover between us. Then there is the concerned persons we see, those with addictions to drugs other than heroin, such as cannabis, benzos etc.
The new policy seems to be one therapist per location; we are tight as it is, but I get to see most who want an appointment within 2 weeks. There is no way one person will be able to do that.
Sorry if I'm ranting a bit, but I never chased money I do a small bit of private work, mostly teaching; however, when I have been offered better cash in the past I have always said I'm happy where I am as long as they don't move me from my current location I happy to stay until I hit 65 myself, 20+ years to go.
Before I moved to my current location, my post went through 4 different therapists in the previous 2 years. We deal with a lot of long term clients, and I had clients refuse to work with me initially stating "why should I tell you all about my life, for you to disappear like the others within a few months". It took about 2 years for some of them to trust me that I wasn't going to disappear on them.
The ironic thing is the clinic one of use has to move to, will be the same situation, due to retirement etc, they have gone through about 5 therapists in the past 18 months.
A very bad service for the patients.
Anyway apologies for my OT rant
It sounds as if you have a lot of pressure at work at the moment Odysseus. Everyone needs to rant now and again. Im sure the cutbacks will have long term social consequences especially if this situation is to continue for years. I suppose Ive just been thinking in terms of job opportunities but the real issue is that thousands of vulnerable people are going to be abandoned and not given the care they need.
Yeah that would be a major point for me, whilst I have my caseload made up of various cohorts for want of a better word, such as
Those in long term therapy,
Those who will only attend until their current presenting issue is addressed,
Those in active drug use and those in recovery,
There would also be clients who have never really built up a traditional therapeutic relationship who know that I'm there and will avail of me when a crisis occurs, a friend over-doses or they are given a HIV+ positive diagnosis or something similar, they may only attend for 5-6 sessions every 2 years or so. As I said it's not really psychotherapy with these clients, but they have no one else to speak to and having a safe place to speak can make a significant difference.
It's one of the unusual things about my service; I may have contact with certain clients most days, general chat in the waiting room, passing on the stairs; even though they may only enter my office on very rare occasions. As you pointed out these are the consequences of there not being work for counsellor/psychotherapists/psychologists.
I was lucky that I got a job in a semi-clinical position during the first year of my degree, my clinical responsibilities increased as my ability to perform them increased. I remember telling my dept head I had got a job in an HSE rehab clinic, he exact words where you lucky bas***d; this was in 97 when there was a lot of work out there. However, getting the position I got during the first year of a BA in Psychoanalytic Studies was still a stroke of luck I can only imagine how difficult it must be for someone going through under-grad and post-grad training with no work. I see students who see patients for free in a vol. capacity, paying for their supervision. So in essence they are paying to have patients.
I really take my hat off to people in that position, it really does highlight the dedication some student have, this being on top of course fees and personal therapy fees.
Finally I must be fair and say that I imagine most of the clinicians here must be having similar difficulties, due to having a lack of co-workers.
Edit: hopefully this more balanced post will make up for the above rant and bring it back OT.