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About Psyche007

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    Clin Psych PhD

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  1. I was accepted to a PhD programme without any formal research experience and a pretty good clinical background. I spent years reading and formulating my areas of interest that were directly relevant to what I experienced 'out in the trenches'. If you can clearly summarize and present your research interest and main questions along with describing your experience relevant to developing the research question, I think that can count for a lot. I've talked to many students with great undergraduate and graduate research experience but poor conceptualization or weak and vaguely defined research interests (I hear 'children with trauma' A LOT without any additional details). In my opinion, just working in a lab doesn't mean much if you haven't read and shaped your interest and thought process, but I'm sure you'll hear disagreement with that position. Can you find anyone to advise you through a lit review? Help you perform some basic statistical analyses on a public data set? If you figure out what you want to work on it's easier to push to create your own opportunities, which counts for a lot, because it shows the level of drive necessary to answer your own question and contribute to the field.
  2. One things that has changed is the level of direct scrutiny many professors seem to want over students now that we're virtual. It's exaggerated far beyond what you'd experience in a normal in-person class. There's an insistence on keeping webcams on, can't be seen to use phones/tablets while 'in class', can't be seen to be working on something other than the classwork, using a webcam recording service to record exams, plus new restrictions on exams: not being able to read questions to oneself out loud, can't look away from the screen, can't read through an entire exam prior to beginning, and can't move back and forth between questions. This isn't for every exam yet, considering we've only had one online exam so far, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was adopted as a 'standard'. It's just an additional level of stress that's really unnecessary right now.
  3. The financial impacts are very real and affect many of us. It's an additional stress that everyone could do without, certainly. Good luck with everything, hope it works out for the best.
  4. Thank you for your perspective. I'm also in my 40s, haha. I had taken online classes during undergrad, but they did not involve any live meetings using conferencing applications. They were essay, exam, and discussion board based. I only took those classes if they were only offered online (Medical Terminology, Essentials of Pharmacology) or an area of little interest to me (Principles of Management, Social Psych). I dislike talking on the phone as it is, let alone Skype. I also struggle with staring at the computer screen all day long. Personally, I wouldn't have signed up for a fully online programme, but hey, here we are. It won't be like this forever, it's just somewhat frustrating, especially doing exams with Lockdown/Respondus. It means having to reorganize my work area. The university is using Zoom and we have to continue our role-plays with simulated patients on it. There's just so much missing when you're not in the room with someone. Part of developing clinical intuition is the unconscious detection of NVC, etc, that gives you a feeling to explore. It's much easier to attend to the patient when face-to-face. I'm easily distracted at my desk, by my dogs barking, people in the house, workers outside, etc. The professors are learning to use this, and as some don't even lecture from slides and have their TAs do all their online work (some profs hate technology), it's quite an adjustment. Luckily, APA is being very flexible with accreditation during this time, as our programme was recently re-approved for the current maximum (10 years). I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I struggle to connect with a screen, being used to working face-to-face with people for some time. I'm complaining, I'm grumpy, I'm irritated. I'm sure we all are, to some degree. It's time to practice radical acceptance: accepting reality without condoning it. Stay safe and don't get 'rona, people.
  5. I've taken online classes before and it really depends on the subject. Personally, I thrive in the classroom, debate and discussion being one of my favourite activities. This semester, three of our classes are heavily reliant on roleplay: Adult Intervention I, Diagnostic Interviewing, and Pre-Practicum. Pre-practicum is a Pass/Fail class that is based ENTIRELY on working with simulated patients. It's to get neophyte clinicians comfortable working with people face-to-face. Many of the 1st years, especially the PsyDs who are often young and either directly or recently out of undergrad, have never done so before. This boggles the mind. I don't think you can know how much you'll enjoy clinical practice if you haven't worked with people before. It's a little less relevant for the PhDs because you can forgo licensure and practice to stay in research, but you still have to complete 2 years of practica and a year in internship to graduate. I'm hoping they don't try to run the roleplay sessions via video conferencing. I hate talking on the phone as it is.
  6. My university will have all university classes available online within the next three weeks.
  7. My letters were from: A clinical psychologist I worked alongside who graduated from my university's PsyD programme. A PsyD who taught me at undergrad, offered me an internship, and then hired me (I worked under her for a few years) A microbiology PhD who taught me several science classes and earned her Master's degree from my university. The PsyDs both knew me for about 8 years at the time of writing the letter; the PhD for 4 years. My rationale was that the first letter could speak to my clinical abilities and personal fit for the university. The second could speak to my personal, academic, and clinical abilities. The third could speak to my academic abilities and suitability for a PhD. I declined any opportunity to review the submitted letters, which was an option offered in my application.
  8. Did you guys get a response? What did you want to know? I'm a first year Nova clinical psychology PhD student but I've assisted with both PsyD and PhD interview days. In the meantime, you can look here:
  9. Dad here with an adult daughter living at home. 40s. 1st year clinical psychology PhD student. It's going to depend on several factors. How old are your kids? What kind of a support structure do you have? Partner? Family nearby? Financially solvent? Travel commitments for any reason? Ailing parents? As PsyDuck90 said, what do you want to achieve with a PhD? This is a highly personal decision. Are you looking to gauge the changes that might affect your family? Things will certainly change. I can't say what a counseling psychology PhD looks like, but a clinical psychology PhD is very different from the one semester I completed in a Mental Health Counseling MS. Way less writing, way more studying, far more presentations. Definitely stressful, but it's rewarding so far.
  10. Think about how you might conceptualize a patient's presenting problems. An eclectic approach, as in having various 'tools in the toolbox', is almost expected in terms of interventions and psychotherapy but case conceptualization is something that comes up in discussion in pre-prac, practica interviews, and Clinical Competency Exams. It's offering insight into your world view, your value system, and how you see yourself and others.
  11. I was invited to participate in this cycle's Clinical Psychology PhD interviews. Here's some basic insight on being interviewed by current PhD students in a group setting: We were looking for people who were open and insightful, as evidenced by some level of self-reflection. I asked students which population they'd have the most personal difficulty working with. Many answers demonstrated a lack of empathy, "I can't imagine why someone would ever do X." The best responses indicated meaningful introspection, offering a personal reaction to something specific. If you're asked strengths and weaknesses, the same applies. By now, everyone should know NOT to humble brag by stating their weakness is taking on 50 different projects because they like to stay busy. We were looking for honest vulnerability over a superficial assessment of deficit. Perfectionism, procrastination, and over-work is par for the course for most students applying for doctoral programmes. You can always offer a genuine weakness first and then illustrate how you use a strength to compensate. Be yourself. Relax. Obviously, be a professional and appropriate version of yourself, but we want to know if you'll fit in as a person. You've already met the academic standard. We want to know if we'll like being around you and working with you. This is a chance to know if you want to be around us. On that note, own who you are. Some people presented as disinterested and unsure of themselves. During the interview, they offered snippets of information that indicated they felt they didn't fit in an academic environment. It was off-putting. The students interviewers came from different years, 1-4. We had to complete a ratings scale that focused on our assessment of applicant personal qualities. We briefly discussed each student and agreed upon the scores. Make sure you present to us what makes you stand out as a person and not just a student, at least for clinical programmes. It's your chance to make a great impression. Don't be forgettable. Out of approximately 20 students, about 8 had very similar research interests. Don't be afraid to get granular in order to differentiate yourself. Be mindful of how you non-verbally react to other applicants responses. We can see if you're annoyed or think something is stupid. Don't be late and don't sit where the other applicants can't really see you, i.e. in the row behind everyone. Think about attending the pre-interview mixer, if there is one. You may end up talking to someone who interviews you the next day, which certainly makes things more comfortable.
  12. Mentorship is certainly necessary. It just doesn't have to be as part of a lab or programme. If you have developed a decent relationship with a professor, see if you can discuss the possibility of some minor assistance with abstracts/posters. In the first semester of my clinpsych PhD, we're being pushed to submit to as many conference as possible. We being told directly to feel free to develop our own work, especially lit reviews to identify gaps in the literature. The senior students are advising us to be proactive and telling us not to rely on faculty guidance for everything. Don't go rogue, but don't be afraid. Create possibilities. Get a mentor excited in something you're produced.
  13. Read this, if you haven't already: https://convention.apa.org/proposals/rules-for-participation
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