Amani is a 1st year Clinical Psychology Trainee at University of East London. On Wednesday 11th of November 2020, Amani hosted a Twitter Q&A session via the @BIPPNetwork account as part of the #NewFaceofPsychology campaign.
Check out her helpful tips and answers to aspiring psychologists' questions in the thread:
It's a common knowledge that Dclinpsy application are exhausting to fill, what sort of advice would you give to a first time applicant, so they don't get overwhelmed by the application process?
It can be a very tiring process. I would work in stages. Fill in the “easier” sections first ie: listing your experiences. When it comes to personal statements, make a plan. Really break down the question reflect on your experiences and make a mind map. Take time to work in small sections. And do a little bit often.
Did you apply more than once? If so, what was the main difference between your previous applications and the year that you got on?
Yes I applied 3 times! I think the difference was:
1. I put me on the page. I really tried to show my values and aspirations.
2. I was more reflective than descriptive. Instead of saying what I’ve done I spoke about what I’ve learned from my roles/tasks. I spoke about how my learning will help me on training and how it has shaped the kind of clinician I want to be.
Is it advisable to read what a successful application (personal statement) look likes before you start writing yours?
My automatic thought is to say no because everyone is different and you don’t want to be tempted to think that that is the only or “perfect” way to write an application. There is no perfect way. I would say to ask for advice on writing reflectively and I think this can be done without seeing someone’s application.
On the application they have a section about disseminations, how did you approach this?
Ooo the dreaded dissemination section. I think most people (including me at the time) feel like the courses only want people with publications in journals. This isn’t the case. Remember dissemination is about sharing knowledge.
Think about the all the things you’ve done to share research and psychological knowledge. For me this was an audit I did in a service and then presented to an MDT in the wider hospital. It seems small at the time but this is dissemination.
Did you mention your BAME background in the 3000 character section too or just in the 700 character 'other factor' section please?
I just used the “other factor” section for this.
In terms of the application - I just wondered how you answered the question about whether there was ‘any other factors relevant in assessing your application’? I’m not sure what to put there.
So a lot of people use this space differently so use it to explain why there might be gaps in their CV or maybe to explain some circumstances they were going through which meant they didn’t get the grades some courses desire.
I used it to reflect some more on my identity as a black woman in the profession and the need for representation in the career. That was a personal choice and I felt it to be important for me.
Do you have any ‘top tips’ for applying from your experience?
I’d say be reflective! Show what your have learned and how it’s shaped the clinician you want to be and how it’ll help you on training. Put YOU on the page. Also show that that you’ve learned how to use the core clinical skills on different levels! For example, you can talk about how you’ve learned the importance of holistic formulation and how this is important on an individual level (working with a client) and on a team level (in case discussion with an MDT).
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