If you haven’t heard already, ITS CLINICAL DOCTORATE APPLICATION SEASON, and here at PsychAssist were on a mission to give all you Doctorate hopefuls all the information you need. Now this post was one we have waited a long time to publish. Over the years, we have heard some absolutely outrageous MYTHS by Psychology Graduates who one day hopes to get onto clinical training. We therefore decided to, once and for all, get rid of the myths frequently told to Psychology Graduates about getting onto the Clinical Psychology Doctorate Course. So here are just a few that we have heard; I guarantee you’ve heard some of these as well.


Just Graduate? Start Here: 6 Jobs for A Psychology Graduate straight out of university?


Dont know If you Should Apply for the Clinical Doctorate? Click Here: Why you Shouldn’t Apply for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate


Cant get a Clinical Relevant Job? Check out: 5 Application Mistakes by Psychology Graduates


Want to know Where you are on the Psychology Graduate Timeline? Check out: Timeline of a Psychology Graduate


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You need to have an Assistant Psychologists post before you apply

This was by far the most frequent myth we heard over the years. So many Psychology Graduates battle it out relentlessly for these posts, thinking that it is the only way of getting onto clinical training. The truth is, THIS IS FALSE!! You don’t need an Assistant Role to get onto the course; in fact in many cohorts, less than 50% of trainee’s had AP experience. However, it must be noted that having AP experience does strengthen your application, that doesn’t mean it’s a necessity.


PsychAssist Tip: Again it’s not WHAT you know it’s HOW you know it. Don’t forget Reflectivity is key and will help you get a head in Psychology. I know plenty of AP’s who have got far more experience than most, yet still can’t get onto the course. The reason being, they lack the ability to reflect on their own practice. REFLECT, REFLECT, REFLECT!

You need a PhD and About 10 years’ experience to get on

I heard that so and so who has x amount of experience and a PhD couldn’t even get onto the course, so what chance have I got? Sound familiar? This is something we have all heard in the past and it’s completely normal to feel inadequate compared to others. I’ll give you an example. I know an AP who has tons of clinical experience and is (in my opinion) and excellent clinician. He applied for the course last year and I was certain he was going to get in. Low and behold, 6 months later, 4 rejections. This made me seriously question my career choices as I had these exact thoughts. Again, it’s completely normal to feel like this; however this shouldn’t stop you from applying when you feel ready. Like I always say; “if you don’t buy a ticket, you won’t win the raffle”.


PsychAssist Tip: Completely block everyone that isn’t helping you with your application. So many times do we check in on what other people are doing in their careers and compare ourselves. There is no “secret formula” to getting onto clinical training and it can at times be a random process. All you can do is throw in an application and see what happens.

There’s no chance of getting onto the course before 30

This was a myth I heard back when I was doing my undergraduate. I remember asking my lecturer “so when can I actually do this therapy stuff?” and he replied “well the average psychologist gets onto their doctorate at around 30 years old”. As you can imagine I believed him until I started my role as a Support worker, only to find the clinical Psychologists there was just turning 30 and was qualified for 2 years. Nevertheless, this is something Psychology Graduates are being told, which ultimately leads to many not bothering to pursue this career path.  In all honesty the average unofficial age people get onto training is 26yrs which means you’ll most likely be qualified before 30.


PsychAssist Tip: Needless to say, getting onto the clinical doctorate is a long and unpredictable journey. You may never get onto training, however the simple fact that you have the guts to pursue this career, proves how dedicated you are. It’s not about the destination but it’s the journey that makes you the clinician worthy of clinical training. Remember, whatever happens, what’s means for you will never pass you by.  


Thanks for reading this week’s article by PsychAssist. REMEMBER TO SUBSCRIBE TO TH YOUTUBE CHANNEL AND LIKE THIS ARTICLE!!




4 Comments Add yours

  1. Stephanie says:

    Hi, I’m a secondary school teacher and am wondering if anyone could tell me if experience teaching students with SEMH difficulties and other learning disabilities would be deemed as relevant experience?


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