Linda, a year three trainee clinical psychologist, describes her experiences of the DClinPsych program at QUB:
I chose QUB for my clinical training as it has an excellent reputation, and the clinical supervisors I had while working as an assistant spoke highly about the course.
It took me several years to get an interview at QUB. During this time I worked as an assistant psychologist with looked after children, a research assistant psychologist in oncology and haematology, and an associate psychologist in learning disability.
The interview process was not as daunting as I had anticipated. It was divided into 3 main sections- a clinical/personal interview, a group interview, and a research exam. I found the clinical/person interview to be my favourite part of the interview process. The interview panel were friendly and interested and quickly put me at ease. The group interview was the most challenging part of the process for me. It was difficult to balance appropriate assertiveness and while demonstrating listening and teamwork skills- especially in a highly competitive group of fellow candidates.
I spent the first few months oscillating between emotions of disbelief, happiness and fear. Disbelief that I was finally on the course I had worked towards for so many years, happiness that I was working at something I loved, and fear that I would not be able to balance the amount of different demands that the course requires. There were so many first time experiences and new things to process- new colleagues/friends, staff, ways of working, placements, exams, case studies, the residential...I could go on...needless to say first year quickly disappeared.
It was nice to go into second year feeling more established and comfortable and confident of what was expected and required from the course. It was however at this stage that the novelty aspect started to wear off and the reality that there was a lot more work that needed to be done kicked in!!
I am in the middle of third year so all I will say at this stage is- so far so good!!
I suppose one of the best things about this course is that you never feel alone in all the work and challenges that you face. The course staff and your peers want you to achieve and that is a comfort during high work pace times. Without a doubt the most challenging thing for me is balancing the multiple demands, and not succumbing to the temptation to focus my work efforts only on the aspects that I enjoy the most.
My experience of QUB is of a high quality course that is always striving for more and to improve in any way it can.