Yorkshire and Humber Psychological Practitioners Network
Yorkshire Aspiring Clinical Psychologists Group
By Rebecca Fellows, Assistant Psychologist and Yorkshire Aspiring Clinical Psychologists Group Chair
Juliette White, Undergraduate Student & Yorkshire Aspiring Clinical Psychologists Group Member
You may or may not have heard about the Yorkshire Aspiring Clinical Psychologists Group (YACPG) but hopefully by the end of this blog post you will know who we are and what we do! If you’re an aspiring clinical psychologist then this will hopefully encourage you to engage with us, and if you’re a qualified psychologist then we ask that you consider promoting this group to any pre-qualified colleagues that you may have.
YACPG is a regional group for anyone who is aspiring to pursue a career in clinical psychology. We hold monthly meetings in various settings and locations across Yorkshire. The meetings are usually hosted by a member of the group or a clinical psychologist (when we can pin one down!) to talk about their role and reflections on working in that area of psychology, discuss their research or facilitate discussions about papers or experiences. Peer supervision and support is an important aspect to the group and we hope that members feel encouraged and empowered through attending and engaging with the group. The group is organised by four committee members and has over 300 members.
Pursuing a career in clinical psychology can often feel like an overwhelming prospect with a long and twisting journey ahead with many successes and drawbacks. However, we hope that YACPG offers an opportunity to develop a supportive network of other aspiring clinical psychologists to empower each other along the way.
Reflections from Rebecca Fellows
With the challenging nature of pursuing a career in clinical psychology at times it can feel that ‘imposter syndrome’ can creep in when engaging with any aspiring/pre-qualified psychology group. However, I have found that if you can acknowledge this (and realise that probably a lot of the other people are feeling that too!) then engaging in these groups can be a good opportunity to learn more about a career in psychology and meet other aspiring psychologists. YACPG for me offers a chance to meet other aspiring psychologists who understand the ups and downs of being on a path into clinical psychology, something my friends and family don’t always understand! It has given me opportunities to learn about different areas of psychology that I haven’t been exposed to before and helped to bridge the gap between university studies and clinical practice by having space to think about theory-practice links and the importance of clinical psychology in the NHS. I would encourage any aspiring psychologist to consider joining their local group if they have one (or start one!) and engage with it as little or as often as you like. YACPG has some people who just use the Facebook group to others who attend meetings every month- you can take as little or as much as is helpful to you!
Reflections from Juliette
As an undergrad, contemplating a potential career in clinical psychology can feel daunting; will I get the grades, where should I be volunteering, is clinical psychology even for me? Indeed, these can be difficult questions to answer, which is why I joined YACPG. Although the meetings are often held by postgrads and assistant psychologists alike, the information is easily digestible and an excellent source of information about what being a psychologist will really be like. What’s more, being a part of YAPCG has helped to demystify many of the processes involved in gaining a lucrative spot on a DClinPsy course – which I, admittedly, had very little knowledge of prior to this. So, for those interested in a career in clinical psychology, or even those who are still unsure, becoming a member of YACPG is an excellent starting point and could provide you with that much-needed le-up as it has done for me.
If you want to know more and be involved with YACPG you can join the Facebook group here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/337982932922417/), follow us on Twitter @YACPG, and sign up to our monthly mailing list here (http://bit.ly/2ANVob6).