Dealing with REJECTION: Clinical Psychology

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The Clinical Psychology doctorate is probably the most bizarre, horrifically intense and unthoughtful process in the world of professional doctorates. About 10% of people (maybe more, maybe less) get a place each year but to get there, it’s like crawling over broke glass scattered across a burning ground. This article is about sharing a perspective of dealing with rejection in the most difficult circumstances possible.

In the midst of a pandemic, we’re expected to endure a (approximately) 9 month gruelling process of applying for the Clinical Psychology doctorate. For all aspiring clinical psychologists, this is a really tough time and probably 70-90% are set to face rejection. Many of those are applying for their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th (and even more) year in a row. Without banging on about statistics, it’s about helping each other deal with the rejection faced. It’s incredibly easy to turn left and right and fall into complete confusion as to why others are getting onto the doctorate and you aren’t. Maybe, it’s just not your time. Ultimately, what to do if we feel overwhelmed by it all?

5 Things I have found useful whilst receiving rejections for the Clinical Psychology Doctorate – and NO, it’s not ‘running, mindfulness blah blah’. I think these are helpful (running, mindfulness) and I do both but, we’re all different and these aren’t helpful all of the time. It’s also important that we’re still in a pandemic and the limitations upon us are significant.

Here they are:

  1. Focussing on something different that can benefit you now or your future
  2. Take time off social media
  3. Going for a long walk
  4. Take pressure away from yourself and STOP everything for a day
  5. Speak to someone (a person) that you are close with and can support you

I honestly feel that I could go on forever about this topic but we’re still in the midst of it – both a pandemic and the Clinical Psychology doctorate phase. All I want to say finally is, look after yourself and take time out where needed. Most importantly and finally, DO NOT expect too much of yourself! Take a step back and reflect on where you have come from rather than looking down on yourself.

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