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Embracing Failure: A Psychologist's Journey

This episode has been summarised from episode 103 of The Aspiring Psychologist Podcast. You can listen to it here or watch it here.


An image of Dr Marianne Trent with a sad face and description all the things I've failed at in psychology
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In a recent episode of the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast, Dr. Marianne Trent opens up about her personal and professional failures in the field of psychology. She sheds light on the setbacks she encountered throughout her academic and professional journey. In this blog article, we'll delve into Dr. Trent's insights and reflections on failure, exploring the lessons learned and the growth that resulted from these experiences. Here's how Dr Marianne has embraced her failures as part of her psychologist journey.


  1. A Level Setback: Dr. Trent begins by recounting her A-level results, which fell short of her expectations. While not technically a fail, the experience prompted her to reflect on burnout and the importance of maintaining balance in academic pursuits. The takeaway: recognizing the need for accountability and structure to prevent future setbacks.

  2. Mid-Placement Review Struggles: During her doctorate in clinical psychology, Dr. Trent faced a challenging mid-placement review where the possibility of failure was raised. Despite passing, this experience led to self-doubt and later required therapy. The lesson: effective communication and understanding during such reviews are crucial for both mentors and students.

  3. Undergraduate Module Failure: Reflecting on her undergraduate years, Dr. Trent recalls failing a module she initially had little interest in. The importance of choosing courses wisely and seeking accountability becomes apparent, emphasising the need for structure in the learning process.

  4. Driving Test Hurdles: Failure to pass the driving test on the first two attempts becomes a significant point, particularly in the context of psychology roles that often require driving. Dr. Trent highlights the relevance of this skill in her career and how overcoming this failure opened up diverse opportunities for her.

  5. Doctorate Assignment Setback: Even in the rigorous journey of a doctorate in clinical psychology, Dr. Trent encountered a failure – a failed assignment presentation. The episode underscores the necessity of applying doctoral-level effort consistently and not underestimating the importance of each task.

  6. Relationship Fail and Career Choices: A personal relationship breakdown serves as a turning point in Dr. Trent's psychology career, influencing her decision to pursue specific university locations. The lesson: personal experiences can profoundly impact career choices, and sometimes, a break can lead to better opportunities.

  7. University Grade Disappointment: Acknowledging that she achieved a low 2:1 at university, Dr. Trent identifies the influence of external factors, such as housemates' lack of academic commitment. The takeaway: recognizing the need for accountability and seeking help when academic challenges arise.

  8. Job Application Rejections: The blog concludes with Dr. Trent sharing her experiences of not being shortlisted or selected for various psychology roles. Despite the disappointments, she emphasises the importance of trusting that the right opportunities will come.


Conclusion: Dr. Marianne Trent's candid exploration of her failures serves as a valuable reminder that setbacks are an inherent part of any career journey, including psychology. Embracing failure, learning from it, and using it as a stepping stone for growth are essential aspects of achieving success in the field.


To check out the brand new short courses for aspiring psychologists and mental health professinals by Dr Marianne Trent click here: https://www.goodthinkingpsychology.co.uk/short-courses
To check out the books for aspiring psychologists click here: https://www.goodthinkingpsychology.co.uk/my-books

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