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What you need to know as a psychology student

This article has been amended from episode 104 of The Aspiring psychologist Podcast. You can listen to it here or watch it here.

A picture of a smiling woman with the caption 5 things I wish I knew as an undergrad psychology student
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In a recent episode of the Aspiring Psychologist Podcast, Dr. Marianne Trent, a qualified clinical psychologist, delves into the hindsight of her psychology undergraduate years. Exploring the five things she wishes she had known during that transformative period, Dr. Trent shares personal and professional reflections, aiming to offer guidance to aspiring psychologists at various stages of their careers. These are the five things you need to know as a psychology student!

  1. Exploring the Real World with Sandwich Courses: Dr. Trent begins by expressing the desire for a more hands-on approach to psychology during her undergraduate years. She reflects on the benefits of sandwich courses or replacement courses, emphasizing the value of gaining real-world experience before graduation. This, she believes, would have provided clearer insights into the practical applications of psychology and possibly shaped her career path earlier.

  2. Taking Undergraduate Research Seriously: Dr. Trent emphasizes the importance of taking undergraduate research more seriously. Drawing from her experiences, she acknowledges the significant advancements made by current students in their research projects. Reflecting on her own research topic, she wishes she had delved deeper into more robust methodologies and taken herself more seriously as a budding researcher.

  3. Early Publication Opportunities: In this point, Dr. Trent shares a revelation she had five years post-graduation – the realization that even before becoming a professionally qualified psychologist, one can contribute meaningful content to psychology publications. She encourages aspiring psychologists to recognize the validity of their voices and explore publication opportunities to enhance their CVs and professional expertise.

  4. Seeking Help and Embracing Study: Dr. Trent reflects on the stigma surrounding studying at university and how it affected her approach. She wishes she had asked for help when needed and embraced the studying process without succumbing to societal perceptions. The point underscores the importance of seeking support and acknowledging the value of dedicated study time.

  5. Transformational Power of Compassion-Focused Therapy: The final point encompasses two aspects. Dr. Trent expresses her wish for earlier exposure to the transformational impact of Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) on both a personal and professional level. Additionally, she reflects on the pressure she felt to secure an assistant psychologist job immediately after graduation, realizing later that it was essential to give herself permission to follow her own unique path, which, in her case, involved saving up for a backpacking adventure.

Conclusion: Dr. Marianne Trent's reflections on her psychology undergraduate journey offer valuable insights for aspiring psychologists. The podcast episode serves as a guide for those navigating the challenges and opportunities of their academic and professional pursuits. As Dr. Trent encourages listeners to connect and share their experiences, the episode fosters a sense of community and support within the aspiring psychology community.

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To check out the books by Dr Marianne Trent click here:


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