PhD/PsyD Graduate Admissions Support Group

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Sharewithme, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. Sharewithme

    Sharewithme

    7
    0
    Mar 18, 2017
    Hello,

    I'm creating a support group for former applicants, those whose graduate school applications have been denied, and new applicants, those who have not applied to graduate school but would like to. My focus is on American Psychological Association (APA) accredited programs (i.e. Ph.D./Psy.D. in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, and school psychology) because this is my area of interest. I will gladly consider expanding the membership focus to programs inside and outside the APA accredited ones if people express a need and interest. I like going through the SDN to find interested individuals for the support group because SDN is a website monitored for appropriate and mature behavior. This responsible behavior is a graduate admissions support group requirement, too. How the graduate admissions support group differs from the support that is offered through SDN it that is frames and acknowledges graduate school admissions denial through the grief/loss lens while at the same time houses a space for applicants, former and new, to put our best selves forward as we work together and (re)apply.

    Please check out the website Peer Support I created and tell me what you think! It is free to join and participate in the support group. It is more personal than the SDN in that anyone interested in putting a face to a name while describing their research, teaching, and practice interests is encouraged to; contact me so we can make it happen. You can choose to remain anonymous, nonetheless, and still benefit from group services. Good luck all!

    Kind Regards,
    Sharewithme
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Sharewithme

    Sharewithme

    7
    0
    Mar 18, 2017
    Um, no replies? Ha ha with around 300 views and not a word to this post something's up. I find humor in logic stuff like that (that out of a lot of views in probability terms at least it increases my chances of hearing something...yet no replies?). Besides logic, and what best captures my intentions, is that you guys and girls are great, and so I would really appreciate some feedback. If it's not all praise and sunshine, I can take it, but good comments about the group are welcome, too. Thanks, and I hope you're all doing well.

    Best,
    Sharewithme
     
  4. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

    1,246
    763
    Jan 10, 2012
    Faculty
    I glanced through the posts and some of the blog posts are concise and neat (e.g., faculty perspectives). Some of the other ones seem pretty light on content generation and just have some links though.
    I guess I'm confused about how it's a "group" when I don't see the web site allowing for interaction. Isn't Facebook a better medium for interaction?
    IMO, the "grief/loss" angle would be overkill for me. Maybe that's your target tho.
     
    beyondnervous likes this.
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    5,951
    3,544
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    Seems like over-pathologizing normal emotions by going the grief/loss route. Could be damaging in the same way that CISD is/was.
     
  6. psych.meout

    psych.meout

    484
    221
    Oct 5, 2015
    This sounds like competition for SDN. Gets ready for the full force of internet strangers to hurt your feelings!
     
    touchpause13, jmiah717 and Meteora like this.
  7. beyondnervous

    beyondnervous

    12
    6
    Jan 30, 2017
    I clicked on the site and wanted to provide you with some feedback. Briefly browsing through the sections, I don't see additional incentives for why SDN users would sign up for your "group" (It feels/reads more like a website or a personal blog vs. a group, by the way) when SDN already provides excellent resources and the ability for applicants to express their frustrations/vent/receive feedback from a variety of individuals already in the field (e.g., those who have gone through the application process several rounds, current graduate students, faculty, etc). Your website also has very personalized content many applicants may not relate to or find useful, since the content was created/added from your perspective/preferences only. Perhaps you may want to consider creating a Facebook group instead and create the content in a more interactive platform? For example, you can create a post that asks users to provide "Positive websites" they've found useful, or what music/songs helps them relax, ect. Good luck! :)
     
  8. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 5+ Year Member

    1,353
    1,127
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    I agree with others about making the group more interactive. I also think that the grief and loss angle is a bit much, and could be especially off-putting to those who have experienced grief and loss in the more typical sense.

    Maybe a "dealing with rejection" thread on this forum would be a good place to test the waters? I would expect that interest in the topic will peak a couple times of year (post-internship match and post-grad school admissions decisions).
     
  9. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

    Sales is all about identifying a need and meeting that need. Do students who are rejected need a support group or does SDN serve that function already? Additionally, many students will have other existing emotional supports that they are already using such as family, friends, religion, psychotherapy, mentors, etc. I am sure that you could say why a specific support group would be better, but it doesn't matter as long as the target audience feels that what they have already is good enough.

    I used to work in sales for quite some time and I well remember a new ad campaign that was going to hit 100s of thousands of people and us being ready for the onslaught of calls and the phones being dead, dead, dead. We learned that the broad audience was not as effective for us as was a more targeted approach and that print was a better medium than broadcast. Good luck!
     
    beyondnervous and MCParent like this.
  10. Justanothergrad

    Justanothergrad 2+ Year Member

    696
    333
    Mar 2, 2013
    As others have said, I don't see an additive component of this group to message forums that already exist and I am also a skeptical of the use 'grief/loss' language because it seems to over-pathologize the experience of frustration.
     
    modestmousktr likes this.
  11. jmiah717

    jmiah717

    53
    27
    Mar 29, 2017
    Seems like what you're trying to do is easily accomplished with a thread. I've seen other threads (like those at the bottom of this page under "similar threads") that seem to accomplish what you are trying to accomplish. To me, it sort of sounds like, "hey, come let me help you, even though I may or may not actually be qualified to do so. Then I'll have some tangible thing to show for my own personal gain." That may be unfair, but that's what it sounds like to me at least. Not saying there is anything wrong with that but why bother with that when all the support you need is in the place where you are trying to siphon members from? I've noticed that you've resurrected some inactive threads, even at least one where the person you were targeting actually achieved admission as they stated on another thread. Seems like if one is rejected, time is better served by readying their application and subsequent materials for another go at it as opposed to commiserating with others who probably don't have a lot of advice to offer anyway since they also did not get in. Anyway, just some thoughts since you asked.
     
    beyondnervous likes this.
  12. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

    Another way to think about this is that a relatively small percentage of people want to participate in support groups of any type. When it is something with a larger pool like addiction or cancer victims or bereavement then that small percentage of the larger group can be enough to get a group going. People applying for doctoral programs and getting rejected is a pretty small group to start with.
     
  13. beyondnervous

    beyondnervous

    12
    6
    Jan 30, 2017
    *Additional thought/concern (After reading @jmiah717's input): On your "about me," you explicitly state that this "support group" is "a key project integrating your personal and professional interests [of college student and adult grief/loss and social support]." Did you plan to use the information from participant interactions or the platform you have already created for research purposes? If so, I believe this moves into the grounds of obtaining IRB approval and having an actual professional/qualified (PhD holding) mentor to provide oversight for whatever your end goal is. I think clearly elaborating on the purpose of creating this website and what personal motives you have might bring some clarity to the questions/concerns potential "members" may raise before deciding to join your webpage/group.
     
    modestmousktr, psygrad48 and jmiah717 like this.
  14. super.ego

    super.ego

    19
    16
    Mar 11, 2017
    I know this was [probably] not your intention, but as I was reading through your website I got the impression that the group's aim was more about bolstering its creators' resumes than helping those in need. Additionally, your site's not demonstrating benefits beyond what SDN offers (as other posters identified) only serves to reinforce my initial impression, i.e., that the website is less about helping others and more about "helping ourselves."

    Perhaps I'm being too cynical, which is certainly possible. Did anyone have a similar reaction?
     
    modestmousktr likes this.
  15. modestmousktr

    modestmousktr 2+ Year Member

    218
    102
    Jan 22, 2013

    Yikes. You probably want to be less confrontational to your peers when your real name/school is attached to this website. I know there are some regularly "snarky" posters on the board that people come to expect, and I am not one of them... more of a lurker over several years that will add my two cents once a year or so if I feel helpful, but mostly come for advice. But I do have to say, in addition to all of the other concerns raised by other posters, there are just some basic things you will want to do for your professional image before this goes "live". One would be to finish the website- many of the areas of the website tell you to insert text, or state that it is where an excerpt belongs... the audience can see this, so it looks like you can't finish projects (not great for when grad adcoms google your name!). The second would be to stop trying to "sell" the website so much... I've noticed you reply to several comments in other threads about this, and I know it's a tough game and you're just trying to network, but it's giving people a weird vibe, which will come off to other professionals.

    Good luck with everything... you two seem like competent and capable professionals, and with some fine-tuning, IRB approval, and professional development, this could be great.
     
    Meteora and DailyJoy like this.
  16. ClinicalABA

    ClinicalABA 5+ Year Member

    529
    271
    Aug 31, 2011
    Psychologist
    I've visited your page. From a practical standpoint, I do think you need to get to the meat of how to join the group much quicker. It's not until the last sentence of the third page on the menu (which would be the fourth page I have to read if i go in order) where I find out that i need to join a facebook page. Depending on how I'm accessing your website, this might require me to change apps. I think you'd lose people that way. Think about it- I have to read a bunch of stuff, all the way to the end, to finally find out that I need to go somewhere else and do more stuff get joined in a group, and I really haven't even been told what I should expect from the group (is it a blog? random non-moderated post to facebook?) or what is expected of me. The incomplete sections of the website make it look poorly thought out and exucuted, if not a little scammy. You tell me you're a researcher looking for admission to graduate school- this sets me up to expect a more finished, refined project. Instead, i get links to "customizers" and am informed that blocks of words are "test widgets." How does that help me cope with rejection? Also- put your biographies at the end of the menu links. Having them at the front makes it look too much like a vanity project. I'd avoid telling people directly that you see yourself as a good leader. If this is true, it will be obvious. Simplify it all from the beginning- tell us what we need to do, and what, specifically we should expect to get from the group. You are marketing this a resource to people going through a tough time. You need to make it easy and clearly show how it could be beneficial. As it looks to me in it's current form, it seems that it would be a bunch of poorly moderated stories of rejections, with a lot of "hang in there" and "this song makes me feel better" type of advice.
     
  17. MCParent

    MCParent Bronze Donor 5+ Year Member

    1,246
    763
    Jan 10, 2012
    Faculty
    I didn't see this when I looked at the page, and I still couldn't find it just now even trying to figure out where you were saying to click.
     
  18. ClinicalABA

    ClinicalABA 5+ Year Member

    529
    271
    Aug 31, 2011
    Psychologist
    It's not a link, just an instruction of what to search for and then click on in facebook.
     
  19. singasongofjoy

    singasongofjoy 2+ Year Member

    336
    228
    Dec 4, 2014
    Since you are looking for constructive feedback, I too find the grief language to be too much- e.g., on the powerpoint, "Something precious from your life is now gone. Of course you are sad. Of course you feel deep sorrow (Wolfelt, 2003, p. 62)." I think that would apply more to failing out of grad school or something. If you never gained acceptance in the first place, then what loss have you really experienced, other than maybe being out some time and money? As someone mentioned above, I would frame the project as focused on resilience in the face of rejection, not grief/loss. Frankly I think if someone feels like not getting accepted into an educational program results in a sense of actual grief (defined as "deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement" per Merriam Webster, versus a more expected mix of disappointment, frustration, maybe a little shock but not shock like the sudden death of someone close to them) then that person likely needs much more significant support than a website. Like, probably psychotherapy to help deal with emotional regulation.

    Some of the language on loss seems more appropriate but the talk about grief was a turnoff. If I were in that situation of getting rejected, I'd want to do a little commiserating (prob via something like facebook or SDN) and then get on to the pointers about how to make my app better the next time (or come up with a plan B if I didn't have one already). If I were in my first round of applications and came across all this talk about grief, I'd think to myself that I don't need to be around all this talk about grief and emotionality because that will make me anxious and stressed, and interfere with the work I have to do to craft a good application... so let me go somewhere else where I can get that constructive feedback. Kind of why I never joined SDN until AFTER my internship apps were all in because of all the stressing I knew was happening in those application threads :)

    Also, just too many words everywhere. Give bullet points. Outlines. Work on being succinct; that skill will serve you well in grad school (though I obviously haven't mastered that yet given the length of this post).

    The powerpoint really makes it seem like this is the result of a project for a research methods class proposal, so I'd nix that all together. And finally, you say "There are, fortunately, several helpful resources that people who graduated from an APA accredited program, or already are students in one, have written to help this population, but there is limited help originating from the population itself." If i were a prospective applicant, why would I want advice from people who have not yet been successful, when I could get advice from people who have been successful (maybe even after a round or two of rejections, as some SDN members have shared)? If your main aim is the social support, why not put a facebook link on your webpage- and at the very beginning where it is super obvious? That's pretty easy to do. A facebook page with links to helpful info in the "about" section could serve the same purpose as your website and would do away with the parts that seem to turn people off (e.g., the powerpoint/grief talk).

    It's a good idea in theory, though the website seems superfluous- seems more appropriate for facebook group only. Think of this feedback on this forum as the type of "revise and resubmit" feedback you'll get from journal manuscript reviewers when you get to grad school :) Good idea in theory; here's how you can make it better! Good luck with your own admissions process.
     
  20. foreverbull

    foreverbull

    53
    24
    Sep 8, 2015
    I'm thinking you may not have had many replies initially because the majority of people viewing your thread aren't applicants, but psychologists/psychology grad students who don't necessarily need support for that specific issue.

    Also, be careful what you ask for in here! Keep in mind that SDN can attract extreme opinions at times, no matter how politically correct and socially adept you may pride yourself on being. Asking a bunch of anonymous people why they didn't respond to your initial post (even when worded nicely) can open the door to some interesting responses. I'm sure you never anticipated the type/amount of feedback you'd get when you poked the beehive with a stick.... ;)

    As others have mentioned, a thread in this forum is probably sufficient for your needs, and you can connect more personally with responders via creating an email chain, etc. Best of luck connecting with the people you're hoping to connect with!
     
    Meteora and jmiah717 like this.

Share This Page