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Doctorate in social work vs. PhD/PsyD?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Anise, 05.08.06.

  1. Anise

    Anise Junior Member

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    Hi... (waves)
    I'm brand spankin' new to this board and I have... well, a LOT of questions, but this is the main one right now. I would appreciate any and all answers. :)

    What's really the difference between DSW's and PhD's (in clinical psych)? How are the programs different? Ideology? Research topics? Overall experiences? Jobs that people tend to actually end up in after graduation? All replies gratefully welcomed!
  2. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    I think it's important to remember, that although some social workers work as LCSWs and counsel MH patients, that isn't neccessarily what their primary role is. It's one of the hats they wear. Clinical psychologists sepcialize in working with and studying mental disorder and associated topics.

    jlw? you out there and want to take this one?
  3. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    good call

    re DSW vs PhD in SW, I've never had the desire to get either so I've never investigated..... I'll venture a guess that it's similar to the PsyD vs PhD in psych. Let me do some research and get back to you. (And when I say "research", that means "I'll call one of my friends with the PhD in social work." :p )
  4. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    wait- I just re-read that. I think I might have misunderstood the first time. Do you want social work PhD vs. DSW? Or DSW vs. psych PhD/PsyD?

    I can tell you right now that the SW PhD is all about research, not practice.
  5. Anise

    Anise Junior Member

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    As I understand it, the DSW vs. PhD question in social work isn't really meaningful anymore, although it was at one time. So it should properly be SW PhD/DSW vs. psych PhD/PsyD, I think.

    I'd really like to do research in psychoneuroimmunology, but particularly as it relates to social phenomena of trauma (abuse, torture, disasters, etc.) UNT does have a health psychology PhD and I'm looking at that, but I'm also attracted to the PhD in social work idea. I should maybe add that I'm an adult student going back to school, and I do have some financial security now (no family help, but you can't have everything.) So the cost of the program isn't really the top priority.
  6. Psyclops

    Psyclops 1K Member

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    By your interests it sounds like the psych PhD would be the way to go.
  7. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    That's what I was thinking. For the record, from my SW PhD friend:

    and

    Now, Psyclops- no more engaging me in conversations you know I can't stay out of! You KNOW I have a final tomorrow! :mad: :oops:
  8. pingouin

    pingouin just chillin' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Oh one more thing- of those SWs I know doing research, a lot of it focuses on service delivery issues- access to services, barriers, quality of services provided, needs-assessment stuff. I know one whose expertise is in gambling addiction, although I can't remember the exact focus of her diss- I recall that she had a Fulbright Scholarship and was studying the relationship between adolescent video game usage as a predictor of adult gambling addiction. The one who I quoted above looked at the impact of child welfare worker burnout on service delivery to their clients, and also does research on education and retention of child welfare workers and risk factors which impact child abuse rates (ie, poverty and parents' level of education).
  9. WollWager

    WollWager Perpetual Student

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    Thats pretty much it. The program I started in (9 years ago) converted from a DSW (not the shoe warehouse) to a PhD. There is a very strong clinical component to it (including supervision and control cases)- but those that go on in academia are generally conducting research in QA, service delivery areas, policy design/implementation or specialty populations. You dont often see them getting involved in research in the "hard" sciences though it is not impossible- there have been some folks who have explored nuerobiological issues in children with learning disorders. Most of the "cutting edge" folks who have published work in trauma and biological impacts have been M.D.'s or Ph.D.'s in psych. however- the Ph.D. in social work is not always about research. Several that I know of have gone on to practice in specific treatment areas (children, infant mental health, upper income DV).

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