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Future of Clinical Psychology?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by PublicHealth, 08.14.04.

  1. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    Hello all.

    I'm curious to know your thoughts regarding the future of clinical psychology. As it stands, the profession appears to be in a period of flux -- push for prescription privileges, influence of Master's-trained therapists, decreasing reimbursements, and extreme competition for admission to clinical psychology programs. At the same time, the profession is blossoming with respect to research developments, innovative clinical programs, and unique opportunities for postdoctoral training and applied work (e.g., sports, neuro, gero, etc.).

    What do YOU foresee as the future of clinical psychology? How do you foresee the profession changing over the next ten years?
  2. Kushkeeee

    Kushkeeee Member

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    Hmmm... that's a tough one. Let me think about that for a little bit.
  3. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    Well,
    Here's the perspective of someone a little more experienced than me:http://www.fenichel.com/Managed2.html

    I think that there will be problems in the future. Personally I hope to get into a more administrative position because I feel that it has more financial security than being a sole provider. That was among the reasons that I was considering a doctorate in school psychology, it is easier to get into administrative positions in school districts. I feel that the specialization trend will help to keep some of the money for doctoral human service positions, but eventually the master's level providers will eat that up too. Personally I think that we need to concentrate more on what we can provide that master's level providers can't. Already many jobs are considering the PhD psychs and MSW in interchangeable. It's a problem that needs to dealt with by all psychologists.
  4. Kushkeeee

    Kushkeeee Member

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    I've thought hard about this question and it has been difficult forming an answer. I guess I feel as though our world is so screwed up that we will never have too many psychologists. There will always be people with addictions, families in crisis, and psychological disturbances that need treatment. Even though the field is changing in terms of the types of degrees people are seeking, as well as the functions performed under those degrees, I just don't see a decrease in the need for these positions happening any time soon.

    It may very well be the case that MSW's and Psy.D's are consuming the job positions that were once only available to Ph.D's, but I think this is the case in the entire job market because of our economy. Our economy is just so bad right now, and it is bad for all fields. Therefore, there is greater competition for jobs, period. Healthcare is bad too. Just the other day, in fact, I read an article which spoke of the declining number of people entering medical school due to malpractice lawsuits doctors are being faced with these days. And while the number of people seeking M.D. degrees is declining, it doesn't mean we no longer need the aid of doctors, does it? Look at the field of nursing. Now, more than ever before, nurses are performing tasks that were once only done by doctors. Nurses have been given more and more responsibility, in the same way that M.S.W's have been given more responsibility. But that doesn't mean we don't still need doctors for things.

    I hear a lot of negativity when people speak of psychology's future, but my thought is, "the more the merrier". This world needs as much help as it can get, and the more people we have out there helping it the better. Empowering MSW's and Psy.D's by allowing them to do things that were once only done by Ph.D's is only going to give our people greater access to needed services.
  5. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    I don't think it is quite the same as with doctors and nurses. The distinction between phds and msws/masters degrees is not quite so clear. Why get a PhD in clinical psychology for anything other than a career of research if you could get the same job you are going after in a 2 (3 tops) year program that's a lot easier to finish and is research light/nonexistent. Add to that the fact that MSWs are considered by many to be interchangeable with PhD psychs, as Sanman mentioned, and there is most definitely a problem for those who want to practice with credentials as high as a PhD. I totally agree with Sanman that PhD psychs need to set themselves apart because we are talking about completely different levels of training. And if PhD psychs can't distinguish themselves then... oh well, right? End of discussion. It won't be long before PhD psychs get phased out otherwise.

    I don't disagree with you that we could use more therapists and psychologist-type people. But let's be realistic here. Yep, this may be cynical, but there is no point in getting a PhD for clinical practice if you are going to get paid the same as an MSW or other master's practitioner, yet had to put a lot more of a personal and financial commitment into your education and in some cases pay back a hell of a lot of loans. That's absurd. And at this point it's incumbent upon PhD psychs to carve a niche for themselves that is worthwhile and has a payoff. Otherwise, we're all going to be clamoring for the already highly competitive academic and research jobs. And those who don't want to be researchers can waltz into an MSW program knowing that later they can land the job that a PhD applied for... a PhD who may have gotten a doctoral degree from a program that the MSW may not have been able to even get into. I've belabored my point, but there are practical considerations that could have major effect on the field psychology in clinical practice. PhD clinicians may go the way of an exhibit in Jurassic Park.
  6. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    Applied work such as neuro looks auspicious, but of course, anything is possible. I hope that academic or research jobs will be available and interesting by the time I ever get a PhD. I could not be satisfied with a master's degree, and I'm hoping that the scope of practice for PhD does not diminish to oblivion. I would love to do research, but hell, I'd like to practice on the side as well.
  7. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    A PhD/PsyD degree in psychology (clinical or otherwise) does not limit you to academic and/or clinical work. Check out these careers:

    http://www.apa.org/science/nonacad_careers.html
  8. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    I've seen the link before actually and I found it pretty interesting. But in a way, it kind of makes my point in that PhD psychs are beginning to market themselves in a similar manner in which those with a bachelor's degree in psychology are having to marketing themselves. Of course, not to the same degree. I guess in a way it's kind of a downer that the days when you could get a PhD in clin psych of all things and find a job, clinical or otherwise, where you are a traditional psychologist and know that you are competing with other phds for the job... well, I don't know. I guess it's like someone said in another thread/topic on this forum: You can't just walk into it anymore.
  9. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    I'm not so sure a "traditional psychologist" could get a job where clinical knowledge is important. In fact, I am sure that jobs such as this one (http://www.apa.org/science/ic-snyder.html) require clinical and research expertise. Searches on www.pfizerjobs.com confirm this assumption. An added perk is that the money is much better in industry AND you get internal funding!

    Your argument for "traditional psychologists" getting the same jobs as clinical psychologists does not hold water. Just take a look at this list of jobs from APA: http://www.psyccareers.com/index.cf...&st=&ws=&key=&keytype=or&jobsort=1&maxrows=50 At any given time, more than 75% of the jobs listed in this database are for clinical psychologists. The job market for "traditional psychologists" is much uglier.

    Also check out the list from www.vacareers.com: http://www.vacareers.com/Search.cfm

    Here's an example:

    Occupational Title:
    Psychologist
    Position Title:
    Clinical Psychologist
    Facility Name:
    BOSTON
    Assigned To:
    Mental Health Service Line
    Job Number:
    VHA523PSYC45391
    Grade:
    GS-13
    Salary:
    $73,593 to $95,672
    Opening Date:
    07/30/04
    Closing Date:
    08/19/04
    Full Time:
    Yes
    Supervisory Status:
    Yes
    Required Forms:
    Letter of intent, CV, copy of transcript, relevant reprints and three (3) references.
    Position Summary:
    The incumbent serves as senior Clinical Neuropsychologist to direct the Neuropsychology Section at the VA Boston Healthcare System. Responsibilities include directing a large clinical neuropsychology section and APA-approved internship and post-doctoral training in neuropsychology. The incumbent has diverse assignments including outpatient psychiatry, neurology, rehabilitation medicine, and infectious disease. Emphasis is placed on providing outpatient neuropsychological services. The incumbent's responsibilities fall into the following five (5) categories: (1) carrying out neuropsychological assessments; (2) consulting with staff physicians and other professional staff on problems of diagnosis, patient management and disposition; (3) supervision and instruction of predoctoral interns, postdoctoral fellows, medical and psychiatry residents in the utilization of neuropsychological techniques; (4) selection and execution of appropriate research problems related to brain behavior rel
    Location Summary:
    The VA Boston Healthcare System, the largest consolidated facility in VISN 1, encompasses 3 main campuses and 6 outpatient clinics within a 40 mile radius of the greater Boston area. The consolidated facility consists of the Jamaica Plain Campus, located in the heart of Boston's Longwood Medical Community; the West Roxbury Campus, located on the Dedham line; and the Brockton Campus, located 20 miles south of Boston in the City of Brockton. In addition to the 3 main medical centers, 6 Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) located in Worcester, Framingham, Lowell, Quincy, Causeway Street (downtown Boston), and Dorchester make up the VA Boston Healthcare System (VA BHS). The combined facility has 392 operating hospital beds, 120 Nursing Home beds, and 70 domiciliary beds for homeless veterans.
    Position Requirements:
    QUALIFICATONS (FROM VA Standards) BASIC REQUIREMENTS: (Public Law 96-151 codified in 38 U.S.C. 7402) Hold a doctoral degree in Psychology from a college or university approved by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, have completed study for such degree in a specialty area of psychology and an internship which are satisfactory to the Secretary, and be licensed or certified as a psychologist in a State. EXPERIENCE: Two years of postdoctoral experience appropriate to the specialty area of the position. The experience must have been gained in a professional program concerned with health, rehabilitation, or vocational restoration. The experience must indicate the applicant's ability to perform the duties of a psychologist in the area of work and at the level of difficulty and responsibility of the grade for which being considered. 1 year of experience must have been at a level of difficulty comparable to that of the next lower grade in the Federal service. OTHER DESIRED SKI
    Organization Address:
    VA Boston Healthcare System, 940 Belmont St., Brockton, MA 02301
    Organization Contact:
    Anna Leitao
    OrganizationPhone
    508-583-4500x1192
    Announcement Number:
    04-211 BHS
  10. Kushkeeee

    Kushkeeee Member

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    Why get a PhD in clinical psychology for anything other than a career of research if you could get the same job you are going after in a 2 (3 tops) year program that's a lot easier to finish and is research light/nonexistent. Add to that the fact that MSWs are considered by many to be interchangeable with PhD psychs, as Sanman mentioned, and there is most definitely a problem for those who want to practice with credentials as high as a PhD. I totally agree with Sanman that PhD psychs need to set themselves apart because we are talking about completely different levels of training. And if PhD psychs can't distinguish themselves then... oh well, right? End of discussion. It won't be long before PhD psychs get phased out otherwise.

    I don't disagree with you that we could use more therapists and psychologist-type people. But let's be realistic here. Yep, this may be cynical, but there is no point in getting a PhD for clinical practice if you are going to get paid the same as an MSW or other master's practitioner, yet had to put a lot more of a personal and financial commitment into your education and in some cases pay back a hell of a lot of loans. That's absurd. {Qoute}

    Hey, if you are going to go this route I can tell you I've heard a lot of people with B.S.'s and B.A.'s say the same thing about their degree. Take me for example. This past year I applied to over 100 entry level positions (a.k.a., positions that do not require a 4 year degree), and I got ousted by people who barely graduated highschool. Do I feel like my degree was therefore a waste? No, because I"ve learned things in school that these people with highschool degrees haven't learned, and I've grown as a person as a result.

    Your point about the MSW being more practical in terms of education time and loans is well taken, and a lot of people feel this way in other fields as well. For example, revisiting my earlier example, a lot of people are pursuing nursing degrees instead of M.D. degrees for reasons very similiar to the M.S.W. preference vs. the Ph.D. People feel that nurses these days perform almost the same duties as doctors for half the education. Plus, nurses don't have to worry about malpractice lawsuits the way that doctors do. This is just one example, but hopefully you see my point.

    Why pursue a Ph.D. when you can get the same job with less education? The answer in my mind is quite simple. People who pursue Ph.D.'s are doing so for reasons other than just the monetary gain they plan on attaining later in life. In fact, I had a professor once tell me that anyone planning on going into doctoral training in any field most certainly better have other reasons for doing so besides money. I believe the people who will continue to seek PH.D. degrees, despite the situation with M.S.W.'s, are people who want to be challenged and who enjoy school. Perhaps in the end they will end up having the same position as the person who only attended school for 2 years (as is the case for people with B.S. degrees getting the same kinds of positions as people with high school diplomas), but they will still have gained far more knowledge and will be better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

    True, obtaining work after college is obviously important. However, if the economy is bad then there is nothing you can do about it. Everyone is affected by the poor economy and lack of jobs. In the end, there has to be more to your education than the type of job you get when you are done. Hopefully you can appreciate the knowledge and insight you've gained from being among the 1% of people in the population with doctoral training.
  11. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    Let's see you get a job in academia or industry with an M.S.W. In terms of clinical practice, how many M.S.W.'s are you aware of who practice neuropsychology and forensic psychology?
  12. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    Your point is well-taken. And certainly a person with an MSW is probably on the lower end of the payscale for those poisitions as well. However, if I was only interested in clinical therapy positions and was disinterested in research, I would probably pursue an MSW. The simple fact is, I just don't see how it is financially feasible to go 100-150k in debt at a Psy.D program to get a 50k a tear job. Especially if you want to settle down soon afterwards. In an ideal world I would like to be the most educated person I can, however the realist in me knows too many people having trouble making a comfortable living for the effort they have put in to attain whatever degree they chose. Of course, I would continue my education while working and actively educate myself to be supremely competent, but there are less financially draining ways of doing so. I believe that the best route lies somewhere between complet idealism and complete realism.


    And you certainly can't be a neuropsychologist or forensic psychologist or work in industry. YET. Will master's level providers be able to do some of these things in the future? who knows. Hopefully not, for the sake of my financial future :smuggrin: .
  13. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    PublicHealth, I reread what I wrote and I have to clarify. When I said "traditional psychologist," I actually meant traditional in any subfield. Like, for example, a traditional clinical psychologist having to compete with master's degree practitioners and having to look for jobs in industry or research that doesn't involve abnormal psychology/psychopathology (or what is traditionally meant by clinical psychology). Or a traditional academic/experimental psychologist going into industry instead of academia. Regardless, you make a good point. But my concern is about the number of those jobs like the one in the ad you used as an example. I guess, either way, a clinical PhD has always been the most versatile of the psych PhD degrees, so I'm not disagreeing with you. After all, there has to be a reason why it is statistically harder to get into a clinical PhD program than it is to get into med school (even if MDs make more money ;) )

    You also mentioned neuro and forensic in your later post, and most likely I will pursue health/neuro, and perhaps forensic as well. I've even thought about a JD/PhD, but I already discussed that in another thread and I can go on and on about it.

    Kushkeeee, that was good reframing, about the MSW being more practical in terms of taking less time and requiring less loans. About going into a PhD for money, I don't feel like that's all it is for me. I know the prospects and I still want to do it. I have to go for it. Honestly, medical school does not appeal to me, but it appeals to me more than an MSW program for some reason. And with my undergrad gpa I'm not even sure that I can get into a med school or a clinical phd program (my grad gpa is good though)! But I do have to say that in the past, a clinical PhD offered, through private practice or other clinical/mental health work, a commensurate financial reward for all of the hard work. Not anymore, but I am still interested in clinical PhD, I'm still interested in helping people, and I'm still interested in challenging myself. The MSW option is a good option, but my goal is to be a psychologist. I don't want to be limited (e.g., from pursuing neuro, clincal forensic, etc). It surprises me that, considering the data managed care bases their policies and attitudes toward PhD clinicians on, that they don't go ahead and advocate for and hire therapists right out of undergrad! Even if they did, I think I would still pursue a PhD. If the PhD doesn't happen, then I'll look into other options.
  14. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    The key to surviving in today's psychology job market is to be versatile. It is highly unlikely to have social workers conducting psychological assessments and testifying in court in specialized settings (e.g., neuropsychology, forensics) . Have you read the articles on forensic neuropsychology in recent issues of Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology? Hourly rates of neuropsychologists providing forensic services parallel those of neurologists and psychiatrists, and according to a recent study (Essig et al., 2001), attorneys MORE OFTEN employ neuropsychologists to evaluate personal injury cases than any other specialists, including physicians.

    Check out the following:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14590178

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/...ve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14609579

    Your point about "traditional clinical psychologists" is well taken. Specialization is increasingly becoming requisite for survival. This is true in psychology as well as in medicine. Just look at how many graduating medical students are avoiding primary care in favor of specialized fields. Even osteopathic physicians, who pride themselves on having a "primary care orientation" are increasingly pursuing entrance into specialized fields (I'm sure their being strapped with $200K in debt and declining salaries for primary care doctors has something to do with it)

    Healthcare in general is undergoing a period of transition. There is tension in virtually every area of healthcare: optometry and ophthalmology, nurse anesthesia and anesthesiology, clinical psychology and psychiatry, physical therapy and chiropractic, and physician assistants/nurse practitioners and MDs/DOs. Sure, these professionals may exist harmoniously in most settings, but professionally, nonphysician providers tend to want more privileges, albeit in various degrees. Who knows what healthcare in this country will be like in ten, twenty, or fifty years.

    Psychology as a profession has a lot to offer. Training in clinical psychology equips you with research, clinical, and teaching skills that easily trump those of any social worker. Moreover, postdoctoral training opportunities allow clinical psychologists to specialize in a range of applied areas (e.g., neuro, child, gero, health, forensic, sports, etc.). In my view, specialization (and prescription privileges?) is key to clinical psychology's survival. As we all know, the future of the field hinges tightly on a number of interprofessional, political, social, and economic factors. How these tensions will play out in the years to come is open to discussion.

    As for availability of the jobs in applied settings, you'd be surprised. I actually contacted several of the people on that website about their career paths, and all of them mentioned that they were heavily recruited for their current positions. Most mentioned that they started out in traditional academic/clinical positions, established a name for themselves through their research and clinical work, and were then recruited for their current positions. I guess that when it all boils down, you have to be good at what you do, and be willing to accommodate your training in novel ways. Three of my friends trained in social psychology and are now doing usability testing for insurance companies! The jobs are out there (yes, even in applied settings), it's just that most psychologists tend to pursue the more traditional academic and clinical tracks out of fear that straying into the "path less taken" is tantamount to "professional suicide."

    This a great discussion...let's keep it going.
  15. MacGyver

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    Oh please, MSWs routinely work in those settings. Take a look at the roster of any academic medical center or medical/graduate school, and you'll see MSWs littered all over the place.
  16. MacGyver

    MacGyver Removed

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    What the hell does this have to do with anything? The ability to testify in court has NOTHING to do with clinical practice.

    So what?

    Oh good grief do you REALLY think thats somethign to brag about? Attorneys dont know **** about science or medicine, they just hire "experts" who say what they WANT them to say. It has nothing to do with real expertise.

    I just love your insinuation that since lawyers choose psychologists as court "experts," they must be legitimate "experts." What a total ****ing joke. You obviously have no clue how the legal profession operates.
  17. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    Hey Mac,
    I haven't seen any MSW's doing neuropsych. testing or teaching psych courses. Care to enlighten me?


    Actually, being able to testify in court has a lot to do with being a forensic psychologist in clinical practice. A specialty which public was trying to point out pays well and has a good number of job opportunities. As far as how the law works, a lawyer must hire an appropriate professional to display findings or they would be skewered on cross-examination, step into a courtroom. As far as their legitimacy as experts, the AMA says that they are the gold standard for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's and mild brain injury among others. If you don't like that, take it up with the AMA. If you don't want to then at least stop making ill-informed, immflammatory posts on this board.
  18. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    It's interesting how MDs are as eager (to say the least) to distance themselves from the dreaded PhDs as PhDs are to distance themselves from the dreaded MSWs. I'm assuming you're premed, a med student, or a board certified physician based on your signature quote.

    When you say MSWs routinely work in these settings, do you mean that they are making differentially diagnoses to rule out neuropsychological factors for your, say, neurology patient? So you would refer a patient to an MSW for that rather than a PhD with post doctoral training? It's one thing to work in the setting, but are you saying they act as neuropsychologists? And when you say MSWs are "littered" all over the place in adademic medical centers and med/grad school, are you saying that they are members of the faculty? Although I will pursue a PhD, I'm not throwing the MSW option out the window. But even if I were an MSW I would be shocked.
  19. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Removed

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    Oh no! The MacGyver virus has infected the clinical psychology forum! :scared: :scared: :scared:

    My advice to everyone here...IGNORE IT AND IT'LL GO AWAY.
  20. Kimya

    Kimya Senior Member

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    I was putting my two cents in another post in this forum and saw this one. I am pursuing a masters in social work. I just wanted to insert that social workers can and do participate in forensics:

    http://healthcare.monster.com/print/?article=/socs/articles/forensic/index.asp

    The two fields that I have notably heard about is child welfare (ie in abuse/custody cases) or adult mentally ill offenders..

    Haven't heard of neuro testing being done by SW but that may be because I haven't been exposed to the setting in which folks would need it done..

    By the way, social workers can as PhD's do research, perhaps it is not the same bent as psychology but the option is there.

    If you have questions about the scope of social workers you can check out the NASW website, http://www.naswdc.org/

    Best of luck to all of you in your career paths
  21. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    Kimya, I know that social workers can do research and become facutly in social work and perhaps other departments when they are PhDs. But I'm talking about MSWs. My concern is that MSWs are often seen interchangeably with clinical psychologist in some areas of clinical practice, probably because you don't necessarily need a PhD to actually do, say, therapy even if an MSW doesn't have all the knowledge behind the psychotherapy methods as a PhD would. Studies have shown that it doesn't matter what your theoretical orientation is or what credentials you have to sit there and talk to a client and have some kind of therapeutic effect. I'm sure an MSW can be trained to sit there and admister a test when it comes to neuropsychology, but good neuropsychologists are actually educated in function structural and functional neuroanatomy and cognitive psych/cognitive neuroscience (or the like). In otherwords, they can usually discuss these types of disorders with some technical and theoretical expertise. This is my understanding of it at least.

    Mind you, I'm not knocking the MSW degree. I'm saying that although social workers can train to do therapy or administer a test doesn't mean that that degree is, or should be considered to be, interchangeable with a PhD in clinical psychology. I've seen the curricula & admissions requirements for clin psych and for MSW they simply are not the same. One thing that motivates me to go into clin psych is that the curriculum is more challenging and I won't feel like I just waltzed into the program (plus I'd have more career options with a clin PhD, otherwise there wouldn't be a point if I could just get an MSW, would there?). Clin psychs are trained in their programs to do more than psychotherapy and administer a test, even if sometimes that's what they want to limit their practice to. MSWs are trained to do other things besides therapy, but some people see it as kind of like a ticket to independent practice of psychotherapy in some states (which it can be, apparently). Social workers have expertise in other needs of society as well, not just taking on a few of the functional roles of clinical psychs in some settings. (I notice that even though it is possible that I may become an MSW, I feel the same way about people seeing the clinical psych PhD and MSW degree as interchangeable as a premed student would feel if, hypothetically, people began to see MDs and PAs/NPs as interchangeable)
  22. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    I was aware that SW's were involved in child custody/ abuse cases and worked in some prison settings. However, the first article made it sound as if they do mental status exams in prison. Is that the case? I wasn't aware that they did so.
  23. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    BTW, I want to add that there are a lot of very intelligent people with MSW degrees. I've met people at my old alma mater who could have gone out with their BA or BS in psychology or education (there wasn't a BSW program at my school, but the same would apply) and trained to do the things that an MSW, an educational/school psychologist or a clinical psychologist would do in many settings. My point is based on the level of education and training conferred with the degree and what was required to attain the degree. After getting my master's in psychology I will not assume that I can entertain the full scope of what a PhD in social work can do even if, hypothetical, something similar was happening as with MSWs and PhD/PsyD psychologists in clinical practice
  24. Kimya

    Kimya Senior Member

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    I understand where you are coming from. Just wanted to clarify the scope of practice as it currently stands.

    Good luck all
  25. Anasazi23

    Anasazi23 Your Digital Ruler Moderator Emeritus

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    Looks like managed care has its grubby hands in it all.....

    http://www.academyprojects.org/leshor1.htm

    A Death Knell for Clinical Psychologists as Psychotherapists

    By Karen Shore, PhD ​

    I especially like number 6:
    "supervised experience supervising others..." Sounds like some kind of Monty Python skit. Sheesh.
  26. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    Motives aside, I'm glad you posted that. I've been reading these words for the past few years. When I first majored in psychology (I was a pre-law english major before that), I envisioned myself working in a university counseling center and working in a group or individual practice providing psychotherapy and the full range of psychological services for problems of mental health (I could always refer them to a psychiatrist who could talk to them for 15-20 minutes, prescribes something, and send them back... hopefully that is not what these prescribing psychologists are trying to become). Like the author, I doubt that original spark would have been ignited if this new description of what a psychologist should be is what I had read back then. Of course, it's a leadership role and all, and being a PhD I can see the point of them supervising others, even undersupervision. :D But I would have been less than satisfied training those with lower level degrees to do things that I felt I could do better because I was trained & educated more profoundly in it and had the hunger to go after a clinical PhD to do it. In the biopsychosocial model of general health, psychologists have basically ruled the roost in the psychosocial department in terms of developing new techniques, therapies, empirically validated treatments (managed care points to empirically validated treatments developed by the APA, I believe), etc. In a way, this is paving the way for psychologists to continue, but without the opportunity to do as much of the fun stuff. I know this is definitely something that will motivate some to pursue prescription privileges even more... but let's not go into the pros and cons of that debate, it's been hammered to death. If it happens I just hope they don't abandon the psychosocial part. In terms of clinical, personally, I see other opportunities that, although they aren't psychotherapy, they can be rewarding.

    I wonder if BSWs are starting to compete with MSWs... but that is pretty off topic in this form.

    Any other psychology people have any thoughts on this article?
  27. PsychMode

    PsychMode Senior Member

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    Btw, I'm sure it is quite obvious, but I'm a tad biased in favor of doctoral practioners.
  28. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    Well, first of all I'd like to say the author of that article is mixing up managed care and the demise of psychodynamic therapies. I don't know how much manged care effected that, but it also has to do with the fact that psychology may just not be headed in that direction for other reasons as well. Being that I'm younger than most here, I'll say that I am alright with the suggestions of the future practice of clinical psychology. I would like patient contact, but I also like the supervisory position, perhaps more. I've had a chance to gain a little exposure to both and can say I enjoyed being supervisor, though it can get tiring. I am more into a medical/ biological view of psychology anyway. One the reasons that I chose psychology over medicine is that in some aspects I feel that doctors only look at things medically and that others, such as educators, look at things from their perspective, but no one looks at how to globally integrate whatever problems they have into all aspects of a patient's life and find workable, realistic solutions. I feel that psychologists can do that.

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