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New Doctor of Behavioral Health Degree

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by candice1984, 04.25.12.

  1. candice1984

    candice1984

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    Hello everyone,

    I am a student in a masters mental health counseling program. A classmate of mine, who is graduating this semester, said that she is going for her doctorate in behavioral health online at Arizona State University. Aparently this is a new degree in the mental health field. I think it is only offered at ASU. I Googled it and couldn't find any other schools that offer this. It's a two year program and you must have a masters in counseling/therapy before you are accepted. I know that many masters students (including myself) are reluctant to enter a PHD or PSY D program due to the 5+ years they take to complete. Could this be the new alternative? Here is the link to the program site:


    http://asuonline.asu.edu/dbh

    They claim it is NOT a psychology degree. Do you think this degree is legit? Will it be recognized as a doctorate degree by employers and professional associations? Do you think other schools will start offering this degree? It was not long ago that the Psy D. was the "new kid on the block". Let me know what you think.

    Thanks for your feedback! :)
  2. 4410

    4410

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    This sounds like a program for professionals licensed at the MS level as an LPC or other mental health licensure. A number of counseling programs are doing this as you are already licensed at the MS level and the program is additional clinical training in behavioral health. It should not be confused with a doctoral degree clinical psychology program. It could be a good option if you want to continue working as an LPC but have additional training. Not sure if you would be able to call yourself Dr. ? since technically it is not a counseling program.
  3. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    This came up in a thread in the social welfare psych forum. My view is that you can of course call yourself Dr. _____ if you'd like, as I don't believe the term is legally regulated. However, if you do so in a clinical setting/with patients, I feel it's your ethical obligation to educate them, even if only briefly, on the specifics your training (that is, that your doctoral degree is in ______, and that you are not a physician or licensed psychologist). Not everyone will agree with me I'm sure, though, and I realize that.
  4. 4410

    4410

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    For some reason there are many theology professionals who also are LPC's. They have a Dr. of Theology degree and a MA in professional counseling. Many of them work in their Church or they see primarily individuals from their religion and they advertise as Christian Counselors. Although they may conclude that counseling and theology are closely related degrees, they may get in trouble with the LPC licensure board if they use Dr. ? when representing themselves as a LPC.

    Here lately, a good number of clinical psychology programs are Christian Based and some of these programs are APA accredited programs where you get the MA degree in Theology and the PsyD/PhD degree in clinical psychology. So in essence you have a dual degree in theology and psychology. Some of these individuals do both...minister in a Church and also a private practice in psychology. So, when they are working under their minister hat may they refer to themselves as Dr. ? The Church has different regulations and a minister may use the title Dr. even if they do not have a Dr. of Theology degree.

    I believe they frequently use Dr. in both settings even though their Dr. degree is in psychology. I know of individuals who do this and when I ask them about their rationale, they frequently imply that using the title Dr. in the ministry is not based on completion of a Dr. of theology degree and that the Church is not under the guidelines of the Psychology Board. The Church regulatory board allows them to use the title Dr. when they work as a minister. Somehow the Church uses the title Reverend or Pastor but these titles have nothing to do with degree as to be an ordained minister a degree is not required. Once a person has the title of ordained minister and a doctorate degree, then they may use the title Dr. regardless of the doctorate degree specialization. However, the ordained minister may choose not to use the title Dr.

    So basically if you have a Dr. of Behavioral Health and work in a Hospital or Physical Health Setting, I guess you may use the title Dr. as long as you are not using it under your LPC license, since your LPC license has regulatory requirements for using the title Dr.

    Alternative medicine or Holistic medicine is now granting Dr. degrees where people are trained in using Herbs, acupuncture, massage, yoga, etc... There are some programs in California and you can obtain the Dr. degree in three years. Well some LPCs have gone through this training and they now have a PhD degree in alternative medicine. Some of these practitioners work independently as LPC's at the master's level. Now that they have the PhD in alternative medicine may they now advertise or put themselves out as Dr. ?, LPC. No they are not suppose to do this according to ethics regulation of LPC. Looking at the curriculum for the PhD in Behavioral Medicine at ASU it seems that their are similarities with Alternative Medicine Doctoral programs.

    In Eastern Countries many of these alternative medicine practices are the norm but in Western Countries they are new degree programs. I know a female from China who is an LPC from a school in America but she has some sort of degree training at the doctoral degree level in alternative medicine. She cannot use her doctoral degree from China as this is not a recognized doctoral degree for medical boards. She was taking some online coursed from a program in California to integrate her doctoral degree in China to a Dr. degree in the USA for these alternative medicine practices. She is certified in acupuncture treatments here in the USA but apparently her doctoral degree training in China involved using Herbs and nontraditional medicine that she is not allowed to use here in the USA. She does not use the Dr. title but she uses her LPC title. Since to some degree nontraditonal medicine is not closely regulated in the USA some individuals may practice nontradtional medicine without being licensed to practice these types of treatments.

    In Eastern Countries the MD degree uses herbal, acupunture, and what we would consider alternative medicine. Surprisingly, in these countries the MD degree does not ensure a lucrative income, as teachers make more money than do doctors. This is one reason why many of the MD's from India, China, etc.. end up emigrating to the USA to work.
    Last edited: 04.26.12
  5. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    Do you think this degree is legit?
    No, not like an established degree in a field that is widely accepted. It can be completed in 18 months and there is no required dissertation....enough said.

    Will it be recognized as a doctorate degree by employers and professional associations?
    It depends on the setting. I personally would be very skeptical of the degree because it is new and I'd be concerned with what you can actually do with the degree.

    Do you think other schools will start offering this degree?
    Sadly, yes....if ASU can show that students will sign up for it and pay money.

    It was not long ago that the Psy D. was the "new kid on the block".
    That seems like an apples v. oranges comparison, given that it was developed from the field and the guidelines were set and utilized by multiple programs. It seems like ASU threw together a degree and is testing it out.
  6. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    This program is designed to help M.A level psychotherapists upgrade their skills to function in integrated healthcare. This program was the brainchild of the horrid Nick Cummings. And yes I shudder as I type his name. But at least Cummings recognizes that the future for the field lies in integrated care where psychologists work side by side with physicians and nurse practitioners as primary healthcare providers rather than being "mental health" providers. I don't think this degree is the way to do that.
    Last edited: 04.27.12
  7. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Ed Psych PhD student Moderator Gold Donor

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    Admittedly, I'm not familiar with him, so I'd be very curious to hear why you have such a strong negative opinion about him.
  8. Neuropsych2be

    Neuropsych2be

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    Nick Cummings is a former APA president who advocated for the transition to managed care back in the day. There was a period of time when he supported capitation which has thankfully not occured on a massive basis. He once published a paper on what he called long-term intermittent psychotherapy. basically rather than use longer term therapy he felt that the future role of psychologists would be to provide people with psychological "tune ups" across a time frame of decades. My impression was that this model was utter B.S. Nick was very prominent in the 1990's. In fact he was one of the early psychologists to work for Kaiser Permanente and create their early model of HMO based psychological practice. He believes that psychology must evolve to be a primary care discipline and integrate itself into the mainstream healthcare system rather than being marginalized as "mental health providers." On this one thing, he and I agree. NIck Cummings is also one of the driving forces behind NAPP and has also spoken positively about reparative therapy..
    Last edited: 04.27.12
  9. ilikepsych

    ilikepsych

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    One thing I know about this program is that it is definitely NOT supported, affiliated with, or endorsed by the ASU psychology department. I think it was pushed by ASU brass as a money making means-- much like PsyD programs are. I certainly would not want to invest in this program, as it is unclear whether a degree will have any value.
  10. candice1984

    candice1984

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    I agree. $45,000 is a lot to waste for a degree that could be BS.

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