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PhD In Psychology: Specialization In Expressive Art Therapy

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by 2014SanDiegoPhD, 08.05.13.

  1. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    Hello,

    I was having some issues posting in this section, but was able to figure it out...*whew*:D

    Okay, so a little background before I get to my question. I'm 31, have a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Religious Studies from San Diego State University (GPA below a 3.0...VERY long story...not enough time to explain). I also have a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from American InterContinental University Online (GPA 3.4).

    Why do I have a MBA? Why did I choose an online school? Well, I am first generation College Student in my family. I did not know what I was doing. A few "wise" counselors told me that if I wanted to be a Psychologist (which at one point I did want this), that I should seek a Masters in Business because that would give me the advantage, if I want to run my own practice. Now, this was all good and fine, except that is not how it works at all.

    At any rate, here I am...whatever was done is done, and I cannot change the past. I am over it. I thought about doing a DBA, but frankly that is not me at all. I am really not a very wise person when it comes to money and all that jazz. I am learning though, so that is good.

    Because of my low GPA in my under grad, I felt stuck and just was happy to receive some kind of Masters Degree, again my family was proud of me because I was the first etc etc etc. Well now I am not sure what the heck to do. I have some ideas, but nothing certain yet. I DEFINITELY want to get a PhD. I will get one, even if it kills me. Again that whole thing about being first, blah blah blah. I am pretty driven, and a hard worker, and I don't take "no" for a final answer. I always find a way, even if there seems to be no way. I guess that is sort of stubborn, but can be beneficial if you know what I mean.

    Also, I should note that I live in San Diego if you have not already figured that out :p and I love it here. My family is here, my friends are here, San Diego is considered America's Finest City, and so it is a done deal. I am staying here, not relocating anywher else, not even Los Angeles. Period. If it sounds somewhat closed minded, that is fine, I can deal with that...but I will not relocate for school purposes. No thanks.

    So I have been doing some searching and looking up all the possibilities. Going back to San Diego State University in my condition is just not going to work. Their program requires things that I don't have, such as a strong GPA, and research experience. Plus SDSU is sort of a party school and last I heard Playboy likes to come to SDSU to recruit playmates....ummm, no thanks.

    UCSD was another possibility (that is where all the smart girls go), again same song, different verse, I simply will not pass their GPA requirement. The MBA GPA helps me a little bit, to show that I CAN do well, but the only problem is that it is from an Online School, sounds really bad, and not many will take me in. USD does not have a PhD in Psychology, and even if they did, they are a private school and I just cannot afford that. By the way, I WILL NOT BE TAKING OUT LOANS TO PAY FOR MY PhD. No sir, not a chance.

    So then I looked into schools such as National University, University of Phoenix, Argosy, Alliant, and all those schools just seem not worth it to me. Not only are they expensive, but their credibility is low, and I will not be taking out loans to fund another bogus degree that will get me no where except in debt like my MBA did. Been there, done that already. I learned my lesson.

    I am a Christian, so I thought about the Christian Universities around here. Point Loma Nazarene and Asuza University, pretty much all require a Masters in Psychology, and that is something I do not have.

    Soooo once again, what to do? What to do? Well, I found a possible match for me. San Diego University For Integrative Studies (SDUIS) Here is a link that takes you straight to the degree I am looking into, a PhD in Psychology with a Specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy.

    http://sduis.edu/academic-programs/...chology-specializationexpressive-arts-therapy

    Now mind you, that it is NOT APA accredited, but at this point it really does not matter to me anymore. I am not trying to be a Clinical Psychologist here. I think that ship sailed a long time ago for me and I am okay with that. SDUIS, is a small private school that looks at things from a natural and holistic point of view. They even make it very clear on one of their pages that they will NOT be going for the APA accredidation simply because they do not believe in that alone. They really emphasis healing and counseling through mind, body and spirit...something that clinical psychology often over looks. This is what is found on one of their pages. They claim to be.....

    "A cohesive group of educators who believe in the concepts of humanistic philosophy and who acknowledge the individual's capacity for choice, responsibility, and spiritual insight.

    Our awareness of the relationship between mind, body, and spirit forms the basis for a socially, culturally, and environmentally relevant educational process and experience which we call "Integrative Studies."


    They have been in existence since 1999, and although they have an online program, if accepted I will actually be going to class, no more online studies for me. The program is 105 quarter units, and since I do not have a M.A., they clearly state that one is not necessary for me to get into their PhD program because I will be asked to show proof of my MBA and then asked to take additional courses to get caught up with the other students. This is something I plan to discuss further with them.

    Although they are a private school, their prices are reasonable. I will need 105 quarter units to complete the PhD including a dissertation, and each unit costs $240. So around 25K or so. Not too bad, doable for me. I can make payments each month and would not need to take out loans.

    So my question is, should I go for it? I know that no one can decide that for me, but if anyone wants to chime in with their two cents, I will carefully listen and consider your thoughts. Is this the very best I can do considering my current position now?

    What exactly can I do with this type of degree. I am actually a very creative person and do believe in the Arts, which is another reason I like this school. I really stink at statistical data and analysis. Here is where they talk about their stance on APA accreditation.

    Q. Is the school American Psychological Associations (APA) approved?

    A. In order for a school to be APA approved they must first be WASC accredited. However, even once SDUIS becomes accredited we will not be seeking APA approval.

    SDUIS will not participate in APA approval for the following reasons: our foundation is of a humanistic, holistic, and applied nature with emphasis on a balanced approach to everything we do. APA strictly focuses on clinical research and also mandates all faculty-members to be APA approved. Such mandates would narrow our scope and philosophy. While research and clinical work are an important part in all of our programs, we also emphasize the human and applied aspects. APA approval has no bearing in sitting for the licensing exam, the validity of your degree, or for your ability to become a successful practitioner in California. Please check with your State licensing board for the licensing requirements.


    Does this University sound credible to you? Can I become a successful Expressive Arts Therapy Counselor through them? Will people discredit my degree if I earned one from SDUIS? Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Concerns? Is this the very best I can do and that is within my reach both financially and academically? I feel there is nothing else out there for me considering my situation. I do enjoy the arts a great deal. $25K is not that bad, all things being equal, and what other option do I have? I am kind of liking this University's approach to health and well-being. I sort of believe what they believe....mind, body, and spirit. Holistic.
    Last edited: 08.05.13
  2. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    1 This is the same attitude that got you where you are now...stuck and vocationally unsatisfied, no?

    2. All (legitimate) Ph.D. programs will require strong GPA, research experience, and test scores. High admission stardards ensures quality product. (See SD state and UCSD joint program as an example:http://www.psychology.sdsu.edu/doctoral/) Being geographicallty inflexible is also not a good fit with this degree/field. In CA, therapists, and probably particularly art therapists, are a dime a dozen...

    3. You can try to rationalzie going to 3rd tier programs all you want, but NO ONE here is ever going to support, recommend, or condone it. Its bad for you. Its bad for patients. Its bad for the field. Its poor quality control.

    4. You have done all the research in the world about getting in, but NOTHING about what happens after you get this degree (ie.,outcomes) Why? Who hires these people?! although I have seen generic "art therapists" in a couple settings Ive worked, I have certainly never seen this particular type, and none have had, or have needed, a doctorate to get their position.
    Last edited: 08.05.13
  3. Doctor Eliza

    Doctor Eliza

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    This would be a bad idea. Their stance/excuse about APA accreditation is B.S. They are basically saying, "if we wanted to have APA accreditation,we'd have to meet standards. We don't want to have to meet standards of the psychological profession."

    I have no idea what can be done with the degree from this place. What do you want to do with your life? Why do you want to get into a psych career rather than utilizing your business background? You said something about giving up on being a psychologist? Not sure what you meant there. Actually, if that is the case, this isn't a great place to post, as we are psychologists, grad students, and prospective grad students in clinical/counseling psychology (and a few school psych folks).

    Good luck to you, but save your money on this one.

    Dr. E
  4. Lisa44201

    Lisa44201

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    1. No.

    2. Can you get a job with a degree from a college that is not APA accredited?

    3. I'm not sure the SDUIS name will discredit you, but the APA accreditation bit will.

    4. No, it is not the best you can do. It is the most you will allow yourself with your self-imposed geographical limitations.

    5. Other options: figure out why you want the PhD; if you're just going for the initials at the end of your name, well, you'll get what you pay for. My main problem with your post is it sounds like you're looking for the path of least resistance just so you can be called Dr., when in reality a PhD is a ton of work, and some degree of personal sacrifice, as well, neither of which you seem real keen on. Good luck with that.
  5. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Californians tend to be like this. Its annoying to us in the 49 other states and they generally don't understand why...makes it even more annoying. :rolleyes:

    I often explain that earning the highest degree in the land means sacrifice...including a possible lack of sunny warm beaches and not to seeing your mom and dad for Sunday dinners. Usually, this is met with indignation and calls of snobbery. Good times.
    Last edited: 08.05.13
  6. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    No.

    You are better off saving the money and looking for a job being an art teacher or maybe volunteering somewhere. You won't be able to be a "counselor" without legitimate training and licensure.

    If this is not abundantly clear before talking with the program, than I question the legitimacy of the program. If students are forced to find their own niche or they have to "create" their own job...well....that is just not a good quality to have in a training program.

    This is a somewhat biased interpretation of the law and requirements for licensure. To get licensed at the doctoral level for psychology...the applicant must have "equivalent" training to an APA program, so that is out the window. Licensure at the MA/MS level....not sure in what discipline? Whenever a program says "check w. the state board for what you can do" instead of stating that their training meets "X-standard" to be licensed, that is a HUGE red flag.
  7. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Look, San Diego is my favorite city in the USA, too. I envy anyone who lives there and I would love to live there someday, myself. But it just not feasible to stay there if you want a clinical/counseling psych PhD. Even if you get into a program there, at some point you will have to relocate for internship and maybe post-doc. Plus as others have said, California (especially the big cities like SD) is flooded with psychologists and finding a job there will not be as easy as you think. Especially if you pursue an unaccredited degree in art therapy, a job that most people are doing with a Master's. Even if the program were accredited, I don't think people would hire a PhD when they can hire a Master's.

    Erg: My husband's from southern California and he moved to the middle of nowhere in the Midwest to pursue his degree :)
  8. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    May I add that you run the risk of experiencing Sharknados by living there...although this may be off set my exposure to Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana. :D
  9. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    The Sharknado was in Santa Monica, though! I'm not sure how San Diego was impacted.
  10. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I missed this the first time. I just wanted to let you know that Ph.D. grad students have a certain appeal the Heff...so watch your step. Ha!
  11. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    It was poisoned by Ian Zehring's acting...
  12. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Better not say that around him and his giant shark-killing chainsaw!
  13. aagman01

    aagman01

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    Save yourself a lot of time and money, and do a masters/LPC somewhere. If you are into art therapy, there are accredited art therapy programs that allow you to focus on art while also gaining background to become an LPC. I have a friend who completed a masters in art therapy and is a licensed art therapist and also an LPC, it can lead to meaningful and gainful employment. There are a few accredited programs in California. Here is a link to the official art therapist association website:
    http://www.americanarttherapyassociation.org/aata-educational-programs.html
  14. psychRA

    psychRA PhD Postdoc

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    I have to say that, having lived in California, I just do not get the attitude that some people have about living here. Yeah, it's a nice state, with lots of access to beautiful scenery, good food, cultural events, and all that...but you could say the same about so many other places. California does not have a monopoly on quality of life.

    I know that personal preferences vary, but speaking for myself, I've lived in most of the major geographic regions of the country, and I've liked them just as much. I can't imagine choosing to attend a subpar grad program just to stay here, let alone taking on huge amounts of debt.
  15. Sendtrees

    Sendtrees

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    Oh, boy. Unless you covertly want to be talked out of your plan, you picked the wrong forum.

    I give you credit for immediately axing the choices that will put you upwards of 100K in debt. Good move.

    It is for you to say whether you need a PhD to be happy with yourself, but it sounds like a bad reason to go into any debt, "even" 25K. Are you expecting your PhD to lead to employment of any kind? If so, the program you describe will probably not get you there.

    But if not, if this is really just about a PhD program, any PhD program, recognize that you are spending 25K to feel good about yourself (and you might want to think about how "good" that feels). It's not the end of the world, but for far less than 25K, you could see a really good therapist, and then you might not need a PhD to feel complete.

    Think HARD before making the same mistake you made with your online program. The details may have changed, but the mistake sounds just the same...
  16. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    Hey Guys,

    Sorry it has taken me a few days to respond. I have a hard time logging in on this site for some reason.

    I am actually genuinely interested in the program. I just wish it was more well known.

    I do want to be a therapist at the end of the program. I want to be licensed. I really do like the arts. I also like that it incorporates spiritually which again, some therapists do not mention this at all. I talked to one of the admissions people at SDUIS, and they told me that there is a grant that would take 15% to 50% off of the 25K if I am low income. I think I qualify because I do not make a lot of money yet. So technically if it all goes well, I could pay $12,500 for this program if they decide to give me the full discount. They are set up by quarters, so I can start in Sept. or in Jan. It is not just art as in drawing and painting. It's about music, song, dance, poetry, creative writing. All that.

    I look at this as a ministry. I want to be a Christian Therapist. I want to see people whole and happy, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially, emotionally etc. Their holistic approach is really inspiring me. I hope I do not get discredited just because they are not APA accredited.
    Last edited: 08.07.13
  17. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    I do agree with those who said that I should think long and hard about this program so that I do not repeat the same mistakes I made with my Masters Degree. I totally agree with this.
  18. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    Is it 25k for the entire program or per semester? Also remember that you'll be racking up other costs, like textbooks.
  19. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    For the entire program:) 25K for it all. BUT, I might get that grant and pay even less. Right, textbooks are going to cost a lot. Agree.
  20. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Does this Ph.D. give you something you cant get with a masters in [insert mental health degree/religious counseling degree here] or is this a blind ambition/self-esteem/prove something to the world/i could be called Dr.type of thing for you?

    You realize this degree will in no way makes you a licensed psychologist, correct?
    Last edited: 08.07.13
  21. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I would also add that I know several counselors at my Parish (my wife and I are good friends with one) and she simply has a cert in religious counseling or something as part of her master in divinity. She also makes **** money, even though our Parish is known as one of the most affluent in the entire Archdiocese. Might be important for you to think about...
    Last edited: 08.07.13
  22. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    erg923

    I am not sure why you are so pessimistic. I am trying to make something of myself, and all your comments are negative. You are a Psychologist? WOW!

    I AM DOING THE BEST WITH WHAT I HAVE. Can you at least try to respect that?

    As for adding something to a M. Div.....I don't have a M.Div....I have a MBA, and I am trying to move forward with doing something constructive with myself. I made mistakes, I am not dwelling on the past, I am moving forward.

    ETA: If anyone has their nose in the air, it is definitely not this California chick....it's you Mr.erg923
    Last edited: 08.07.13
    neutralpalatte likes this.
  23. Marissa4usa

    Marissa4usa

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    Problem is, you're not. You want to pursue a worthless degree after having already obtained a worthless degree from an online university.

    Previously, you said:
    ...but now you're rejecting the advice you're given. The degree you intend to purse will not provide you with any advantage whatsoever. And quite frankly, even paying "just" 12.5K feels like you're throwing money out of the window - literally.

    IMHO, you're doing the best you're willing to do. You say that you want to do something constructive, and yet are considering a degree that in now way will improve your chance for future employment (let alone career - think about it: With that type of degree, you're going to be at the bottom every single pile (even below those Argosy and Alliant graduates) - how can that be worth 12.5K?

    You don't need a special degree for that. First and foremost, you need a degree that will get you a decent job in the first place. You can always incorporate these aspects into your treatment. But first, you need to actually be properly trained as a therapist, and this place does not seem to provide this training.
  24. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    Alright I think I am done here. This is my first and last thread here. In fact the mods can delete the entire post if they want. This was a waste of time for me. A bunch of know-it-all people...if I myself ever need a Psychologist, I sure hope I don't come across people like you guys. Geesh

    What a freaking waste of my time....like seriously.:barf:
    neutralpalatte likes this.
  25. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    A forum full of psych grad students and professionals who know a lot about graduate school in psychology? Shocking.
  26. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    Realize that the replies, as KillerDiller pointed out, are from folks studying and practicing in/around the field into which you'd like to move. You mention that you'd like to pursue licensure, yet the program you've identified is not APA accredited, and is not in clinical, counseling, or school psychology, both of which are strikes against being licensed at the doctoral level. Particularly in as crowded a market as California, you're already placing yourself in a two-down position vs. even those applicants from less-than-stellar clinical and counseling programs in the area. And all this, again, in a region of the country where even very well-trained folks can run into trouble finding the jobs they want (or any jobs at all).

    With the limitations you currently have (particularly regarding geographic restrictions), doctoral study may simply not be for you. Imagine if you wanted to get into medicine, but weren't able to, say, attend school full-time owing to other responsibilities. So you look into and find an unaccredited, part-time program claiming to offer medical training, but not guaranteeing that you'll be eligible for licensure, or even for matching into a residency. Is that something you'd then consider pursuing? Probably not. What you're asking is very similar.

    Your goals of wanting to better yourself and help others are commendable. Don't demean them, and by extension your potential future patients and the field of mental health as a whole, by pursuing substandard training that will do little, if anything, to adequately prepare you for what it is you want to do.
    Last edited: 08.08.13
  27. Marissa4usa

    Marissa4usa

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    Unfortunately, for this profession, people with exactly that attitude are the ones who are willing to pay insane money for degrees that provide them a) no personal return (aka improvement of chances of future employment, but a lot of debt, and b) lower the standards of the profession in general.

    Even if you don't like what you've read here, you need to truly understand what your chances of employment once you have obtained this degree. And not just what the one lucky superstar graduate has gone on to, but what most graduates from this program in general do afterwards. Do they need to get another degree from a reputable university just to be employable? Do they work in some low-paying job that barely allows them to pay their bills every month. Are the services you provide reimbursed by insurance? If not, are you only going to work with people who can pay out-of-pocket? How feasible is that?

    There is nothing wrong with your intentions of helping people and incorporating the aspects you've mentioned. I don't even think it's inherently bad that you want to be a Ph.D. But the approach you're taking is the one of least resistance (opposite to what you're claiming), will cost you a lot of money (yes, I think even 12.5K is a lot of money for a degree that provides no return other than you feeling better about yourself), and still will not provide with the type of employment you want - or only a job that pays minimum wage.
  28. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Geez, what drama. Learn to take feedback and hear things you dont like, lady. You get lots of it in graduate training.
    Last edited: 08.08.13
  29. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Does the lay public thinik that being a psychologist transforms you into some kind of different species or something...that it becomes your entire experience?! This is a job, lady. I dont go around doing therapy with everybody I see/meet. Get a grip for goodness sakes! You asked questions, you got answers and got defensive. Period.

    You have a self-admited history of poor forethought about your educational pursuits, no? All evidence points that you are about to do it again, as evidenced by pursuing a "doctorate" from a **** for-profit school, in a program that is not accredited by any ind body, appears to dis science and empirically-based treatment, for a specialty that nobody recognizes for which their is no market and little pay. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT? HOW IS THIS MAKING SOMETHING OF YOURSELF AND DOING THE BEST WITH WHAT YOU HAVE?

    If you wanna do art therpay, get a legitmate masters degree in mental health. This is the MOST rationale argument in the world. What could you possibly disagree with here?
    Last edited: 08.08.13
  30. paramour

    paramour

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    If you are interested in becoming a "Christian therapist," as others have mentioned, you do not need a PhD/PsyD to accomplish your goal. Check out a master's level option that will allow this. Also keep in mind that CA has extremely stringent requirements to practice and your chosen program most likely will not allow this anyway. You would be better off with a MFT/MSW that provides you with the counseling background that you need and that will allow you to practice in CA.

    I know slim to none about this program, but Fuller Theological Seminary offers a MFT that might be more geared toward your interests. (They're located in Pasadena but they reportedly have satellite offices, so I'm not sure how that will work out for you.) I know an individual who specializes in Christian/spiritual therapy and he receives a lot of referrals due to his background. He seems to be a phenomenal therapist.

    As for your interest in art therapy, this is something that can be picked up by anyone and their mother from what I can tell by the various MFTs/LCSWs who practice it around here. You certainly don't need a specialty doctorate in it. At most, get the foundation for what you NEED (the counseling bit) and then take workshops, continuing education, etc. to supplement your work.

    G'luck. :luck:
  31. PHD12

    PHD12

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  32. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    I've seen it before and it always grosses me out.
  33. LPPSYD

    LPPSYD Predoctoral Intern

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    This thread has got to be the worst tell-me-exactly-what-I-want-to-hear-or-else one I've personally seen on this forum so far. The advice given was not only useful and helpful, it was kinder than it probably should have been. Not sure what kind of response the OP was expecting, considering her main concern seemed to be the program's credibility anyway? I have to say, these programs in CA just get more and more entertaining to read about.

    Also, I am originally from an area outside of NYC and I can't fathom the idea of refusing to leave a specific CITY for even a temporary period of time in order to obtain a degree. That's a really odd, unrealistic mentality.
    Last edited: 08.08.13
  34. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Its the California way...

    But seriously, another example of the degree of student entitlement that has been created at the hands of this "movement" that says everybody can and should be able to get a degree in...well....something. Wrong. Not everybody is ready/mature/intelligent enough to get a masters and/or doctorate. Some hard truths of life and "the bell curve."

    What is actually the MOST disturbing about responses like this (especially this one) in people seeking the doctorate in this field, is that their emotional responses to our feedback are expected, understandable, and normal....in a 16 year-old. This is NOT the maturity level you want to see in a mental health professional in training!

    PS: I have encoutered some angry patients in my short time. One VA patient threatened to kill me if i didnt give him his PTSD Dx so he could get his gubment monies. But never has anyone barfed on me. Knock on wood.
    Last edited: 08.09.13
  35. cara susanna

    cara susanna Predoctoral Intern

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    The whole refusal to move has contributed a lot to the professional school movement, since they're all in big cities (and a lot are also in California).
    Last edited: 08.09.13
  36. CheetahGirl

    CheetahGirl PreDoctoral Intern Clinical Psych PhD Candidate

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    God Bless America. This thread got good & bad before I had a chance to add my two cents.

    This was thoughtful advice.

    Dialectical behavior therapy involves mindfulness training. It is very much spiritual. Most therapists may not explicitly mention spirituality in program descriptions and professional bios because the mere existence of spirituality (or the absence of; along with analyses of cultural, religious beliefs, familial values, etc.) should be thoroughly incorporated in one's psychology training, especially when any subfield of psychology becomes your profession.

    Again, this is a thoughtful, albeit directed, comment (which means erg923 did not candy-coat genuine interest in the question. I remember another posting where he said after a long day being a soft & cuddly therapist, sometimes being frank cuts through the bull in one's personal life - I paraphrase and agree with the sentiment...especially on this anonymous forum).

    2014SandDiegoPhD, if you linger...this thread ended poorly in my opinion, and I don't think it was a waste of time at all (unlike my opinion of watching that hurtin' video of the woman who spent $200K on her degree).

    A college vocational counselor (who was actually younger than me at the time) told me to forgive my dream of being a clinical psychologist when I was in my last year of undergrad. This angered me to the point that I continue to prove that person wrong (whoever she is). Like others said, no one here is suggesting you do not achieve your goals. What everyone is suggesting is how you go about doing it. However, my fact of the matter is if I stayed in my hometown (which is smaller than Atlanta GA), I would not have been accepted into a legitimate, respectable, established doctoral programs (yes, kiddos to me). It was not a realistic goal until I moved to a much bigger city with more opportunity. Do not be rigid in your ways; otherwise you undoubtedly will be limiting your outcomes.

    I believe someone mentioned this, but my opinion was to research your State Office of Professions and see what the licensing requirements are for art therapist and work backwards. In New York (where I reside), art therapist can hold a master's degree but do need the specialized training from a State approved-program. If the program is not state approved, the training has not met the standards required of the profession.

    For example, here's what NY State's requirements say for creative art therapist: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/catlic.htm

    Frankly, what more could one say? Garbage in, garbage out. Licensing boards are required to allow surgeons to cut into your flesh and repair your arteries. Likewise, licensing boards look to APA for those professions in psychology to maintain standards of training. Otherwise, if you are not asked to abide by the Hippocratic oath in your training, you may not learn how you are doing more harm than good - There is no accountablilty with standards of training, and one should just call themselves a 'life coach.' Furthermore, psychotherapy, in its various forms, can affect some in very bad, non-therapeutic ways if one is not trained in methods that are agentic [sic; self-regulating, self-governing, ethical, etc.]

    Art therapy is a beautiful thing. I use art therapy techniques with children who have been abused. With that said, proper training is vital before proceeding with any form of therapy, especially if you are therapist.
    Last edited: 08.10.13
  37. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    I just wanted to make a point here. There are other ways of doing things. Not everyone can afford or are academically ready (at least not on paper) to do a PhD that is top notch. I wish I could have done things differently and go to UCSD or UCLA….but I cannot. I don't see that happening. That door will never open to me. So it's time to make the best with what you have.

    I called SDUIS before the weekend, and told them that I want to be licensed, but that their program does not offer this. She told me that they DO offer extra courses to get on that track. Originally SDUIS requires 60 hours of personal counseling….which of course is not enough.

    http://www.ieata.org/reat.html

    According to the website above…….(International Expressive Arts Therapy Association) I will need:

    Category D:
    1) Doctoral Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy or equivalency in a Creative Arts Therapy Program
    Program must include a practicum of 1,000 hours of supervised clinical work and 100 hours of individual supervisory sessions, or 200 hours of group supervisory sessions or a combination of both.
    2) Demonstration of arts practice and involvement

    SDUIS does offer this track but of course it will cost me extra and I will have to do the 1,000 hours but I will at least be registered and be a therapist and help others in the end. This will be good enough for me. I will take it.
    ink
    I just wanted to make this point here not just for me, but for the next person who comes on this forum and gets bombarded just because their program is not APA accredited. I really don't care if it's not APA anymore. There is more than one way of doing things. That is really all I wanted to say. I found my answers. I'm good now. I will be starting SDUIS in January, as they go by the quarter system, assuming all goes well and that I am accepted. I am happy about this. According to the IREAT requirements, I myself will have to show my artistic side by picking an art form and practicing it. I cannot draw nor paint, but I believe I have potential to do Creative Writing/Poetry (despite the fact that English is not my first language) so I will stick with that and hone that skill from this point on.

    P.S. CheetaGirl I read your message and will respond shortly. Thank you.
    Last edited: 08.12.13
  38. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    Its not about "top notch," its about practicallity and basic standards. High standards are good. They protect the public from subpar product (ie., people who cant hack it academically and didnt work hard enough, weren't deicated enough, etc). When you dont make the cut, well...you dont make the cut. These degree mills with low admission standards sprung-up to make money off people like you, not because of need. WAKE UP!

    Get a masters in a degree that will make you marketable instead of laughed at by employers. Why are married to this ph.d. Youi dont need it to do what you want, AND the one you're so in love with is basically a farce. Why are you so resistant to this?
    Last edited: 08.12.13
  39. psycscientist

    psycscientist

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    The unfortunate reality is that not everyone is entitled to a Ph.D. (especially if they do not have the credentials and ability to earn it). It's not that you can't compete at the top notch - it's that you are unable to even go for a minimally acceptable program with reasonable training standards. Would you want to receive treatment from a surgeon who completed some fringe subpar training program?
  40. KillerDiller

    KillerDiller

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    Just wanted to point out to the OP and others considering this route that this is what is required for licensure at the masters level, not the doctoral level. So, after completing a "doctoratal" program in psychology, you would only be able to be licensed as a therapist alongside those from masters-level programs. In the vast majority of states, you will be barred from using the term "psychologist" because this title is restricted to those who get licensed at the doctoral-level. So, although this program may provide some enriching experiences, a main marketing ploy seems to be that it is a way for people to call themselves "doctor" without doing appreciably more than a masters. Also, it seems you have to do EXTRA to be license eligible at this level.
  41. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    2014SanDiegoPhD,

    Your situation sounds very much like a Square Peg and Round Hole scenario...so I'm not sure it is advisable to continue to pursue a path that isn't a good fit. When I was starting my undergraduate training I had aspirations of doing neurosurgery because it married my love of neuroscience with the technical expertise I sought. Fortunately early on in my undergraduate training I realized that my mediocre visuospacial abilities would always limit my technical expertise, no matter what I did to try and make up for that deficit. I could have continued to pursue my desire despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but it would have been the definition of a Quixotic battle of futility. Instead, I found an alternative path that allowed me to still work in a related area and meet most of my goals; I believe that is the impetus of those who posted in this thread. It is not realistic for everyone to do what they want just because they want it, so a Plan B (and often a Plan C) is needed.
  42. PsychBiker

    PsychBiker

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    2014SanDiegoPhD, I won't break it down point by point like others have, even though they might be correct.

    Bottom line is that you should consider taking it even slower than you are. Wanting to push for a doctorate, regardless of the field, when you may not be ready for it is a waste. You can do what you want some way with a Masters. Take into consideration that you are reading a lot of negativity which is going to automatically make you not want to hear it, but that does not make it untrue.

    Everyone on this forum cares for you, that is why they are telling you the truth. No one here wants to bring you down, most have a lot experience in the field so they are being blunt.
  43. bpsydme

    bpsydme

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    Just out of curiosity -

    Ignoring the OP's motivations for pursuing a PhD and whether or not he/she is fit to, I was wondering what people's opinion is on how an individual in similar situations can turn themselves around and get into a legit PhD/doctorate program.

    What I mean is that this individual is facing a huge uphill battle:
    -low undergrad GPA: most people would suggest (at least on this forum) that he get a master's degree to prove he is capable of graduate work. But, which leads me to my next point..

    -He already has a master's degree. His GPA isn't horrible, but as he mentioned, it's pretty much from a diploma mill. It's unlikely that master's programs will accept someone who already has such a degree.

    -He doesn't want to accumulate more debt, which only leaves him with the option of getting into a fully funded (with livable stipend) program. But how do you get into a reputable program with a sub 3.0 undergrad GPA and a useless masters degree? I'm not sure if anything short of having several first author papers can offset that...but even then, he might not pass the cut off?

    While the advice given to the OP has been honest and blunt, it doesn't really seem like anyone gave any advice (and sorry if i missed it) on how to actually turn his situation around. He probably feels stuck, came on here for advice but most of what he got was criticism. Again, I'm not asking about the OP specifically, but for the motivated, intelligent, mature individual who just happened to make some poor academic choices. Is he/she doomed forever? Or is there a chance he can still pursue his dreams?
  44. PHD12

    PHD12

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    How did that MBA from American Intercontinental University Online work for you?
  45. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    She shows no desire to do this. She shows a regret at being a poor student and now wants a ph.d anyway. Doesnt work like that.

    It would require demostrating academic potential, as well as signficant research interests/skills/productivity (which she also seems less than interested in pursuing since she purely wants to do art therapy). She does not want to go into more debt or go to school...well..then thats her choice. But its not the system's jobs to accomdate her lofty goals.
    Last edited: 08.12.13
  46. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist Moderator

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    In all honesty, given the OP's listed limitations, he/she realistically might be stuck, and doctoral study just may not be a viable option.

    Speaking more generally, if the individual isn't up for going the traditional master's degree route to boost the GPA, I'd suggest they get involved with a research lab for a couple years, crank out some research products, and then try re-applying. That, or it might be best that the person get a licensable masters, practice for a few years first, decide if doctoral study is really what they want to do, and then work on upping the research experience (once there's a few years between undergrad/online masters and applying).

    I'd be surprised if a terminal masters degree somewhere wouldn't accept the person, online masters degree notwithstanding (heck, the person could even use their having earned that degree as a rationale for knowing that they need more/better training). They just may need to be more geographically flexible than the average applicant.
  47. bpsydme

    bpsydme

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    I agree. The OP, specifically, seems to only want to get a PhD for its perceived prestige and places the blame on situational factors more than making poor decisions. Being a first generation college/grad student understandably puts him/her at a disadvantage, but he doesn't seem to have learned from the mistake of getting a useless degree and wants to dive into another simply to be called "doctor".

    That's great to hear! I'm not in that situation, but I think others who may feel "stuck" or that they can never turn their situation around may be happy to hear there's still hope. We've all been there at some point...or will be there at some point.
  48. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist-Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

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    I brought this up in my first and second reply. It was not addressed by the OP. That is telling.
  49. 2014SanDiegoPhD

    2014SanDiegoPhD

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    I only have it in me to do one more degree. I don't want to do another Masters and then later do a PhD.

    The reason being is that I have other plans. I want to write a book (already started on it).

    This degree will only be the beginning of what I want to do. I would like to infuse creativity and the arts into the ministry I want to have in the future.

    The reason I did not address this earlier is because I wanted to pick my battles....if you know what I mean. ;)
  50. PHD12

    PHD12

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    You mean you want to be a minister who uses creativity/arts? To be a minister though, I believe you need a master's degree in divinity or equivalent. I don't know if you can call yourself a minister with this particular PhD degree either, and you absolutely won't be able to call yourself a psychologist. How many of their alumni were able to become ministers?

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