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Any Community Psychologists Out There?

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by kikistar33, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. kikistar33

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    I am interested in a psy.d program for community psychologists at the University of Laverne. I'm wondering if anyone has gone to school for this particular field or works as a community psychologist? Any information about job outlook, pay, and working as a community psychologist would be helpful. :)
     
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  3. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    in my estimate, community psychology probably pays in the terrible to awful ranges.

    it is psychology's attempt at social work. and the lower paying area of social work to boot.

    how does one bill for community psychology? as far as i know there is no CPT code for that kind of work. no CPT code= no money. unless you can write grants.

    i am guessing that you would end up doing the same type of work as any other clinical psychologist at which point i can't see the benefit of gaining that training.
     
  4. JackD

    JackD -
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    I took a course in community psychology at the University of Illinois. I found it to be quite boring and a little too feel good, 1960's hippie approach to psychology.

    I have actually had other psychology professors who seemingly never heard of that branch of psychology or at minimum, had absolutely no idea what community psychologists do. That doesn't mean there is no value to what they do, they seem like they know how to help people, but if professional psychologists know little about community psychology, I would take that as a bad sign. The reason is if no one knows about the field, if no one knows what they do or that these doctors even exist, who is going to hire them to do anything?

    I agree with PSYDR, I would imagine that you would be quite poor, for lack of a better term, if you were a community psychologist. I would say unless you are teaching at the few universities with community psychology programs, you will probably be scraping by.

    I would guess that if you were to become a community psychologist, you would probably be working for a university or a local government, probably working in an innercity. As we all know, innercity programs are not well funded. You would probably be spending time studying the needs of a particular neighborhood, working as an activist, or designing some kind of prevention program.

    However, if you know that you like working in community psychology and that is what you want to do, go for it. Just know, your job outlook probably won't be great.
     
  5. mftPsychSoc

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    I would do some serious research on the Community psych topics through research literature, i.e. the American Journal of Community Psychology, as well as others. This is one way to get an idea of what kinds of topics are addressed here (Springer Link does allow you to view select full articles for free, as well as some partial articles). In doing this, you may come across a topic of interest, which in turn may provide contact info for various psychologists who focus in the community psych field.

    As far as pay and job outlook, I would be careful about "going in with blinders on", which is what I believe PSYDR and JackD are saying in so many words:). However I would take the advice on this forum with a grain of salt, as many have their own view or opinion, (in which they are completely entitled to;)). Yes, Community psych does have a feel good tone, and it does attempt to view social problems from the vantage point of psychology, which does give a social work-like appearance. However, community psych is very rooted in empirical research as well (quantitative and qualitative), and differs from the traditional approach of clinical psychology,(which is focused on first order change by treating the person) exploring the person-environment fit and taking a wellness/prevention approach to mental health/illness(second order change). Many programs that offer community psych are "research/clinical areas" within clinical psych programs (i.e Rutgers PsyD program or Bowling Green's PhD), while others are stand alone Community PhD programs that might not allow for licensing as a clinical psychologist (Michigan State), but will allow for research and teaching at the college or university level, as well as social activism opportunities.

    There's a great deal of skills and ability to affect change that can come from pursuing community psych, but the best way to get informed is to do your homework on any area that may be of interest to YOU. So, even though you may not become wealthy by pursuing community psych, it like clinical, counseling, and other psychology branches can afford a modest/comfortable life depending on what market you're in and what you specialize in. Good luck in you search!:thumbup:
     
    #4 mftPsychSoc, Dec 3, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  6. kikistar33

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    Thanks for all of the input. It looks like I have a lot more research to do before I choose a school. Thanks!
     
  7. psychmama

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    Check out Rutgers GSAPP website. They have a link on their website describing the school's community psychology concentration within the clinical program. I don't really agree with those who are so negative about community psych. My community psych prof, in addition to teaching, consults with various agencies and organizations. He makes a pretty nice living at it.:)

    I do agree with the overall advice of the posters -- read and do research on the subject of community psych to get a clearer picture of whether it's for you. I believe the APA book called Career Paths in Psychology - Where your degree can Take You (I think this is the name) had a chapter on community psychologists.

    Good luck.
     
  8. biogirl215

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    I second that book recommendation.
     
  9. EEL119

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    I am also looking at that program Kiki. The career description sounds ideal for me, but I also don't want to not be able to get a great paying job after acquiring 6 figure school loans. Are you still considering ULV and this program? What others are you strongly considering? Thanks!
     
  10. kikistar33

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    I am still interested in the UNLV program. I can really see my self as a community psychologist and the program sounds ideal for me. I am going to do some more research on the community psych field. I just started looking at schools, and I was looking at Pace, but that's about it right now.

    I think I am going to check out the book mentioned above. Good luck with your search!
     

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