APA accreditation? and other questions

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by chaos, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. chaos

    chaos Member
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    What are the functional implications of attending a PhD program that isn't APA accredited? For example, there's a few professors in the Harvard clinical program that share my research interests, so I might want to apply there...but the clinical program is not APA accredited. What difference will this make, if any, in terms of getting an internship, getting licensed, etc.

    My other question is about internships. I plan to attend a research oriented clinical PhD program...what kind of internships are available? Are there research internships or would you probably be doing clinical work in a hospital or similar setting?

    And I'm a little confused about licensure to become a psychologist- is the EPPP basically the big test you take after you finish grad school, regardless of whether you want to do research or practice? So, in other words, you can't really call yourself a psychologist until you pass the thing?

    If you can answer any of these, I'll be eternally grateful.
     
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  3. Ollie123

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    I'm nowhere near there yet so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    Internship is "clinical" time so I doubt there is such a thing as a pure research internship.

    That being said, I know plenty of people who are still writing up some publications off their dissertation data or getting involved in research in other ways during their internship. The site you choose may dictate whether or not you have opportunities to do so. If you're at say, MGH, there is probably a good chance you will have opportunities to get involved in research in addition to your clinical work (though given the # of hours required for internship, I imagine this would be on your own time). There's also always the possibility that you could do assessments for a research study, or be a therapist in a clinical trial as a part of your internship.

    Again, I'm just starting a PhD program, so I'm not in the best position to be giving advice, but that's how I understand things to work.
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

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    99.9% of the time I'd say to just look at APA approved programs. If you attend a non-APA accredited site, you are going to run into problems at EVERY step of the process towards licensure. If/When you get licensed, it is less of a problem, but many of the jobs I've seen have APA-accreditation as a rule-out for applicants.

    That .1% are the people who know they ONLY want to do private practice, and even then...why risk it? Even in academia, you may be asked to be a supervisor, and they will probably expect you went through all of the APA hoops, etc. Academia isn't my area, so I'm not sure how big of a knock it will be, but i'm guessing that since academia is already competitive, a non-APA schooling will only detract from your application.

    It will be clinical work, but there are places where you will have research opportunities. Some places will REQUIRE research (they may not explicitly say it, but it is expected), and they won't take anyone who doesn't have extensive research experience.

    To be a licensed clinical psychologist...you need to take the exam. I have not taken it yet, so YMMV....but from what i've seen/heard, the exam covers a number of broad areas. To do something like I/O psych, there isn't a licensure.....but for anything clinical, you need the licensure.

    -t
     
  5. iris07

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    i agree that, in general, it is best to apply to APA accredited programs. however, since you mentioned harvard, i can give you a little more info on that particular program. i actually applied there (the only non-APA accredited program for me) because it has an interesting history and i too had a research interest match. at one time, long ago, they were accredited but they dropped their program in some sort of rebellion against the APA (at least how i understand it from what my advisor has told me). since then, they restarted the program and "expect to be accredited in the near future." i suspect this won't take long, and would probably happen before you finished the program from what i hear, but it is definitely a risk. my advice - apply anyway because of the research interest and, if you get an interview, address it there. you can always reject an invite later.
     
  6. Therapist4Chnge

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    When you are evaluating programs, make sure to ask PSYCH people about them. Just because Harvard has a great name in undergrad and other grad programs, doesn't make it a great psych program. I've heard decent things about the profs there, but it seems like it is pretty up in the air right now with who is there, their possible re-accreditation, etc.

    -t
     
  7. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member
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    As has already been stated, internship is a "clinical year." With that said, there are places that are known for highly ranking applicants who want to pursue research careers, and who otherwise provide "protected research time" while on internship. Granted, this is usually no more than half a day - and any additional research you do will be on your own time. When the time comes, you will know where you have the best match, based on your research interests.

    To address your other question, in order to call yourself a "clinical psychologist" you must be licensed within the state. Each state has its own idiosyncratic set of licensure requirements, but there are also several similarities across states. One of these similarities is that you will be required to pass the EPPP - having taken it, I can assure you that, while it's a bit of a pain, it's really not a big deal.

    They reintroduced a clinical track in 2000, with the aim of accreditation in 2005 (the earliest they could get it). It's now 2007, and still no accreditation. Having spoken to some people in that program, it has been rocky - with difficulty finding practicum experiences for students (there is no in-house clinic), and talk of dismantling the program at some point. Moreover, although the faculty certainly do great work, there are very few faculty members who are clinical psychologists. I would be very hesitant, although it doesn't hurt to apply.

    Finally, just a side-note: You can't apply for VA internships (or jobs, for that matter) if you are not at an APA-approved program. So places like Palo Alto VA, which is a fantastic internship site that fits the description above, would be out.
     
  8. nononora

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    The professor that I worked with during undergrad knows the director of Harvard's grad program well and encouraged me to apply to there. The director assured him that Harvard will almost certainly be getting their APA accreditation during 07/08. I make no personal guarantee though.. Professors say lots of things!

    You must make sure that the unaccredited program you are attending will become accredited before you graduate and you'll be hunky dory.

    I applied to Harvard but didn't even get past the graduate school :laugh:
     
  9. GiantSteps

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    The Harvard program is obviously trying to become APA accredited so it does not appear to much of a problem.

    What about the programs in 1. Clinical Enthnography Professional Enthnography and Mental Health and 2. the Professional Education in Clinical Psychology both in the Department of Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago? These two programs appear to have no intention of becoming APA accredited. Although, the literature states that some students decide to pursue licensure after graduation - whatever that means (do they spend another 6 years at an APA approved program?). Of course, the literatue also states that these programs are designed for people who want to be in research or academia. Interestingly, I have noticed a number of clinical psychology professors at other schools who have their degrees from chicago.

    I thought of Chicago's program because it is certainly not a fly by night school or some type of internet start up program which may or may not ever become APA accredited. It seems to be an department which just takes no interest in the APA. Any thoughts? I can only comment that at least Chicago is honest. Most schools claim that they only want to train researchers/ academics but then they dangle the APA accreditation and APA internship in front of their students. With the lure of the better money and flexibility to leave research/ academia behind, what do these schools think is going to happen? Many of the students become practitioners and the schools just shrug their shoulders.
     
  10. chaos

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    thanks for the replies...regarding internships- what kind of internships are there, and what do they typically involve? They're a bit of a mystery to me. So if someone could give me an overview or an example of a typical day in a typical internship, that would be great.
     
  11. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member
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    While I would tend to agree with this statement, tell it to the people who entered the program in 2000 and have graduated or plan to graduate soon...

    I don't know anything about these programs, but if you were strictly interested in research AND that research did not carry a significant clinical component (e.g., clinical trials), I don't see why these would be a bad idea. But my understanding is that experimental psychopathology degrees can be a little tough when it comes time to find a job - most clinical psychology programs are going to want to hire faculty who can also provide some level of clinical supervision. If you graduate from an experimental program, you will be at a disadvantage in that regard.

    Also, when I speak to some of my experimental colleagues who have attempted to expand their research to clinical populations, their lack of true clinical exposure can be evident in the way they conceptualize a research question. There is something to be said for clinical experience informing research (and vice versa) - though I guess that is ultimately an empirical question, huh? ;)
     
  12. LM02

    LM02 Senior Member
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    Internship is a full, predoctoral clinical year. There is a wide variety of settings to choose from - college counseling centers, community mental health centers, academic hospitals, private hospitals, VAs, military bases, and consortia consisting of many hospitals. The year is intended to be a training year - exposing you to new populations, assessments, clinical techniques, didactic seminars, and multidisciplinary work. It also provides you with the opportunity to apply the skills you already have in a more "real world" clinical context.

    The typical day will vary dramatically from one setting to another. But basically you are functioning as an apprentice clinical psychologist - you will spend most of your time providing clinical services and receiving supervision. As mentioned above, some sites will also offer "protected research time" so that you can continue your line of research with faculty at that site. But this is typically so at the academic medical centers and (certain) VA sites.
     
  13. Saybrookrules

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  14. Saybrookrules

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  15. Therapist4Chnge

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    The topic of accreditation can be dicey, but I think putting as much information out there is important, and then people can go into it with both eyes open.

    Additional Information: HERE

    This seems to be the belief belief of the vast majority of psychologists......whether it is completely fair or not.

    -t
     
  16. Therapist4Chnge

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    MORE information on the different types of accreditation. It is wordy, but definitely seems to cover the subject in detail.

    Q&A that talks about non-APA accreditation status, which was produced by Walden University.

    HERE is an older article (1999) about some accreditation disputes/issues in CA.

    -t
     

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