Mar 17, 2010
7
0
0
Midwest
Status
Psychology Student
Hi All,

As April draws nearer, I find myself in a very fortunate position - I have three offers to psychology doctoral programs. The tricky part is that they're all for different degrees. In order of receipt of offer, my options are: Program 1 is a Clinical Ph.D., Program 2 is a Clinical Psy.D., and Program 3 is a Counseling Ph.D.

Since there is already quite a bit on the boards regarding the relative training, funding, etc. differences between these types of programs (and I don't want to just talk about these specific programs), I'd like to limit this discussion to what these degrees might mean after you obtain one.

As I've looked around, this is probably the simplest explanation of the differences between programs (for the unitiated):

http://www.science.fau.edu/student_services/handouts/counseling psychology.pdf

For those with more experience this article has a little more detail and numbers on the differences between the students:

http://www.csun.edu/~hcpsy002/Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology.pdf

It seems to me that there is a whole lot of overlap in what you can do with these degrees (and in the qualifications of those applying to them).

So, my questions for the SDN members are:
What will these options mean down the road?
What doors are closed or opened by having one degree, compared to the others?
 
Mar 17, 2010
7
0
0
Midwest
Status
Psychology Student
Oh, and since we're all coming from different places and laws/licensure differ by state, please mention what state/region you are familiar with. :D
 
Jun 23, 2009
133
0
41
Status
Psychologist
I think the real question is...what do you (at this point, at least) think you want to do study for the next 5+ years and then what do you want to do when you graduate? There are a lot of similarities between the three: all will give you a doctorate, and all involve an internship at the end, all will train you in assessment and therapy, in varying degrees dependent on the programs. But some of the differences will possibly set you up for different career paths. Well, maybe. I'd ask you: 1. with which program did you have the best research match? Clinical and counseling programs often (not always) have different lines of research, such that (broad strokes here, people) clinical deals more with psychpathology and establishing empirically based treatments, and counseling deals more with process issues, therapist factors and diversity issues. So, what do you want to study for 5+ years?

From my naive viewpoint, there are doctoral level professionals with all three degrees in many settings (teaching hospitals, medical centers, VAs, etc). I don't know if any one degree will necessarily screw you over in terms of being able to do what you want eventually.