OneLove

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What are the options that someone has with a pHd in clinical psychology job wise and post doctoral wise.

Additioanlly what Undergrad preparation is necessary for this? What classes? standardized tests? ECs? Reserach experience? Clincial experience? Shadowing? etc etc. Thanks much all
 

EL CAPeeeTAN

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OneLove said:
What are the options that someone has with a pHd in clinical psychology job wise and post doctoral wise.

Additioanlly what Undergrad preparation is necessary for this? What classes? standardized tests? ECs? Reserach experience? Clincial experience? Shadowing? etc etc. Thanks much all
There are many options for clinical psychologists. You can run a private practice where you see patients for therapy and to administer a variety of tests. If you do not want the headaches of running your own clinic you can work for a clinic and see patients. You can work for a corporation where you provide therapy for employees. You can work for a hospital where you provide clinical services. You can work in a university counseling center where you provide therapy for the attending students. You can work for academia and teach as a professor, this can be done at a university or a medical school. You can work for the court systems providing therapy and evaluations of criminals, etc. You can work as an exper twitness for law firms where you provide your professional opinion on a variety of cases. Most clinical psychologists do many of these things all together. I have 1 friend who works for a university in the counseling center and he teaches 1 course for the university but he also has a fairly large private practice and he works for the state prision providing crimional evaluations. He is very busy but between the 4 types of jobs he makes some pretty good money and he loves the variety.

As far as preperation goes, you should major in psychology and take as many psych courses as you can. Volunteer to be a research assistant or get a job as a research assistant. Try to get a job at a mental health center or hospital or even a boys or girls home for troubled teens. Any of these jobs are good even if you are just a receptionist. It shows that you are dedicated to the field and you will inevitably get good exposure to the field. you can get letters of rec. from your supervisors at these psych related jobs and from your psych professors and anyone that you do research with. The standardized tests are the GRE and some schools require the psychology subject test. There are many books to help you prepare. There are many different ways to reach your goal but these are a few things that I did.
 

SaraL124

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EL CAPeeeTAN said:
There are many options for clinical psychologists. You can run a private practice where you see patients for therapy and to administer a variety of tests. If you do not want the headaches of running your own clinic you can work for a clinic and see patients. You can work for a corporation where you provide therapy for employees. You can work for a hospital where you provide clinical services. You can work in a university counseling center where you provide therapy for the attending students. You can work for academia and teach as a professor, this can be done at a university or a medical school. You can work for the court systems providing therapy and evaluations of criminals, etc. You can work as an exper twitness for law firms where you provide your professional opinion on a variety of cases. Most clinical psychologists do many of these things all together. I have 1 friend who works for a university in the counseling center and he teaches 1 course for the university but he also has a fairly large private practice and he works for the state prision providing crimional evaluations. He is very busy but between the 4 types of jobs he makes some pretty good money and he loves the variety.

Um, I think a HUGE thing that you left out is that with a Psych Phd, you can do research! You can get a tenured position at a university, or work in large corporations or research centers, or hospitals conducting clinical research. That's a huge part of the field!

I would recommend taking the Psych GREs, even if some schools don't require it. Take them when you are fresh our of college that way you won't have much studying to do. If you wait a while after school ends, it will be harder to get back into the swing of. And you don't have to major in Psych, just make sure you take a bunch of Psych courses, including stats and a lab course. You can still apply to Clin Psych PhD programs and be a diverse (i.e. not a Psych major) UG student.
 

twiggers

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In addition, there are several specialities within clinical psychology that would allow for a wide variety of job choices.
 
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OneLove

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I've been looking at some clinical psych doctoral programs. I'm actually kind of scared. They all seem to be INCREDIBILY hard to get into. I don't know how I will be able to distinguish myself as an applicant.
 

Allotheria

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OneLove said:
I've been looking at some clinical psych doctoral programs. I'm actually kind of scared. They all seem to be INCREDIBILY hard to get into. I don't know how I will be able to distinguish myself as an applicant.




PsyD = Clinical experience

PhD = Research experience.

And yes… they are difficult to get into, but if I can do it anyone can.
 
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OneLove

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Allotheria said:
PsyD = Clinical experience

PhD = Research experience.

And yes… they are difficult to get into, but if I can do it anyone can.

as far as psych schools are concerned, what constitutes clinical experience?
 

SaraL124

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working/volunteering at a mental health facility/supportive group home/group therapy at a hospital. Tey know you aren't clinically trained so they're not looking for you to be doing actual therapy, just to get yourself immersed in the field of clinical psych...dealing with patients so they know you that you know what you're getting yourself into.
 

laxyhead

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I heard from the beginning that Ph.D programs are difficult to get into. Coming from a finance background and major - I jumped into psychology my junior year. I pursued research and took classes all in psych at the same time. I got accepted into all 3 ph.d programs that I interviewed at.

I may be difficult, but if you play your cards right - you should get in. Just really research the schools are you interested in. Contact the professors early - in the fall before you apply. Make sure your numbers are good - gpa, gre, etc. You can DO IT! If a random business major can get into clinical psychology - a lot of people can too. BEST OF LUCK =)

if you have more detailed questions -PM me
 
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Pterion

Allotheria said:
PsyD = Clinical experience

PhD = Research experience.
I agree. If you are sure that clinical is where you want to be, I will encourage the PsyD, but with caveats. First, as a previous poster stated, research the programs. Any program with an incoming class above 15 students is automatically suspect. Second, find alternative funding. PsyD programs are mostly private schools, and thus tuition-driven. That means little to no stipends, low work-study opportunites and very low to zero outside organization support - by this I mean that a clinically-oriented program usually does not enjoy the same degree of grant support as there isn't the research machineray to qualify for it.

No matter where you go, find out where the last five years worth of graduates placed for internship. A school who had 3 placements with St. Elizabeth's in the last 20 years isn't as impressive as a program who has done it 3 times in the last 5. Then make sure you find out what they are doing now. Do most go into private practice? Government? Management? Homemaking? This gives you a sense of the type of applicant/program match.

As for career opportunities, my graduating class went primarily into private practice, many in to goverment service (including Departments of Defense, Justice, Health and Human Services, etc), organizational practice (IE Charter Behavioral Health), program management(the dean of our my medical school is a PhD psychologist), consultation, "behavioral medicine"/med-surg hospital based practice, forensics and neuropsychology. Some of us have left the field to pursue training in medicine, law, and business. Psychology has the potential to prepare you to work in most any field.
 

PublicHealth

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Pterion said:
Some of us have left the field to pursue training in medicine, law, and business.
Can you tell us more about why some of your classmates pursued medicine after completing a PhD in clinical psychology?
 
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Pterion

PublicHealth said:
Can you tell us more about why some of your classmates pursued medicine after completing a PhD in clinical psychology?
Wow, this could turn in a long story. I know of one other who left his first year of grad school to enter med school. I'm unaware of the dynamics of that situation. I met a family practitioner who had a PhD before entering med school (different psych program). She indicated to me that she just generally was unhappy as a psychologist.

To be fair,I can only speak for myself. Once in practice a few years I noticed that my job satisfaction was not what I thought it would be. Actual practice is VERY different from what you experience in school. I was just not happy is the bottom line. In the background was the interest in biological science that had colored my training in psychology. In the foreground were physician colleagues with whom I shared more in the way of mindset and clinical approach.

After 2 years of research into the career of medicine, and most of my first year of medical school I see this move was the right choice for me. (You probably won't be surprised at how little the preclinical years of medical school teach about patient interaction :rolleyes: ) I would love to write a book about the experience of medical training from a psychologist's viewpoint. I think the training of each discipline has a lot to learn from the other. And no, I have no interest in pursuing psychiatry.

Let me be very clear: I do NOT mean this as an indictment of psychology. I will suggest to all in training that you take a realistic look at the following issues: what your worklife will actually consist of out of school, debt to income ratio and current job opportunities before you spend 6 figures on your education. My wife is a psychologist in neuro - a scholar, a scientist and an incredible clinician. It works for her. It didn't for me. I'm not sure I really answered your question, but I took a shot at it.

To the OP: Definitely "shadow" as many psychologists in different subdisciplines as you can. It will help you form an idea of your interests, your fit and your possibilities in the field.