Sep 23, 2013
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Even though I put a ton of work into making myself a good candidate for clinical psychology PhD programs, putting together applications, etc...now that my applications are submitted I feel this sense of impending doom. I feel like this is an pretty risky career path and (I know this is catostrophising) my chances of ending up single, poor, overworked and isolated from my friends and family (both during and after obtaining my degree) are increasing should I get into a program and go this route. Especially with managed care changing the viability of private practice, it's hard to get a good picture of what the options will be for graduates 6 years down the road. Is it normal to feel this way? Am I being unreasonable or is there reason to be nervous about entering the field at this time?
 

cara susanna

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Feb 10, 2008
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Honestly, with the internship situation being what it is, I'm not sure I'd recommend going into this field right now. Not until the imbalance is resolved.

Disclaimer: I am currently applying to internship so my stress/bitterness at the field is at an all-time high right now ;) I may feel quite differently if I match
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
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Apr 6, 2007
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I serve as a mentor to undergrads for my state psyh org. I do not recommen this field specifically excpet under a very circumscribed sets of circumstances and goals.
 

WisNeuro

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Feb 15, 2009
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If I had to do it all over again, I'd still do it. I love what I do and make more than enough to live on. Yes, I could easily do something else and make more money, but my goal in life is not to simply make money. I guess make sure that this is really what you want to do. Oh, and don't take the first couple years of grad school as any indication of career enjoyment. I hated those first two years.
 
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xXIDaShizIXx

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Sep 18, 2011
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If I had to do it all over again, I'd still do it. I love what I do and make more than enough to live on. Yes, I could easily do something else and make more money, but my goal in life is not to simply make money. I guess make sure that this is really what you want to do. Oh, and don't take the first couple years of grad school as any indication of career enjoyment. I hated those first two years.
I'm glad someone on SDN could finally admit to that.
 

Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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I'm glad someone on SDN could finally admit to that.
More than a few have admitted that…myself included, it just isn't all rainbows and puppy dog kisses.

*edit to add*

I actually just updated the "Doctoral Applicants Read First" thread at the top of the forum with some links that speak more to the day-to-day work in various settings. I think most of those are a net positive, though obviously not all of them.
 
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researchgirl

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I think this is highly dependent on your career goals, your distress tolerance and other coping skills, your ability to achieve work/life balance, and the program you go to. I would definitely do this all over again if I was given the choice. However, I started graduate school with no debt and went to a program that was fully funded with a generous stipend - so although I'm poor, I'm not THAT poor (I can afford to do things I enjoy in moderation - e.g. I can go on vacations, just not lavish ones). I also have a program that provides social suport and wonderful friendships, AND one that encourages *some* semblence of work-life balance, which has allowed me to maintain relationships with friends and family (e.g. I got married to a partner I met before graduate school; others in my program have met life partners while in graduate school).
As for job prospects down the line, I think this also will vary based on your willingness to relocate and the type of job you ultimately want. In general, it is certainly a competitive job market, but I think if you go to a well-respected program and work hard, you will find possibilities.
 

AcronymAllergy

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Jan 7, 2010
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I very much enjoy what I do, and would do it over again.

As far as employment prospects--I haven't yet found anything great in the city where I'd like to eventually end up (which isn't where I am currently), but I haven't had problems finding spiffy looking jobs to which to apply in other areas. So as researchgirl mentions, a lot of your outcome can depend on flexibility. That's not to say there aren't any jobs in my "dream" city, just not ones that look interesting to me (i.e., I'm picky), so that's a trade-off I'm willing and able to make.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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It also depends on the setting and type of work you want to do. There might be underemployment if you don't have a solid background or you are waiting for your 'dream job' to open up at ABC University….but that has much more to do with the person putting limits on themselves as opposed to the field limiting that person. If a student attends an average to good APA-acred. doctoral program, matches to an APA-acred internship, and secures a halfway decent post-doc or fellowship….then a job shouldn't be hard to find. Frankly, some places will probably look for you if you do a bit of networking and show some productivity.