rjcaduceus

2+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2015
4
0
Status
Post Doc
Hello!

I completed a PhD in psychology about 5 years ago. I took some time off and now I am back and wondering what my options are. I cannot get licensed in my state of California because the program I graduated from was a general psychology program. At that time I thought I wanted to teach, but I would much rather do clinical work. I don't have any real life experience since after my degree I took time off.

It was suggested to me to go back and get a Masters in MFT and get licensed that route. The thought of 2+ years of more school and the cost is somewhat daunting. It was also suggested to me to consider "life coaching" since I can get "board certified" based on my education with only 30 hours continuing education in coaching.

I am looking for clinical experience but I am not sure where to turn. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
2,085
1,953
Status
Psychologist
What sort of clinical work do you have in mind? If you want to provide psychotherapy your options are (1) get a clinical master's degree in counseling or social work or (2) attend a clinical psychology respecialization program (for more info see http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/respecialization.aspx). Then become a licensed practitioner in the corresponding field.

If you didn't take any coursework on the fundamentals of clinical assessment and intervention, you're not ready yet to get clinical experience. There's really no substitute for professional training. The life coaching route is just bogus. Sorry.
 

AcronymAllergy

Neuropsychologist
Moderator
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2010
7,347
1,649
Status
Psychologist
What sort of clinical work do you have in mind? If you want to provide psychotherapy your options are (1) get a clinical master's degree in counseling or social work or (2) attend a clinical psychology respecialization program (for more info see http://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/respecialization.aspx). Then become a licensed practitioner in the corresponding field.

If you didn't take any coursework on the fundamentals of clinical assessment and intervention, you're not ready yet to get clinical experience. There's really no substitute for professional training. The life coaching route is just bogus. Sorry.
+1.

Options 1 and 2 above are your best bet for obtaining appropriate supervision and training, and by extension professional competence, to provide clinical services.

I'm sure, for example, that despite having doctorates in a psychology subdiscipline, my cognitive psychologist colleagues wouldn't feel significantly more prepared to be clinicians now than they were prior to starting their Ph.D. programs. I don't think any of them would ever actually want to be clinicians (heck, half the clinical psychologists from my program don't ever want to be involved in direct patient care), but that's beside the point.
 
Sep 2, 2015
6
1
Status
Psychology Student
I'm not sure how many respecialization programs there are out there, but that would likely be the best route if you already have the PhD. Keep in mind that these programs are looking for people who want to be clinical scientists, rather than clinicians who operate private practice, or who do non-research related CMHC practice. In interviewing for these programs it would thus behoove you to discuss your ambitions to contribute to the clinical literature in whatever subfield, irrespective of your final aims.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,906
3,643
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
[QUOTE="rjcaduceus, post: 16896598, member: 716995] The thought of 2+ years of more school and the cost is somewhat daunting.

I am looking for clinical experience but I am not sure where to turn. Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.[/QUOTE]

If one wants to do clincial service, what alternative does one have other than to actually get training in clinical service? What other options did you think you would have?
 

MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
7+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2010
2,085
1,953
Status
Psychologist
IKeep in mind that these programs are looking for people who want to be clinical scientists, rather than clinicians who operate private practice, or who do non-research related CMHC practice.
Where'd you get that information? Many of these programs are located within schools of professional psychology. In fact I don't believe there is a single clinical science program that offers respecialization training.
 

futureapppsy2

Assistant professor
Moderator
Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2008
5,300
1,243
Where'd you get that information? Many of these programs are located within schools of professional psychology. In fact I don't believe there is a single clinical science program that offers respecialization training.
University of Hawaii?
 

bmedclinic

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 9, 2008
901
241
Status
Psychologist
Google informs me that University Missouri, St Louis has one. I thought VCU had one, but apparently I was wrong. Except I know someone that did that and said it was at VCU. Interesting.
 
Nov 21, 2011
165
16
Status
Post Doc
I have a friend who completed her respecialization training at Suffolk and is now on internship at an APA accredited program. She completed classes relevant to respecializing and got a bunch of clinical experience. It was definitely geared toward folks who want to focus on clinical work. I'm not sure she even really worked on research as part of the program. It is a total of three years though: two for classes and clinical training plus a year of internship. Like MamaPhD said, life coaching is bogus and not respected.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Therapist4Chnge
Mar 24, 2014
4,393
3,842
Rural Area Medical Facilty
Status
Psychologist
I have a friend who completed her respecialization training at Suffolk and is now on internship at an APA accredited program. She completed classes relevant to respecializing and got a bunch of clinical experience. It was definitely geared toward folks who want to focus on clinical work. I'm not sure she even really worked on research as part of the program. It is a total of three years though: two for classes and clinical training plus a year of internship. Like MamaPhD said, life coaching is bogus and not respected.
It makes sense that a respecialization program would not require any research since the person is already presumably a doctoral level researcher. That is one case where research training in a doctoral program in psychology would be unnecessary. Much different than the "research is icky" crowd. :)
I also would add to the consensus that life coaching is not what a trained scientist who wants to become a practitioner should be doing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: futureapppsy2
Jul 30, 2015
125
32
Status
MD/PhD Student
Do life coaching, but since you can put PhD at the end of your name and say you're a doctoral level coach it will be accepted. /troll
 
Nov 21, 2011
165
16
Status
Post Doc
Also, I know it can feel tempting to try to take a shortcut with clinical training. Therapy can seem not very challenging on the surface and it can be easy to think "How hard can it really be? I'm a good listener and my friends come to me for advice!"...and sentiments like that. However, once you get a sense as to what it truly involves, you will spend at least the first couple years of your training really feeling like a novice and knowing you're not competent to see clients independently.
 
OP
R

rjcaduceus

2+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2015
4
0
Status
Post Doc
Thank you for all the replies. I did complete a practicum in my PhD program in which I worked with clients. My PhD has a specialization in marriage and family therapy, but certainly not enough to be qualified to do clinical work yet.

I have looked into re-specialization but for me and my coursework it would be equivalent both time and money wise to get a masters in MFT.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,906
3,643
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
Thank you for all the replies. I did complete a practicum in my PhD program in which I worked with clients. My PhD has a specialization in marriage and family therapy, but certainly not enough to be qualified to do clinical work yet.

I have looked into re-specialization but for me and my coursework it would be equivalent both time and money wise to get a masters in MFT.
what was the purpose/point/career trajectory of this degree? What do graduates of your phd program typically do for a living afterward? It seems this degree produces neither fish nor foul?
 
Last edited:
OP
R

rjcaduceus

2+ Year Member
Sep 9, 2015
4
0
Status
Post Doc
what was the purpose/point/career trajectory of this degree? What do graduates of your phd program typically do for a living afterward? It seems this degree produces neither fish nor foul?
I taught with my degree...now I am looking to change direction to clinical.
 

Justanothergrad

Counseling Psychologist
5+ Year Member
Mar 2, 2013
1,719
1,475
Thank you for all the replies. I did complete a practicum in my PhD program in which I worked with clients. My PhD has a specialization in marriage and family therapy, but certainly not enough to be qualified to do clinical work yet.

I have looked into re-specialization but for me and my coursework it would be equivalent both time and money wise to get a masters in MFT.
I'm confused. You did a practicum, so I assume you took coursework in therapy, theories, assessment, etc?

What in the world was your program actually in? I'm more confused now than ever.
 

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,906
3,643
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
It was a general psychology degree.
A general psychology doctorate with a "specialization" in MFT that didnt provide any coursework in that and didn't actually prepare you to do MFT or any other clinical work that you want to get so you could "teach." I'm lost.

...what's the occupational goal(s) of the program if you asked the department chair and what are the competency benchmarks within the program?
 
Last edited:

OneNeuroDoctor

Clinical Neuropsychologist
5+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2013
690
116
Kansas City, MO
Status
Psychologist
I believe you will need to go through a re specialization program or get another PhD. I have never heard of a PhD in General Psychology. Normally you get a PhD in Experimental, Social, Developmental, Industrial/Organizational, Clinical, Counseling, School, Physiological, etc...

Was this a program in Europe where the PhD is in Academic Psychology and most clinical Psychologist are at the MS level?

Seems odd to invest 5 years in PhD and now suddenly want to be a Clinical Psychologist. I assume your PhD was directed at working in Academia and being a faculty member. Did you do research and have publications during your program?

What kind of careers did your peers in the program go into?

The only programs I found through Google that have PhD in General Psychology is: Walden, Capella, Grand Canyon, and NorthCentral. Looking at their websites these programs are designed to prepare for teaching. Was your practicum in teaching? Most of the brochures for these program has a statement like this: The General Psychology specialization in the PhD in Psychology is not a licensure program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

I've known of some individuals who did these programs online to use in teaching at Junior Colleges or High School Teachers working in Public Schools. They stayed in the same job but now used the title of Dr. and usually a slight pay raise. I know a Social Worker who completed the PhD at Grand Canyon online in General Psychology with an I/O emphasis and it only took him two years to complete. Did not really help him get I/O jobs and he is still working under his Social Worker license.
 
Last edited:

erg923

Regional Clinical Officer, Centene Corporation
10+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2007
9,906
3,643
Louisville, KY
Status
Psychologist
The only programs I found through Google that have PhD in General Psychology is: Walden, Capella, Grand Canyon, and NorthCentral. Looking at their websites these programs are designed to prepare for teaching. Was your practicum in teaching?
"Prepare for teaching?" Have people suddenly lost their minds?!

1. One can teach with a bachelors degree. And one can adjunct teach at the collegiate level with a masters equivalent. 2. If people are actually interested in the science of pedagogy and master teaching, the Ed.D degree has been around for more than 60 years now. 3. Someone with doctorate but no substantial training in research or a license to practice is not going to be able to become full-time faculty at any collegiate level program that I know of. Accept maybe Walden...
 
Last edited:

OneNeuroDoctor

Clinical Neuropsychologist
5+ Year Member
Nov 1, 2013
690
116
Kansas City, MO
Status
Psychologist
The Social Worker who went through Grand Canyon online PhD in General Psychology with I/O emphasis was burned out on clinical work and wanting to work as a consultant. Strangely his first semester he completed his Dissertation and he finished in two years by taking 2 courses per quarter. How can anyone complete a Dissertation in a semester as your first course? Here is what is in their Brochure:

OVERVIEW

Grand Canyon University's Doctor of Philosophy in General Psychology (PhD) with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology was developed for individuals interested in becoming behavioral experts in the workplace. Rigor and methods of psychology are applied to issues of critical relevance to business, including talent management, coaching, assessment, selection, training, organizational development, performance and work-life balance. Those with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology often pursue careers as consultants, staff psychologists, researchers, or teachers at the university level.

Here is a list of the courses he had to take. At the time he completed the program they only had one Dissertation course:
Course List
Course # Course Title Credits
RES-811 Introduction to Advanced Graduate Studies and Scholarship 3
PSY-802 Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Theory 3
PSY-803 Behaviorism 3
RES-825 Theories of Inquiry 3
PSY-830 Principles of Industrial and Organizational Psychology 3
PSY-804 Humanistic, Transpersonal and Existential Psychology 3
RSD-851 Residency: Dissertation 3
RES-845 Statistics 3
PSY-832 Psychology of Leadership 3
PSY-834 Psychology of Consulting and Coaching 3
RES-855 Qualitative Research Methods 3
PSY-836 Principles of Personnel and Human Resource Management 3
RSD-881 Residency: Presentation of Progress or Results 3
PSY-815 Ethical Issues In Psychology 3
RES-880 Formalizing the Research Prospectus 3
PSY-838 Testing and Assessment in the Workplace 3
PSY-885 Developing the Research Proposal 3
PSY-955 Dissertation I 3
PSY-960 Dissertation II 3
PSY-965 Dissertation III 3
Major credit requirements: 60
credits
PROGRAM LOCATION

This program is offered in the following formats.
 
Last edited:

ClinicalABA

7+ Year Member
Aug 31, 2011
1,082
1,194
New England
Status
Psychologist
Where'd you get that information? Many of these programs are located within schools of professional psychology. In fact I don't believe there is a single clinical science program that offers respecialization training.
We had a respecialization program at my Ph.D. program. It was a Boulder Model scientist/practitioner program, but is now more clinical scientist*. Still has the respecialization program. Respec. students tended to come in with more hardcore research degrees and experience, and were getting the clinical coursework, practica, and clinic team experience during the respecialization years. They took the same courses as us, had the same practica and internship requirements, etc. They didn't have to take the stats and research classes, or any within their Ph.D. training areas that they already took, plus no repeat of comps, thesis, diss, etc. At the end of it, their overall training in the clinical science side of things was identical to ours.

*UPDATED: Just checked the website- the Clinical Ph.D. Program now identifies itself as a clinical scientist model of training, and there is still a respecialization program within the department.
 
Last edited: