GW PsyD vs. Denver PsyD

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Hope4Grad

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Hello!

I was wondering if anyone out there has had to choose/is choosing between Denver and GW for a PsyD program? I am in this predicament and other than the differences between living in Denver or DC, I am really wanting to hear from people about the differences between the two programs. Both are top choices for me, but I think this is a very important decision and I wanted to make as informed a choice as possible. I know that GW is a bit more psychodynamic, but that doesn't bother me as I am psychodynamically inclined. On the other hand, I like the idea of attending a well-balanced program. Here is my initial list of pros and cons. I want to warn people that this is based on my interviews, and therefore should be taken with many grains of salt:

GW -

PROS: DC (I happen to love DC an city life), eastern seaboard, more people seem to know of this program = visibility?, possibly more research, the program may be cheaper than Denver, well-connected and well-known faculty

CONS: The head of the program, who is fantastic in every way, is leaving and the person who is taking over seems like a very weak choice, haughty psychoanalytic attitude (based on my interview), haughty students, lack of student community feeling, were the students happy to be there??, is there access to Self-Psychology based thinking, or is it all just Object Relations style thinking?, strikingly poor APA internship match rate.

Denver -

PROS: The students seemed happy and there was a great sense of community among both faculty and students, the administration seemed to run smoothly, much better weather = 300 days of sunshine and mild climate = I won't get depressed! = easier to work, this place seemed like it was more what you make of it than GW, which seemed like they were handing you and educational edict (philosophy and curriculum), extremely high APA internship match rate!

CONS: The students seemed young (I am 30) (this was a young attitude thing, a bit green in life), very expensive, the students seemed a little flaky, the financial aid person for GSPP is mean and known by all to be this way, only 1 psychodynamic professor (!!!!), Denver feels isolated and that the city would feel small quickly (is there a lot to do in Denver itself - not just go to the mountains), are the students intelligent?? not just passable, but really "Wow, that person is really intelligent!!", is there access to Object Relations style thinking in Denver, or is it all Self-Psychology based?

Please let me know what you think!!:confused:

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Hello!
Congrats, Hope4Grad!
I too have to decide for or against GWU...;)
I am really wanting to hear from people about the differences between the two programs.
I like the idea of attending a well-balanced program.
So, are you saying either of the two is? ONe more than the other?? I didn't think GWU was super well-balanced, at least not in comparison to f.i. Loyola U, and not in terms of research. GWU seems to be on the weaker end of it when it comes to research - I thought. AND: no dissertation. Just a Major Area Paper...sounds less than a thesis. Would that hurt me later on in my career??

GW -

PROS: DC (I happen to love DC an city life), eastern seaboard, more people seem to know of this program = visibility?, possibly more research, the program may be cheaper than Denver, well-connected and well-known faculty
Also, in terms of city life, DC, of course, has the better cultural opportunities, i.e., museums, concerts, stuff going on...you name it...

I think GWU is a very well know U and very reputable AND unfortunately, very $$$ - hard to imagine that Denver's program would be even more costly.

I liked my two interviewers and, of course, was in awe when I met the director!! However, based on an interview with the new director, I would not want to make any evals about that person or his capabilities. Also, I don't feel to be in a position to, based on my ed., experience, etc.

CONS: The head of the program, who is fantastic in every way, is leaving and the person who is taking over seems like a very weak choice, haughty psychoanalytic attitude (based on my interview), haughty students, lack of student community feeling, were the students happy to be there??, is there access to Self-Psychology based thinking, or is it all just Object Relations style thinking?, strikingly poor APA internship match rate.

The APA internship match rates bothered me too...about 70% for APA accr'd sides...that is pretty low...

I have a friend who started there last year, and the friend is happy there, finds the faculty very supportive and the first year somewhat easy going, so that my friend could adjust well to the new life...

The dep. being in the basement...well, I was somewhat shocked...felt like I would be the poor grad student reading Freud in the Catacombs. Well, I guess, DC is expensive, tuition is high and it does not show through the location.
I thought they were asking for 'followers,' a real commitment - one has to be ready for that.

Hope that helps.

Any thoughts?? :oops:

PS: summers in DC can be horribly hot and humid.
 
Just out of pure curiosity, how much is the cost of tuition per year at these programs? I will be attending a University PsyD in the fall as well.
 
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Just out of pure curiosity, how much is the cost of tuition per year at these programs? I will be attending a University PsyD in the fall as well.


Tuition costs, Fall 2008 = $1,065 per credit hour
Student activity fee = $1 per credit hour.
Assessment materials fee = $30/semester (first year only).
This is an 83 hour program.

I remember something like close to appr. $30.000 per academic year??

It's a three year program, tri-mester
 
Denver's more balanced program will have value in terms of versatility for future career options and their affiliated APA internship is also a definitive advantage over the long term. In this economy and given the internship imbalance challenge, I'd say Denver offers you a lot more that offsets the significant costs of both programs.
 
I know two students of GW's PsyD program. They have both spoken very highly of the program and have demonstrated that they are competent clinicians. Both of them were in the internship match this year and did match, although only one of them matched to an APA site (the other was APPIC). I have heard that because their PsyD program is SO psychodynamic and doesn't really give exposure to other theorhetical orientations their students can have a harder time matching, however I think it is really up to the student to get the appropriate training and market themselves well.
 
It might be helpful to compare costs, both tuition and cost of living, and factor that into your decision. GWU is notoriously expensive and I wonder how it compares to Denver's tuition.

I met a large number of GWU students at internship interviews (I restricted my search to the East Coast only) which is a good sign that the program seems to prepare them well. They are primarily a psychodynamic program so if you are still somewhat on the fence regarding theoretical orientation, or are open to integrative work, then Denver may prove to be a better option simply in terms of "fit".
 
I think that it is okay to factor location into the equation, but it should hold minimal weight compared to other aspects.

At the end of the day, I doubt the 30% who didn't match are not sitting around saying, "at least I got to go to all of those great museums!"

I'm guessing the total cost of attendance is a wash. DU being a bit more, but housing being less than GWU.
 
On the flip side, I see you mentioned that you are psychodynamically inclined. While DU might be more balanced, I'm not sure that it is balanced in a psychodynamic favor.

I realize I'm not helping, and I should stop trying to give decision advice to others as I am in such an indecisive state myself right now.
 
I think that it is okay to factor location into the equation, but it should hold minimal weight compared to other aspects.

At the end of the day, I doubt the 30% who didn't match are not sitting around saying, "at least I got to go to all of those great museums!"

I'm guessing the total cost of attendance is a wash. DU being a bit more, but housing being less than GWU.

The importance of location is applicant-specific and will vary between applicants. Not all applicants may be single and able to move around the country.

That being said, it is certainly easier if location is but a minimal factor.
 
The importance of location is applicant-specific and will vary between applicants. Not all applicants may be single and able to move around the country.

That being said, it is certainly easier if location is but a minimal factor.

Oh, I agree. I am limited due to life circumstance. However, I also didn't apply to locations that would not work for me. I guess I assume others did the same...but you know what they say about assuming!
 
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Good grief i just read this thread and now i'm all kinds of indecisive!

I have 2 offers on the table now, both are psyD and pretty equal in my eyes, one of which is gwu...(sorry i can't relate to the denver folks...)

I'm having the same problem with location... I like GWU a lot and i have friends in the area so it would be dreamy to go there... but there are several factors that are just very much in the way:

First are the expenses of DC life. Although the two schools are about equal in tuition, i do have many friends in the DC area and the cost of living is just outrageous, which is somewhat intimidating as a student who wants to focus on learning rather than being broke... the current students at GW mentioned having part time (or even full time!! yikes) jobs, but I would really like to shy away from that as much as possible... moral of the story, i am intimidated about the overall cost.
... words or encouragement or wisdom anyone? is anyone else in a similar position?



Secondly, I cant get a good grasp of how seriously psychodynamic GW is... i know that is their basis of training... but i'm afraid I won't get enough exposure to different modalities... thoughts?



I hope my ranting didnt confuse anyone more, but perhaps shed light on some important factors?
 
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Secondly, I cant get a good grasp of how seriously psychodynamic GW is... i know that is their basis of training... but i'm afraid I won't get enough exposure to different modalities... thoughts?

On their website you are able to see what classes they offer. One is CBT, and three assessment classes. I personally believe they are very seriously about their psycho-dynamic approach which may be limiting later on when looking for jobs. I also believe that you truly have to 'believe' in the power of that tx modality in order to be 'happy' at GWU.

Just may 2 cents

Re: Housing
I think some students live a little further out, e.g., Maryland border which may be somewhat cheaper, or even Baltimore?? Suburbs around DC are the richest/most expensive ones n the nation. Living in DC may be cheaper than suburbs...maybe, move to Arlington or Alexandria, VA??
 
thanks phipps :)

so, anyone accepted to GW who is not going? if so, why not?

this might help me come to terms with my own decision...?
 
Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for keeping this thread going. Sorry I haven't replied sooner!

It looks like I'm going to be choosing Denver. I got a huge scholarship from DU. GW offered me some scholarship money, but it's nowhere near as good as what Denver offered me. I feel that Denver and GW are pretty much equally good choices - just different choices. Considering that Denver has the better APA match rate, and is a more well-balanced program, plus the costs of living in Denver is cheaper, PLUS the scholarship money, I am leaning towards Denver.

I did, however, see a few posts on this site about the Denver students being cliquey. But I am a rather independent person and have moved around a lot in my life. I'm old enough to know how to make friends and not to get too upset if I'm not prom queen. haha.
 
I have 2 offers on the table now, both are psyD and pretty equal in my eyes, one of which is gwu...(sorry i can't relate to the denver folks...)

Hi Lfraiz88,

I was just wondering what the other program is? I'm trying to get a sense of what other programs out there people consider equal to GW.
 
Denver students being cliquey.

You'll be fine. I am a DU student on my way out (leaving for internship) and I would have to agree that the above statement is partially true. However, I pretty much keep to myself and haven't had a single issue with anyone.

Regarding the actual program, it is a quite balanced and very flexible which I have loved. There is certainly a significant psychodynamic contingent, more than just one professor as someone previously posted. But there are options for all types of intervention training through the faculty and our community supervisors. I, for example, have been trained exclusively in evidence-based approaches. One will find that the program probably leans towards training therapists, so you will have to seek out some practical assessment experiences (they are freely available, you just need to be motivated) to be more well-rounded.
 
i think i should have also said "if you are accepting.. why?!"

:) thanks guys!
 
You'll be fine. I am a DU student on my way out (leaving for internship) and I would have to agree that the above statement is partially true. However, I pretty much keep to myself and haven't had a single issue with anyone.

Regarding the actual program, it is a quite balanced and very flexible which I have loved. There is certainly a significant psychodynamic contingent, more than just one professor as someone previously posted. But there are options for all types of intervention training through the faculty and our community supervisors. I, for example, have been trained exclusively in evidence-based approaches. One will find that the program probably leans towards training therapists, so you will have to seek out some practical assessment experiences (they are freely available, you just need to be motivated) to be more well-rounded.

Hi hgravez,

Is there anything else you can tell us about being student re: cohort issues? Do you feel that your cohort is very intelligent? And what did you mean by "that statement is PARTIALLY true"?

Thanks,

Hope4Grad
 
Is there anything else you can tell us about being student re: cohort issues? Do you feel that your cohort is very intelligent? And what did you mean by "that statement is PARTIALLY true"?

All I would say is that some might perceive it as being somewhat "cliquey," but that hasn't affected my life in any measurable way.

Your second question is quite difficult to answer. A major reason is that I don't spend much time with them, I've got way too much work to do!! Maybe this will suffice...I know that we have more than a few PsyD students who graduated from Ivy League schools...
 
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For those still considering GW's PsyD program:

I am a first year student in this program and I thought I'd weigh in, in case it is of help in your decisions. I really like the program. Yes, it is psychodynamically-oriented, but I lean toward this approach anyway. Many programs out there completely put-down psychodynamic/psychoanalytic approaches, so I find it refreshing. You will get training and take classes in other approaches, such as CBT (you take two CBT classes beginning in your second year).

The new director (currently the Deputy Director) is a warm, kind, and gentle man. Everyone in the program loves him (not sure what led the OP to find him "haughty" as that is about the last word I'd use to describe him). Unlike the rest of the profs, he's not a clinician and has a very strong background in research (at NIH) before coming to the program. We are recruiting for a new Deputy Director/DCT and the choices under consideration are really fantastic.

As for the students, it really depends on the cohort. My class is really cohesive and we are a strong group with a lot of leaders. In fact, it was our class that started a Community Enhancement Committee to improve community cohesion, which was a real con of the program. It's a fledgling effort, but bound to get better. You will likely have more contact with my class than the third-years, as we will be mentoring you. Unfortunately, the quality of your peer interactions will depend largely on your class, which is out of your control right now. Be your own person and form your own connections and you should be fine.

First year is pretty light in terms of workload (I was surprised at how light, actually). Second year is supposed to be madness in terms of a hectic schedule, but I haven't experienced it yet. Some folks work part-time jobs in the first year, but a lot find it too much by the time the second year roles around. Unfortunately, funding is scarce and limited. Unless I get one or more of the national and university fellowships/scholarships to which I applied, I'll be dealing with a TON of debt. I figure it's worth it, though, as I'll be doing what I love.

Despite it's psychodynamic orientation, I don't think this is what has made the match rate lower-- at least that has not been the experience of those who did not match (to my knowledge). This year, 9 out of 35 students did not match. Of these, at least 4 had restricted themselves to the DC area only and withdrew their applications when they didn't get interviews.

You will get exposure to other modalities of tx. Beyond the classes in CBT you take, most of the externship/affiliate sites are not psychodynamically-oriented. However, if you don't believe in the psychodynamic orientation, definitely do not come here as you will most likely be miserable. There is a mix of orientations within psychodynamic approaches represented in the program. There is an ego psychology contingent (typically the largest in the program, but this will likely shift with the new deputy director), a couple of relational/self-psychology types, and a CBT/integrative person. In addition, there are 2 trauma specialists in the adjuct faculty. Traditionally, the program has leaned heavily in the ego psychology direction and that is not my cup of tea, but I find I've been able to supplement the classroom learning with reading on my own and connecting with other profs who are more relational/self-psychology oriented.

You are correct that research is not a major focus. However, we do have a research committee and our year is taking on 2 research projects using patients in the community clinic we run. Some students also work with individual profs on research projects (not for credit). I don't want to be an academic, so not writing a dissertation is fine with me.

In brief, I'd say the PROS are: psychodynamic orientation, excellent clinical experience with highly diverse clients (we run our own community mental health clinic-- something most programs do not offer), some really great profs with a lot of connections in the community, profs are on the whole very responsive to student concerns, very intelligent students, reputation of the university, location.

CONS: Lack of funding, not as much diversity among the student body & less of a multi-cultural approach than I would like (but I think this is something I'd experience in most other programs), the sequencing of coursework is a little odd (they're re-thinking this to address the fact that students seem overloaded in the second year).

Hope that helps!
 
For those still considering GW's PsyD program:

I am a first year student in this program and I thought I'd weigh in, in case it is of help in your decisions. I really like the program. Yes, it is psychodynamically-oriented, but I lean toward this approach anyway. Many programs out there completely put-down psychodynamic/psychoanalytic approaches, so I find it refreshing. You will get training and take classes in other approaches, such as CBT (you take two CBT classes beginning in your second year).

The new director (currently the Deputy Director) is a warm, kind, and gentle man. Everyone in the program loves him (not sure what led the OP to find him "haughty" as that is about the last word I'd use to describe him). Unlike the rest of the profs, he's not a clinician and has a very strong background in research (at NIH) before coming to the program. We are recruiting for a new Deputy Director/DCT and the choices under consideration are really fantastic.

As for the students, it really depends on the cohort. My class is really cohesive and we are a strong group with a lot of leaders. In fact, it was our class that started a Community Enhancement Committee to improve community cohesion, which was a real con of the program. It's a fledgling effort, but bound to get better. You will likely have more contact with my class than the third-years, as we will be mentoring you. Unfortunately, the quality of your peer interactions will depend largely on your class, which is out of your control right now. Be your own person and form your own connections and you should be fine.

First year is pretty light in terms of workload (I was surprised at how light, actually). Second year is supposed to be madness in terms of a hectic schedule, but I haven't experienced it yet. Some folks work part-time jobs in the first year, but a lot find it too much by the time the second year roles around. Unfortunately, funding is scarce and limited. Unless I get one or more of the national and university fellowships/scholarships to which I applied, I'll be dealing with a TON of debt. I figure it's worth it, though, as I'll be doing what I love.

Despite it's psychodynamic orientation, I don't think this is what has made the match rate lower-- at least that has not been the experience of those who did not match (to my knowledge). This year, 9 out of 35 students did not match. Of these, at least 4 had restricted themselves to the DC area only and withdrew their applications when they didn't get interviews.

You will get exposure to other modalities of tx. Beyond the classes in CBT you take, most of the externship/affiliate sites are not psychodynamically-oriented. However, if you don't believe in the psychodynamic orientation, definitely do not come here as you will most likely be miserable. There is a mix of orientations within psychodynamic approaches represented in the program. There is an ego psychology contingent (typically the largest in the program, but this will likely shift with the new deputy director), a couple of relational/self-psychology types, and a CBT/integrative person. In addition, there are 2 trauma specialists in the adjuct faculty. Traditionally, the program has leaned heavily in the ego psychology direction and that is not my cup of tea, but I find I've been able to supplement the classroom learning with reading on my own and connecting with other profs who are more relational/self-psychology oriented.

You are correct that research is not a major focus. However, we do have a research committee and our year is taking on 2 research projects using patients in the community clinic we run. Some students also work with individual profs on research projects (not for credit). I don't want to be an academic, so not writing a dissertation is fine with me.

In brief, I'd say the PROS are: psychodynamic orientation, excellent clinical experience with highly diverse clients (we run our own community mental health clinic-- something most programs do not offer), some really great profs with a lot of connections in the community, profs are on the whole very responsive to student concerns, very intelligent students, reputation of the university, location.

CONS: Lack of funding, not as much diversity among the student body & less of a multi-cultural approach than I would like (but I think this is something I'd experience in most other programs), the sequencing of coursework is a little odd (they're re-thinking this to address the fact that students seem overloaded in the second year).

Hope that helps!

THANKS for your comment. Yes, that helps. Didn't know that there are two CBT classes...I only saw one on the website class schedule. During the interview process, a student and also a professor told me that the program would mostly discourage you from using CBT. Is that your impression also? How about evidence-based tx (CBT) and how about your clinic. Don't you use CBT if helpful or appropriate??

Thx,
Ms. Phipps
 
For those still considering GW's PsyD program:

The new director (currently the Deputy Director) is a warm, kind, and gentle man. Everyone in the program loves him (not sure what led the OP to find him "haughty" as that is about the last word I'd use to describe him). Unlike the rest of the profs, he's not a clinician and has a very strong background in research (at NIH) before coming to the program. We are recruiting for a new Deputy Director/DCT and the choices under consideration are really fantastic.

Hi Purplebutterfly,

Thanks for the info - it certainly is helpful.

I don't think there is a way to say this without it sounding bad, but I did not say that the new director was haughty. I actually said that the students I met were.

In fact, I did met one nice student - maybe it was you!

Hope4Grad
 
Hi Purplebutterfly,

Thanks for the info - it certainly is helpful.

I don't think there is a way to say this without it sounding bad, but I did not say that the new director was haughty. I actually said that the students I met were.

In fact, I did met one nice student - maybe it was you!

Hope4Grad

You are right, Hope4Grad, you did not say that the newly appointed director appeared to be haughty but - just to remind you, you wrote:

"haughty psychoanalytic attitude (based on my interview), haughty students..." -and your interview was with the newly appointed director as you wrote...

...and, maybe, one nice student is not enough to be happy in a program?
 
You are right, Hope4Grad, you did not say that the newly appointed director appeared to be haughty but - just to remind you, you wrote:

"haughty psychoanalytic attitude (based on my interview), haughty students..." -and your interview was with the newly appointed director as you wrote...

...and, maybe, one nice student is not enough to be happy in a program?

I think it's acceptable for me to have had an opinion/impression that was not favorable. Let's not focus on this. I liked the director - he was a nice guy! I had two interviews, and the unfavorable one was not with him.
 
I think it's acceptable for me to have had an opinion/impression that was not favorable. Let's not focus on this. I liked the director - he was a nice guy! I had two interviews, and the unfavorable one was not with him.

Already. Didn't mean to sound harsh...glad, the new director seems to be a nice guy :)

I too had one great interview and one with a guy who was a little strange in my book :thumbdown:
 
I read previously that many internship sites often refuse to accept GWU students because of the highly psychodynamic orientation of the program.
 
THANKS for your comment. Yes, that helps. Didn't know that there are two CBT classes...I only saw one on the website class schedule. During the interview process, a student and also a professor told me that the program would mostly discourage you from using CBT. Is that your impression also? How about evidence-based tx (CBT) and how about your clinic. Don't you use CBT if helpful or appropriate??

Thx,
Ms. Phipps

There is a CBT course in the fall of the second year and a cognitive bases course (admittedly not CBT, but along the same lines) in the summer. As for so-called "evidence-based tx", you might want to take a look at the article by Jonathan Shedler in last summer's (I think) American Psychologist. In it, he argues that psychodynamic approaches ARE "evidence-based", citing clinical research that support psychodynamic therapy. I have some quibbles with his attitude (I think he tends to put down CBT folks), but there is no evidence that psychodynamic approaches are NOT effective.

Yes, we do use CBT in the clinic as appropriate, it's just that it is not the focus of our interventions, nor the philosophy of the program. And, as I mentioned, students have a lot of opportunities in affiliate sites/externships to use CBT as most are heavily based in that tx modality.
 
Hi Purplebutterfly,

Thanks for the info - it certainly is helpful.

I don't think there is a way to say this without it sounding bad, but I did not say that the new director was haughty. I actually said that the students I met were.

In fact, I did met one nice student - maybe it was you!

Hope4Grad

You're right; I misintepreted and thought the second part after the comma ("haughty psychoanalytic attitude") to be associated with the comment about the new director being a "weak choice." Incidentally, whether he is a weak choice remains to be seen. I can certainly see where you'd get that impression, and I do worry a little whether a Mr Nice Guy will advocate aggressively for our program, but that's speculation on my part. Ironically, he is not one of the profs with a "haughty psychoanalytic attitude," so if anything, his style will improve the internal attitudes and orientation of the program.

I'm sorry your experience of the students wasn't more positive. I actually recall from talking to one (not at all arrogant) classmate that he found some of the applicants were a bit haughty, but I'm sure that wasn't you... :)

With about 100 students in the program (over 3 years), it is likely that you'll find people who you'd rather not associate with. I'm sure all programs have their share of arrogant students (I know they exist in our program). On the other hand, I don't feel the need to be friends with everyone and there are enough folks in my class that I get along with for it not to be a major problem for me.
 
I read previously that many internship sites often refuse to accept GWU students because of the highly psychodynamic orientation of the program.
Where did you read this? It would be helpful if you can give a source for your impressions.
 
Already. Didn't mean to sound harsh...glad, the new director seems to be a nice guy :)

I too had one great interview and one with a guy who was a little strange in my book :thumbdown:

For what it's worth, I had one horrible interview at GW and was quite turned off by it. If you search for my previous posts, you'll see that I was quite disparaging of the program as a result. I wish it weren't the case, but some of the faculty don't seem to be all that interested in recruiting students. It hasn't affected my experience of the program, except to the extent that I still feel nervous about approaching this particular prof.

No program is going to meet 100% of your needs. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with your choice and are able to get whatever needs aren't met in the program elsewhere.
 
Where did you read this? It would be helpful if you can give a source for your impressions.

Just google GWU Psy.D or so. You'll be linked to a tread for instance that states St. Elizabeth's, D.C., does not take GWU Psy.D. students due to a lack of broader exposure to other tx modalities.
 
Just google GWU Psy.D or so. You'll be linked to a tread for instance that states St. Elizabeth's, D.C., does not take GWU Psy.D. students due to a lack of broader exposure to other tx modalities.

And that was based on third hand information that is more than 5 years old. It's funny that you mention St. Elizabeth's, though, because I know of at least one grad from our program who does neuropsych work there... Also interesting is the fact that you did not mention the information provided in that same thread by a then-third year in the program who gave a more favorable appraisal of the program. Finding information that confirms your schema doesn't make it true....

Even if St. Elizabeth's did not take GWU students because of the psychodynamic orientation, how does this constitute evidence of the orientation being "limiting" when it comes to looking for a job? If you only want to work at St. Elizabeth's, maybe.... but it's a big leap to state that that applies more generally. I thought psychologists were all about "evidence-based, scientific" thinking??
 
And that was based on third hand information that is more than 5 years old. It's funny that you mention St. Elizabeth's, though, because I know of at least one grad from our program who does neuropsych work there... Also interesting is the fact that you did not mention the information provided in that same thread by a then-third year in the program who gave a more favorable appraisal of the program. Finding information that confirms your schema doesn't make it true....

Even if St. Elizabeth's did not take GWU students because of the psychodynamic orientation, how does this constitute evidence of the orientation being "limiting" when it comes to looking for a job? If you only want to work at St. Elizabeth's, maybe.... but it's a big leap to state that that applies more generally. I thought psychologists were all about "evidence-based, scientific" thinking??

Wow. Looks like you are assuming things about how/what I think about the program you are attending. It would be wise to be more careful with that or neutral since you don't know my theoretical orientation. Sounds like you are getting defensive or angry at me?? Is there a reason to do that? Any countertransference over the net? Maybe, then, GWU is not as supportive as I thought it would and maybe, not the best fit for me.

How about I am pro GWU and its program and are only responding to questions and providing links such as what I read on the internet? Maybe, it has nothing to do with the program?

In terms St. Elizabeth's: I read this (internet contribution) last year while I was in the process of applying to programs and just vaguely remembered. By no means did I mention that in order to de-value your program.
However, I think I am correct in assuming that sometimes APA sides do prefer Ph.D. students over Psy.D. students for internships (for different and various reasons) but later on, Psy.D. students can be equally competitive.

Maybe, after I am reading your sort of aggressive way of defending GWU I should re-think about attending or hoping that other students differ from you. I seriously need to re-think though. In my mind I thought GWU would be a good choice and fit but maybe not so.

Just my two cents and last word re: DU or GWU
 
I am also a first year at GWU . I love my program and after interviewing and being accepted to multiple PsyD programs, GW was just the "right fit" for me. You will hear this a lot during the interview process and it holds true. Go where you get the best vibe and feel like you will be happy. I do not know much about DU, but I am sure it is a great program. They are both APA accredited programs, each offer different modalities of treatment, and internship match in 2010 was about 80% for both.

If you are dynamically oriented then GWU would be a great program for you. We are required to take a CBT course our second year. We are also required to take multiple assessment classes that are combined with lab, so you would get a lot of experience in assessments.

Something that is probably not mentioned often enough is that GWU is part of the Washington DC Consortium.

http://www.consortium.org/consortium/index.cfm

The consortium consists of 14 other Universities in the DC metropolitan area and most of them offer graduate courses in Clinical Psychology or similar fields. If you are ever interested in another course elsewhere or think you want to get a taste of another theoretical orientation you are free to do so. You would just have to talk to your advisor about taking a class elsewhere, they usually approve and encourage you take courses outside the program, and the credits transfer. For example we do offer a Family Therapy class, but some students choose to take it at another university in the Human Development or Counseling Departments.

I was hesitant of a program that was so Dynamic, but soon learned that we will also learn other theoretical orientations. You can also go out and take courses elsewhere in other theoretical orientations. There are three tracks (ie. Adult, Child, Assessment), but once you go through orientation you will learn that you can actually make your own track as well. The professors are very supportive and flexible. As cliche as it may sound, the experience is what you make it. Anywhere you go, if you go above and beyond you will stand out on your internship application.

Again, I do not know what DU is like, but if you feel like its the "right fit" for you it probably is. I have gotten feed back about how our program is in the basement which is a bit strange, and interview was like walking into a dungeon. Please do not let first impressions skew how you feel about the overall feeling of the program.

All my classmates are very supportive and professional, and I love the diverse background that makes up my cohort. We have individuals with all sorts of backgrounds, from former high school teachers, lawyers, individuals from the corporate world, students that came straight from undergrad, etc. We have individuals who work part-time, I heard of a student that worked full time, and we have parents (def. a full-time job). Overall I decided to come here, because I really liked the program, professors, what DC has to offer, and all the networking possibilities.

Last but not least, CONGRATS for making this far! The application process is by far the most stressful thing I have ever gone through and its a big accomplishment to get invitations to interview, and now being accepted to multiple programs. If you have any other questions please ask, because its a huge decision. It only gets "easier" from here! :laugh:
 
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I am also a first year at GWU . I love my program and after interviewing and being accepted to multiple PsyD programs, GW was just the "right fit" for me. You will hear this a lot during the interview process and it holds true. Go where you get the best vibe and feel like you will be happy. I do not know much about DU, but I am sure it is a great program. They are both APA accredited programs, each offer different modalities of treatment, and internship match in 2010 was about 80% for both.

If you are dynamically oriented then GWU would be a great program for you. We are required to take a CBT course our second year. We are also required to take multiple assessment classes that are combined with lab, so you would get a lot of experience in assessments.

Something that is probably not mentioned often enough is that GWU is part of the Washington DC Consortium.

http://www.consortium.org/consortium/index.cfm

The consortium consists of 14 other Universities in the DC metropolitan area and most of them offer graduate courses in Clinical Psychology or similar fields. If you are ever interested in another course elsewhere or think you want to get a taste of another theoretical orientation you are free to do so. You would just have to talk to your advisor about taking a class elsewhere, they usually approve and encourage you take courses outside the program, and the credits transfer. For example we do offer a Family Therapy class, but some students choose to take it at another university in the Human Development or Counseling Departments.

I was hesitant of a program that was so Dynamic, but soon learned that we will also learn other theoretical orientations. You can also go out and take courses elsewhere in other theoretical orientations. There are three tracks (ie. Adult, Child, Assessment), but once you go through orientation you will learn that you can actually make your own track as well. The professors are very supportive and flexible. As cliche as it may sound, the experience is what you make it. Anywhere you go, if you go above and beyond you will stand out on your internship application.

Again, I do not know what DU is like, but if you feel like its the "right fit" for you it probably is. I have gotten feed back about how our program is in the basement which is a bit strange, and interview was like walking into a dungeon. Please do not let first impressions skew how you feel about the overall feeling of the program.

All my classmates are very supportive and professional, and I love the diverse background that makes up my cohort. We have individuals with all sorts of backgrounds, from former high school teachers, lawyers, individuals from the corporate world, students that came straight from undergrad, etc. We have individuals who work part-time, I heard of a student that worked full time, and we have parents (def. a full-time job). Overall I decided to come here, because I really liked the program, professors, what DC has to offer, and all the networking possibilities.

Last but not least, CONGRATS for making this far! The application process is by far the most stressful thing I have ever gone through and its a big accomplishment to get invitations to interview, and now being accepted to multiple programs. If you have any other questions please ask, because its a huge decision. It only gets "easier" from here! :laugh:

Thanks, PsyDHokie. That is a different and non-defensive, more personal and yet very informative response! I hope that is helpful to those here who are still in 'limbo' in terms where to go...-by now I made my decision :) glad I got off that pressure!!

I really like how you talk about options students seem to have in the program. To be able to tailor your schedule some in terms of elective classes and where to take them, is really cool.

Good luck to all you are still in the process of making decisions :luck: :xf:
 
Thanks, PsyDHokie. That is a different and non-defensive, more personal and yet very informative response! I hope that is helpful to those here who are still in 'limbo' in terms where to go...-by now I made my decision :) glad I got off that pressure!!

I really like how you talk about options students seem to have in the program. To be able to tailor your schedule some in terms of elective classes and where to take them, is really cool.

Good luck to all you are still in the process of making decisions :luck: :xf:

Congrats again Phipps! I am sure your decision is the right one wherever you decide to go in the Fall. Regardless, we would love to have you join our community.

We all persue a degree in Clinical Psychology degree for different reasons, but I am sure the main goal is to eventually become successful and competant therapist. In order to do that, you must attend a program in which you are comfortable and feel is conducive to learning, and only you can really decide which program might do that for you.

Best of luck to all that are still in the process of making decisions!
 
THANKS for your comment. Yes, that helps. Didn't know that there are two CBT classes...I only saw one on the website class schedule. During the interview process, a student and also a professor told me that the program would mostly discourage you from using CBT. Is that your impression also? How about evidence-based tx (CBT) and how about your clinic. Don't you use CBT if helpful or appropriate??

Thx,
Ms. Phipps


This is great. I too am deciding between university of Denver and GW. Here is my dilemma please give me your input. I have a master's and was trained in psychodynamic technique. I love it. However, I want to become more well rounded. Do you feel that just those two classes provide that for you? Do you feel that since almost all faculty are analytically inclined you are not receiving progressive and innovative treatment techniques/exposure? Denver also has a forensic concentration which is appealing for me. Do any current student/profs engage in forensic work you are aware of? One big allure to GW is the prestige and reputation of the University. Do you feel this actually opens doors for you? Allows you to meet important people you wouldnt otherwise meet? Do you get a sense that the rep of GW will heighten your chances of scoring an internship or job op over other programs esp with government agencies?
 
Would you be willing to elaborate on what networking you have been exposed to due to your affiliation with GW? This is something that makes the program very alluring however not sure just how realistic that is to happen aside form just being located in DC does being attached to the GW name open doors and if so how? Regarding the consortium; is this similar to other programs who have a consortium of pre approved internship sites that agree to accept a certain amount of GW students such as DU does? I too am trying to decide between DU and GW.
 
I'm going to go back a bit on my statement that location should not be a major factor. With regard to making contacts and being somewhere you potentially see yourself living for the better part of your life, it should factor in.

If you are psychodynamically inclined, but want exposure to other therapies, it sounds like GWU is a better option. However, if you are merely seeking exposure to a psychodynamic orientation, but are inclined to CBT or other third wave modalities, DU might be a better choice.

I am very clear that I am not psychodynamically inclined at all, but don't mind exposure to it, and plan on keeping an open mind. However, I would not want to be in a place whose main theoretical orientation was different than my own. Mainly for reasons of making lifelong contacts, practicum placements, and other potential experiences, such as in research.
 
I'm going to go back a bit on my statement that location should not be a major factor. With regard to making contacts and being somewhere you potentially see yourself living for the better part of your life, it should factor in.

If you are psychodynamically inclined, but want exposure to other therapies, it sounds like GWU is a better option. However, if you are merely seeking exposure to a psychodynamic orientation, but are inclined to CBT or other third wave modalities, DU might be a better choice.

I am very clear that I am not psychodynamically inclined at all, but don't mind exposure to it, and plan on keeping an open mind. However, I would not want to be in a place whose main theoretical orientation was different than my own. Mainly for reasons of making lifelong contacts, practicum placements, and other potential experiences, such as in research.

I truly believe that deciding for GW's Psy.D. program is a real commitment not only to the program but to a psychodynamic/psychoanalytic orientation. If one does not firmly feel that this is what s/he 'believes' in - then do not go there. Just to make sure so that no one here things I am writing to critique their program (bc I am NOT), I AM psychodynamically oriented. During the interview process I thought I picked up that they asked for something like 'discipleship' -just my subjective gut feeling.

Hope that helps.
 
Hi hgravez,

Is there anything else you can tell us about being student re: cohort issues? Do you feel that your cohort is very intelligent? And what did you mean by "that statement is PARTIALLY true"?

Thanks,

Hope4Grad[/

I am a first year Psy.D student at DU. I can speak for my cohort a bit. I have found them to be an amazing group of excepting people and have also found few worries about Who is fitting in where. We all have large gatherings and individual gathers where everyone is invited, so there is a lot of room to get along with most everyone, which is important when your spending all your forceable future with such a small group.

I also saw that there was concern about age. We have approx. 10% of our students over 30. While I have learned from them that it can be uncomfortable to feel in the minority, no one is ever left out or looked down upon because of age. I don't know if this was your concern, if it wasn't please specify and I will do my best.

I remember having few Denver students to answer question on SDN last year and I would be very happy to answer any questions about my program. If anyone has some, please message me and I will answer as soon as I can.
 
This is great. I too am deciding between university of Denver and GW. Here is my dilemma please give me your input. I have a master's and was trained in psychodynamic technique. I love it. However, I want to become more well rounded. Do you feel that just those two classes provide that for you? Do you feel that since almost all faculty are analytically inclined you are not receiving progressive and innovative treatment techniques/exposure? Denver also has a forensic concentration which is appealing for me. Do any current student/profs engage in forensic work you are aware of? One big allure to GW is the prestige and reputation of the University. Do you feel this actually opens doors for you? Allows you to meet important people you wouldnt otherwise meet? Do you get a sense that the rep of GW will heighten your chances of scoring an internship or job op over other programs esp with government agencies?

I haven't yet taken the two CBT classes as I'm a first year student. The first semester was less psychodynamic (we took a course in cognitive assessment, a bio bases class, and psychodynamic psychopathology) than the second semester, but the overall environment is definitely psychodynamic. I wouldn't say that "discipleship" is required (as someone else alluded to). I've never been one to follow along with something I don't agree with. That said, if spending a lot of time learning psychodynamic theory is a turn-off, definitely don't come as you'd be miserable. Yes, we do read quite a bit of "old" theories from Kerberg, Freud, Bion, etc. On the one hand, I don't mind as it gives me an opportunity to learn something I probably wouldn't get elsewhere, but sometimes I do wish some of the profs were a little less dated in their approach (not all are like this). I do a lot of my own reading, which I've always done anyway.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Allows you to meet important people you wouldnt otherwise meet?". Honestly, I'm not interested in meeting "important people" per se, but I have met several psychologists (profs in the program) who are doing exactly the kind of work I would be interested in doing. They're not "hot shots" in the field, but their professional contacts would be very helpful for me.

Because I'm interested in working with a more international clientele, DC is a great place to be. We recently had a professor visiting from another (prestigious) PhD program who told us that he thinks our clinic provides incredible opportunities for working with an urban, diverse population, and that he felt our practica opportunities were better than at his university because we're in a major metropolitan area.

Yes, we have several professors (including adjuncts) who do forensic work. There are also several pracs in the DC courts.

No, the consortium refers to a consortium of universities in the DC area (including Georgetown, Catholic, George Mason, UMD, American..) where one can take classes without having to be admitted to those universities. It has nothing to do with internships or practica. And I have no idea whether the prestige of the university helps in getting jobs/internships. If you want to work for government, you'll need an APA-accredited internship, and those are mighty hard to get no matter where you go...

I hope I've answered your questions.
Purple
 
Everything my classmate has touched upon above is correct, but I wanted to add a few more things.

I am a GW first year as well, and am considering doing forensic work. Forensic work is a very broad term, so it really depends what you are looking to do and what the term "forensic" work means to you. In the the long run, there is no licensure for Forensic Psychologist, but instead you will be licensed as a Clinical Psychologist and can say your interest or specialty is in Forensic work. At GW we have a Forensic Assessment course, and various affiliate sites that are forensic oriented. Your third year you go on externship and there are multiple courts you can work at in the area. I also plan on taking courses at other schools with Forensic programs as well. My CBT oriented professor put it well when I met with him. He said that you can go to weekend trainings in other modalities of treatment such as CBT and learn how to do those within a few days, but if you have a background in Dynamic work you can basically do any other types of treatments because of its complexity.

As for networking, being in such a big diverse city you are always bound to bump into people that have some kind of connection to your field. There are always guest speakers/conferences/workshops in our program, at the Med School, in the PhD program, and throughout the DC/MD/VA metropolitan area. When you go to any of these, introduce yourself, but this is a given at any school you will be at. Also, many of our graduates get licensed and stay in DC, therefore are a lot of opportunities to speak to and network with them.

Hope that helps and best of luck in your decisions! Go where it feels right, because its another 3-4 years of coursework!
 
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