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"Help me decide" mega thread

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by IcedBennu, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Without knowing the particulars of your other research exp, but I'd say the neurology research position would be beneficial.
     
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  3. caffeinedependent

    caffeinedependent

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    Feb 27, 2016
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to decide on a PhD program in psychology and I would love your input. Basically I'm trying to choose between a great professor and a great program. Any insight is appreciated!

    School A: Has a fantastic mentor with the kind of personality that makes you feel really special. His research interests match mine 100% (right now anyway, I realize that may change later on). The individual attention is fantastic and I love it. I was a first choice offered admission and I feel wanted. Offered a fellowship (so best financially) and had a great feeling of fit. Already networked with a professor at a different university who is working with a student in this lab. I have taken a gap year after graduation and this would probably be an easier transition back into school. HOWEVER, there is no specialized curriculum for my specialization aside from one class and the school isn't as big in my field, but is more well known generally. Plus, the town is pretty small.

    School B: Many publishing opportunities with specialized classes since the whole program is focused on my specialization. Great related coursework and could get more experience with different populations than School A. Better city plus more prestige in the field/very well known and good for long term networking. HOWEVER, you are accepted into the program not under one professor, but all of them, and therefore you have multiple mentors, which can make it seem like you may have to fight for attention at times, no hand holding here. You will still gravitate towards certain professors for research but don't have the same connection as with one single mentor. The financial package is standard but isn't as good (no fellowship), with loans seeming less optional.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
  4. EmelyM23

    EmelyM23

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    Mar 16, 2016


    Honestly, It'll really come down to what you want and hope to do in the future. Personally I enjoy the flexibility of getting mentored by different professors/mentors because everyone is so different and therefore have different teaching styles. (This is just me though). I think you can definitely still have a tight connection with mentors you gravitate towards because you'll have chances to participate in studies, discuss research, etc. Clearly it won't be the same as in school A but then again their are more professors in your field.(WARNING THIS IS JUST MY OPINION!)I find it a bit limiting to simply work under one mentor for a particular amount of time although many programs I'm applying you are accepted under a mentor. But honestly it does look like they each have their pros and cons, but figure out what you wanna get out from your phd (What do you want to be in the long run and who will better help you) and adjust your decision towards that. Personally Id choose School B only because I am interested in forensic psychology and have found many schools that I plan on applying too aren't big on forensics but have one/two professors with similar interest to mine. But programs designed for my specialty makes it that much easier to really make the best of it in terms of internship sites, research, etc- And also your not taking a bunch of courses that aren't as interesting as ones in your specialty. You will definitely meet professors that you like more than others in School B- but thats natural and happens everywhere. If the financial difference is significant though - that will be a huge fall back though. But it would be the price to pay for a school in what you want to do. Also School A mentor might be nice and make you feel special but if his research interest and yours aren't a match- good luck working under him for 6 dreadful years. :(
     
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  5. caffeinedependent

    caffeinedependent

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    Thanks for your response! I realize I should have mentioned that School A's mentor shares my research interests 100%, although I realizes this often changes with time and experience. I totally get what you mean when you say a specialized program makes everything easier. Plus interesting classes are a big plus! The financial difference isn't too significant, since both schools are in an area with low costs of living.

    I feel like I know School B is better for me in the long run, but that professor at School A is so great (and better for the short term adjustment). I'd feel genuinely sad about turning him down, as opposed to School B which I feel like I'd have no problem turning down. Heart vs the mind, I suppose. Very contradictory to my personality type, but those good vibes at School A were so strong!
     
  6. EmelyM23

    EmelyM23

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    Mar 16, 2016

    Oh okay then yeah theres nothing wrong in neccessarily going to school A for the mentor if you truly feel he/she is great & you both will work great together- Thats pretty hard to find. Any decision you make will be up to you. Just think it through. Goodluck in choosing and CONGRATS
     
  7. rinsled05

    rinsled05

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    Hi, I'm having trouble deciding between two PsyD programs and would like to gain some advice here. My core dilemma is essentially: prestige vs. fit. School A is highly ranked and lauded as one of the PsyD programs to go to, whereas at School B, I felt an instant connection with faculty and students on interview day, was offered good funding, and quite preferred the location it's in.

    As someone whose goal is to eventually have my own private practice, providing assessment and therapy, what should I prioritize? How important is the prestige of a program when it comes to working towards such a goal?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
  8. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Look at match rates, total debt, and how past students do in the job market.
     
  9. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    Hey,
    I will start by saying that I have applied a few application cycles now and have applied to psyd programs every cycle. I ultimately picked a phd program this year but not due to any personal bias against psyd programs and think there are many good quality programs out there. That being said, I have been working in the field a few years and have noticed that some in the field have a bias against the psyd. I know this is just a personal example but I image it happens other places too? (I do see that your goal is a private practice though) Therefore, I would think prestige matters here, but is not everything and you need to be happy. School B might have a great reputation too.

    I had an advisor who kept saying go with your gut during previous cycles. I drove myself crazy because I felt a real connection to a school that was financially out of my league. I thought not going was the wrong choice because I would be ignoring my gut. Finally I realized ...at the end of the day your gut is not enough and/or can be in conflict. The reality is debt, location, fit, and many other things matter (your thoughts and feelings are relevant!). Think about the pros and cons of each school. If possible visit again. Image how it would feel to accept each offer. One advice I can say is that I knew I had the right school when I could look at the cons and they did not bother me.

    For example, imagine you have picked school B because of the connection. Do you feel like you have lost a great opportunity to attend the other psyd program? Or are you so happy with your pick you feel at peace?
     
  10. rinsled05

    rinsled05

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    Thank you for your response! It's helpful to hear your thoughts on the matter of prestige; I've certainly heard similar things about psyd vs phd. School B does seem to have a wonderful reputation within its location! But School A appears more recognized across all states, in part because it's a much older institution as well, I think.

    On that note, I'm curious: how is the bias in the field against lesser known psyd programs? Is there any, and if so, how prevalent is it?

    I have to say, I admire you for not choosing a school till it felt absolutely right, both emotionally and rationally. I think that takes so much courage! I also appreciate your advice of knowing you had the right school when the cons didn't bother you. I'll have a bit of mindful processing of accepting each offer and see where that takes me.
     
  11. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    It really does take so much processing and that is completely normal! So please remember that if it gets hard.:)

    As for the psyd stigma...here are just a few examples of the stigma I have witnessed. I worked at a clinic that was hiring a new psychologist. Sadly, some on the hiring committee did not want to even consider a psyd. They felt that they wanted someone able to apply research to his or her clinical work as well as several other ignorant reasons that honestly to me showed a lack of understanding of what a psyd program means. They seem to think psyd means NO knowledge of research. In the academic world, I have come across phd clinical psychology professors that just appear to have an overall lower opinion of the psyd degree. So in my experience stigma does happen. I will mention that I live in an area not in close proximity to some of the well-known and really good psyd programs. One program is new and just got accredited so not respected YET. The other is an argosy campus that I myself have not researched but others tend to not view favorably. Sometimes I wonder if I lived in closer proximity to more psyd programs overall or even a well respected one, would I witness less stigma? Just a thought.

    It is hard to help not knowing the two schools but it sounds like they are both good schools. I mean if you told me you got into Rutgers psyd...I would instantly recognize you attended a good program but there are others out there that are great too.
     
  12. rinsled05

    rinsled05

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    Thank you, will remember that. :)

    Hmm, yeah it'll certainly help more if I shared the two schools. I'll PM you for further conversation.
     
  13. CaliforniaPsyD

    CaliforniaPsyD

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    help, please! I'm trying to narrow down my PsyD program choices before the April 15th deadline and I am really leaning towards Fuller Theological Seminary's PsyD program in Pasadena. Does anyone have any more information or qualified opinions on this school (besides cost, please! I've sorted that aspect)?

    Specifically, I am hoping to get some more information about these topics:

    APA match rates and placemen sites: what was the most recent match rate for Fuller PsyD students to APA-accredited internships (this year)?

    Comprehensive exams: when do these exams take place, what is their format, and what preparation is offered/available?

    Practicum experiences: Does anyone know specifics about what practicum expereinces are available for PsyD students besides the on campus FPFS clinic?

    Course options: I have found a description of the courses offered Spring 2016 on Moodle, but I am hoping to find a more extensive listing and description of courses that satisfy each of Fuller's PsyD requirements.

    Thank you so much for your help, any information about Fuller would be so appreciated.
     
  14. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    APPIC keeps running stats about match rates. And, one year match rates are not informative out of context. I'd look at the past 15 years to look for trends.
     
  15. CaliforniaPsyD

    CaliforniaPsyD

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    Thanks! Each APA accredited school actually has to publish their APA match rates so I have their previous rates, just not this current one since they are not obligated to publish that information for some time. Since I am debating spending my next 5 years there I want to make sure its upward trend is continuing in this year's match rates. Does APPIC publish APA match rates too, and any idea where I can find that information?
     
  16. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    If you google school name + department + Ph.D. (Or Psy.D.) + educational outcomes, it should show up. It is required to be posted on each programs website, though some are harder to find.
     
  17. CaliforniaPsyD

    CaliforniaPsyD

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    Mar 22, 2016
    Than
    ks, I found the 2006-2011 data, but not 2016's that way...it led me here:
    http://www.fuller.edu/uploadedFiles/Siteroot/Academics/School_of_Theology(2)/CATS/c

    20

    templates%20(PsyD%20Fall%202014).pd Any idea how I can find this year's published?
     
  18. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Sites won't have the most recent data updated on their sites for a while, I'd say fall at the earliest for most.
     
  19. Lcverda2

    Lcverda2

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    Going to make this question short about Adelphi. Tuition is approximately 40k with around a 10k tuition remission and no stipend. Would you accept an offer to Adelphi if you were going to have to take out loans to pay remaining tuition? Is this program so great that it could possibly be worth that amount?
     
  20. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Way back when...maybe. Now..heck no. $120k minimum (+tuition increases, fees, etc), living expenses, and compounded interest...that's easily $200k.
     
  21. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't take out more than 10k a year.
     
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  22. psyched2bpsyched

    psyched2bpsyched

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    I am choosing between The Wright Institute and University of Denver PsyD programs. I got a great feeling from The Wright Institute and from the University of Denver. I like both programs but I am leaning towards The Wright Institute… I just got a better feeling during my interview/visit

    Things that I am wrestling with:
    Denver is hugely expensive (57k) and The Wright Institute is more reasonable (32k)…
    Berkeley is expensive and Denver is more manageable...
    Denver has a better match rate and smaller cohort-35ish. ..The Wright is 60ish.
    Both programs require students to have to have a caseload in the first year. Denver asks students to work in their clinic and field placement sites. The Wright only has field placement sites.

    I like Berkeley more than Denver but I am trying to not let that be a deciding factor. I am primarily interested in community health, working with victims of sexual assault and personality disorders. I believe I could gain a lot of experience and expand upon my interests at both schools…

    Any tips for making a decision?
     
  23. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    The Wiright Institute has a deplorable match rate and not a good reputation. If those are the only two options available, it'd be Denver, hands down. But, realistically, I'd be looking for fully funded options, there are dozens of programs where experience in trauma/sexual assault and personality disorder experience is obtainable without going 200k+ in debt.
     
  24. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    I too interviewed and was accepted into the University of Denver psyd last year. I was impressed with the training and the program does have a good reputation. Honestly, I hear better things about it than the Wright Institute so DU would be my vote. As much as I loved the program, I ended up turning it down strictly for financial reasons. I just could not bring myself to take out that kind of money. Many of the current students confirmed they are facing 200k to 250k in debt and that even scholarships, TA positions, or working in the clinic does not seem to lower tuition enough. Hopefully you have a better financial situation because it really is a good program :) and congratulations on being accepted!! If not, do sit down and look at the monthly payment and have a game plan in mind - for both schools actually
     
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  25. smac193

    smac193

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    Hi all,

    I need help! I am trying to decide between two schools, as I just got off of the waitlist for one at the eleventh hour:

    School A: A clinical science PhD program that guarantees funding for 5 years. My POI shares a broad research interest with me, but they have expressed a willingness to be flexible for me to carve my own path and conduct research in my particular field of interest. My only concern with this school is the fact that it is a clinical science model that is primarily training researchers/academics, whereas I am looking for a healthier mix between research and practice. I don't know whether I would be happy conducting research for a majority of my time in what could end up being a 6-7 program (my master's thesis could potentially transfer in as my first doc, which could theoretically shave off some time). The other major concern is that I haven't visited the campus; I was not invited to interview day and was contacted a couple of weeks ago for Skype/phone interviews. The program seems really great, I just wish I could have had the opportunity to experience the feel of the place, considering it would also require me to move far away from my area of the US.

    School B: One of the (arguably) top-ranked PsyDs in the country, and it provides guaranteed funding for the first year. Beyond that, there are opportunities to offset the cost of the program through paid clinical practica or research positions. The training at this program is stellar, and I don't think that I would get the same level of clinical training at the PhD program; none of the professors EXACTLY match my research interests here (I'm primarily forensic-oriented), but I got a good feeling on interview day that at least one of the professors with whom I interviewed was extremely intrigued by my research interests. That being said, I also think that this program offers a pretty solid research focus (considering it is a PsyD) - it is considered a scholar-practitioner model. Additionally, it is so much closer to me geographically and would not involve moving away from family and friends.

    Basically, what it comes down to is: I have loans coming out of my masters at around 60k (from going to a program in a high cost of living area). Do you think it is worth it to go to a program that more closely fits my career interests but would require me to most likely take out a moderate amount of further loans? Or do I avoid the PsyD "stigma," avoid more loans, and move far away to a PhD program that I haven't yet visited that has more of a research focus than I would like?

    Oh and, no pressure, I have to decide in roughly 24 hours :)
     
  26. chicandtoughness

    chicandtoughness 2+ Year Member

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    I'm really grappling with some dissonance here.

    My entire academic life, I've been taught that the PhD is king. And for the position I'd like to eventually work in (UCC psychologist), there is no doubt that a PhD in Counseling Psychology (or an LCSW, apparently) is necessary. But here's the thing - the more I do research, the more I realize I don't like it. I love consuming it - reading new journal articles is actually pretty fascinating, and being able to implement those ideas immediately in my masters level coursework has been eye-opening. But I don't want to actually go through the arduous process of conducting research, publish-or-perish'ing, revising, submitting, revising again, presenting at conferences, you know how it is.

    There don't seem to be many reputable PsyD programs out there. I absolutely cannot afford an unfunded program. Is this the end of the road for me? Should I just find a terminal masters program and graduate with an LPC or something and practice that way, even though it means the climb into my dream job is as steep as a wall? I'm so confused on what I want to do; quarterlife crisis has never hit this hard before.
     
  27. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    I've been in your shoes, only I was halfway through a clinical psych PhD program when I realized research was not something I was as interested in as I thought. I had worked for a year as an RA BUT mostly collecting data. Once I started working on the statistics for my masters thesis I realized I had NO interest or desire to do my own research. Even the thought of my dissertation caused anxiety and hopelessness. Assessment was also something I figured out I didn't like with writing reports. I made the decision to leave my program after defending my thesis and being granted the masters, which was NOT terminal as almost everyone else went on to doctoral status. This was more than 10 years ago, before internship shortages apparently started happening lol. In order to get licensed in my state I am now in a post masters certificate program to meet state requirements. I appreciated the education and training I got in my masters as compared to colleagues in terminal MA programs I had more practicum and theory experience. But I am now stuck paying for classes that, had I finished the PhD, would have been free. Live and learn, I guess!

    If you really feel you will not enjoy doing the research in a PhD program (working in a lab, presenting at conferences, submitting for publication to help you get internship, thesis and dissertation, etc), my advice is DONT DO IT. Apply to masters programs that you can be licensed from, whether LCSW, LPC/LMHC, MFT. one of my former classmates in the counseling PhD is director of a UCC, and she recently had a position for licensed masters level therapist. If you know what state(s) you would like to work in, figure out the license requirements and pick a masters program that meets that. Find out what positions the UCCs in that state hire for. Public universities and private colleges all have UCC, maybe a different name but the same essential services. Some jobs/careers have more than one path, while others are restricted to one degree/license. Good luck!
     
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  28. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    I understand- I had my own crisis a year ago. The good news is things worked out and I'm sure they will for you as well. I remember very well the first day of my masters program. One professor asked the 12 of us in my cohort who wanted to go on to a PhD. 10 people raised their hands. It's been 3 years since we finished and so far two of us have gone on- one psyd and one phd. My masters program required a great deal of research and some just plain realized that they hate conducting it. Although some people from my cohort left the field this was by choice.... Many are working towards or already have an LPC. They are working as therapist and enjoying their lives. And the ones I've spoken to lately express absolutely no desire to go back to school & these were the ones that were absolutely adamant that they would be doctors one day. The point is things don't always turn out the way you thought they would and that is OK. I am sure that even if you decide not to get your doctorate your career can be filled with opportunity for growth. But I would not spend time earning a degree that requires a lot of research if you do not like it. One caveat to this (I only say this because I don't know much about your situation) is that sometimes the area of research really matters. I started out doing social psychology research and hated it. Once I discovered more applied clinical research I loved it.
     
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  29. EnjoyThePsunshine

    EnjoyThePsunshine

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    Hey all,
    I'm deciding between several MA programs and could use some advice. I'm definitely going the MA route, heading to a Clinical Psych PhD to eventually do clinical child psychology. I got into a bunch of programs but my decision comes down to these 3 and each have huge benefits:

    New School, their PhD students are directly from their MA program (15 out of aprox. 50 are accepted), it is based in NY so lots of opportunities in the city and they offered me a small scholarship
    TC, awesome networking and connections through being in NYC and a part of Columbia, the program itself seems to have mixed experiences
    Rutgers, huge research focus with great mentorship and support for grad students, also in-state tuition.

    Some things I'm worried about:
    New School PhD has a psychodynamic approach, I don't think that's the perspective I most closely align with. Also the program isn't very research oriented.
    TC, the PhD program doesn't have a great reputation and both MA and PhD are super expensive
    Rutgers, there doesn't seem to be a lot of info on here or grad cafe about the program, worried that it wont be enough of a boost to get to the PhD level

    So, as someone with the PhD endgame in mind, what do you all think would be the strongest program with the best reputation? I need the academic boost and love working clinically and in research (3+ years of experience between grad and undergrad)

    Any input would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks :)
     
  30. thewesternsky

    thewesternsky 10+ Year Member

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    Of the three schools you listed, Rutgers has by far the best reputation. You want solid research experience if you're going to get into a PhD program--To be honest, nothing else really matters. Rutgers is the obvious choice.
     
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  31. PsychQEH

    PsychQEH

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    Hello friends!

    Long time viewer, first time poster. I have received such beneficial advice from posters on this forum and decided I would muck up the courage and ask for some help/guidance on graduate programs. Currently, I am a junior undergraduate and am looking to take a year off after graduation to work in a research lab and then apply to PhD programs in Clinical Psychology (Health Psychology focus) and Counseling Psychology. However, I'm having some difficulty finding a distinction between Clinical and Counseling programs. I've done my research and understand that the fields now intersect very frequently, but I seem to be struggling in terms of which field would better fit my interests. I am more focused on working with individuals diagnosed with chronic illness (e.g., HIV/AIDS) and looking into cognitive restructuring models, such as posttraumatic growth and health-related quality of life. I have found PhD programs in Clinical and Counseling that both focus on these areas, but I would LOVE to hear some feedback from current graduate students/graduates from Counseling and Clinical Health programs about their experiences and some more specific information on both of the fields.

    Thank you all so much!
     
  32. Wendi22

    Wendi22

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    Hey!

    A lot of schools have the distinction listed on their websites (the counseling program at university of Maryland is one I know has the distinction listed). Every program (clinical or counseling) will vary with regard to what is emphasized so the similarities can be more salient when comparing certain programs while other programs may be highly overlapping. One important distinction is that counseling programs often have an explicit focus on social justice issues and will seek students with a desire to intervene not only at the individual level...but also at the societal level. It is important to note that this does not mean clinical programs will not train individuals in multicultural issues or even outreach activities, it is just that counseling programs are often more salient about it (publishing research in multicultural issues, maybe more coursework in this area). There are other distinctions but the disciplines are largely overlapping.

    I applied to clinical and counseling and honestly focused more on fit regarding adviser, research, financial aspects, feel of the program.....
    Hope that is helpful
     
  33. smalltownpsych

    smalltownpsych 2+ Year Member

    I wasn't sure when I applied either so I applied to both types of programs that appeared to have good fit and went with the one that accepted me. Whether it is clinical or counseling is relatively low on the selection criteria. Funding, research fit, access to solid and varied practicum experience would be way above that.
    Edit: and dot forget to look at the outcomes for match rates and maybe even mean completion time.
     
  34. Lisbet85

    Lisbet85

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    Neuropsychology seems to be in demand, lots of people require rehabilitation.
     
  35. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    I'd like to start by saying that I have read every post in this thread from start to finish, and I learned a lot more useful information than I thought I would. I would to present my situation in the hopes that someone can help shine a little light on this matter.

    I am a Senior at a major university in Texas, and I am a disabled veteran. I am 41, married, and I have two small children (I tell you this because it is relevant with regard to relocation and cost of living, etc). Since I have a service connected disability, I am enrolled in Vocational Rehabilitaion through the VA. I won't go into too much detail about Voc Rehab here, but if anyone has any questions about it, or if you'd like to learn more, please feel free to PM me. Anyhow, the VA is paying for my entire education from undergrad through Masters. If I choose to pursue a Psy D or a Ph D, then that cost will be on me. This is the crux of my quandary. I won't have to worry about a single expense given that Voc Rehab covers every expense from books to fees, supplies, tuition, etc. so I'm looking for some insight on two things:

    1) If I choose to only pursue a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, which school would you guys recommend?

    2) I'm really only interested in therapy, specifically Marriage and Couple counseling, and I realize that all I need to do this is to have my LPC or MSW/LMSW, but I want to be a doctor. The reason I want to get my Psy D is because I made a promise to myself years ago, and I don't like breaking my promises to anyone, myself included.

    One of my professors is well acquainted with a professor at one of the top ranked Psy D schools in the nation, and he has promised to help however he can to get me an interview with said professor. If I get accepted to this school then my Psy D will be fully funded via stipends, tuition remission, RA positions and the like. I also have three stellar LOR's from the professor I referred to earlier, as well as the professor who runs the research lab, in which I am an RA (I will have 2 years and three months in a research lab by the time I graduate). This is promising, and it is the driving force behind my wanting to pursue a Psy D. My cumulative GPA is only 3.5, but it rises every semester, and I am on track for a 3.7, maybe a 3.8 by the time I graduate. I have not yet taken the GRE, but I will be taking it in July. I'm confident I will do well given that I am currently enrolled in a prep course, and I tend to test well on standardized tests if I'm properly prepared in advance.

    My question is this: If money were not an issue, and you were to get your MA then become an LPC through a Masters program that terminates in an LPC, would you stop there, or would you carry on to the Psy D?

    Thank you for reading this.
     
  36. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    Thank you got your service, first of all. The main question is, what do you hope to gain from a PsyD or PhD other than the title "Doctor"? How would a doctorate support your career goals?
     
  37. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    Thank you. I was happy to serve. To be honest, all I really want to do is therapy. I believe I would be perfectly content with my LPC, but I made a decision years ago to be a doctor. That's has been my life plan for years now, and I like to stick to the plans I make. I'm not really sure how a Psy D will support my career given that I'm relatively new to psychology, and don't know all the ins and outs of the field. I do believe I will reach an income with my LPC, and that I can make more money as a doctor. Sorry if that sounds shallow, but I do have a family to support. That said, I did meet an LPC in my hometown who is in private practice, and she once told me that she works Monday, Tursday and Wednesday, half of Thursday, and never Fridays or weekends. She takes 30 days vacation every year, and she makes close to $140K a year. That sounds almost too good to be true, but she has been in private practice for 20 years, and as far as I know, she has no reason to lie to me.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
  38. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    The LPC you met is an outlier, but the right location, a sound business plan, savvy marketing, and developing a steady stream of referrals can go a long way.

    I understand that you don't want to break a promise to yourself, but your reasoning sounds a little rigid. A good marriage and family therapy program would probably meet your needs if you want to focus on marital/couple therapy. If you decide to go for a doctoral degree, make sure you know what you're getting into (including the realistic costs of that education). Down the road, after 5-6 years of little income and accruing what could easily be a 6-figure debt, you might find you need more than "I had to be a doctor" to be at peace with your decision.
     
  39. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    You raise valid points. I am admittedly rigid. However, there is more value to the promise than the principle of the promise in and of itself. I also want to set the best possible example to my children. I have had to overcome extreme hardship in my life. The long story short version is that I lost everything I had, and I was a heartbeat away from being homeless. If not for the kindness of an estranged family member, I would have been sleeping on the streets of Las Vegas (not for the reasons you might think). I made a resolution that I would overcome my plight, and I have. To that end, I want to demonstrate to my children, and other less-confident members of my family that no matter what happens in your life, you can achieve whatever goal you set for yourself, if you believe in yourself and work hard.

    I have considered the debt load, but I'm in a situation where nearly have of the debt would be off set by the VA program since they would cover all costs through the master's curriculum.

    I have also considered setting waypoint objectives in order to complete the primary objective. In other words, first obtaining my MA, assessing my situation at that time, then deciding whether or not to pursue the PsyD.

    Does that sound reasonable?
     
  40. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    I think another way to look at it though, is what purpose does the goal serve, in the long run? That is, are you pursuing a goal merely to pursue the goal, end result be damned? For some things, sure, I can see it being important. But this is a course of action that involves an incredible amount of time and resources. Resources includes money, yes, but also the time and effort in training. That's a lot of investment by others along multiple steps along the way. If your career desires necessitate a doctoral degree, go nuts, but if it's just to say that you did it, and you won't be using that degree in a meaningful way, remember that those resources are valuable and could have been allocated elsewhere.
     
    MamaPhD likes this.
  41. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    This is what I like about this forum. Invaluable insights, and perspectives that are hard to find in an everyday setting. You are right, WisNeuro. There would be a lot of resources allocated to this endeavor that could be better allocated elsewhere. The incredible sacrifices my wife and kids would have to make over the next seven years would be hard to justify in order to satisfy my arguably selfish ambitions.

    So, you believe I should pursue a master's degree and obtain licensure as an LPC, or MSW, or the like?
     
  42. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Considering the career goal that you stated earlier, I do. Especially if therapy/counseling is the extent of what you envision yourself doing. If you envisioned other things (e.g., teaching, in-depth assessment, ongoing research), it may be different advice. But, with the former, there is little reason to devote the time and resources to gain training in things you will not be doing.
     
  43. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 7+ Year Member

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    I appreciate your commitment and the thought you are giving to the lessons your children will learn from your career development. The questions I would pose to you are:

    (1) Should the pursuit of a goal ignore new information that might change or shape that goal?
    (2) What other examples might you set aside from the ones you intend to set?
     
  44. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    No, I would not ignore new information. I like to evaluate all the information available to me in order to make the best decision I can. I try to be a good role model for my children everyday. Naturally, I fail sometimes, but I always try to learn a lesson then carry on. I have always believed that it's not how many times we fall that matters, but how many times we pick ourselves up and move on. That's the lesson I want them to learn. My pursuit of higher education is my way of showing them how far someone can go no matter how far they have fallen.
     
  45. MAClinician

    MAClinician Masters level clinician

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    Getting your masters degree after the bachelors IS pursuing higher education. You don't need a doctorate to prove or show that. If you have no desire to teach full time in a college setting, or do psychological assessments, or conduct your own research...the doctorate is not worth the time, effort, and income loss for 5+ years. Also, although the VA pays for your Masters, your masters credits may not transfer into the doctoral program you get accepted in. You might repeat classes. So the "50% paid for" might not end up true, depending on what funding you get.

    When I was in 7th grade I took career Ed class...and decided I wanted to be a psychologist. Studied psych in college, became involved in the department, did research in and out of college, took a year off after graduating to work as an RA and applied to clinical psych PhD schools. I was accepted and excited. Then I got to grad school....and as I tried out the responsibilities (thesis research, interpreting and writing testing reports, clinical work)...I realized what I thought I wanted was not making me happy. Reading research is very different than conducting and analyzing research. I was willing to change my plan for career goals because plans change. Life happens. That is not breaking a promise. Sometimes the best lessons in life are to do what makes you happy, and learn how to accept change and transitions. My classmates who finished the program seem happy, and I am much happier with my decision to leave after my masters than continuing with what might have felt like torture (to me). I enjoy the clinical work waaaaay more than the other areas. Modeling for your kids how to cope with changes and goal setting will be far more important than doing something because it proves you can do it. I am sure there were plenty of policies in the military that you questioned (in your head) "what is the purpose of doing this just to do this?" :thinking: Time to break that habit.
     
  46. echo3alpha

    echo3alpha

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    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post. You make a good point. Life happens, and plans change. I am currently a research assistant in a lab, and while I do enjoy being in the lab, I, like you, don't feel that research is for me. I am much more interested in having a private practice, and working one-to-one with people.

    One of my other concerns, though, is earning potential. I am aware that, while some mastet's level clinicians make $100K or more, most do not. I checked several sites, and I've noticed that, on average, a person with a PsyD can expect to earn a starting salary that is on par with the median salary of a master's level clinician. Now, I don't need a lot of money to get through life, and I'm not about chasing the dollar, but, in order for family to live comfortably, we would need to make at least $75K. Since we have had children, my wife no longer works, which means we are a essentially a one-income family.

    I understand that a PsyD student still has to conduct some research while in college, but aren't they more focused on practice than research?
     
  47. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Not necessarily. The average PhD candidate for internship has more clinical experience than the average PsyD.
     
  48. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    OP....on avg PhD programs take 1yr (sometimes 2 or more) for degree completion, which allows for more research and clinical experience.
     
  49. Gradgoal

    Gradgoal 2+ Year Member

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    Hi all -

    I've been refining what programs I would like to apply to; however, due to limited funds I can only select a few. Do you have any feedback on the quality, reputation, acceptance rates, and funding regarding these programs:

    Memphis university - school psychology
    University of Virginia – school & clinical psychology combined
    Lehigh – school psychology
    Univeristy of rhode island - clinical psychology
    University of Houston – child clinical psychology
    University of Pittsburgh - clinical psychology
    Tulane – school psychology
    university of Kentucky - clinical psychology
    Loyola - School Psychology

    I am a strong fit for each of these programs, but I want to narrow it down to 3 or 4 but I am struggling to do so. Any feedback?
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  50. Platypus92

    Platypus92

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    Hello everyone -

    Please help. This post is mainly for those who have participated/are enrolled in DU's PsyD program.

    My background: I have a B.S. in Psychology from GA Tech in Atlanta, a very research-intensive school with little to no focus on clinical/counseling psychology. The goal of the school was to prepare students for PhD programs, which is what I thought I wanted to do. But while doing my senior thesis (I did 2 years of I/O research) I realized that while I have a genuine respect and admiration for research, I don't want to spend 7 years of my life doing it to get to where I want to be which is actually practicing psychology. So for grad school I have determined I truly want to go into a PsyD program. Despite the draw PhD programs have with being fully funded + a stipend, I feel I'd be much happier in a PsyD program. Shortly after graduating from undergrad, I moved to Denver and I've been working in the city ever since (unfortunately in a position that is not related to psychology or counseling whatsoever). I really love it here and don't want to move again as I've only been here less than a year, my husband's family and business is here.

    The problem: I want to get into the University of Denver's PsyD program -- it's in a location that I love, they have recently enhanced their program, they have good match rates, etc. -- but I cannot wrap my head around the crippling amount of debt that I would have to go into if I took out loans. I paid my own way through undergrad and I'd be doing the same for grad school.

    My question(s): Is there any way to make this program affordable without taking out loans? I've talked with a couple of administrators from the program, but they really just push getting loans. Do the TA/RA positions that are (limitedly) available come with a tuition waver, or is it just a stipend? Is there compensation associated with the positions available in the clinic? Is there anyone in the program that has been able to hold an outside job and also go to school?

    Any info in this regard would be greatly appreciated!
     
  51. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Please note, many of us who have PhD's did more clinical work in graduate school than research and are now in primarily research careers. The research/clinical dichotomy is false. For the sake of your future financial security, please do some research and expand your search.
     
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