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Help with direction and advice

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psycstudenthopeful, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. psycstudenthopeful

    Jun 26, 2018
    Likes Received:

    So, a little bit of background:
    I am 33. I spent most of my 20's as a teacher in a foreign country. While there, I became involved at an orphanage and volunteered for 6 years there. During that time, I became interested in psychology and decided to pursue it. Because I was in a different country, I had to get my master's online. I got my master's in child development from Southern New Hampshire University. Now I am wanting to continue and get my PhD in child and adolescent psychology so that I can become a counselor and start a non-profit. I would also like to be involved in research at some point.

    My problem is that my school, being online, did not give me an opportunity to do research. I currently live in a small town, so I don't have any opportunities close to me (that I know of. I don't really know how to look.). Also, I don't really have anyone around here to ask all my questions. So here they go.

    1) Should I redo my entire graduate work and start from the beginning, doing a master's and Phd? Is there any way to redeem what I did online to get into a PhD program?

    2) Can a master's degree in counseling lead to a Phd? How does a professional who is already working get his PhD?

    I appreciate any information anyone can provide. There is just no one around me to ask. Thanks!
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  3. CatLover&PsychEnthusiast

    Jun 21, 2018
    Likes Received:
    Sounds like you’re passionate about helping children, which is great.

    Regarding going about finding research opportunities, are there any universities in your area? Check the faculty pages in the psychology department at that university and see if they have a link to their lab page. After looking over all the labs, email the professors and ask if they have any research assistant opportunities for post-bachelor students. I would try to target a few labs you are interested and not simply ask everyone. Include a comment about something you found interesting about their work.

    Regarding getting a PhD, it’s not uncommon for people to come into PhD or PsyD programs with a Masters. However, it’s not required for getting into a PhD or PsyD program and it’s up to that university whether or not they will accept particular credits from your school and/or masters thesis. It sounds like perhaps you didn’t do a masters thesis in your program? That’s the main component of a masters in these programs so essentially, yes you will have to do a masters all over again but it would probably be very different. PhD and PsyD programs typically give you a route from your BA/BS to your PhD or PsyD with your masters along the way, but it’s typically lumped together. In other words, some people come in with a terminal masters and go into a PhD or PsyD program but it’s not required and most PhD or PsyD programs do not offer a terminal masters.

    Start by Googling “Mitch’s Uncensored Advice for Applying to Graduate School in Clinical Psychology” (It wouldn’t let me post the link)
  4. CA_PsyD_FL_LMHC

    Feb 9, 2018
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    Psychology Student
    Many in my cohort have a prior master's degree in a health or helping profession. Some programs will allow some transferred credits if they are within a few years of the academic training, but most will not.

    I started without research experience either, and made this clear as a goal in my applications. I have since gotten plenty just by asking faculty, and advanced students, where I can get some. My best advice is to ask around at local VA clinics, hospitals, labs and universities. I know some people have also been able to have remote positions, so being rural wouldn't be a concern. Sometimes remote positions are offered without compensation on regular job-hunting sites, or places like LinkedIn.
  5. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
    10+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2005
    Likes Received:

    IMO: You are getting some bad advice. Sensitive, but bad.

    Online schools are generally regarded as an extraordinarily negative thing. It tends to show that one is unwilling to do the things that other people are readily volunteering to do: move geographically, inconvenience themselves, change lifestyles, etc. Just having an MA from an online school might be worse than not having any graduate coursework.

    1) NO reputable school would take online MA coursework. You will have to redo everything.

    2) You give up EVERYTHING. You don't get to work full time. You most likely don't get to live where you want. You sacrifice and live a different lifestyle. You move somewhere, dedicate full time effort to school while living on a stipend and student loans, work more than 40hrs/week in a combination of classwork and practica, then you move again to somewhere that is assigned to you, then you take a post doc which means you likely move again, and then you find a job. There are dozens of applicants for every position in clinical PhD programs who are ravenously wiling to do this. That is your competition.
    smalltownpsych likes this.

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