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How did you decide on Adult vs. Child clin. psych. concentration

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propsych

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Hi there

Recently I decided to take an extra year before applying to clinical psych phd programs, and one of the reasons for this is that I'm having a hard time deciding on what research area interests me (will likely be affected by the next decision) and what clinical concentration I'd like to be in (Adult or child psychology). Basically, I'm just looking for how you came to your decision and how it's turned out for you.

How did you decide on what you wanted to get into?

Are you happy with your decision?

What does each option allow you to do in the future, and does it cut you off from the other?

what are some pro/cons of each?

Thanks! :)
 
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deleted343839

Taking some time to make this decision is the right thing to do. I would not recommend that anyone go into a Ph.D. program without a well informed idea of the kind of career they want. People can and do change their minds about career goals during grad school, but you need to start somewhere. Let your desired career path determine your choice of training, not vice versa.

In my case, my interests were shaped by several different factors including paid work and research experiences as an undergraduate. Though my career has taken some specific twists and turns I didn't anticipate, broadly speaking I'm into the same kinds of populations and topics that I was interested in when I started grad school.
 

propsych

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Taking some time to make this decision is the right thing to do. I would not recommend that anyone go into a Ph.D. program without a well informed idea of the kind of career they want. People can and do change their minds about career goals during grad school, but you need to start somewhere. Let your desired career path determine your choice of training, not vice versa.

In my case, my interests were shaped by several different factors including paid work and research experiences as an undergraduate. Though my career has taken some specific twists and turns I didn't anticipate, broadly speaking I'm into the same kinds of populations and topics that I was interested in when I started grad school.
Thanks, the reassurance feels nice, as it was a scary decision to make, postponing that is. Thinking of getting a part time job working with children to see how I like it. I guess I should do some more research into what kind of opportunities and job descriptions come with each as well.
 
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TiptoeConqueror

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I knew I wanted to work with adults from postbacc research experience. However, I got a lot of experience with both children and adults in grad school that confirmed my initial interests. IMO, I don’t think you need to stress about figuring out what age range you need to work with right now as that can be something you refine during grad school from your clinical experiences and will help you become well rounded. You may even find that you want a career focused on lifespan issues.
 
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BuckeyeLove

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Be open to lots of experiences. Then narrow it down from there. I started out thinking I was going into ped. neuro. Then correctional psych. Then sex offender treatment. Now I'm sitting for my forensic boards in a few months.
 
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deleted343839

Thanks, the reassurance feels nice, as it was a scary decision to make, postponing that is. Thinking of getting a part time job working with children to see how I like it. I guess I should do some more research into what kind of opportunities and job descriptions come with each as well.

I think the more important thing to focus on now is the type of career you want. Are you interested in primarily clinical work? Do you want your career to emphasize scholarly work or research? Do you want to teach? These are all important questions as you narrow down training programs. Though it's important to get well-rounded generalist training, you'll be happiest in a program that fits with your training goals.
 
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AichhornOak

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IMO, learning to work with children strongly applies to working with adults! You can't go wrong with the clinical training. I decided after working with adolescents for 2 years, loved it! As for research, whatever excited you!

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Spydra

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When I was in undergrad I got a variety of experience working with adults and children and what I noticed is how much I dreaded working with children. There wasn't an issue with competency and supervisors provided very positive feedback, I just found myself annoyed and exhausted while working with them and afterwards. I didn't experience that with adults and was always excited before, during, and after.

Now in my PhD program I only work with adults and am very happy with my choice. There are options to work with children if I ever changed my mind, but I don't see that happening.
 
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