Nov 8, 2010
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I am married with two children under the age of 2 and no rich relatives whatsoever. I am looking at the cost of obtaining my PsyD and I would like to know if anyone out there has gotten one while supporting a family. As a Christian I would like to attend a Christian school but only 6 universities offer this program. The cost of a private school is somewhere around 90K or more paid over the course of 3 years and stafford loans only cover 47K a year which leaves 15K a year for cost of living. We have lived very frugally in the past but I don't think we could make it on 15K a year. Any ideas?
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Psychology Student
I am married with two children under the age of 2 and no rich relatives whatsoever. I am looking at the cost of obtaining my PsyD and I would like to know if anyone out there has gotten one while supporting a family. As a Christian I would like to attend a Christian school but only 6 universities offer this program. The cost of a private school is somewhere around 90K or more paid over the course of 3 years and stafford loans only cover 47K a year which leaves 15K a year for cost of living. We have lived very frugally in the past but I don't think we could make it on 15K a year. Any ideas?
Most people in this predicament also take out gradplus loans, but these are subsidized. I've had to take out about 10 grand in these within the past year. Most people on here will probably tell you to try a funded program, and I can't say I disagree. Gl!
 
OP
A
Nov 8, 2010
9
0
Seattle, WA
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Pre-Psychology
Most people in this predicament also take out gradplus loans, but these are subsidized. I've had to take out about 10 grand in these within the past year. Most people on here will probably tell you to try a funded program, and I can't say I disagree. Gl!
I would prefer to go with the PsyD program but I assume by "funded program" you mean a PHD which I am not completely against.
I can't find very many schools that offer a christian PHD in Psychology. Know of any besides Rosemead, and Fuller?
 
Jun 18, 2010
393
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I would prefer to go with the PsyD program but I assume by "funded program" you mean a PHD which I am not completely against.
I can't find very many schools that offer a christian PHD in Psychology. Know of any besides Rosemead, and Fuller?
I hate to sound ignorant, but this has come up before on this forum. What's a "christian PhD" or a "christian PsyD"? I know lots of psychologists who are Christians, and I know of lots of schools with Christian backgrounds that offer doctoral degrees in psychology (Yale, Harvard, Princeton), but what makes a doctoral degree a "Christian" degree rather than just a plain-vanilla Phd/PsyD?
 
Jul 7, 2010
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I hate to sound ignorant, but this has come up before on this forum. What's a "christian PhD" or a "christian PsyD"? I know lots of psychologists who are Christians, and I know of lots of schools with Christian backgrounds that offer doctoral degrees in psychology (Yale, Harvard, Princeton), but what makes a doctoral degree a "Christian" degree rather than just a plain-vanilla Phd/PsyD?
To be honest, I was wondering the same myself. I am applying to Lasalle, which I believe is a Christian school. But there better be NO theology or religious teaching as part of the program, because I am not interested in that.
 

Jon Snow

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What does a theological-emphasis add to this scientific field?

If you're interested in religious counseling, perhaps you might consider clergy activities?

As far as the affordability of the psyd, it's generally not. Why not go for a phd?
 
Jul 7, 2010
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This may be off topic, but perhaps can be used as a warning to those looking towards a pricey PsyD. Five minutes ago, I just took a few more thousand dollars out in GradPlus unsubsidized loans (I'm in a masters program) I needed to do this to afford to apply to schools/move out this weekend. That was not a good feeling. I already receive notifications in the mail letting me know how much interest is building up. Now I am applying to both funded and unfunded doctoral programs for 2011. I hope to whatever god is out there that I get into a funded program, because I do not know if I can keep taking out these loans for 5 more years. I see the debt getting higher and higher, and it is unsettling. So if you can go funded, do it. If not, be prepared for a lifetime of paying back these loans. I'm already bracing myself for it.
 
Jun 18, 2010
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This may be off topic, but perhaps can be used as a warning to those looking towards a pricey PsyD. Five minutes ago, I just took a few more thousand dollars out in GradPlus unsubsidized loans (I'm in a masters program) I needed to do this to afford to apply to schools/move out this weekend. That was not a good feeling. I already receive notifications in the mail letting me know how much interest is building up. Now I am applying to both funded and unfunded doctoral programs for 2011. I hope to whatever god is out there that I get into a funded program, because I do not know if I can keep taking out these loans for 5 more years. I see the debt getting higher and higher, and it is unsettling. So if you can go funded, do it. If not, be prepared for a lifetime of paying back these loans. I'm already bracing myself for it.
Meh, with the Federal Reserve's endless Quantitative Easing (money printing) going on we'll be drowning in double digit inflation or worse in no time. Debtors rejoice!
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Meh, with the Federal Reserve's endless Quantitative Easing (money printing) going on we'll be drowning in double digit inflation or worse in no time. Debtors rejoice!
My cousin just told me the same thing yesterday!
 

erg923

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Thera are numerous ways to weave ones christian faith into counseling. You would need to be in the proper clincial setting to do this of course, and you obviously need to be upfront with your patients about this aspect of your therapy at the outset of treatment. However, there would be no need to attend a "christian program" (whatever that means), as the science of psychology is the science the science of psychology. Period. And that what you are there to learn-at least in a clinical psychology doctoral program. This view is also shared by the vast majority of well-known religioulsy affiliated universities such as Loyola, Cathlolic University of America, Marquette, LaSalle, and so forth, who do NOT interject catholic theology into their clinical psychology ph.d curriculums.

You might want to consider various programs in pastoral counseling that would be shorter and much less costly to you and your family. You would also probably find this outlet to be more open and tolerant of "chistian counseling" in general. However, If you do ultimatly deciede to pursue the doctorate in clinical psychology, a religious/spirtual slant to your psychotherapy is something that can be added and intergrated at a later time-Lets worry about being a good, scientific psychologist first.
 
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OP
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Nov 8, 2010
9
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Seattle, WA
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Pre-Psychology
Thera are numerous ways to weave ones christian faith into your counseling. You of course would need to be in the prper clincial setting to do this, and you obvioulsy need to be upfronyt eth your patients about this aspect of your therapy in the beggining. However, there would be no need to attend a "christian program" (whatever that means), as the science of psychology is science the science of psychology. Period. And that what you are there to learn-at least in clinical psychology doctoral program. This view is also shared by well known religioulsy affiliated universities such as Loyola, Cathlolic University of America, Marquette, Lasalle, and so forth, who do NOT interject catholic theology into the clinical psychology ph.d curriculums.

You might want to consider various programs in pastoral counseling that would be shorter and much less costly to you and your family. However, If you do deciede to ultimatly pursue the doctorate, a religious/spirtual slant to your psychotherapy is something that can be added and intergrated at a later time-Lets worry about being a good, scientific psychologist first.
As a Christian you can't separate psychology and Christianity. Our sinful nature has a direct affect on our mind and body. All the therapy in the world can't help someone who is in sin. I'm not saying that therapy doesn't help resolve certain issues but a Psychologist must be able to recognize the difference. Our nature is, and always will be flawed by Sin.
 
Jun 18, 2010
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My cousin just told me the same thing yesterday!
I was being a little tongue-in-cheek, because while debtors may rejoice in a mass-inflationary or hyperinflationary environment, savers and people on fixed incomes (like my parents) would get demolished. And we'd all have trouble eating, at least for a while (until the currency regime stabilized).
 

erg923

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As a Christian you can't separate psychology and Christianity. Our sinful nature has a direct affect on our mind and body. All the therapy in the world can't help someone who is in sin. I'm not saying that therapy doesn't help resolve certain issues but a Psychologist must be able to recognize the difference. Our nature is, and always will be flawed by Sin.
Yea....do pastoral counseling.
 

Jon Snow

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As a Christian you can't separate psychology and Christianity. Our sinful nature has a direct affect on our mind and body. All the therapy in the world can't help someone who is in sin. I'm not saying that therapy doesn't help resolve certain issues but a Psychologist must be able to recognize the difference. Our nature is, and always will be flawed by Sin.
Religion and the brain is a fascinating topic. Understanding religious coping mechanisms can be very useful. There are interesting data demonstrating different outcomes depending on religiosity and coping styles for a variety of stresses. However, sin, in an absolute/objective truth sense is not a quantifiable construct in the context of the science of psychology. A psychologist is not in the position, ethically or otherwise, to recognize the difference between someone living in sin and mental illness. There is no mind/body dichotomy. There isn't a "sinful nature" assumption in psychological science, nor is there scientific evidence that such a thing exists. You, as a Christian, may disagree with that. But, I'd argue that the injection of religion into your view of psychology is antithetical to practicing as a psychologist. These types of thought process are probably best expressed in the context of a religious institution. I have little doubt as to their efficacy in those who believe. Expectancy effects are powerful.

Good luck to you.
 
Jul 7, 2010
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Yea....do pastoral counseling.
Agreed. I wouldn't be surprised if you ran into some problems within a doctoral program (Christian, or not) or with future supervisors due to the nature of some of your beliefs. They are quite conflicting from those beliefs of many in psychology programs. Mainly because psychology is in fact a science, and much of this relies on measuring what is objective. Sin is completely and totally subjective in nature.
 
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erg923

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Just to be clear, no one is putting down your beliefs. My wife and I are practicing Catholics, and she teaches catholic grade school. However, as other have stated, staunch, black and white views on the nature of human behavior are simply a poor match for the field of clinical psychology. I think it is important to think about this issue, not just from a scientific standpoint, but also a business model standpoint. If you engage in the private practice psychology/counseling then yes, you are a business man too, there is no way around it. You might want to think about how your views would affect, not just your patients, but your referral base/sources. That is, views like these are great recipe for driving away business and referral sources, rather than expanding them. The reason for this is, as I'm sure you know, there is nothing quite more uncomfortable than a stranger judging our behavior and then asking us to talk about Jesus :D. I'm not sure this is really appropriate for a clinical psychologist (its also a very poor business strategy). Can you see what we are getting at here?
 
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OP
A
Nov 8, 2010
9
0
Seattle, WA
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Pre-Psychology
Just to be clear, no one is putting down your beliefs. My wife and I are practicing Catholics, and she teaches catholic grade school. However, as other have stated, staunch, black and white views on the nature of human behavior are simply a poor match for the field of clinical psychology. I think it is important to think about this issue, not just from a scientific standpoint, but also a business model standpoint. If you engage in the private practice psychology/counseling then yes, you are a business man too, there is no way around it. You might want to think about how your views would affect, not just your patients, but your referral base/sources. That is, views like these are great recipe for driving away business and referral sources, rather than expanding them. The reason for this is, as I’m sure you know, there is nothing quite more uncomfortable than a stranger judging our behavior and then asking us to talk about Jesus :D. I’m not sure this is really appropriate for a clinical psychologist (its also a very poor business strategy). Can you see what we are getting at here?
I understand and I'm not taking this personally. As a Christian Counselor I have been frustrated by problems that don't boil down to sin issues and fascinated by the power of the mind. I am convinced that there is a place for psychology in Christianity and I certainly don't think that mental/emotional issues are black and white. I am certain that just as God created our bodies with intricate and amazing design, he created the mind even more so. Many Christian counselors seem to make the assumption that most emotional problems are a sin issue, which I can't agree with. I have also seen troubled children jump from Psychologist to Psychologist getting "diagnosed" with multiple illnesses and receiving no benefit whatsoever only to spend time around Godly influences and improve dramatically.

These are personal experiences and of course not conclusive by any means. I currently work at a Christian private school with troubled kids and I feel that my experience and understanding of God's word would be more beneficial with a better understanding of the mind and how it works.

Regent University, George Fox University and Wheaton College claim to integrate Theology and Psychology in their programs.
 

Jon Snow

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As a Christian Counselor I have been frustrated by problems that don't boil down to sin issues and fascinated by the power of the mind.
Give us an example of a problem that boils down to a sin issue?


I am convinced that there is a place for psychology in Christianity
Maybe, but is there a place for Christianity in psychology in the manner in which you're discussing?


I am certain that just as God created our bodies with intricate and amazing design, he created the mind even more so.
How is the mind different than the body?
Many Christian counselors seem to make the assumption that most emotional problems are a sin issue
. . . and how does this assumption manifest pragmatically? In other words, take an emotional problem, it's been broken down by a counselor to be a "sin issue," what is the approach?

I have also seen troubled children jump from Psychologist to Psychologist getting "diagnosed" with multiple illnesses and receiving no benefit whatsoever only to spend time around Godly influences and improve dramatically.
That's not surprising (for lots of reasons), BUT what is your attribution of cause (to the improvement)? Understanding mechanism in psychology is part of the game. It seems that you are implying some sort of divine influence on improvement in behavior/emotional presentation. As psychologists, this is not something that we can do (attribute improvement to divinity). Further, it is somewhat unethical to steer people toward religious solutions that aren't already part of their identity. I think it's fine to recommend using resources as part of encouraging use of the patient's cultural identity, including religion as coping mechanisms (if the patient derives comfort from that), but we are not witch doctors/or shaman. We do not use mysticism to treat mental illness.

I currently work at a Christian private school with troubled kids and I feel that my experience and understanding of God's word would be more beneficial with a better understanding of the mind and how it works.
That is a laudable goal. But, I'd leave the religion at the door when delving into this topic.
 

erg923

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I have also seen troubled children jump from Psychologist to Psychologist getting "diagnosed" with multiple illnesses and receiving no benefit whatsoever only to spend time around Godly influences and improve dramatically.
And how do you know the "godly" part was the cause of the improvement? You don't. And thats the key here.

You can not, as "psychologist," use unproven constructs (eg., god) as a means to explain cause/effect issues with your patients. This is something you can indeed do ethically as a pastoral counselor however. That is their domain. As Snow said, approaching the conceptualization and treatment of mental ilness using a purely empirical, scientific approach is what makes "psychologists" (and the academic dicipline of psychology in general) different from social workers, pastoral counselors, religious shamans, or witch doctors, etc. If you are not approaching the conceptualization and treatment of mental ilness in this manner, then you are not being a "psychologist"...you are being something else. Hence, why I do not think this field is for you.

Although I am always a Christian, as a psychologist, I have a professional and ethical responsibility to act as scientist first and foremost when working with patients in a professional context. Otherwise, I wouldnt be much different than a pastoral counselor would I?
 
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Existenz

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What does a theological-emphasis add to this scientific field?

If you're interested in religious counseling, perhaps you might consider clergy activities?

As far as the affordability of the psyd, it's generally not. Why not go for a phd?


religion can often come in therapy; i've had clients who look for a theological orientation or a therapist who is familiar enough with it; you'd be surprised
 

Jon Snow

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religion can often come in therapy; i've had clients who look for a theological orientation or a therapist who is familiar enough with it; you'd be surprised

It may be what they look for, maybe a sense of objective truth, but that doesn't mean that someone operating as a psychologist should be working within that paradigm (recommending they take advantage of their social support systems, yes).
 
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If you don't already have a masters, I would look into masters programs that allow you to practice therapy. I feel you may be more likely to find those that include theology into their practice, but are not pastoral counseling.

An example of one is David Lipscomb in Nashville.
 

futurepsydoc

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I am married with two children under the age of 2 and no rich relatives whatsoever. I am looking at the cost of obtaining my PsyD and I would like to know if anyone out there has gotten one while supporting a family. As a Christian I would like to attend a Christian school but only 6 universities offer this program. The cost of a private school is somewhere around 90K or more paid over the course of 3 years and stafford loans only cover 47K a year which leaves 15K a year for cost of living. We have lived very frugally in the past but I don't think we could make it on 15K a year. Any ideas?
Hello,

I think the question your posing is worthwhile and concerning. As a parent, your decisions not only effect you, but also your family. In my opinion, family is the biggest priority, making this dilemma of the utmost importance.

In regards to the financial related concerns, I would suggest steering away from PsyD programs in general. Not because they are inferior in any way, but rather, they do not offer the same level of financial assistance for their students. Even those who do help students more than is typical for PsyD programs, Baylor and Rutgers, are not as supportive as most fully funded PhD programs. Bearing that in mind, I think it would be wise to limit your choices to fully funded PhD programs.

In regards to the religious issue, I think you are limiting yourself a great deal here. Clinical psychology is an academic and professional discipline that you should learn independently of your own religious beliefs. I think you will find that clinical psychology professors will advocate for this orientation towards learning even at universities with religious affiliations (i.e., Loyola, Villanova, Catholic University, etc). To be clear, however, I am not suggesting that your religious views cannot inform, aid, or even be brought into your clinical work later on in your career. I just think you will find it valuable to better understand clinical practice first, before you start integrating it with other perspectives.

When taking into consideration you family, finances, and religious views, I have come up with three suggestions that I think are worth considering. This will echo some of the previous advice given on this forum.

First, consider looking at fully funded PhD programs that will provide you and your family with the best quality of life. This includes not only finances, but location, distance from relatives, quality of the school systems, access to airports/trains, and proximity of places of worship.

Second, look for fully funded PhD programs that have professors interested in research that involves religion and spirituality. On an individual level, this might be a great fit for you. You might be able to mesh your interests together from the jump and get paid for it. Better still, if your partner and children might be happy there, you might be sitting really pretty.

Third, I think you should consider pastoral counseling programs, especially those that DO NOT require a doctoral degree. Not everyone's life circumstances are amenable to this endeavor. To be honest, MA programs limit the amount of money needing to be invested (i.e., loans), typically allow you to work (i.e., even less financial burden), and also have the shortest turn around between graduation and becoming licensed. Given that you have a family, the faster you can generate an income with your degree, the better.

That is my .02

Good Luck!!!!!!!!