Nov 30, 2010
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Psychology Student
Hi all! Since this is my first post, a bit of background; I'm graduating this semester with my B.S. in Psychology (woot), and I'm having some issues selecting my grad programs to apply to. Namely, I'm stuck between a M.A. in Clinical Psych and the M.S.W. My ultimate goal is to become a Clinical Psychologist working with those with anxiety disorders, but I don't have the money for a Psy.D program, or the grades for a Ph.D program yet, so I want to get the Masters to boost up my grades and get some experience.

I was unsure about the M.A. versus M.S.W though; with the M.A., there seems to be very little ability to practice, whereas the M.S.W. seems to be a terminal degree, and I'm not sure how well the classes will transfer into a Psy.D. Also, can those as an L.C.S.W. select what population they can work with, or is it with the general population? I've seen programs for the general pop., or those with addictions or marital issues, but none for anxiety disorders. If anyone has any insight into this, I would appreciate it :)
 

nycegurl

7+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2010
90
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Psychologist
Well I can't answer your questions but I was wondering if you were also considering a Masters in Mental Health Counseling since it is a terminal degree with the ability to become licensed/practice.
 

BSWdavid

10+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2009
326
1
Indianapolis
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MD/PhD Student
MSW courses probably would not transfer over to a PsyD or any psych program. Even though a lot of the content is similar to what is covered in a psych program, MSW programs are different in many ways, and gear their classes towards the social work profession vs. the psychology profession. I am not sure that an MSW would help your chances of getting into a psych doctoral program and could even hurt your chances as programs would wonder why you wished to switch professions and might assume you lack direction.
 
Jul 7, 2010
531
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Psychology Student
MSW courses probably would not transfer over to a PsyD or any psych program. Even though a lot of the content is similar to what is covered in a psych program, MSW programs are different in many ways, and gear their classes towards the social work profession vs. the psychology profession. I am not sure that an MSW would help your chances of getting into a psych doctoral program and could even hurt your chances as programs would wonder why you wished to switch professions and might assume you lack direction.
Yes, BSW makes a very good point. Your credits would not transfer over into a psych program, and you would most likely have to pitch your case--"Why did you choose to switch fields?" You may look unfocused.

That being said, social work and psychology are very different fields. Although yes of course, there is overlap. Just from reading your post/population you are interested in, it seems like a psych degree may suit you better. In many states (including where I live), you can get a MA in clinical psychology and then get licensed and practice under the LPC. If you choose to go back to school, some of these credits MIGHT transfer into a PsyD program, and PhD programs seem less willing to take credits. I am only basing this on my current experience, as I am finishing up my MA and applying to both PhD and PsyD programs.

A note about not having the money for the PsyD...I'm right there with ya! Fortunately, there are a few funded/partially funded PsyD programs. These are rare, and competitive though.

If you are considering a PhD in your future (whether it be in social work or psychology), get ready to love research.
 
Jul 25, 2011
6
0
Status
Psychology Student
I recently got accepted into Teachers College Columbia University in the Clinical Psych in Edu. MA program. My background is in Childhood Edu. BA. Now since I am unable to find a job as a teacher I am looking to continue my studies. Although I am getting closer to the age where I want to start my own family and need $$ I am looking into starting my MA. However, I am stuck because it seems that where I work which is a social work agency everyone is advising me to go for an MSW rather than an MA in psych. My career goal or what I seek to do is and I definitely need help on this one. I am looking into helping CHILDREN with mental health issues and I want to be able to help them go back to a healthy life. With that said I don't see myself only helping the community as in Social work but perhaps bouncing between hospitals, schools, and or government owned or private practice agencies. HELP!!! Let me know what you think?:rolleyes::scared::confused:
 
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pingouin

just chillin'
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Apr 2, 2005
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I recently got accepted into Teachers College Columbia University in the Clinical Psych in Edu. MA program. My background is in Childhood Edu. BA. Now since I am unable to find a job as a teacher I am looking to continue my studies. Although I am getting closer to the age where I want to start my own family and need $$ I am looking into starting my MA. However, I am stuck because it seems that where I work which is a social work agency everyone is advising me to go for an MSW rather than an MA in psych. My career goal or what I seek to do is and I definitely need help on this one. I am looking into helping CHILDREN with mental health issues and I want to be able to help them go back to a healthy life. With that said I don't see myself only helping the community as in Social work but perhaps bouncing between hospitals, schools, and or government owned or private practice agencies. HELP!!! Let me know what you think?:rolleyes::scared::confused:
Personally, I think that you should actually TALK to the social workers at your agency about what they do all day long (and what their friends in other settings do) if you think that social workers are "only helping the community" and aren't in hospital, school, government, or private practice settings.
 
Jul 25, 2011
6
0
Status
Psychology Student
Hi Pingouin thank you for your response and I did take your advice into practice and I have been speaking to a couple of social workers but I am still figuring things out but I have thought about trying a semester in Clinical Psych and try some social work classes.