PhD/PsyD Job Outlook in Clinical Psychology (not private practice)... questionable?

What is the job outlook in your region?

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    2
Feb 5, 2011
13
0
Toronto, Canada
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Pre-Psychology
Hi all,

I am copy and pasting a recent post I made to the grad cafe below

I would appreciate any feedback...! Thanks in advance : )

I have a question/discussion topic that I have wanted to post here for a long time but have held off on posting it because I know that we are in the middle of application season and that everyone's time is probably completely dedicated to applications and everyones posts here are seeming to revolve around that...
(I can't imagine how stressful it must be...)

However I've decided to post it anyways.

I was talking to a friend of my boyfriend who is just finishing her PhD in Clinical Psychology.

The discussion I had with her quite frankly summed up to this.... in her words "clinical psychology is dying".

What she meant by this was that- in her experience, and in the experiences relayed to her by colleagues, current clinicians and people in the field in general- the role of clinical psychologists is increasingly being filled by 1) psychiatrists doing increasing diagnosis and psychotherapy and 2) counsellors typically with masters level training who aren't necessarily psychologists (e.g. social workers, even occupational therapists, etc) doing psychotherapy. We were specifically discussing clinical psychologists who aren't in private practice. She indicated that she and a lot of her colleagues would end up having to go into private practice, which is obviously quite a bit different than working in a hospital setting, for example. I have been hearing about this shift toward private practice though out my undergraduate degree but, again, she said that the role of the clinical psychologist was dying outside of private practice, whereas I thought that it would still be at least possible to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist in a psychiatric hospital (I'm personally not as interested in working in private practice and want to help people within the context of a public, psychiatric hospital).

I recently started an RAship at a psychiatric hospital in Toronto (CAMH) and have noticed the same trend within the programs that I have been able to be involved in.

Another interesting point that she brought up was the ability to pursue the career path she would eventually be forced upon with only a masters degree (of course this varies by regional regulations... the situation in Ontario is quite interesting... licensing only differs in educational requirements but different levels of licensure (i.e. psychological associate or registered psychologist) do not differ in what they are allowed to do and their scope of practice... but I will not go into a discussion of this)

A couple of important things to note before I move onto my questions...

Again, I am referring to the role of clinical psychologists outside of private practice.

I live in Toronto, Canada. The friend of my boyfriend is from Toronto, Canada and is finishing her PhD in Toronto, Canada. I know that this anecdotal trend may vary by region. For example, in Alberta (my home province), you can be registered as a psychologist at the masters level. A clinical psychologist who I am working with in my RAship who also happens to have lived in Alberta for a while said that more psychologists were employed in their traditional roles in Alberta than in Ontario, were we both are now.

Less anecdotal data show that there is relatively a good outlook in clinical psychology (e.g. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Psychologists.htm, http://www.workingin...al&s=2&source=6)

However the APA seems to acknowledge the stiff competition presented my masters level counsellors to PhDs in Clinical Psychology (or even other areas) (http://www.apa.org/g...over-sunny.aspx)

So... clinical psychology graduate students, applicants, future applicants, and anyone else who cares to reply...

My questions are as follows...
  • What is your experience with the job outlook in your region? All answers would be helpful but Canadian answers would be great (and Ontario answers would be better and Toronto answers would be wonderful!)
  • How do you go about gathering job outlook information that will shape your decisions before you are on the job market or perhaps even apply? Is information from the government sufficient or too generalized?
  • If we assume the outlook is poor, and you know you want to serve what I am calling the 'traditional (non private practice) clinical psychologists role', what would you do? Look for a region where you can fulfil this role with clinical psychology training? Get training in another field to fill this role (e.g. psychiatry, social work, etc)?...
Sorry for the long winded post (as you might imagine I'm quite invested in this... to say the least...)

Thank you so much for any responses!!!!!

(Sorry in advance for any typos or phrasing errors!)

Edited by carlyhylton, Today, 11:49 PM.
 

WisNeuro

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Maybe it's different in Canada, but I don't see a flight into private practice. If anything it's the other way around. And I don't know about the dangers of psychiatrists doing psychotherapy. They haven't done it at any of the several hospitals that I've worked at over the years, I won't even touch the problems with letting them diagnose. The encroachment by lower level providers holds some weight. But, in the end, people have been saying that clinical psych has been dying for decades. It's kind of like every generation thinking the generation below them is doomed. Clinical psychology is changing, yes, but not dying.
 
OP
carlyhylton
Feb 5, 2011
13
0
Toronto, Canada
www.about.me
Status
Pre-Psychology
WisNeuro thank you so much for this answer. I appreciate it.

In Canada psychiatrists definitely diagnose and do psychotherapy, at least very much so in Toronto (but also in other regions). I tend to agree that this is probably isn't the best scenario but it does happen quite a bit in my experience working at a psychiatric hospital here (albeit as an undergrad RA) and otherwise.

I hope what you're describing is the case! On the grad cafe forum I got a more daunting response similar to the one the the girl mentioned above got me from a Canadian in Ontario.
So I am a bit torn as I am unsure how to evaluate the information so as to make a decision as how to move from here...

Can you elaborate on your statement below?
Clinical psychology is changing, yes, but not dying.
 

erg923

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Shorter treatments, more focus on emperically based treatments, more focus on outcome data, intergration with standard (primary) medcial care rather than ONLY being a stand- alone profession that is reffered out to.... and frankly, I'd say they hey-day of 8 hour-exploratory psych testing is also coming to an end.
 
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briarcliff

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Aug 26, 2011
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I wouldn't recommend a PhD in clinical psych for someone who was interested in a solely clinical career. The advantage of a clinical psych PhD is that it allows someone to work in academia, research, and clinical capacities. Mid-level practitioners & (most) MD's don't receive the same training in research methods & statistics, or the research experience that we gain in grad school, which gives us an edge in regards to research. I agree with WisNeuro that the field is changing, and I definitely agree that the we're in need of better lobbyists and politically active psychologists, but I wouldn't go as far to say that the field is dying.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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carlyhylton
Feb 5, 2011
13
0
Toronto, Canada
www.about.me
Status
Pre-Psychology
Thank you all for your responses they have been extremely helpful (especially as opposed to some particularly unhelpful responses from thegradcafe)!!!!

Thank you also to Therapist4Change for the links to the other forums! I apologize for neglecting them! Next time I will widen my search criteria when looking for similar posts : )

Thanks again everybody!
 

Rivi

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Jan 29, 2009
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From what I can tell, there are plenty of clinical psychologist jobs out there if you are geographically flexible. If you are restricted to one area and don't have specialized training, you start running into problems. Psychology is indeed changing quite a bit, but there is a need for our services in a variety of capacities.
 

Sanman

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I have to agree with many of the above that psychology is changing rather than dying. What is likely going to die is the traditional practice of psychology. With this change, some will thrive and others will struggle. I do agree that is some areas, hospital positions are being reduced. However, many of those positions are being replaced in other ways. Most of what is being reduced are traditional therapy positions. Forensic work, disability evaluations, child custody work, neuropsych and rehab assessment, LD/ADHD assessments, geriatric work, etc are not going anywhere. Traditional outpt positions will likely be replaced with more integrated primary care. Briefer interventions and more cost effective programs will likely replace longer individual psychotherapy for extended sessions. I am guessing more psychologists will end up in supervisory positions rather than direct pt care. As for inpt facilities, they are starting to cut back severely here. However, community day programs will take need more staff to deal with the outflow of patients. So is psychology dead? If you are a psycholoanalyst maybe. If you have embraced the newer trends, unlikely.
 

WisNeuro

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For the record, I haven't seen any cutbacks in neuro. If anything, this hospitals that I have been at have added a position or two, I have yet to see a permanent position eliminated. Granted, this is only an n of 4 hospitals over a 5 year period, but I also haven't seen any chatter about positions being cut over the listservs. Traditional neuro assessments are still needed, especially with an aging baby boomer population and a tidal wave of dementia coming in the next 20 years. Also, we are becoming embedded in rehab settings as well.
 
OP
carlyhylton
Feb 5, 2011
13
0
Toronto, Canada
www.about.me
Status
Pre-Psychology
Thank you both! Again extremely, extremely helpful, and extremely helpful to hear from people who are already in the field, rather than graduate students.
In another thread people have suggested monitoring job postings in regions I'm interested in and I think that will give me an idea not only of the quantity of positions but a rough, working idea of how the field is changing and in what capacities they are being employed (in theses regions). So thats my next step.
However, again, responses here were extremely helpful. I am more hopeful and will be able to sleep at night!
Thank you!