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Esteemed Fellow Clinicians:

I have been thinking about attending a doctoral program (Ph.D or Psy.D) for 15 years now and have been procrastinating; at age 48 I think it's now or never. I have a wife, 2 kids (3 and 7) a house, bills to pay etc. I am already a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (M.Ed in Counseling Psych) and do okay financially but would like slightly higher pay once I get private practice going again. I am considering going to Cal Southern for a Psy.D because it's cheap (actually I have about 50k military education benefit money to use or lose), will take 4 years (3+1), and it is online so that it provides flexibility to be a good dad and husband. I would like to complete a doctorate for more clinical knowledge and maybe somewhat increased credibility. I'm told I'm a good clinician from most who know me professionally. I'm very happy providing therapy as a LMFT, I have little interest in research or testing, and may do some adjunct teaching. Any thoughts about why or why not attend this program, consider others, or something else?
 

erg923

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Esteemed Fellow Clinicians:

I have been thinking about attending a doctoral program (Ph.D or Psy.D) for 15 years now and have been procrastinating; at age 48 I think it's now or never. I have a wife, 2 kids (3 and 7) a house, bills to pay etc. I am already a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (M.Ed in Counseling Psych) and do okay financially but would like slightly higher pay once I get private practice going again. I am considering going to Cal Southern for a Psy.D because it's cheap (actually I have about 50k military education benefit money to use or lose), will take 4 years (3+1), and it is online so that it provides flexibility to be a good dad and husband. I would like to complete a doctorate for more clinical knowledge and maybe somewhat increased credibility. I'm told I'm a good clinician from most who know me professionally. I'm very happy providing therapy as a LMFT, I have little interest in research or testing, and may do some adjunct teaching. Any thoughts about why or why not attend this program, consider others, or something else?
1. I would be wholly surprised if insurance reimbursement rates are different enough between masters and doctoral clinicians in most states as to provide meaningful increased earnings, especially after taxes. Obviously, if I were you, I would look this up and do all the math.

If you simply want to gain "more clinical knowledge and maybe somewhat increased credibility" you should read, join a journal club, consult with colleagues, and build your reputation via aggressive marketing, word of mouth and overall good service.

2. The program has been discussed before on here. It is a joke (I couldn't even consider you for a practicum at the VA if you went to this school). Go to a real school/program if you decide to do this.
 
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PsyDr

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It won't make you a psychologist. There's an extremely limited chance you could get licensed with this thing. Even if you could you'd still have to do 2-3 practica which are supervised by a licensed psychologist (so no supervising yourself as an mft) and do a year long internship which will require you to move for a year. And then there's finding a postdoc.

Since competition is tough for internship, I can only imagine an online school will kill any chance of match, let alone to a Cpa or apa approved program. Likewise for practica. I know I just throw away anything from student seeking practica from online schools.

Even if this is accomplished, what do you think the career prospects are for an online school graduate? Alternately, what is the value added for private practice? People are not going to respect that degree more. Colleagues will absolutely make fun of it.
 

bmedclinic

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I agree with what the other two posters so far have said.
In addition, there's nothing wrong with being a really good LMFT. So my thought would be to focus on doing a good job in private practice, both from a clinical standpoint and from a business standpoint. I always greatly value good MFT's , and see your role in the helping profession as being equal or better as a "good LMFT" rather than a "meh" PsyD from a program that has questionable value.
 
OP
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Thanks for the honest feedback.....all of your points are duly noted and frankly I've considered all of them and they are all valid. My career doesn't rely on my success as a psychologist and I really don't aspire to be licensed as a psychologist. I already work for the VA as an LMFT for past 7 years and could probably stay there. I am involved with clinical organizations like AAMFT and APA, and go to trainings and do additional reading for clinical knowledge. My reputation is pretty well established as a clinician. In all honesty not to brag but I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician. I know that in the psychologist community i will face censure but I'm not looking for approval as a psychologist (my state will not consider anything but APA approved school for licensure but as mentioned earlier having a family with young children precludes any extemely rigorous program of study. I probably am looking to increase teaching avenues (as licensed MFT with doctorate). I am considering other programs but as stated have little interest in research so Ph.D in other programs should be rigorous if they are good. I don't want to sound lazy because I am not but just need flexibility to continue to work full time.
 

erg923

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Thanks for the honest feedback.....all of your points are duly noted and frankly I've considered all of them and they are all valid. My career doesn't rely on my success as a psychologist and I really don't aspire to be licensed as a psychologist. I already work for the VA as an LMFT for past 7 years and could probably stay there. I am involved with clinical organizations like AAMFT and APA, and go to trainings and do additional reading for clinical knowledge. My reputation is pretty well established as a clinician. In all honesty not to brag but I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician. I know that in the psychologist community i will face censure but I'm not looking for approval as a psychologist (my state will not consider anything but APA approved school for licensure but as mentioned earlier having a family with young children precludes any extemely rigorous program of study. I probably am looking to increase teaching avenues (as licensed MFT with doctorate). I am considering other programs but as stated have little interest in research so Ph.D in other programs should be rigorous if they are good. I don't want to sound lazy because I am not but just need flexibility to continue to work full time.
working on doctorate in this field and "maintaining a flexible lifestyle" are generally not compatible goals.
 

PsyDr

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If you want some awesomeness credentials, consider getting trained at the beck institute or qualified as a psychoanalyst.
 

ClinicalABA

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I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician.
While maybe not your intention, this comes across as a confirmation of what many of us around here think of these types of programs- they are a low effort means of getting some additional initials after your name, without any real increase in skills or knowledge. The end result is a that you'll have the same degree as many of us here, without the same quality or quantity of training. You'd basically be doing to get the initials and increase earning potential, with increasing what you'd be able to offer your clients or your employers. Basically, you're saying that you want to be able to charge more for the same thing.

I probably am looking to increase teaching avenues (as licensed MFT with doctorate).
Would a degree from this program really increase the likelihood that youd be able to teach somewhere? Does an online degreee from a non-APA accredited program make you a better candidate for teaching jobs? You've already admitted that you wouldn't really learn anything new here. Have you attempted to get adjuincting gigs but been denied because of lack of a doctorate degree? I have and still do adjunct in Masters degree programs, and there are many good masters level instructors in these programs.

I am considering other programs but as stated have little interest in research so Ph.D in other programs should be rigorous if they are good.
Teaching without staying on top of and understanding the research literature in your area is sort of a disservice to your students, don't you think? I learned many good, empirically validated treatment methods in graduate school, but the many years of intervening research make a lot of what I learned incomplete (or even obsolete). It's only by regularly reading the research literature that I feel I am able to give my my students and up-to-date education.

I know this may come across as a littel harsh, but it just seems like you are saying that you want to pay for some initials, with an understanding that that's really all you'd be getting from this program (e.g. "I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician"). That just doesnt sit too well with me- It's rather deceitful.
 
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Doctor Eliza

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You won't even be able to get higher reimbursement rates if you aren't planning to seek doctoral-level licensure, right? This is not worth your time. Essentially the only benefit would be a few people might call you "Doctor."
 

WisNeuro

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The more acronyms I see after a person's name, the less competent I see them. A couple of months ago, a patient brought in a report from a community provider who had no less than 5 different acronyms following their name. The report was simply unreadable and verified what I already thought of that person's competence level.
 

WisNeuro

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"Well, Dr. IWenToA****tyOnlineSchoolserson, PsyD, BCBS, ADHD, LBGTQ, LMNOP, said that my mTBI caused my catastrophic cognitive problems, probably my diabetes, and is also the reason that I like Justin Bieber and Red Vines. So, I can't be responsible for my poor taste and life choices and need my SC increased to 1000%!"
 
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Grenth

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There were a couple of professors at the school I got my master's who practiced with LMFT/LMHC licenses but insisted they had the same skills/training as psychologists because one had a PsyD (from a predatory school in CA, so no APA internship and no psychologist license) and one had a PhD in counselor education. They had no apparent interest in research which resulted in them being stuck in the things they learned in school practice-wise and all in all they were not great professors or therapist supervisors. The school took disciplinary action against one and the other had many complaints. Also, my understanding is that the PsyD adjuncted for $3,000 a course which she did on top of a private practice and the PhD was salaried as an associate professor at ~$65,000 with a few side clients. So if that's what you want to do there is a precedent, but I hope it works out better for you than it seemed to work out for them.
Personally, I decided to pursue my PhD after my MFT because I realized I love research and would not be as happy without doing it. I plan to not renew my MFT license once I get my psychologist license for ethical and alphabet soup-credibility reasons.
 
OP
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While maybe not your intention, this comes across as a confirmation of what many of us around here think of these types of programs- they are a low effort means of getting some additional initials after your name, without any real increase in skills or knowledge. The end result is a that you'll have the same degree as many of us here, without the same quality or quantity of training. You'd basically be doing to get the initials and increase earning potential, with increasing what you'd be able to offer your clients or your employers. Basically, you're saying that you want to be able to charge more for the same thing.



Would a degree from this program really increase the likelihood that youd be able to teach somewhere? Does an online degreee from a non-APA accredited program make you a better candidate for teaching jobs? You've already admitted that you wouldn't really learn anything new here. Have you attempted to get adjuincting gigs but been denied because of lack of a doctorate degree? I have and still do adjunct in Masters degree programs, and there are many good masters level instructors in these programs.



Teaching without staying on top of and understanding the research literature in your area is sort of a disservice to your students, don't you think? I learned many good, empirically validated treatment methods in graduate school, but the many years of intervening research make a lot of what I learned incomplete (or even obsolete). It's only by regularly reading the research literature that I feel I am able to give my my students and up-to-date education.

I know this may come across as a littel harsh, but it just seems like you are saying that you want to pay for some initials, with an understanding that that's really all you'd be getting from this program (e.g. "I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician"). That just doesnt sit too well with me- It's rather deceitful.
to be fair, if you define "flexible lifestyle" as "whatever my advisor tells me to do, when they tell me to do it", they might be compatible.
Unfortunately you're right, in that internships of any kind are routinely less about the training and moreover just synonymous with slave labor and indentured servitude: all for the privilege of getting the little card signed that says go ahead now little bird and do your thing as you have my stamp of approval. We all know what Monica Lewinsky did for that stamp of approval from our dear president.
 
OP
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When I see someone who is licensed as a LCSW, MFT, LPC, or MHC and they have a PsyD or PhD degree tacked onto their name, my assumption is that the person is being deceptive and I warn people away from them. If you are not going to pursue licensure as a psychologist, I would say to not even waste your time.
To be fair, assumptions are guesses and have an equal possibility of being incorrect. Aren't assumptions the hallmark of stereotype? What happened to not judging a book by it's cover? While there may be some people that warrant skepticism, there are still others who are capable people that conduct themselves with honor and integrity. Unfortunately the very biased attitude you speak of is the same one that says clinician's with Ph.D's after their names from APA accredited programs are all good clinicians. It is unfortunate that we all know more APA Ph.D psychologists that couldn't diagnose or treat their way out of a paper bag.
"Well, Dr. IWenToA****tyOnlineSchoolserson, PsyD, BCBS, ADHD, LBGTQ, LMNOP, said that my mTBI caused my catastrophic cognitive problems, probably my diabetes, and is also the reason that I like Justin Bieber and Red Vines. So, I can't be responsible for my poor taste and life choices and need my SC increased to 1000%!"
This is hysterical and I agree. I too see people who have crazy credentials that I've never heard of but then again we can blame the states that are creating all of these bogus licensures and certifications because gov't wants to regulate everything and have certifications to make people feel good (eg. Joe Blow, BCER Board Certified Elevator Rider).
 
OP
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Jun 7, 2016
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There were a couple of professors at the school I got my master's who practiced with LMFT/LMHC licenses but insisted they had the same skills/training as psychologists because one had a PsyD (from a predatory school in CA, so no APA internship and no psychologist license) and one had a PhD in counselor education. They had no apparent interest in research which resulted in them being stuck in the things they learned in school practice-wise and all in all they were not great professors or therapist supervisors. The school took disciplinary action against one and the other had many complaints. Also, my understanding is that the PsyD adjuncted for $3,000 a course which she did on top of a private practice and the PhD was salaried as an associate professor at ~$65,000 with a few side clients. So if that's what you want to do there is a precedent, but I hope it works out better for you than it seemed to work out for them.
Personally, I decided to pursue my PhD after my MFT because I realized I love research and would not be as happy without doing it. I plan to not renew my MFT license once I get my psychologist license for ethical and alphabet soup-credibility reasons.
The people that your speaking of are sad and sorry excuses for people as it sounds like their own financial interests were more of a priority for them then the welfare of their students or clients. I have no intention of following a similar path as the greater part of my life has been altruistic and with little regard to the consequences to myself. Good for you in pursuing what makes you happy and you are most passionate about. We all owe it to ourselves to be true to ourselves and genuine but also with the constant focus of service to others.
 
OP
S
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You won't even be able to get higher reimbursement rates if you aren't planning to seek doctoral-level licensure, right? This is not worth your time. Essentially the only benefit would be a few people might call you "Doctor."
I actually am already routinely referred to as "Dr" by clients even though I have a Master's degree. I correct people politely as I have not earned that educational distinction. I allow my character and clinical acumen be the litmus test of how people judge me rather than merely than size of the check I wrote for my doctoral studies. I know a Board Certified Neuro-Psychologist that graduated from Yale and has 3 post docs at Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and Walter Reed respectively. Most people rate his competency and skills as somewhere between dismal and catastrophic. I am perfectly satisfied to be reimbursed as an MFT while I continue to reside in the state I live in. I may however relocate to a state that has different requirements in which case I'll re-evaluate. When I lived in CA, I was paid the same amount as psychologists for evaluations and psychotherapy. Just no testing.
 

WisNeuro

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This is hysterical and I agree. I too see people who have crazy credentials that I've never heard of but then again we can blame the states that are creating all of these bogus licensures and certifications because gov't wants to regulate everything and have certifications to make people feel good (eg. Joe Blow, BCER Board Certified Elevator Rider).
The majority of these acronyms are not state licensure-related in any way. Merely vanity nameplates they think they can use because they sent a check into some website, or went to a 2-4 hour training session for an overpriced CE.

I know a Board Certified Neuro-Psychologist that graduated from Yale and has 3 post docs at Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and Walter Reed respectively.
It's highly unusual for a psychologist to do more than one postdoc. Especially a neuropychologist, since our postdocs are longer. Most of the reputable sites that I know wouldn't even consider someone who has already done a postdoc in neuro.
 

PsyDr

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So you're instructing us to not make assumptions based upon degrees, you got paid the same as psychologists, your skills are rated higher than someone with excellent credentials, you already get called Doctor, and internships don't really teach you anything.....


I understand what's going on here.
 
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MamaPhD

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I would like to complete a doctorate for more clinical knowledge and maybe somewhat increased credibility. I'm told I'm a good clinician from most who know me professionally. I'm very happy providing therapy as a LMFT, I have little interest in research or testing, and may do some adjunct teaching. Any thoughts about why or why not attend this program, consider others, or something else?
I don't think your reasons for pursuing a doctorate match up well with the expectations that most programs have of their students. Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. When I refer to marriage and family therapists, it's reputation that counts. The recommendations of trusted colleagues and feedback from patients I've referred carry more weight with me than extra letters behind the person's name. What's more, seeing that a person attended an online degree program actually does negatively affect my perception of that professional's judgment. That's just not a good investment of your own money or the taxpayers'.

I have a wife, 2 kids (3 and 7) a house, bills to pay etc. I am already a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (M.Ed in Counseling Psych) and do okay financially but would like slightly higher pay once I get private practice going again.
As an alternative, consider investing in some reputable continuing education to broaden your skill set and some business coursework to figure out how to make money. Thinking of all the private practice clinicians I know, the difference between the ones who are well off and the ones who are just doing OK is not their degree or professional license, but their business savvy. I'm struck by how many LPCs and LMFTs out there are easily out-earning many psychologists. Someone teaches these folks how to hustle and they're good at it.

If you want to consider other career paths, psychiatric nurse practitioners can do very well for themselves financially, and the MSN degree provides a much higher return on investment than an online PsyD.
 
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To be fair, assumptions are guesses and have an equal possibility of being incorrect. Aren't assumptions the hallmark of stereotype? What happened to not judging a book by it's cover? While there may be some people that warrant skepticism, there are still others who are capable people that conduct themselves with honor and integrity. Unfortunately the very biased attitude you speak of is the same one that says clinician's with Ph.D's after their names from APA accredited programs are all good clinicians. It is unfortunate that we all know more APA Ph.D psychologists that couldn't diagnose or treat their way out of a paper bag.
Well then, I shouldn't be so judgmental about peoples credentials. What a load of hooey. Sure it can be a flawed rubric but the people I have known personally or professionally who did this were deeply flawed. The worst was one who went to the same school you are considering and called themselves a psychologist all the time despite not being licensed. One of the smaller lies they would tell to be honest. Maybe the LCSW who had a doctorate in parapsychology was worse. Don't know because our medical board refused to hire them for good reason. Especially after they insisted to be called doctor. I will continue to evaluate books by their cover and I tell my patients to do the same. Many of them overlook obvious signs because "he's really nice underneath".
 

psychRA

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Unfortunately you're right, in that internships of any kind are routinely less about the training and moreover just synonymous with slave labor and indentured servitude: all for the privilege of getting the little card signed that says go ahead now little bird and do your thing as you have my stamp of approval.
I got really excellent training on internship. My graduate training was also very strong, but internship gave me experience in settings that I hadn't previously tried, tons of supervision, and a huge amount of didactic and experiential learning. I did a hell of a lot of work that year, but I think that my internship site invested more resources (time, effort, and $) into my training than I possibly could have generated for them in return. I don't claim to speak for everyone, but internship was a very important part of my overall training.
 

WisNeuro

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I got really excellent training on internship. My graduate training was also very strong, but internship gave me experience in settings that I hadn't previously tried, tons of supervision, and a huge amount of didactic and experiential learning. I did a hell of a lot of work that year, but I think that my internship site invested more resources (time, effort, and $) into my training than I possibly could have generated for them in return. I don't claim to speak for everyone, but internship was a very important part of my overall training.
Yeah, our interns and postdocs are actually zero revenue. When they work for us, we get productivity for their work, but they are actually a "no-bill" service. VA's generally spend a huge amount of effort and time in training and didactics for trainees. Some people are just generally disillusioned, I guess, and have no desire to move beyond that.
 
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Yeah, our interns and postdocs are actually zero revenue. When they work for us, we get productivity for their work, but they are actually a "no-bill" service. VA's generally spend a huge amount of effort and time in training and didactics for trainees. Some people are just generally disillusioned, I guess, and have no desire to move beyond that.
I agree with WisNeuro and psychRA regarding internship. I just finished my internship and generated zero revenue - they did not bill for our services (so I got to see a lot of the medicaid clients, but I also received excellent supervision both via video and in-session). My program put way more money into my didactics, supervision, and sponsoring my attendance of 2 conferences than I could have made up with the (substantial) amount of work I did. I got diverse training and they allowed me to do a couple of minor rotations that I had very little experience in, meaning those supervisors put in even more time supervising and also hooking me up with great training resources. I had good practica in my grad program, but internship was by far the best part of my overall training and brought me much further in my abilities in a shorter period of time due to their investment of time and resources in me and the diversity of experience I as able to obtain. Sorry to hear that SeasonedClinician did not have the same experience from their internship year.
 

WisNeuro

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That person is not a psychologist, so they do not have direct experience of what it is like in a psychology internship, and was perhaps just speculating/projecting/ranting/etc.
 
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Doctor-S

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The recommendations of trusted colleagues and feedback from patients I've referred carry more weight with me than extra letters behind the person's name. What's more, seeing that a person attended an online degree program actually does negatively affect my perception of that professional's judgment.

As an alternative, consider investing in some reputable continuing education to broaden your skill set and some business coursework to figure out how to make money. Thinking of all the private practice clinicians I know, the difference between the ones who are well off and the ones who are just doing OK is not their degree or professional license, but their business savvy. I'm struck by how many LPCs and LMFTs out there are easily out-earning many psychologists. Someone teaches these folks how to hustle and they're good at it.
Brava @MamaPhD ... well-stated.
 
OP
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I applaud the honest, rigorous, and sometimes brutal feedback. I don't mean to cheapen the Ph.D, the APA, or the psychology field in any way. Everyone here has worked hard at attaining their skill set and no taking away from that. Everything is good food to chew on......making money in not the only objective: A fool wishes for money, A wise man wishes for happiness.....
That person is not a psychologist, so they do not have direct experience of what it is like in a psychology internship, and was perhaps just speculating/projecting/ranting/etc.
I am not a psychologist but know and work closely with hundreds. But many more than I care to say have been frustrated by APIC Match process and their internships as well that were dismal. Everyone has their own experiences and thankfully most that have replied here have had positive ones to speak of.
 
OP
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So you're instructing us to not make assumptions based upon degrees, you got paid the same as psychologists, your skills are rated higher than someone with excellent credentials, you already get called Doctor, and internships don't really teach you anything.....


I understand what's going on here.
I think you're analysis is a bit dramatic...........I never said my skills are rated higher than everyone else, but I have met people with excellent credentials that meant little about their clinical acumen........I didn't say everyone calls me dr I said it's happened and I didn't let it continue.......I also never said all internships are bad, as some are wonderful.......I merely said there are bad ones.........I wouldn't want to be your intern......
 
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OP
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While maybe not your intention, this comes across as a confirmation of what many of us around here think of these types of programs- they are a low effort means of getting some additional initials after your name, without any real increase in skills or knowledge. The end result is a that you'll have the same degree as many of us here, without the same quality or quantity of training. You'd basically be doing to get the initials and increase earning potential, with increasing what you'd be able to offer your clients or your employers. Basically, you're saying that you want to be able to charge more for the same thing.



Would a degree from this program really increase the likelihood that youd be able to teach somewhere? Does an online degreee from a non-APA accredited program make you a better candidate for teaching jobs? You've already admitted that you wouldn't really learn anything new here. Have you attempted to get adjuincting gigs but been denied because of lack of a doctorate degree? I have and still do adjunct in Masters degree programs, and there are many good masters level instructors in these programs.



Teaching without staying on top of and understanding the research literature in your area is sort of a disservice to your students, don't you think? I learned many good, empirically validated treatment methods in graduate school, but the many years of intervening research make a lot of what I learned incomplete (or even obsolete). It's only by regularly reading the research literature that I feel I am able to give my my students and up-to-date education.

I know this may come across as a littel harsh, but it just seems like you are saying that you want to pay for some initials, with an understanding that that's really all you'd be getting from this program (e.g. "I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician"). That just doesnt sit too well with me- It's rather deceitful.
So at the risk of calling me a deceptive predator (which is blatantly untrue as people get their money's worth and then some from me) , what can be said about the psychologist professsors from well known schools such as Harvard and Yale that teach at non-APA accredited schools?
 
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Hi SeasonedClinician! What about pursuing a Ph.D in Social Work from a reputable school? I'm not implying that you get it in order to present yourself as a psychologist, but to further your education and have more credibility as an academic. Maybe it would open the door to becoming a professor if you'd like that. I'm not sure what's the reach of the LCSW though, or whether you can get better gigs than you do now but the Ph.D might help to propel you into academics/research.

Not saying you should apply to Columbia but I was looking at the requirements and it looks like you'd be eligible as you do have a master's in a related field.
http://socialwork.columbia.edu/phd-program/

ps There is a program like this at Berkeley University Los Angeles I believe, if you could get into that one that would be neat :)
 
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MamaPhD

Psychologist, Academic Medical Center
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what can be said about the psychologist professsors from well known schools such as Harvard and Yale that teach at non-APA accredited schools?
Having faculty with name-brand degrees is good for marketing, I guess. The outcomes are what matter, though.
 

Peacemaker36

5+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2014
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I actually am already routinely referred to as "Dr" by clients even though I have a Master's degree. I correct people politely as I have not earned that educational distinction. I allow my character and clinical acumen be the litmus test of how people judge me rather than merely than size of the check I wrote for my doctoral studies. I know a Board Certified Neuro-Psychologist that graduated from Yale and has 3 post docs at Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and Walter Reed respectively. Most people rate his competency and skills as somewhere between dismal and catastrophic. I am perfectly satisfied to be reimbursed as an MFT while I continue to reside in the state I live in. I may however relocate to a state that has different requirements in which case I'll re-evaluate. When I lived in CA, I was paid the same amount as psychologists for evaluations and psychotherapy. Just no testing.
Please be careful about including identifying information in comments like this. You never know who reads this.
 

WisNeuro

Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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Please be careful about including identifying information in comments like this. You never know who reads this.
I'm not entirely sure that is a real person. I really can't imagine Bob Bilder or Jason Brandt accepting a postdoc who had already finished a postdoc. If so, I'll have to ask them about it at the next INS.
 

WisNeuro

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Two post-docs I could see, but not three. A research post-doc followed by a clinical post-doc for example if you are aiming at academic medical center positions.
Even that would be weird, lots of 50/50 postdocs where you can get enough hours for licensure in most states and get a bunch of pubs out.
 
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Sanman

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True, but I have known a couple that did two in order to work in a certain lab, particularly related to the psychophysiology lab that a my former chair trained in as there were few people focused in that area at the time.
 
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Is it just me or does anyone else notice the pattern to these types of threads?
Starts with "what do you think about this plan?" All posters give negative feedback. Some more blunt and some more nuanced, but it is clear that no one says it is a good plan. Seems like it inevitably ends up with them getting pretty angry. I am completely okay with them getting angry because the alternative would be to say it's okay to get an unaccredited or online doctorate degree and claim to be equivalent to a psychologist.
 

Therapist4Chnge

Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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Two post-docs I could see, but not three. A research post-doc followed by a clinical post-doc for example if you are aiming at academic medical center positions.
I've seen this on occasion.

I actually briefly considered taking a second fellowship position….but then I came to my senses.
 

ClinicalABA

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Aug 31, 2011
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So at the risk of calling me a deceptive predator (which is blatantly untrue as people get their money's worth and then some from me)
Assuming that what you say about people getting their money's worth from you is true, it kind of makes my point. If they get what they pay for now, but then have to pay more because you have a degree from what you yourself have basically labeled an ineffective program that won't increase your skillset, doesn't that mean they'll potentially be paying more for the same thing? If they think they're paying more because they'll be getting more, but are getting the same thing, doesn't that qualify as deceitful? I'm only going off information you presented.

I'd also add that this is not just my opinion. In my state, if you are licensed at the masters level, but present yourself to the public as "doctor" or use doctoral level credentials, you may be subject to censure for practicing psychology without a license. Boards are pretty serious about their responsibility to make sure that the public is getting what they think they are getting.


what can be said about the psychologist professsors from well known schools such as Harvard and Yale that teach at non-APA accredited schools?
I'm not sure what your getting at here? I'm not aware of specific professors, but would have to evaluate on a case by case basis. If they are knowingly providing a high priced product to students that they also know is unlikely to help those students meet their educational goals, and said students are led to believe that their goals will be met (either by these professors themselves Or the institution they are affiliated with) then, yes, I'd put them in the category of deceitful and, potentially, predatory.
 

bmedclinic

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May 9, 2008
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Is it just me or does anyone else notice the pattern to these types of threads?
Starts with "what do you think about this plan?" All posters give negative feedback. Some more blunt and some more nuanced, but it is clear that no one says it is a good plan. Seems like it inevitably ends up with them getting pretty angry. I am completely okay with them getting angry because the alternative would be to say it's okay to get an unaccredited or online doctorate degree and claim to be equivalent to a psychologist.
I thought that was what this board was for.
We're not supposed to discuss anything except for how to get into grad school in psychology and why that degree that X person wants isnt actually helpful for them.
 

Fan_of_Meehl

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Oct 22, 2014
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Thanks for the honest feedback.....all of your points are duly noted and frankly I've considered all of them and they are all valid. My career doesn't rely on my success as a psychologist and I really don't aspire to be licensed as a psychologist. I already work for the VA as an LMFT for past 7 years and could probably stay there. I am involved with clinical organizations like AAMFT and APA, and go to trainings and do additional reading for clinical knowledge. My reputation is pretty well established as a clinician. In all honesty not to brag but I don't think I'll be gaining a ton of extra clinical knowledge because as you noted, the program there is not extremely rigorous and I have 20+ yrs as a clinician. I know that in the psychologist community i will face censure but I'm not looking for approval as a psychologist (my state will not consider anything but APA approved school for licensure but as mentioned earlier having a family with young children precludes any extemely rigorous program of study. I probably am looking to increase teaching avenues (as licensed MFT with doctorate). I am considering other programs but as stated have little interest in research so Ph.D in other programs should be rigorous if they are good. I don't want to sound lazy because I am not but just need flexibility to continue to work full time.
As a psychologist working for the VA, I have a couple of thoughts:

1) A clinically-seasoned and effective LMFT would be 'worth his/her weight in gold' in the setting (post-deployment clinic) where I practice. A lot of the folks I see with clinical depression, PTSD, substance use disorders, etc. have marriages/relationships that are on the rocks and this is causing massive disruption to their lives and psychological well-being. In terms of 'doing good' for our veterans, you fill a niche that is not often filled and, even if filled, not often filled well.

2) The VA offers lots of opportunities to enhance your clinical skills by learning new models of intervention and/or evidence-based protocols. Right now I'm learning motivational interviewing (MI) while carrying a full caseload and get weekly supervision/consultation calls, have to send in audio tapes to get rated feedback on, have to read texts and articles on MI to sharpen my understanding of the approach...hell, it's kind of like being in grad school again :). Could you not avail yourself of this training (for free?). A lot of it is high-quality.
 
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