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I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in California, I am also a Doctoral Student (Psyd) also wanting to get licensed as a Clinical Psychologist in California. I will be registering soon for my Psychology Assistant Registration because the organization I already work for will provide supervision for my pre-doctoral hours. When i called Cal- board or psychology, they informed me that I cannot accrue hours while still employed as an LMFT... Has anyone else been through this? I know there are some MFTs who went on and got licensed as psychologist, please if you are out there, or going through the same issues I would love to hear from you.
 

AbnormalPsych

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Yes, you can't double dip as a unlicensed trainee and licensed provider. Particularly confusing and misleading to patients. Most graduate programs are explicit about this in their rules (check em if you haven't).

Not familiar with CA law about this though - but 99% sure its a hard no. In fact, a quick google search shows it clearly in the Supervision Agreement paperwork: "The supervisee will not function under any other license to accrue SPE. "

This also creates billing/insurance issues, which has been brought up on this board before if you search, and complicates ethical dilemmas, etc..

Drop or pause your LMFT license. Will you ever even need to use it again once licensed as a psych?
 
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foreverbull

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@AbnormalPsych beat me to it. It is forbidden to double dip during graduate training by practicing under your master’s license AND trying to count those hours toward your doctoral hours. For all intents and purposes, your master’s level license goes out the window and you are considered a brand new trainee again in your doc program, so you need to do practica/externships connected with the university you attend, typically, because supervisors must be doctoral level providers for a doctoral program (an LMFT can’t supervise a PhD or PsyD student). I’m not sure that you would want to be arranging your own practicum if it doesn’t offer something new or different from your current job anyway, given that you’ll want a range of experiences during your doctoral training.

I believe you can work part-time on the side under your license during grad school as long as you don’t try to count any of those hours at all toward training—but I’d check with the BBS or BOP just to make sure because very few actually end up doing this.
 
Sep 1, 2020
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@AbnormalPsych beat me to it. It is forbidden to double dip during graduate training by practicing under your master’s license AND trying to count those hours toward your doctoral hours. For all intents and purposes, your master’s level license goes out the window and you are considered a brand new trainee again in your doc program, so you need to do practica/externships connected with the university you attend, typically, because supervisors must be doctoral level providers for a doctoral program (an LMFT can’t supervise a PhD or PsyD student). I’m not sure that you would want to be arranging your own practicum if it doesn’t offer something new or different from your current job anyway, given that you’ll want a range of experiences during your doctoral training.

I believe you can work part-time on the side under your license during grad school as long as you don’t try to count any of those hours at all toward training—but I’d check with the BBS or BOP just to make sure because very few actually end up doing this.
This is what I was wondering because If I had to Pause my LMFT license at the moment, I wouldn't be eligible for my current employment .. has anyone had any experiences with staying licensed but using a different position to accrue hours. For example within my organization I work 40 hours a week as an LMFT, but there is a possibility of working extra 8 hours a week at a different location ( paid-unpaid) and only counting those 8 hours as SPE because that is the location where my supervisor would be anyway.
 
Sep 1, 2020
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Yes, you can't double dip as a unlicensed trainee and licensed provider. Particularly confusing and misleading to patients. Most graduate programs are explicit about this in their rules (check em if you haven't).

Not familiar with CA law about this though - but 99% sure its a hard no. In fact, a quick google search shows it clearly in the Supervision Agreement paperwork: "The supervisee will not function under any other license to accrue SPE. "

This also creates billing/insurance issues, which has been brought up on this board before if you search, and complicates ethical dilemmas, etc..

Drop or pause your LMFT license. Will you ever even need to use it again once licensed as a psych?
Thank you... it totally makes sense... I did see the "The supervisee will not function under any other license to accrue SPE. " However, it is not clear if i can work at a different site as a psychology assistant and only count those hours.. not my employment 40 hours under LMFT license . At the moment dropping or pausing my LMFT licence entirely would make me ineligible for my full-time job and not a feasible option.
 

foreverbull

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Thank you... it totally makes sense... I did see the "The supervisee will not function under any other license to accrue SPE. " However, it is not clear if i can work at a different site as a psychology assistant and only count those hours.. not my employment 40 hours under LMFT license . At the moment dropping or pausing my LMFT licence entirely would make me ineligible for my full-time job and not a feasible option.
I'm a bit confused here, because it sounds to me like your full-time job is priority here, not your education/training. I'm shocked that you would be able to attend a doctoral program while still working 40 hours per week----how is this even possible?

As I said, practica are arranged by your doctoral program, so I'm wondering why you'd want to do a practicum with the same company you work for.
 

summerbabe

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practica are arranged by your doctoral program
This is really important. Even programs that are more hands-off about arranging pracs are still responsible for vetting independently identified training experiences for appropriateness. Have you proposed this yet? Was a supervision agreement drawn up? Has your training director signed off?

A quick search indicates that you'd assist potentially with intake interviews and administering/scoring assessments. While these are tasks that a psychologist may do, you'd be restricted from providing psychotherapy interventions and interpreting test data as a PA, which are both fundamental competencies to develop during practica.

At the moment dropping or pausing my LMFT licence entirely would make me ineligible for my full-time job and not a feasible option.
Have you contacted your LMFT board to get clarification on whether you can use your license in some instances and not others (if you are being adequately supervised)?

How many hours are you spending weekly on your PsyD? Did you just start? Are you almost done? From what I've read, I'm not optimistic that this arrangement is setting you up for future success, especially if you're studying part-time, likely taking on a heavy debt load, and perhaps not getting good guidance/support.
 
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R. Matey

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While it's true that you can't use a master's license to count prac hours because doctoral programs have rules against this, there is no need to retire a master's license because you're in a psychology program. I was licensed throughout my Ph.D. program, but did not use it or advertise it while in prac, I kept it because I thought it might be a good fallback plan in case things when sideways for me. Thankfully, they didn't for me but I've also known people who have moonlighted as mid-levels while attending graduate school. Who can blame them? Getting into this field is very expensive.

OP, it sounds like you're trying to pay for your life while attending a Psy.D. program. That's quite the endeavor and I tend to agree with others in questioning the net gains of a Psy.D. program over an LMFT license. What's your overall career goal?
 
Sep 1, 2020
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I'm a bit confused here, because it sounds to me like your full-time job is priority here, not your education/training. I'm shocked that you would be able to attend a doctoral program while still working 40 hours per week----how is this even possible?

As I said, practica are arranged by your doctoral program, so I'm wondering why you'd want to do a practicum with the same company you work for.
Both are priorities.. in California practicum through school is not needed to accrue SPE. .. It is not impossible to do a Doctorate while working 40 hours.. its hard. but not impossible :)
 

AbnormalPsych

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Both are priorities.. in California practicum through school is not needed to accrue SPE. .. It is not impossible to do a Doctorate while working 40 hours.. its hard. but not impossible :)
A quality one is. I can't imagine being able to dedicate yourself to what you have ahead of you without having that time. Sure you could work part-time - I did in paid work in my lab and paid practicums, assessment work, but it was not a full time job unrelated to my doc trainnig. Come find us in 8 years.
 
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This is really important. Even programs that are more hands-off about arranging pracs are still responsible for vetting independently identified training experiences for appropriateness. Have you proposed this yet? Was a supervision agreement drawn up? Has your training director signed off?

A quick search indicates that you'd assist potentially with intake interviews and administering/scoring assessments. While these are tasks that a psychologist may do, you'd be restricted from providing psychotherapy interventions and interpreting test data as a PA, which are both fundamental competencies to develop during practica.


Have you contacted your LMFT board to get clarification on whether you can use your license in some instances and not others (if you are being adequately supervised)?

How many hours are you spending weekly on your PsyD? Did you just start? Are you almost done? From what I've read, I'm not optimistic that this arrangement is setting you up for future success, especially if you're studying part-time, likely taking on a heavy debt load, and perhaps not getting good guidance/support.
I am almost done with my Doctorate and that's the reason I am starting to apply for Registration.. I spend enough time after work and weekends to study.. Its not particularly hard. I am paying for my tuition so i am not worried about debt.. however,, if i had to go into debt to invest in myself i would.. i guess its all about priorities and what you want in life... Most Doctorate level classes are not exceptionally hard.. you write a lot of papers,, but being familiar with APA format and being a good writer helps too.
 
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futureapppsy2

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I am almost done with my Doctorate and that's the reason I am starting to apply for Registration.. I spend enough time after work and weekends to study.. Its not particularly hard. I am paying for my tuition so i am not worried about debt.. however,, if i had to go into debt to invest in myself i would.. i guess its all about priorities and what you want in life... Most Doctorate level classes are not exceptionally hard.. you write a lot of papers,, but being familiar with APA format and being a good writer helps too.
As a doc student, classes were priority z for me and most of my classmates, honestly. The bulk of our time was spent doing research, clinical work, teaching, and sometimes doing service. If you aren't doing those things, you aren't coming out of a doc program with the education and training you should have.
 

erg923

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I am almost done with my Doctorate and that's the reason I am starting to apply for Registration.. I spend enough time after work and weekends to study.. Its not particularly hard. I am paying for my tuition so i am not worried about debt.. however,, if i had to go into debt to invest in myself i would.. i guess its all about priorities and what you want in life... Most Doctorate level classes are not exceptionally hard.. you write a lot of papers,, but being familiar with APA format and being a good writer helps too.
Program sounds like garbage
 

Mindfulpsych22

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This program sounds very sketchy. I’ve lived in CA for a while and am pretty familiar with all the Major APA accredited programs here. Even the ones that start with an “A,” “C,”or “W” have formal practicums arranged by the school with vetted and contracted sites and would not count someone working as a psychological assistant as meeting the requirements for practica. Students certainly have “side jobs” or get extra training in addition to required practica through being psych assistants, but I’ve never seen it replace the required arranged practicums through the school.

Is your program APA accredited?
 
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foreverbull

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I am almost done with my Doctorate and that's the reason I am starting to apply for Registration.. I spend enough time after work and weekends to study.. Its not particularly hard. I am paying for my tuition so i am not worried about debt.. however,, if i had to go into debt to invest in myself i would.. i guess its all about priorities and what you want in life... Most Doctorate level classes are not exceptionally hard.. you write a lot of papers,, but being familiar with APA format and being a good writer helps too.
Hmmm....between classes, multiple research projects, assistantships, and practicum, I never would have had the time to work full time, and it would’ve been extremely hard to carve out even another 10-20 hours/week for an additional part-time job during the semester.

I’m not familiar with the structure of PsyD programs, but is it really just classes + practicum and eventually a “dissertation project” and that’s it?
 

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Hmmm....between classes, multiple research projects, assistantships, and practicum, I never would have had the time to work full time, and it would’ve been extremely hard to carve out even another 10-20 hours/week for an additional part-time job during the semester.

I’m not familiar with the structure of PsyD programs, but is it really just classes + practicum and eventually a “dissertation project” and that’s it?
Even if that's all the program bare minimum requires, they are cheating the,selves or being cheated by only doing that, IMO.
 
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foreverbull

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Sorry this is off topic, but is this a selling point for some PsyD programs? (The idea that they’re for busy professionals who want to earn a doctorate while working full-time)?

Genuinely curious how common OP’s experience is amongst PsyD programs. Did any other PsyD graduates have a similar or very different experience in terms of time commitments during graduate school?
 

R. Matey

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I’m not familiar with the structure of PsyD programs, but is it really just classes + practicum and eventually a “dissertation project” and that’s it?
This was all that was required from one fairly large and well-known Psy.D. program I interviewed at forever ago.

Sorry this is off topic, but is this a selling point for some PsyD programs? (The idea that they’re for busy professionals who want to earn a doctorate while working full-time)?
This is a major selling point for Fielding.

Since an unfunded Psy.D. is essentially a glorified master's degree I think people are only doing classes and prac with the dissertation project being folded into their coursework requirements. I think this empowers people to think that they can work to offset the costs.
 

PsyDuck90

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Sorry this is off topic, but is this a selling point for some PsyD programs? (The idea that they’re for busy professionals who want to earn a doctorate while working full-time)?

Genuinely curious how common OP’s experience is amongst PsyD programs. Did any other PsyD graduates have a similar or very different experience in terms of time commitments during graduate school?
My experience is very different. We apply with the intent of joining a specific lab (with fit being a major factor in admission) and start doing research at the onset of our training. I'm also at a small-cohort university-based program, so I have no idea how the professional schools do it. Our faculty push us to present and publish (maybe not as much as a PhD program), but, for instance I am currently working on 3 separate pubs with faculty mentors. I 100% have no time to work outside of my academic responsibilities (research, teaching, practicum, studying for upcoming comps, and dissertation study which I also fully intend to publish upon completion). My experience is not unique for others in my program, but, as I said, I'm not sure how common it is for other PsyDs, especially those in professional schools.
 

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My experience is very different. We apply with the intent of joining a specific lab (with fit being a major factor in admission) and start doing research at the onset of our training. I'm also at a small-cohort university-based program, so I have no idea how the professional schools do it. Our faculty push us to present and publish (maybe not as much as a PhD program), but, for instance I am currently working on 3 separate pubs with faculty mentors. I 100% have no time to work outside of my academic responsibilities (research, teaching, practicum, studying for upcoming comps, and dissertation study which I also fully intend to publish upon completion). My experience is not unique for others in my program, but, as I said, I'm not sure how common it is for other PsyDs, especially those in professional schools.
This was my experience as well, but some of these professional programs are really pushing the boundaries of poor training. My program also required us not to work, but we were funded.
 

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I am almost done with my Doctorate and that's the reason I am starting to apply for Registration.. I spend enough time after work and weekends to study.. Its not particularly hard. I am paying for my tuition so i am not worried about debt.. however,, if i had to go into debt to invest in myself i would.. i guess its all about priorities and what you want in life... Most Doctorate level classes are not exceptionally hard.. you write a lot of papers,, but being familiar with APA format and being a good writer helps too.
While classes can be important (e.g., those for therapy and assessment), as others have said, they are actually a relatively minor part of grad school. In particular, research and clinical work are the majority of my time, but I think it's important to differentiate it from what I've heard from students at PsyD programs. Those at professional schools and other unfunded programs are just cranking out sheer hours without really much regard for the quality of those hours. There isn't much diversity or complexity in the cases they're seeing and they aren't getting much in the way of individual supervision, so they're not really learning from these experiences and growing over time. They're just doing the same things they've always done without advancing and refining through supervision.
 

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My experience is very different. We apply with the intent of joining a specific lab (with fit being a major factor in admission) and start doing research at the onset of our training. I'm also at a small-cohort university-based program, so I have no idea how the professional schools do it. Our faculty push us to present and publish (maybe not as much as a PhD program), but, for instance I am currently working on 3 separate pubs with faculty mentors. I 100% have no time to work outside of my academic responsibilities (research, teaching, practicum, studying for upcoming comps, and dissertation study which I also fully intend to publish upon completion). My experience is not unique for others in my program, but, as I said, I'm not sure how common it is for other PsyDs, especially those in professional schools.
See, this makes me wonder what the point of the PsyD degree is, because that sounds pretty much identical to balanced PhD programs.
 
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PsyDuck90

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See, this makes me wonder what the point of the PsyD degree is, because that sounds pretty much identical to balanced PhD programs.
Yeah, that was the only PsyD I applied to and it was because they offered funding and I had a really good research match with my PI (honestly more so than many of the other places) because I have a somewhat niche research interest. Basically, if it wasn't basically a balanced PhD with a really really good research fit, I wouldn't have applied or chose to go there.
 

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See, this makes me wonder what the point of the PsyD degree is, because that sounds pretty much identical to balanced PhD programs.
The original intent of the Vail model in the 1970s was to produce a more balanced program for health service practitioners back before there were many "balanced" PhD programs focused on producing clinicians and the PhD had more of an academic bent. The some of the old school PsyD programs have stuck to this model. Baylor identifies as a Practitioner-Scientist (practitioner first) model as did some other PsyD programs founded early on. Since then, many PhD programs have shifted toward a health service focus due to the job market and the professional schools really dumbed down the PsyD curriculum. Hence, very little point in painting any PhD ir PsyD programs with a broad brush.
 
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Thank you everybody for all your input. I got the answers I needed. Good luck with all your endeavors.
 
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