PhD/PsyD Looking to get PhD in the UK & be licensed in US and UK

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Jan 24, 2016
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Hey guys, I have been searching this forum for answers to my dilemma and while I have found many threads extremely informative, I find myself a little confused as to what I should do.

I am an American, completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology in South Carolina and am preparing for grad school with the intent to earn my PhD and become a psychologist. My husband is from England and while he's lived with me in the states for the past 5 years, we've talked about moving there for a little bit while I'm finishing my schooling. I have found great PhD programs in England that would be an amazing experience and would provide quality education.

Our dream is to split our time between the UK and the US, and I'd ideally like to either practice in both countries or practice in one country and teach in another. My question is, does anyone know how difficult/ time consuming/expensive it would be to maintain both licenses in both countries? Would it be easier to get my PhD in the states and THEN get licensed in the UK, or vice versa?

Any advice or two cents would be so appreciated!

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Other folks will likely know more about this than me, but I believe the UK requires the equivalent of a masters degree for practicing psychologists, as the PhD is primarily academic. So if you do pursue a doctorate in the UK, I'd want to be very sure ahead of time that it'd meet the requirements of whatever state I wanted to get licensed in. I might be getting mixed up with various other European countries, though.

I'm almost positive that getting the doctorate in the US would make it easier to pursue licensure here. Not sure how portable it is to the UK, but my knee-jerk reaction is that it'd be easier than the other way around (i.e., doctorate in the UK and then getting licensed in the US).
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The British system is not so radically different from that of the US that it CAN'T be done, but on the other hand it is not like Canada, where the training and accreditation standards are highly compatible with the US. It would require a lot more money and time on your part to be fully accredited/licensed in both countries and it's almost certainly not worth the trouble. The logistics of maintaining practices in two states, let alone in two countries, would rule out this option for most people.

The only people I know who split time between countries/distant locations are academics who spend the fall and spring at their home institutions and go elsewhere for the summer, and maybe for a few weeks in the winter. This would be difficult in a clinical practice situation. It would be much easier to have a full-time faculty job in one country and teach or do collaborative research in the other during the summer. This would require some aggressive networking but it can be done.
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Thank you everyone for your advice! I sort of figured it might be a huge hassle and prepared myself for the answers. I think the best bet would be to practice in the states and teach abroad.