Mar 4, 2010
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I'll be attending an exclusively child/adolescent-focused program that I think is as a great fit for me and my interests, and right now, I'm perfectly comfortable with the focus of the program (otherwise, I won't have applied).

However, I'm wondering about what would happen if I decided in the future that I did want to work with adults. Would it make sense to get an MSW at that point (with the understanding that I wouldn't be trained in adult assessment)? I know clinical respecialization programs exist, but I was always under the impression that those are mainly for people with purely experimental psych PhDs (social, developmental, etc).

Any input appreciated.

Thanks!
 
Mar 18, 2010
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I'll be attending an exclusively child/adolescent-focused program that I think is as a great fit for me and my interests, and right now, I'm perfectly comfortable with the focus of the program (otherwise, I won't have applied).

However, I'm wondering about what would happen if I decided in the future that I did want to work with adults. Would it make sense to get an MSW at that point (with the understanding that I wouldn't be trained in adult assessment)? I know clinical respecialization programs exist, but I was always under the impression that those are mainly for people with purely experimental psych PhDs (social, developmental, etc).

Any input appreciated.

Thanks!
Hey-

One thing you may wish to consider is a post graduate institute... Here in NYC there is a plethora of places that would train you, provide clients, as well as supervision. Many of the institutes have specific theoretical interests so it would be a great chance to really delve into a specific way of working with a client... There are institutes which focus on neo freudian, interpersonal, intersubjective, REBT, self psychology, relational.. you name it.

I have my MSW and I can tell you that it probably wouldnt be worth the resources to go back to school.
 

AcronymAllergy

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You could also consider attending a generalist internship site that gets you experience in child/adolescent and adult populations. After that, you could shoot for a post-doc with a similar split (if one exists) rather than going for an MSW.
 
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You could also consider attending a generalist internship site that gets you experience in child/adolescent and adult populations. After that, you could shoot for a post-doc with a similar split (if one exists) rather than going for an MSW.
The issue is that *all* of my coursework/practica will be child and adolescent (well, except for things involving parents), so I'm thinking it may be a very hard/impossible sell to a "mixed" internship site.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 

Therapist4Chnge

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It wouldn't make any sense.

There are many things you can take from your child work that still apply when walking with adults, though you'll have some gaps.
Your best bet it to gain mentorship at your program (it sounds less likely), internship (more likely at a CMHC, hospital, etc), or post-doc (most likely).
 

AcronymAllergy

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The issue is that *all* of my coursework/practica will be child and adolescent (well, except for things involving parents), so I'm thinking it may be a very hard/impossible sell to a "mixed" internship site.

Thanks for the suggestions!
I actually think some sites (as T4C said, more likely in post-doc than internship) would appreciate your desire to increase your breadth of knowledge and experience by working with populations with which you have little to no exposure.

Based on my review of adult sites, I've seen a decent number that require, or at the very least offer, pediatric rotations. And there are quite a few adult clinical folks with absolutely no pediatric/adolescent experience prior to heading off to internship.

Although (again as T4C mentioned), post-doc is likely your best bet for gaining actual competence in an adult population if you have no experience with it in your doctoral program. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable doing much of anything with children after only completing a three- or six-month internship rotation. I'd definitely want the extra exposure and supervision afforded by a post-doc.