PhD/PsyD Neuropsych internships and unrelated research

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by metalpsychperson, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    I will be starting this year at a reputable, balanced PsyD program which is a good fit for me in many ways. However, I am a little concerned because I want to specialize in neuropsych. While my adviser's research is in an area of great interest to me (couples counseling), it is not related to neuropsych, and from what I have heard I probably would not be able to stray very much from that research area in his lab. Would I have trouble securing an internship in neuropsych with this research background, even if I do neuropsych practicum?
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    6,209
    3,865
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    If I am reviewing an application for internship or postdoc, and the research does not point to neuro-related things in increasing complexity as they go on, it is a red flag. Some may vary, but this is my take and has also been the take of the past neuro-specific committees I have been on. All other things being equal-ish, those with neuro related masters and dissertation projects will have a huge leg up against someone without such.
     
  4. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    So do you think it would still be possible for me to get into neuropsych from this lab, or should I focus my efforts more on other areas of interest?
     
  5. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    6,209
    3,865
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    I would look for any way to get into some actual neuro-related research. I'd be skeptical of getting any kind of meaningful neuro-related project from the couples counseling lab. It runs the risk of looking like you shoe-horned a project onto available participants.
     
  6. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    How would I be able to do this though? I applied to two labs there - one which was doing neuro-related research and the couples counseling lab, and I was accepted to the latter. The faculty are open to collaboration but grad students have told me that my adviser is not really open to doing anything too far outside of his research area.
     
  7. futureapppsy2

    futureapppsy2 Postdoctoral fellow Gold Donor SDN Moderator 7+ Year Member

    4,853
    692
    Dec 25, 2008
    I actually went to really interesting presentation on an RCT of partner-supported emotional regulation treatment in people with TBI at the Division 22 Conference, so the intersection isn't unheard of. Division 22 is rehabilitation psychology, but it has a *lot* of overlap with neuropsych.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  8. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    My adviser has actually been doing some research on couple resilience, which I find really interesting. Good to know that this kind of research is being done!
     
  9. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    6,209
    3,865
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    Depends on what's available through either your department, or people outside of your program who are open to bringing you on with the consent of your program. Just one of the hurdles you'll have to try to overcome.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  10. MamaPhD

    MamaPhD Psychologist, Academic Medical Center 5+ Year Member

    1,428
    1,210
    Aug 2, 2010
    Psychologist
    This is a great example of a way to cross specialties and keep a hand in both. You could also look into couples' work in dementia or other conditions that typically warrant neuropsych evaluation or intervention. This is tricky to navigate as a student, though. Work hard, deliver on everything, and make it easy for your PI to see the potential of this kind of work.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  11. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    21,022
    1,938
    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Faculty
    I was going to suggest couples counseling following TBI. You could also do it following (frontal) mass resection. It could also work following stroke/spinal cord injury, etc.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  12. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    6,209
    3,865
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    I would imagine these are fairly highly specific populations which may be difficult to find a high enough n to warrant anything beyond qualitative or exploratory studies, though.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  13. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    21,022
    1,938
    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Faculty
    Stroke or TBI incidence rates are not bad, with a decent sized hospital around it could work. Focus on a skilled based approach compared to a more traditional approach or maybe even supportive therapy. Or maybe provide specific education (make a booklet) about brain injury or Stroke + talk therapy compared to just talk therapy, and see if the additional education makes a difference on....X-factor. Or maybe offer an education or support group for the patient's sig other + couples Tx compared against just couples tx. and look at a part of adjustment following injury.

    I'm doing something similiar now (+Education v. no Ed to see if +Ed is helpful w. the chosen patient population in regard to a certain post-treatment response). We are targeting pts and not couples, but I've found using the +Ed piece to be s nice add-on (just eyeballing it), though data still to be analyzed.

    It isn't reinventing the wheel, but creating an educational resource can be an added benefit and something that could be expanded upon if this is something the OP enjoys.

    Sorry...love this stuff. Too many days of report writing in a row.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  14. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist 7+ Year Member

    6,209
    3,865
    Feb 15, 2009
    Somewhere
    Psychologist
    Yeah, if he has a contact at a hospital who is willing to do this, may not be that hard, although I doubt the program clinic is getting any of these people. He'd also need to find someone who is willing to supervise him for research projects and not be compensated for it. Not impossible, but just going to make the OP's grad school years a bit more demanding.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  15. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    21,022
    1,938
    Oct 6, 2006
    The Beach
    Faculty
    How about developing a contact (discharge planner, social worker, psychologist) or a few referral sources to refer to the program clinic?

    Good points about needing to keep an eye out for complicating the process.
     
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  16. Kadhir

    Kadhir

    78
    40
    Nov 13, 2015
    I agree with the advice given above. You'd have to work hard, but this isn't necessarily impossible. I've seen some recent literature on head injury and intimate partner violence as well. Definitely a very specialized population, and it may not jibe with your future mentor's projects, but this is just another example of the type of cross-cutting research @MamaPhD mentions. And frankly, it's what we need more of if we're really invested in this "clinical psychologist before neuropsychologist" identity.

    I have a couple friends who ended up in non-neuropsych labs but had quality externships and got involved in neuro research through them. They recently matched to competitive neuro slots and postdocs. Anecdotal? Absolutely. But like you, I'm pretty sure they knew from the get-go that they wanted to end up in neuro, so they really targeted their experiences.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
    metalpsychperson likes this.
  17. metalpsychperson

    metalpsychperson

    9
    8
    Mar 20, 2017
    The other professor I applied to has been collaborating with the neuroscience faculty doing research on the comorbidity of TBI and PTSD, but with a veteran population. I actually brought up the idea of studying this subject with victims of IPV during my interview, since I have some interest in IPV recovery and my honors thesis was on IPV victimization. She seemed pretty interested in the idea. Of course I wasn't selected for her lab, but I think that's because she's the program director (so probably more competition) and her main line of research is on addiction, which I don't have much interest or any experience in. So maybe there will still be some way for me to get research experience in that area as well.
     
    Kadhir and Therapist4Chnge like this.

Share This Page