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occupational therapy vs. clinical psychology

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by Una, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. Una

    Una Una 5+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Ottawa, On
    Hi. Hi. I am trying to decide between these two disciplines, and I would appreciate honest opinions.
    I am mainly interested in diagnostic work among children with disabilities and MR, and,most of all, treatment planning. Maybe I could do some direct therepy. Also some research, doing workshops, writing, and maybe teaching.
    At this point, I realize that clinical psychology would give me the ability to diagnose clinical disorders, where occupational therapy would not. (So would school psychology, but I do not want to work with teachers and the school system. Too much hassle). However, I have seen some occupational therapists (master's level) do assessments and have been quite impressed. It seems that they are able to look at educational and psychological functioning as well as motor and sensory problems, and to present treatment plans. They are able also to do research at the master's level in some settings, and to publish their findings and get grants. They can also teach as visiting professors after they get enough clinical experience. If I can get all this after 2 years of an occupational master's program, why bother going through the 6+ years to get a phD in clinical psychology? I'm sure I wouldn't really get paid more, either.
    I would appreciate the honest opinion of someone who has worked with both types of professionals. Is clinical psych assessment really more sophisticated than what is done by an OT? When I consider the fierce competition for research/clinical jobs after clinical psychology, it really makes me wonder if it is worth the trouble.
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  3. PublicHealth

    PublicHealth Banned Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    There are certainly differences between the two professions. I have even heard that occupational therapists are interested in conducting neuropsychological assessments. The BLS summarizes each profession quite nicely:

    Occupational therapists:

    Clinical psychologists:

    According to these figures, occupational therapists actually make MORE than clinical psychologists!

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