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Reminded

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Greetings! I'm new here. I recently decided to follow my heart, abandon the med school plans my parents had for me, and to pursue neuropsychology. Unfortunately, I'm not so knowledgeable about the process of about what my next step needs to be.

Are there dual PhD programs for those who want to practice as therapists and research neuropsychology simultaneously?

If, for example, someone were to attend a program like UCLA's, where they claim to have no training for practice, would they be able to pass the board and practice afterwards, or would they be closing off that door and pursuing a full research career? Pardon the ignorance: I really don't know.

Question 2: my father's an academic in chemistry, and he assures me that often enough people join labs as researchers before being admitted as Ph.D., and that often the professors in charge will make sure they're accepted, if they're doing a good enough job. Apparently this happens in other fields, but has anyone heard of it happening in psychology?

You all seem like a pleasant and knowledgeable group, and I'm happy to join the forum!
 
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Good ?'s. We have a few neuropsych's here who can answer your questions. If you get nothing by tomorrow PM JonSnow.
 

Ollie123

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Can't answer your neuropsych questions, but can answer about labs.

Yes, many people work in labs before getting into graduate school. In fact, at least for clinical psych, PhD programs are so competitive if you have NOT worked in a lab, you have almost no chance to get accepted anywhere. At least I've never heard of anyone getting accepted without at least some for-credit research in college, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

If you can find a job working for a professor you would want to attend grad school with, do it. If you impress them it improves your odds 10000x over for getting in with that professor. Even if not, chances are it will help you get in with people doing similar research. Academia is a surprisingly small world, and researchers know people doing similar work everywhere around the country. They'll know if prof ___ hired you that you have experience in that line of work and if you have a letter of rec from them, chances are you are a quality candidate.

From what I have seen, academia is as much about networking as anything else. I've had many really great jobs with just my BA (unfortunately none were in my area of interest, which probably hurt my apps a bit). Every last one was got when prof x I worked for told my prof y was looking for someone, or I saw a posting online and one of the professors would tell the other "Hey he worked for me, he's good" and from then the application was mostly just a formality. Just do EVERYTHING you can to find research in your specific area of interest. I'm convinced if I had applied to addictions researchers I would have been able to go just about anywhere, but since I was interested in mood even though 4/5 labs I've worked in have been addictions labs, I didn't even get interviews most places.
 
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LadyInRed

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Hi Reminded, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are pursuing a clinical psychology degree, you will get some training in therapy, even if you are in a neuropsychology track. I don't know anything about the UCLA program, but if it is a clinical psych program, it has to at least meet the APA requirements for training in assessments and therapy. So I wouldn't say that UCLA has no training for practice, as much as UCLA has more of a research side and their students tend to pursue research careers as opposed to private practice. Students who chose to go into private practice from the UCLA program would still receive adequate training to do so, but they might not be happy while in the program since they wouldn't be interested in the research requirements of the program.

If you are equally interested in both research and (non-neuropsych) therapy, I'd suggest a strong clinical psych program that does not have a neuropsychology track but where you would work with a neuropsychologist. These programs tend to give you more training in therapy and general clinical practice than the strong neuropsych ones do. However, if you are interested in mostly doing research, or if you are interested in being a clinician but sticking mostly to neuropsych assessments as opposed to delving into psychotherapy, a neuropsych track might be better for you. It brings up an interesting issue of the pros and cons of studying neuropsychology in a structured neuropsych track vesus in a general clinical psych program - some people believe that students in a neuropsych track might have trouble in internships because they lack a strong background in therapy - there are others more knowledgeable about this topic, so maybe someone else could speak to that?

One last thing to keep in mind is that I've heard it's easier to switch from a research career to a clinical one rather than vice versa. I would never say that the program you choose to go to "closes the door" to pursuing a specific career. But if you aren't sure which you would want to do in the future, a more research-based program (a 5 or so on the Insider's Guide scale) might be the way to go. That's the case with me at least, I'm looking to attend a more research-based program because it would provide a good foundation for an empirically-based clinical career. Hope this helps, and good luck!
 

Reminded

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Hi Reminded, one thing to keep in mind is that if you are pursuing a clinical psychology degree, you will get some training in therapy, even if you are in a neuropsychology track. I don't know anything about the UCLA program, but if it is a clinical psych program, it has to at least meet the APA requirements for training in assessments and therapy. So I wouldn't say that UCLA has no training for practice, as much as UCLA has more of a research side and their students tend to pursue research careers as opposed to private practice. Students who chose to go into private practice from the UCLA program would still receive adequate training to do so, but they might not be happy while in the program since they wouldn't be interested in the research requirements of the program.

If you are equally interested in both research and (non-neuropsych) therapy, I'd suggest a strong clinical psych program that does not have a neuropsychology track but where you would work with a neuropsychologist. These programs tend to give you more training in therapy and general clinical practice than the strong neuropsych ones do. However, if you are interested in mostly doing research, or if you are interested in being a clinician but sticking mostly to neuropsych assessments as opposed to delving into psychotherapy, a neuropsych track might be better for you. It brings up an interesting issue of the pros and cons of studying neuropsychology in a structured neuropsych track vesus in a general clinical psych program - some people believe that students in a neuropsych track might have trouble in internships because they lack a strong background in therapy - there are others more knowledgeable about this topic, so maybe someone else could speak to that?

One last thing to keep in mind is that I've heard it's easier to switch from a research career to a clinical one rather than vice versa. I would never say that the program you choose to go to "closes the door" to pursuing a specific career. But if you aren't sure which you would want to do in the future, a more research-based program (a 5 or so on the Insider's Guide scale) might be the way to go. That's the case with me at least, I'm looking to attend a more research-based program because it would provide a good foundation for an empirically-based clinical career. Hope this helps, and good luck!


Thank you, ladyinred! I like your advice to seek a strong, research-based clinical program. Yes, I am very legitimately interested in research. Where would be my best resource to find out about these programs? The book you mentioned in your PM?
 

Phant

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I was also premed and psych. Have you ever considered a strong research oriented school with psychophysiology lab?
 

Therapist4Chnge

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I was also a med/psych person......though I made the decision before starting med school, since I knew I wouldn't want to leave something like that without finishing. I'm pretty happy with clinical, though there are aspects of med that I think I'd really like.

-t
 

Reminded

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I was also a med/psych person......though I made the decision before starting med school, since I knew I wouldn't want to leave something like that without finishing. I'm pretty happy with clinical, though there are aspects of med that I think I'd really like.

-t

I'm not in med school - I'm just going to be turning down several acceptances this year. I, too, figured it was best to leave before I have several thousands in debt. A strong research program would be what I would be looking for. So I should get those two books and go to town on them, is the consensus? Do these books list acceptance rates, etc? Seems that getting into top clinical psych programs is no less a crapshoot than getting into top med programs... :-/
 

Ollie123

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This year I believe Yale took 3 people out of about 300 applications.

If you are applying to research-oriented PhD programs, you will probably not see acceptance rates over 10%.

Highest acceptance rate at the 13 schools I applied to was an 8%. And I tried to strike a balance between top tier schools and some lower ones, so its not like I was only applying to Yale, Harvard, etc.
 
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