PhD/PsyD Seeking Guidance: Easiest States for Temporary License and EPPP Eligibility & Career Advice in Psychology + Easiest European Country Accepting US PsyD

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PositiveSoul

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Hello everyone,

I am a 53-year-old recent Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) graduate from California Southern University, transitioning from over 15 years in IT, where I served as a Business Analyst, Project Manager, and Product Manager for Fortune 100 companies. I also hold an MBA, which has enhanced my management and strategic skills. Currently based in the San Francisco North Bay Area, I am keen on entering the field of psychology.

Although my Psy.D. program is non-APA accredited, it meets the requirements of the California Board of Psychology, which includes completing 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE); 1500 hours to be eligible to sit for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) and another 1500 for the California Psychology Law and Ethics Examination (CPLE) to obtain licensure.

My decision to pursue an online Psy.D. was strategic, as it allowed me to continue full-time employment during significant industry layoffs. This program included additional coursework to ensure I was well-prepared to get into a Psychology program as I came from a non-traditional (i.e., without a Master's degree in Psychology) background.

Given my diverse background, which includes a decade living in Europe, fluency in multiple languages, and a wealth of transferable skills, I am now seeking:
  • Temporary License: Insights on states with streamlined processes for issuing temporary psychology licenses, which would allow me to begin accumulating SPE.
  • EPPP Eligibility: Advice on states that allow candidates to sit for the EPPP prior to completing all SPE requirements, particularly those open to non-residents.
  • Employment Opportunities: Recommendations for job openings that would facilitate my entry into psychology, aiding in the accumulation of necessary SPE hours.
  • International Practice: Information on European countries that would recognize my American Psy.D. and allow me to register and practice as a psychologist. I am particularly interested in countries where I previously lived, but open to opportunities across Europe.
I am also looking for mentorship and advice from experienced psychologists or anyone who has navigated a similar career transition. Any guidance, insights, or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all in advance for your support and advice!

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First, did you complete a predoctoral internship through the APPIC Match? I am unfamiliar with your program. It's somewhat concerning that the website lists in multiple places "CalSouthern cannot guarantee employment, licensure, salary, or career advancement." Which, of course they shouldn't be able to do that, but I've never seen it written out like that as a disclaimer.

Michigan offers a limited/educational license that you can use to practice in Michigan with supervision to obtain hours for full licensure. Other states may have something like that too. However, in most states you can practice under supervision through a formal or informal post-doc.

In many states, applying for licensure allows you to be eligible to sit for the EPPP. My experience for that was in PA, where you apply for licensure, send doctoral transcripts, get fingerprints, etc. and then they approve you to sit for the EPPP.

Most of my knowledge of employment comes through the VA. Doctoral grads can enter as GS-11s and work as graduate psychologists/unlicensed psychologists to obtain hours for supervision. You could also apply for a post-doc position to obtain hours (less pay than GS-11 but built in didactics/training opportunities).

No idea about European countries.
 
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his program included additional coursework to ensure I was well-prepared to get into a Psychology program as I came from a non-traditional (i.e., without a Master's degree in Psychology) background.

Just a point of clarification for others reading this and being confused. The norm is getting into a clinical psych program without a masters.
 
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1) If I showed up at your office and said, "I know you spent a over a decade becoming a product manager. I don't really know what the career path is, but tell me how to become a product manager, and how to get a job in London. I got a business degree at an online place, during my smoke breaks at Chili's. ", you'd probably be annoyed.

2) If this online degree meets all requirements for California, why not get licensed there? The fact that you are searching for "SPE" is strange. Did you not get any practica? Why not?

3) This isn't "strategic". Everyone wants to continue to have an income. It was a risk. It's rather strange to risk your future career for a career that you want out of.
 
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Given that you attended a non-APA accredited program and your clinical hours/experience appears to be "non-standard" based on your post, I don't know that any of us can give applicable advice. For example, Veteran's Affairs jobs, as mentioned above, are only open to those from APA or PCSAS accredited programs. Your best bet would be to call the board of any state you wish to be licensed in and see what would be required to prove equivalency and meet requirements.
 
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First, did you complete a predoctoral internship through the APPIC Match? I am unfamiliar with your program. It's somewhat concerning that the website lists in multiple places "CalSouthern cannot guarantee employment, licensure, salary, or career advancement." Which, of course they shouldn't be able to do that, but I've never seen it written out like that as a disclaimer.

Michigan offers a limited/educational license that you can use to practice in Michigan with supervision to obtain hours for full licensure. Other states may have something like that too. However, in most states you can practice under supervision through a formal or informal post-doc.

In many states, applying for licensure allows you to be eligible to sit for the EPPP. My experience for that was in PA, where you apply for licensure, send doctoral transcripts, get fingerprints, etc. and then they approve you to sit for the EPPP.

Most of my knowledge of employment comes through the VA. Doctoral grads can enter as GS-11s and work as graduate psychologists/unlicensed psychologists to obtain hours for supervision. You could also apply for a post-doc position to obtain hours (less pay than GS-11 but built in didactics/training opportunities).

No idea about European countries.


Thank you so much for your insights and suggestions!

You're right; my program at CalSouthern did not include a predoctoral internship through the APPIC Match. This was partly due to the nature of the program being designed to accommodate working professionals through online coursework, which allowed me to maintain my employment in the IT sector during significant industry layoffs. The program focused on academic preparation and theoretical knowledge, which now requires me to seek supervised professional experience post-graduation.

Regarding the disclaimers on the CalSouthern website, they are indeed meant to set realistic expectations, acknowledging the variability in licensure processes across different states and the competitive nature of the psychology field. It's a standard caution, not unique to CalSouthern, though perhaps more explicitly stated.

The information about Michigan's limited/educational license is particularly helpful. I'll look into similar licenses in other states as well, as they might offer viable pathways for gaining the necessary supervised experience. The process in Pennsylvania you described for EPPP eligibility is also enlightening, and I will explore if similar procedures are available in other states.

Your suggestion regarding employment opportunities at the VA is extremely valuable. Working as an unlicensed psychologist under supervision sounds like a fantastic way to accumulate the required hours for full licensure. I will definitely consider applying for positions at the VA and look into post-doc positions that offer structured training and didactics, which are crucial for my growth in this new field.

As for practicing in Europe, I am still in the early stages of exploring how my degree can be recognized, and it seems like a more complex journey than in the U.S., given the different regulations and standards.

Thank you again for your detailed response. Any further advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated as I navigate this transition!
 
Just a point of clarification for others reading this and being confused. The norm is getting into a clinical psych program without a masters.


Thank you for pointing that out!

Indeed, you are correct that entering a clinical psychology doctoral program without a master's degree in psychology is quite common and often the norm. My mention of additional coursework was specific to my situation at CalSouthern, where the program was structured to accommodate individuals coming from non-traditional backgrounds like mine—transitioning from IT to psychology with a Master in Business Administration (MBA). This meant I had to take certain preparatory courses to ensure I was on par academically with those who might have come from a more typical psychology background.

I appreciate your clarification, as it helps to ensure that others are not confused about the requirements for entering such programs. It's always good to highlight these norms so that prospective students can understand that there are multiple pathways into the field of psychology.

Thank you again for your engagement and for helping to enrich the discussion!
 
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U.S. states almost universally require APA accreditation at the doctoral level, or that the trainee demonstrate equivalency in their training, to grant any level of licensure, even restricted/supervised. APA accreditation requires that a certain amount of clinical practicum hours be earned pre-doctorally, which pretty much every state will also then require.

However, I'm a bit confused. You've said your program meets CA requirements, including for 3000 hours of supervised practice/professional experience. Does this mean you've already completed these 3000 hours, or that you've been granted your degree but have yet to complete these hours? If the former, you may have more options. If the latter, you may be out of luck in terms of licensure with any state.
 
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1) If I showed up at your office and said, "I know you spent a over a decade becoming a product manager. I don't really know what the career path is, but tell me how to become a product manager, and how to get a job in London. I got a business degree at an online place, during my smoke breaks at Chili's. ", you'd probably be annoyed.

2) If this online degree meets all requirements for California, why not get licensed there? The fact that you are searching for "SPE" is strange. Did you not get any practica? Why not?

3) This isn't "strategic". Everyone wants to continue to have an income. It was a risk. It's rather strange to risk your future career for a career that you want out of.


Thank you for sharing your concerns and allowing me to clarify some aspects of my journey:

I understand the analogy you're drawing, and respect that transitioning fields can be viewed differently by each individual. My pursuit of a Psy.D. via an online program at CalSouthern was based on my circumstances and career objectives, just as traditional routes suit others’ needs and situations. My commitment to learning and growing within the field of psychology is steadfast, similar to my dedication in my previous IT career.

I also want to highlight the rigorous nature of the online Psy.D. program I completed. These programs are designed to meet the same educational standards as traditional on-campus programs, often requiring a higher level of discipline and self-management due to their independent study format. This mode of education is not only about providing flexibility but also maintaining high academic standards. It enables working professionals like myself to continue our careers while advancing our education, which is crucial for balancing professional growth with personal and financial responsibilities.

Regarding licensure in California, my program is indeed designed to meet the state's educational requirements, which includes accruing 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE). However, it did not include practicum placements, which is why I am now actively seeking opportunities to gain these necessary supervised hours.

Choosing to pursue a degree that allows for continued employment might be seen as a risk, but for many, it’s a strategic decision, especially in unpredictable economic times. My decision was weighed carefully with a long-term career transition plan in mind.

Additionally, it’s important to note that although CalSouthern is not APA-accredited, the university has determined that the Psy.D. program curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in several states, including CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, and WV. While some of these states may have additional requirements not covered by the program's curriculum, these can often be satisfied at CalSouthern, Zur Institute, or CE4Less through supplementary courses or training.

This alignment with state requirements reflects the program's design to ensure that graduates are well-prepared to meet professional standards across various regions, further underscoring the program's rigor and relevance in the field of psychology.

I assure you that the quality and the challenge of my academic journey were not compromised by the choice of delivery mode. I appreciate this dialogue and hope this helps clarify my decisions and current path. Looking forward to more constructive discussions.
 
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Given that you attended a non-APA accredited program and your clinical hours/experience appears to be "non-standard" based on your post, I don't know that any of us can give applicable advice. For example, Veteran's Affairs jobs, as mentioned above, are only open to those from APA or PCSAS accredited programs. Your best bet would be to call the board of any state you wish to be licensed in and see what would be required to prove equivalency and meet requirements.


Thank you for your insights, and I appreciate your honesty in highlighting the limitations that might come from graduating from a non-APA accredited program.

You are correct in noting that certain opportunities, like those at the Veterans Affairs, typically require degrees from APA or PCSAS accredited programs. This is an important consideration for anyone in my position, and it underscores the necessity of thorough research and planning when pursuing licensure and employment opportunities in the field of psychology.

Given the unique aspects of my educational background and the non-standard clinical experience, I am aware that my path to licensure might be different and possibly more challenging. As you suggested, contacting the board of psychology in any state where I wish to be licensed is indeed my next step. I plan to discuss directly with them the requirements and processes for proving the equivalency of my education and experience. This approach will ensure that I meet all necessary standards to practice safely and effectively.

My commitment to becoming a licensed psychologist is strong, and I am prepared to undertake additional steps that may be required to achieve this goal. This might include supplemental coursework, additional supervised clinical hours, or even specific examinations tailored to assess my competencies.

Again, I appreciate your input, and it’s valuable advice like yours that helps me navigate this complex process. Your point emphasizes the importance of direct communication with licensing boards to clarify and confirm the steps needed for individuals with degrees like mine. Thank you for contributing to this constructive discussion.
 
U.S. states almost universally require APA accreditation at the doctoral level, or that the trainee demonstrate equivalency in their training, to grant any level of licensure, even restricted/supervised. APA accreditation requires that a certain amount of clinical practicum hours be earned pre-doctorally, which pretty much every state will also then require.

However, I'm a bit confused. You've said your program meets CA requirements, including for 3000 hours of supervised practice/professional experience. Does this mean you've already completed these 3000 hours, or that you've been granted your degree but have yet to complete these hours? If the former, you may have more options. If the latter, you may be out of luck in terms of licensure with any state.


Thank you for your comments, which highlight an important aspect of licensure for psychologists in the U.S. You are right; most U.S. states require either APA accreditation or a demonstration of equivalency in training for licensure. APA accreditation does indeed entail specific requirements regarding the quantity and quality of pre-doctoral clinical practicum hours.

To address your confusion: my program at California Southern University is designed to meet California's educational requirements for licensure, which includes both coursework and 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE). To clarify, I have not yet completed these 3000 hours; the degree program provided the academic foundation necessary to pursue these hours post-graduation. Therefore, my current task is to secure opportunities to accumulate these required hours under supervision.

Additionally, it’s important to note that although CalSouthern is not APA-accredited, the university has determined that the Psy.D. program curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in several states, including CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, and WV. While some of these states may have additional requirements not covered by the program's curriculum, these can often be satisfied at CalSouthern through supplementary courses or training.

This situation is indeed more common with non-APA accredited programs, where graduates must often go the extra mile to demonstrate that their training and experience meet state requirements. In California, for instance, graduates of non-APA accredited programs like mine must often submit additional documentation or complete extra steps to establish the equivalency of their education and supervised experience.

For other states, the pathway can vary significantly, and as you advised, contacting each state board where I wish to practice is essential. These boards will provide the definitive answer on whether my education and subsequent professional experience can meet their criteria for licensure.

I appreciate your engagement in this discussion as it helps clarify the steps I need to take and highlights the importance of thorough preparation and compliance with state-specific requirements to reach my goal of becoming a licensed psychologist.
 
Why do I feel like I am talking to a bot from Cal Southern?
 
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Given that you have not had any prior clinical experience, you may wish to check out the advice given on a recent thread for an individual looking to re-specialize in clinical psychology from having a prior non-clinical degree, which yours seems to be. One of the options suggested was to pursue an MSW or similar master's program. I think that might be the easiest opportunity for you, which will open up many more doors than your current degree.
 
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Why do I feel like I am talking to a bot from Cal Southern?


I assure you, I am very much human and not a bot! My responses may come off as detailed and formal because I aim to be thorough and clear, especially about complex topics like licensure and educational pathways in psychology. It's important to me that the information I share is accurate and helpful, given the significance of these decisions for my career transition.

I understand that this can sometimes make the tone of my messages feel a bit structured. I appreciate your patience and am grateful for the chance to engage in this valuable discussion. If you have any more questions or need clarification on any point, I'm here to chat more casually and share my personal experiences!
 
Thank you for your comments, which highlight an important aspect of licensure for psychologists in the U.S. You are right; most U.S. states require either APA accreditation or a demonstration of equivalency in training for licensure. APA accreditation does indeed entail specific requirements regarding the quantity and quality of pre-doctoral clinical practicum hours.

To address your confusion: my program at California Southern University is designed to meet California's educational requirements for licensure, which includes both coursework and 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE). To clarify, I have not yet completed these 3000 hours; the degree program provided the academic foundation necessary to pursue these hours post-graduation. Therefore, my current task is to secure opportunities to accumulate these required hours under supervision.

Additionally, it’s important to note that although CalSouthern is not APA-accredited, the university has determined that the Psy.D. program curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in several states, including CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, and WV. While some of these states may have additional requirements not covered by the program's curriculum, these can often be satisfied at CalSouthern through supplementary courses or training.

This situation is indeed more common with non-APA accredited programs, where graduates must often go the extra mile to demonstrate that their training and experience meet state requirements. In California, for instance, graduates of non-APA accredited programs like mine must often submit additional documentation or complete extra steps to establish the equivalency of their education and supervised experience.

For other states, the pathway can vary significantly, and as you advised, contacting each state board where I wish to practice is essential. These boards will provide the definitive answer on whether my education and subsequent professional experience can meet their criteria for licensure.

I appreciate your engagement in this discussion as it helps clarify the steps I need to take and highlights the importance of thorough preparation and compliance with state-specific requirements to reach my goal of becoming a licensed psychologist.
You didn't complete ANY clinical work during the 4-5 years of the program? I can't imagine that anyone will hire you to essentially work as a practicum student, which usually pays nothing and is a part of your training program. I think your best bet is to stay in Cali and find a supervisor who is familiar with graduates of this program.
 
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Given that you have not had any prior clinical experience, you may wish to check out the advice given on a recent thread for an individual looking to re-specialize in clinical psychology from having a prior non-clinical degree, which yours seems to be. One of the options suggested was to pursue an MSW or similar master's program. I think that might be the easiest opportunity for you, which will open up many more doors than your current degree.

Thank you for the suggestion. While an MSW is a valuable qualification, my commitment is to psychology, where I aim to utilize my specific training in psychological assessment and therapy. I am focused on meeting the necessary licensure requirements to practice psychology, despite the challenges associated with my non-traditional path. Currently, I am exploring states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, which might allow me to sit for the EPPP without a prior practicum, SPE, or internship, aligning with my immediate goals.
 
Given that you have not had any prior clinical experience, you may wish to check out the advice given on a recent thread for an individual looking to re-specialize in clinical psychology from having a prior non-clinical degree, which yours seems to be. One of the options suggested was to pursue an MSW or similar master's program. I think that might be the easiest opportunity for you, which will open up many more doors than your current degree.
Seconded. Since your degree program didn't include any pre-doctoral clinical work, my guess is that it's not going to qualify you for licensure in any state. It's also difficult or impossible for potential supervisors to provide supervised practice in your situation when you aren't enrolled in a training program.

Outside of a re-specialization program, I'm not sure there are many other options. As an aside RE: coursework, it generally represents a relatively small portion of the training/learning that occurs at the doctoral level in psychology. Anecdotally, the majority of my learning in grad school occurred outside of class--at supervision and research meetings with my advisor and practicum supervisors (and in impromptu discussions with them), in the performance of the clinical practicum work itself, in out-of-class discussions with other students in my program, in conducting clinical research, and in self-directed learning in response to stuff that came up in said practicum placements and research projects.

Edit: Regarding Michigan, I think they require at least 2000 pre-doctoral hours completed as a part of your degree program (e.g., via internship). I believe PA also requires a number of hours completed predoctorally as a part of the degree program.
 
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Thank you for the suggestion. While an MSW is a valuable qualification, my commitment is to psychology, where I aim to utilize my specific training in psychological assessment and therapy. I am focused on meeting the necessary licensure requirements to practice psychology, despite the challenges associated with my non-traditional path. Currently, I am exploring states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, which might allow me to sit for the EPPP without a prior practicum, SPE, or internship, aligning with my immediate goals.

I think people's comments and concerns are actually that you pragmatically have no training in therapy and assessment at this time, and that's what will make it a challenge to both find hours and get licensed, even in states that apparently recognize Cal Southern. This training happens in hand-on settings, under supervision. You are essentially the equivalent of a second year graduate student at this point if you have no actual clinical supervised hours.
 
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If I am interpreting your posts correctly, it sounds like you didn’t complete any clinical practicum experiences during your program, including no pre doctoral internship. If that is the case, then how is this program educationally equivalent to APA accredited programs? In order to graduate from accredited programs, an individual must complete practicum hours as part of their educational requirements, as well as a predoctoral internship. Those are mandatory credits. I’m confused of how a state board will accept equivalency if the education requirements are missing likely the most critical component of the educational requirements set forth by APA—the actual clinical work that makes a clinical degree a clinical degree.
 
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Thank you for the suggestion. While an MSW is a valuable qualification, my commitment is to psychology, where I aim to utilize my specific training in psychological assessment and therapy. I am focused on meeting the necessary licensure requirements to practice psychology, despite the challenges associated with my non-traditional path. Currently, I am exploring states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, which might allow me to sit for the EPPP without a prior practicum, SPE, or internship, aligning with my immediate goals.
To be clear, the EPPP is not what will hold you back. Michigan won't even let you get a limited license until you complete an accredited internship. Passing the EPPP won't help with this problem/demonstrate that you are ready for practice. As WisNeuro said, you're essentially a beginning graduate student. The coursework means very little.
 
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You didn't complete ANY clinical work during the 4-5 years of the program? I can't imagine that anyone will hire you to essentially work as a practicum student, which usually pays nothing and is a part of your training program. I think your best bet is to stay in Cali and find a supervisor who is familiar with graduates of this program.


Thank you for your thoughts. Indeed, my path to becoming a licensed psychologist is somewhat unconventional due to the non-traditional nature of my Psy.D. program, which didn't include pre-doctoral clinical work. However, there are structured pathways to licensure available that accommodate graduates like myself. In California, one such pathway is through registration as a Psychological Associate. This registration allows individuals to perform psychological functions under the supervision of a licensed psychologist, thereby gaining the necessary clinical experience required for full licensure. The process involves submitting an application, including a supervision agreement that outlines the planned program of supervision. This is crucial as it guides the trainee to accomplish the training goals and objectives of the supervised professional experience (SPE).

To ensure all requirements are met, the supervision agreement must be in place before the commencement of the SPE, and the psychological associate must maintain a written, weekly log of all hours of SPE gained toward licensure. These steps are outlined by the California Board of Psychology and are designed to ensure that graduates from various backgrounds can meet professional standards through structured and supervised training.

Additionally, one of the reasons behind my post here is to explore states, other than California, which allow candidates to sit for the EPPP without prior completion of SPE, practicum, or internship. This could significantly streamline my path to licensure. I've learned that states like Pennsylvania and Michigan may offer such options. Upon passing the EPPP, I plan to transfer my score to other states where I'm seeking licensure, as long as the score meets their criteria. This flexibility is possible through the ASPPB EPPP Score Transfer Service, which facilitates the acceptance of scores across different states.

This route not only legitimizes my training and experience but also provides a clear and official avenue to work towards licensure within the regulatory framework of the psychology profession in California. It also offers a strategic advantage, allowing me to meet the licensing requirements more efficiently while leveraging the opportunities to accumulate necessary SPE in various settings or states. For more details, you can review the guidelines on the supervision agreement and experience verification on the California Board of Psychology’s website at California Board of Psychology.
 
You didn't complete ANY clinical work during the 4-5 years of the program? I can't imagine that anyone will hire you to essentially work as a practicum student, which usually pays nothing and is a part of your training program. I think your best bet is to stay in Cali and find a supervisor who is familiar with graduates of this program.
Reading through this thread is so confusing and I’m screaming internally at work on my lunch break.

OP - to clarify, you have or have not completed your PsyD degree? I have never heard of a clinical psychology program, even unaccredited diploma mills, conferring a degree in “clinical psychology” with the student doing ZERO clinical work. That’s like becoming a medical doctor or dentist but you’ve never seen a patient in real life…

A quick perusal of your program’s website shows the states where you do and do not meet licensure eligibility. I would start there. It looks like 10 states are possible, but I imagine it will be zero (including CA) without predoctoral supervised hours. Your program’s website states that there are “optional opportunities for supervised clinical experience.” It I’m reading this correct and you truly have yet to ever see a patient, your degree is not remotely equivalent to APA degrees where the average graduate will have somewhere north of at least 3000 supervised hours, including internship, before graduating and then moving on to typically a minimum of another 2000 hours of postdoctoral hours before getting licensed in the majority of US states.

This is just, um, bad… holy cow.
 
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Seconded. Since your degree program didn't include any pre-doctoral clinical work, my guess is that it's not going to qualify you for licensure in any state. It's also difficult or impossible for potential supervisors to provide supervised practice in your situation when you aren't enrolled in a training program.

Outside of a re-specialization program, I'm not sure there are many other options. As an aside RE: coursework, it generally represents a relatively small portion of the training/learning that occurs at the doctoral level in psychology. Anecdotally, the majority of my learning in grad school occurred outside of class--at supervision and research meetings with my advisor and practicum supervisors (and in impromptu discussions with them), in the performance of the clinical practicum work itself, in out-of-class discussions with other students in my program, in conducting clinical research, and in self-directed learning in response to stuff that came up in said practicum placements and research projects.

Edit: Regarding Michigan, I think they require at least 2000 pre-doctoral hours completed as a part of your degree program (e.g., via internship). I believe PA also requires a number of hours completed predoctorally as a part of the degree program.


Thank you for sharing your perspective, and I appreciate your detailed explanation of how learning and training typically occur in traditional doctoral programs in psychology. You bring up valid points about the importance of pre-doctoral clinical work and the immersive learning environment it creates.

My program at California Southern University, while non-traditional and without embedded pre-doctoral internships or practicums, is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure in California as outlined by the Board of Psychology. It is indeed true that the pathway to licensure for someone from a non-traditional program like mine may differ from those graduating from APA-accredited programs, which is why the option to register as a Psychological Associate exists—to legally gain supervised professional experience (SPE) necessary for licensure.

Regarding your point about Michigan and Pennsylvania requiring pre-doctoral hours as part of the degree program, you're correct, and this highlights the need for individuals like myself to carefully research and potentially select states with pathways that accommodate our unique educational backgrounds. For instance, some states allow candidates to sit for the EPPP exam before completing all SPE requirements, which could be an avenue worth exploring further.

It's important to note that while traditional pathways integrate clinical experience within the curriculum, non-traditional pathways often require additional steps post-graduation to achieve the same ends. These might include targeted post-doctoral training, supplemental coursework, or structured SPE under supervision, all of which are designed to ensure that all psychologists, regardless of their educational paths, meet the requisite standards of practice.

Your insights about the practical and experiential aspects of psychological training are invaluable, and they underscore the importance of rigorous supervised practice for anyone entering the field, traditional background or otherwise. I'm committed to following through with these necessary steps to ensure that my transition into psychology is as comprehensive and robust as those from more traditional routes.
 
Additionally, one of the reasons behind my post here is to explore states, other than California, which allow candidates to sit for the EPPP without prior completion of SPE, practicum, or internship. This could significantly streamline my path to licensure. I've learned that states like Pennsylvania and Michigan may offer such options. Upon passing the EPPP, I plan to transfer my score to other states where I'm seeking licensure, as long as the score meets their criteria. This flexibility is possible through the ASPPB EPPP Score Transfer Service, which facilitates the acceptance of scores across different states.
I guess I don't understand what sitting for the EPPP will accomplish at this point? There is no rush for this part as obtaining all your hours, even if working full-time somewhere, will take at least 1.5 years.
 
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Passing the EPPP is not what will gain make you license eligible in some states, having to prove degree requirement equivalency is what will make you ineligible in most states.

OP, I am truly sorry that Cal Southern made it sound like this was a good idea. If you are able to get licensed after it's all said and done, after what will likely be a lengthy process, you will likely only be eligible within that state, or a very limited subset. I sincerely hope your previous career afforded you ample retirement savings.
 
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You've gotten some good advice above. As you move forward and try to identify supervised training experiences, It will be crucial to to assure that your experiences meet licensure requirements related not only total number of supervised hours, but also things like (max/min time to complete these hours (e.g., 1600 hours in no more than 24 months), staff makeup (e.g., at least 2 licensed psychologists on staff), training requirements (e.g., it must be a clearly defined training program and not just on the job training; minimum number of hours of didactics/group supervision/case presentations/etc. beyond individual supervision), and required job title (e.g., intern; fellow; psychology trainee). You are going to have to very carefully document all of these things, and most likely have some additional verification- like a signature from someone called "director of training" that you aren't making things up. Licensure boards are going to really want to see that this is a formal training program with in-depth clinical and supervision experiences, as well as formal training opportunities. It will likely require a minimum of half-time work to complete it in the 24 month period. You will not be paid very well if at all (you will be desperate and not have a lot to bargain with as you'll be competing against trainees from more typical programs). As other's have mentioned, in some (many?) states nothing you have or will done will qualify you.

It's going to be a lot of work and- frankly- I think I and many others feel that it is quite unfair for CalSouthern (or any other institution) to even remotely hint that it will be possible to do so. You are talking with many of us here who worked 60-80 hours per week for 5+ years exclusively on our psych training (classwork, practicum, training clinic team, research team, thesis/dissertation) before we were granted our degree. That's why it can be hard to imagine that a program that take just as much time but also permits you to have a full-time job could not possibly prepare students well. People with similar training make up the boards of registration of psychology, as well as are in charge of on-boarding trainees and clinicians. While a pure "i had to do it and so do you" attitude can be detrimental to positive changes in the field, It's what you will be up against. Sincerely- good luck. I hope it works out for you and that you have not been swindled by an unscrupulous institution selling inferior goods at an inflated price to people who don't think they have other options.

On a separate note- I see that CalSouthern does not accept applicants from MA (my state) or NY. Any idea why that is? Suggests that licensure in those states may be a bit difficult.
 
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I think people's comments and concerns are actually that you pragmatically have no training in therapy and assessment at this time, and that's what will make it a challenge to both find hours and get licensed, even in states that apparently recognize Cal Southern. This training happens in hand-on settings, under supervision. You are essentially the equivalent of a second year graduate student at this point if you have no actual clinical supervised hours.


I appreciate your perspective on this matter. It's clear that you're highlighting the significance of hands-on training in therapy and assessment, especially in clinical settings under supervision. I understand your concerns regarding my current level of experience and the potential challenges in finding hours and obtaining licensure.

While I acknowledge the importance of practical training, I also want to emphasize the value of the theoretical knowledge gained through my online Psy.D. program. It has provided me with a solid foundation, and I'm committed to complementing it with hands-on experience.

I am actively seeking opportunities for supervised clinical hours and am open to mentorship to further develop my skills. This post is to seek guidance from experienced individuals like yourself. Hence your insights are valuable as I navigate this transition into the field of psychology.

Thank you for sharing your concerns.
 
Reading through this thread is so confusing and I’m screaming internally at work on my lunch break.

OP - to clarify, you have or have not completed your PsyD degree? I have never heard of a clinical psychology program, even unaccredited diploma mills, conferring a degree in “clinical psychology” with the student doing ZERO clinical work. That’s like becoming a medical doctor or dentist but you’ve never seen a patient in real life…

A quick perusal of your program’s website shows the states where you do and do not meet licensure eligibility. I would start there. It looks like 10 states are possible, but I imagine it will be zero (including CA) without predoctoral supervised hours. Your program’s website states that there are “optional opportunities for supervised clinical experience.” It I’m reading this correct and you truly have yet to ever see a patient, your degree is not remotely equivalent to APA degrees where the average graduate will have somewhere north of at least 3000 supervised hours, including internship, before graduating and then moving on to typically a minimum of another 2000 hours of postdoctoral hours before getting licensed in the majority of US states.

This is just, um, bad… holy cow.


I understand your frustration and confusion, and I appreciate your candid feedback. Allow me to clarify the situation.

Yes, I have completed my Psy.D. degree. However, it's important to note that while my program provided a comprehensive theoretical foundation in clinical psychology, it did not include traditional, in-person clinical practicum experiences. Instead, it offered optional opportunities for supervised clinical experience, which I am actively seeking now.

I acknowledge that the lack of traditional clinical training may raise concerns about the equivalency of my degree compared to APA-accredited programs. While I recognize that APA-accredited programs typically require a substantial amount of supervised clinical hours before graduation and licensure, I pursued my Psy.D. through a non-traditional pathway due to personal circumstances and career goals.

I am fully committed to gaining hands-on clinical experience under supervision to complement my theoretical training. I understand the importance of supervised clinical hours for licensure eligibility and am actively pursuing opportunities to meet these requirements.

Thank you for bringing attention to these concerns, and I assure you that I am taking proactive steps to address them as I continue my career in psychology.
 
I guess I don't understand what sitting for the EPPP will accomplish at this point? There is no rush for this part as obtaining all your hours, even if working full-time somewhere, will take at least 1.5 years.


I understand your perspective, and it's valid to question the timing of sitting for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) given the timeline for accruing supervised hours. However, allow me to clarify the rationale behind considering taking the EPPP at this stage.

While it's true that obtaining all the required supervised hours will take time, sitting for the EPPP early on can serve several purposes. Firstly, it allows me to gauge my preparedness for the exam and identify any areas where additional study may be needed. Secondly, passing the EPPP is often a prerequisite for licensure in many states, so having this step completed can streamline the licensure process once the required hours are obtained.

Additionally, transferring the EPPP score is an option I am exploring, which could further expedite the licensure process in states that accept transferred scores. By tackling the EPPP early, I can potentially alleviate some of the pressure associated with licensure requirements later on.

Thank you for raising this question, and I hope this provides clarity on the rationale behind considering the EPPP at this point in the process.
 
Passing the EPPP is not what will gain make you license eligible in some states, having to prove degree requirement equivalency is what will make you ineligible in most states.

OP, I am truly sorry that Cal Southern made it sound like this was a good idea. If you are able to get licensed after it's all said and done, after what will likely be a lengthy process, you will likely only be eligible within that state, or a very limited subset. I sincerely hope your previous career afforded you ample retirement savings.


I appreciate your concern and input, although the tone comes across as rather abrasive. Allow me to address your points.

You're correct in highlighting the importance of proving degree requirement equivalency for licensure eligibility in most states. It's a crucial step in the licensure process, and I am actively researching and addressing these requirements as I move forward.

While I understand your skepticism about the potential limitations of licensure after completing my program, I remain committed to pursuing all avenues available to me to achieve licensure in multiple states. I am aware of the potential challenges and complexities involved in this process and am prepared to navigate them to the best of my ability.

Regarding your mention of retirement savings, I assure you that I have considered the financial implications of this career transition and have made appropriate plans to ensure my financial stability.

Thank you for your insights.
 
You've gotten some good advice above. As you move forward and try to identify supervised training experiences, It will be crucial to to assure that your experiences meet licensure requirements related not only total number of supervised hours, but also things like (max/min time to complete these hours (e.g., 1600 hours in no more than 24 months), staff makeup (e.g., at least 2 licensed psychologists on staff), training requirements (e.g., it must be a clearly defined training program and not just on the job training; minimum number of hours of didactics/group supervision/case presentations/etc. beyond individual supervision), and required job title (e.g., intern; fellow; psychology trainee). You are going to have to very carefully document all of these things, and most likely have some additional verification- like a signature from someone called "director of training" that you aren't making things up. Licensure boards are going to really want to see that this is a formal training program with in-depth clinical and supervision experiences, as well as formal training opportunities. It will likely require a minimum of half-time work to complete it in the 24 month period. You will not be paid very well if at all (you will be desperate and not have a lot to bargain with as you'll be competing against trainees from more typical programs). As other's have mentioned, in some (many?) states nothing you have or will done will qualify you.

It's going to be a lot of work and- frankly- I think I and many others feel that it is quite unfair for CalSouthern (or any other institution) to even remotely hint that it will be possible to do so. You are talking with many of us here who worked 60-80 hours per week for 5+ years exclusively on our psych training (classwork, practicum, training clinic team, research team, thesis/dissertation) before we were granted our degree. That's why it can be hard to imagine that a program that take just as much time but also permits you to have a full-time job could not possibly prepare students well. People with similar training make up the boards of registration of psychology, as well as are in charge of on-boarding trainees and clinicians. While a pure "i had to do it and so do you" attitude can be detrimental to positive changes in the field, It's what you will be up against. Sincerely- good luck. I hope it works out for you and that you have not been swindled by an unscrupulous institution selling inferior goods at an inflated price to people who don't think they have other options.

On a separate note- I see that CalSouthern does not accept applicants from MA (my state) or NY. Any idea why that is? Suggests that licensure in those states may be a bit difficult.



I appreciate your detailed response and the insights you've shared. It's evident that you have a thorough understanding of the complexities involved in obtaining supervised training experiences and navigating licensure requirements.

You've raised valid points regarding the importance of ensuring that supervised experiences meet licensure requirements, including considerations such as the total number of supervised hours, staff makeup, training requirements, and job titles. I am diligently researching and documenting these requirements to ensure that I meet the standards set by licensure boards.

I understand your concern about the fairness of institutions like CalSouthern implying that licensure is easily attainable through their programs. It's a challenging process, and I am prepared to put in the necessary work to meet licensure requirements and gain the clinical experience needed to become a competent psychologist.

Regarding CalSouthern's restrictions on applicants from certain states, I am not privy to the specific reasons for these limitations. However, it's possible that there are regulatory or accreditation considerations that impact their ability to accept applicants from those states. I recommend reaching out directly to CalSouthern for clarification on this matter.

Thank you for your well wishes and candid advice. I am committed to pursuing licensure responsibly and ethically, and I appreciate your insights as I navigate this process.
 
What’s rubbing me (and potentially others) the wrong way is that you’re describing the coursework as primary and the clinical work as complementary when it’s very much the other way around. The required theoretical coursework isn’t much more than a check box - yes, I’ve learned something through mine but it was by far the smallest part of my time and mind share in grad school. The most important training to becoming even a mediocre psychologist is clinical because that’s what we do every day. It’s not something you can learn in a classroom or online. So even with your coursework completed, you’re more like 10% of the way through training.
 
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What’s rubbing me (and potentially others) the wrong way is that you’re describing the coursework as primary and the clinical work as complementary when it’s very much the other way around. The required theoretical coursework isn’t much more than a check box - yes, I’ve learned something through mine but it was by far the smallest part of my time and mind share in grad school. The most important training to becoming even a mediocre psychologist is clinical because that’s what we do every day. It’s not something you can learn in a classroom or online. So even with your coursework completed, you’re more like 10% of the way through training.


Thank you for your perspective, and I understand the emphasis you place on the importance of clinical training in becoming a competent psychologist. It's true that clinical experience plays a significant role in shaping one's skills and capabilities in the field.

I acknowledge your concern about how I described the coursework as primary and the clinical work as complementary. While I may have conveyed that impression, it's essential to clarify that I fully recognize the pivotal role of clinical training. My intention was not to diminish its significance but rather to highlight the value of the theoretical foundation provided by coursework, especially in my situation transitioning from a non-traditional background.

I completely agree that clinical practice is where the majority of learning and growth occur for psychologists. It's an integral part of the training process that cannot be replicated solely through coursework or online learning. I am committed to pursuing supervised clinical experiences to complement my theoretical knowledge and develop the skills necessary to become an effective psychologist.

Thank you for bringing attention to this aspect, and I appreciate the opportunity to further clarify my perspective on the importance of clinical training in psychology.
 
I understand your perspective, and it's valid to question the timing of sitting for the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) given the timeline for accruing supervised hours. However, allow me to clarify the rationale behind considering taking the EPPP at this stage.

While it's true that obtaining all the required supervised hours will take time, sitting for the EPPP early on can serve several purposes. Firstly, it allows me to gauge my preparedness for the exam and identify any areas where additional study may be needed. Secondly, passing the EPPP is often a prerequisite for licensure in many states, so having this step completed can streamline the licensure process once the required hours are obtained.

Additionally, transferring the EPPP score is an option I am exploring, which could further expedite the licensure process in states that accept transferred scores. By tackling the EPPP early, I can potentially alleviate some of the pressure associated with licensure requirements later on.

Thank you for raising this question, and I hope this provides clarity on the rationale behind considering the EPPP at this point in the process.
I do think that taking the EPPP closer to your actual academic training is better than waiting, as some (though not most) of it may be fresher in your memory and you may be more used to studying for things than you will be later. If there's a way to do that, than by all means seek it out. However, transferring EPPP scores as pertains to licensure is irrelevant if you don't meet licensure requirements for that state. Taking it somewhere else will have no impact on anything, other than it's one more thing that's already done. Passing the EPPP is a relatively small part of the process (i.e., study for a few weeks and take an exam). Doing all the other stuff that meets licensure requirements is the hard stuff and what you really need to focus on, IMHO. There aren't any real workarounds. If you want to do the CA psych associate route, you need to find someone who is going to let you do a lot of work that they won't get paid much- if anything- for, and also have to do a lot of work that they won't get paid for.
 
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I do think that taking the EPPP closer to your actual academic training is better than waiting, as some (though not most) of it may be fresher in your memory and you may be more used to studying for things than you will be later. If there's a way to do that, than by all means seek it out. However, transferring EPPP scores as pertains to licensure is irrelevant if you don't meet licensure requirements for that state. Taking it somewhere else will have no impact on anything, other than it's one more thing that's already done. Passing the EPPP is a relatively small part of the process (i.e., study for a few weeks and take an exam). Doing all the other stuff that meets licensure requirements is the hard stuff and what you really need to focus on, IMHO. There aren't any real workarounds. If you want to do the CA psych associate route, you need to find someone who is going to let you do a lot of work that they won't get paid much- if anything- for, and also have to do a lot of work that they won't get paid for.


Thank you for sharing your perspective on the timing of taking the EPPP and its relevance to the licensure process. I agree that taking the EPPP closer to my academic training may have some advantages, such as having fresher knowledge and being more accustomed to studying. I will certainly explore options to take the EPPP at an opportune time.

You make a valid point that transferring EPPP scores is only meaningful if I meet licensure requirements for that particular state. Passing the EPPP is indeed just one component of the licensure process, and I am fully aware that there are no shortcuts when it comes to meeting licensure requirements.

Regarding the California psych associate route, I understand that it entails finding opportunities to gain supervised clinical experience while also being mindful of the financial constraints involved. I am prepared to navigate these challenges and remain focused on meeting licensure requirements through dedicated effort and commitment.

Thank you for your insights, and I appreciate the reminder to prioritize the essential components of the licensure process.
 
1) If I showed up at your office and said, "I know you spent a over a decade becoming a product manager. I don't really know what the career path is, but tell me how to become a product manager, and how to get a job in London. I got a business degree at an online place, during my smoke breaks at Chili's. ", you'd probably be annoyed.

2) If this online degree meets all requirements for California, why not get licensed there? The fact that you are searching for "SPE" is strange. Did you not get any practica? Why not?

3) This isn't "strategic". Everyone wants to continue to have an income. It was a risk. It's rather strange to risk your future career for a career that you want out of.

I still can't get over the hubris of some people in IT coming over and trying to find shortcuts to our work - whether it's about getting licensed, or replacing us with some piece of technology. And I speak as someone who has a degree in CS and incorporates technology heavily in research.

I completely agree with PsyDr. - OP, this is just annoying. I am not sure if you are a troll, or if you are using a LLM to convey your messages, but it's pretty clear this is not exactly authentic human language and responding.

But just to humor you, and perhaps to educate future visitors of this thread, how can you be sure clinical work is a good match for you, considering you haven't had any "pre-doctoral clinical hours" as you say? It's quite expensive to do an unfunded doctoral program just to realize at the end that you can't hack it, or that you hate doing clinical work.

And on to your "Europe" question - if you want to practice in another country, you really need to be fluent in the language and have an in-depth understanding of the culture. That takes a lot of time, and a lot of work, and it doesn't seem you are prepared for that. The only English speaking country (UK) has pretty high standards for clinical psychology and it's as competitive as it is for funded North American programs.

I don't mean to be harsh, but I am trying to be realistic. This is a good warning for anyone else considering a similar program. Please folks, try not to find the "shortcut"; there is none.
 
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Thank you for sharing your concerns and allowing me to clarify some aspects of my journey:

I understand the analogy you're drawing, and respect that transitioning fields can be viewed differently by each individual. My pursuit of a Psy.D. via an online program at CalSouthern was based on my circumstances and career objectives, just as traditional routes suit others’ needs and situations. My commitment to learning and growing within the field of psychology is steadfast, similar to my dedication in my previous IT career.

I also want to highlight the rigorous nature of the online Psy.D. program I completed. These programs are designed to meet the same educational standards as traditional on-campus programs, often requiring a higher level of discipline and self-management due to their independent study format. This mode of education is not only about providing flexibility but also maintaining high academic standards. It enables working professionals like myself to continue our careers while advancing our education, which is crucial for balancing professional growth with personal and financial responsibilities.

Regarding licensure in California, my program is indeed designed to meet the state's educational requirements, which includes accruing 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE). However, it did not include practicum placements, which is why I am now actively seeking opportunities to gain these necessary supervised hours.

Choosing to pursue a degree that allows for continued employment might be seen as a risk, but for many, it’s a strategic decision, especially in unpredictable economic times. My decision was weighed carefully with a long-term career transition plan in mind.

Additionally, it’s important to note that although CalSouthern is not APA-accredited, the university has determined that the Psy.D. program curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification as a psychologist in several states, including CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, and WV. While some of these states may have additional requirements not covered by the program's curriculum, these can often be satisfied at CalSouthern, Zur Institute, or CE4Less through supplementary courses or training.

This alignment with state requirements reflects the program's design to ensure that graduates are well-prepared to meet professional standards across various regions, further underscoring the program's rigor and relevance in the field of psychology.

I assure you that the quality and the challenge of my academic journey were not compromised by the choice of delivery mode. I appreciate this dialogue and hope this helps clarify my decisions and current path. Looking forward to more constructive discussions.

1) To help, your questions regarding "temporary licensure" are ill informed and ill phrased. It is strange that you don't know the terms to use. What you are proposing is not how this field works. You should spend some time in educating yourself about that.

2) Objectively, traditional students did 20hrs/week of clinical training while you did not. If you choose to insist that your education was the same, you're going to have problems. People do not choose "the traditional route" because it makes sense for them. They sacrificed income, geographic location, etc to get into traditional programs and complete them. Take that as insulting, or not. But if you choose to use this lingo, I would not expect anyone to have success in an already extremely challenging

3) If you were able to graduate from a PsyD without practica and internship, your degree does not meet licensure requirements for any state. That should answer one of your questions.
 
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I still can't get over the hubris of some people in IT coming over and trying to find shortcuts to our work - whether it's about getting licensed, or replacing us with some piece of technology. And I speak as someone who has a degree in CS and incorporates technology heavily in research.

I completely agree with PsyDr. - OP, this is just annoying. I am not sure if you are a troll, or if you are using a LLM to convey your messages, but it's pretty clear this is not exactly authentic human language and responding.

But just to humor you, and perhaps to educate future visitors of this thread, how can you be sure clinical work is a good match for you, considering you haven't had any "pre-doctoral clinical hours" as you say? It's quite expensive to do an unfunded doctoral program just to realize at the end that you can't hack it, or that you hate doing clinical work.

And on to your "Europe" question - if you want to practice in another country, you really need to be fluent in the language and have an in-depth understanding of the culture. That takes a lot of time, and a lot of work, and it doesn't seem you are prepared for that. The only English speaking country (UK) has pretty high standards for clinical psychology and it's as competitive as it is for funded North American programs.

I don't mean to be harsh, but I am trying to be realistic. This is a good warning for anyone else considering a similar program. Please folks, try not to find the "shortcut"; there is none.



I appreciate your perspective, although I must admit the tone comes across as rather harsh. Allow me to address your concerns.

As someone with a background in IT transitioning into psychology, I understand that there may be skepticism about individuals seeking shortcuts in our field. However, I assure you that my decision to pursue psychology is driven by a genuine passion for the field and a desire to contribute meaningfully to it.

Regarding your skepticism about my authenticity or the use of a language model to convey my messages, I can assure you that I am a real individual seeking genuine advice and guidance from the community. While I understand that my approach may differ from traditional paths, I am committed to navigating the challenges of this transition responsibly and ethically.

Your point about the importance of pre-doctoral clinical hours is valid, and it's something I am actively addressing. I am seeking opportunities to gain supervised clinical experience to ensure that psychology is indeed the right fit for me.

Regarding my interest in practicing in Europe, I fully acknowledge the importance of language fluency and cultural understanding. I am prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to develop these skills if it aligns with my long-term career goals.

I appreciate your realism and the cautionary advice you've provided. It's essential for individuals considering similar programs to weigh the potential challenges and limitations carefully. Thank you for sharing your perspective, even if it was delivered with a degree of harshness.
 
1) To help, your questions regarding "temporary licensure" are ill informed and ill phrased. It is strange that you don't know the terms to use. What you are proposing is not how this field works. You should spend some time in educating yourself about that.

2) Objectively, traditional students did 20hrs/week of clinical training while you did not. If you choose to insist that your education was the same, you're going to have problems. People do not choose "the traditional route" because it makes sense for them. They sacrificed income, geographic location, etc to get into traditional programs and complete them. Take that as insulting, or not. But if you choose to use this lingo, I would not expect anyone to have success in an already extremely challenging

3) If you were able to graduate from a PsyD without practica and internship, your degree does not meet licensure requirements for any state. That should answer one of your questions.


Thank you for your feedback, and I appreciate the opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings.
  1. Concerning temporary licensure, I acknowledge that my initial framing might not have been precise. The terminology and process for temporary licensure can vary significantly across different states, and I am actively engaged in further educating myself to ensure I fully understand the correct procedures and requirements. My intent is to approach this transition with as much accuracy and respect for the profession's standards as possible.
  2. Regarding the comparison of traditional clinical training to my experience, I am not claiming that my educational path has been the same as that of a traditionally trained clinical psychologist. I recognize the depth and value of the hands-on training that traditional programs offer. My goal is to supplement my theoretical knowledge with requisite practical experience, fully understanding that I am currently at a different stage in my professional development compared to those who have completed traditional programs.
  3. As for the licensing requirements, while it's true that my program at CalSouthern does not include practica and internships in its default curriculum, it is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure in several states as per the university’s analysis. These include CA, CO, DE, HI, NY, OH, TX, VA, WI, and WV. It is also true that additional requirements like practicum hours or internships, which are not initially part of the program, must be sought externally. I am committed to pursuing these additional requirements to ensure full compliance with state licensing boards.
I am aware of the significant effort required to bridge the gap between my current qualifications and full licensure, and I am fully committed to undertaking this journey with diligence and integrity.

Thank you for sharing your concerns, as they help me to better understand the challenges ahead and prepare accordingly.
 
Does your school help you find these post-degree initial practicum experiences at all? What have other grads done?

I can't imagine signing up to be a supervisor in this situation in terms of liability and putting my own license on the line. Clinically supervising a person who has never been a therapist before on their initial cases is a huge undertaking and requires a special skill set and time commitment. When I started seeing clients for the first time in my second year, it was at the University clinic with a handful hand-picked clients. I audio recorded each session, my supervisor listened to it in its entirety and we met for an hour per week individually and two hours per week as a group to discuss cases. In contrast, my first job as a clinician I was seeing like 30 patients per week and getting 1.5 hrs of supervision per week. Jobs in the real world are not going to afford you the careful supervision that you require as an inexperienced therapist. I just don't see anyone willing to do this outside of a university setting.

I'm sorry you are in this position.
 
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I appreciate your perspective, although I must admit the tone comes across as rather harsh. Allow me to address your concerns.

As someone with a background in IT transitioning into psychology, I understand that there may be skepticism about individuals seeking shortcuts in our field. However, I assure you that my decision to pursue psychology is driven by a genuine passion for the field and a desire to contribute meaningfully to it.

Regarding your skepticism about my authenticity or the use of a language model to convey my messages, I can assure you that I am a real individual seeking genuine advice and guidance from the community. While I understand that my approach may differ from traditional paths, I am committed to navigating the challenges of this transition responsibly and ethically.

Your point about the importance of pre-doctoral clinical hours is valid, and it's something I am actively addressing. I am seeking opportunities to gain supervised clinical experience to ensure that psychology is indeed the right fit for me.

Regarding my interest in practicing in Europe, I fully acknowledge the importance of language fluency and cultural understanding. I am prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to develop these skills if it aligns with my long-term career goals.

I appreciate your realism and the cautionary advice you've provided. It's essential for individuals considering similar programs to weigh the potential challenges and limitations carefully. Thank you for sharing your perspective, even if it was delivered with a degree of harshness.

If someone came to you and said they were passionate about performing heart surgery, had read all about, but never actually performed surgery, would you let them cut you open and operate on you?

1. At the end of the day, you would have to figure out how to complete the supervised clinical training outside of the training program and hope the state board accepts what you have done. You will have to do this without any licensure as you do not have the hours to qualify for a temporary license in any state (practica and internship).

2. No one cares what your university has determined. The only determination that matters is the one of the state granting you a license. If they determine you are not eligible to practice, then you cannot practice.
 
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Regarding licensure in California, my program is indeed designed to meet the state's educational requirements, which includes accruing 3000 hours of Supervised Professional Experience (SPE). However, it did not include practicum placements, which is why I am now actively seeking opportunities to gain these necessary supervised hours.
Your program failed you. I am not trying to come down hard on your, but rather the program. I am sick and tired of these programs taking advantage of people in your position. You graduated without the proper amount of knowledge on how to become a psychologist, which would not happen in a quality program.
I assure you that the quality and the challenge of my academic journey were not compromised by the choice of delivery mode.
As you have stated, you do not have clinical experience and have not taken the EPPP. Therefore, you have no evidence for this claim.
 
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The NY statute requires that clinical experience be part of the coursework for a program to meet education equivalency: NYS Psychology:License Requirements

OP, I think this equivalency may only be the case if you did the optional clinical experiences. Which the program should have been more clear about.

If the qualifications are that a predoctoral internship or predoctoral clinical experiences of any kind are required, you cannot meet those requirements, as you’ve already been granted a degree.

Additionally, ASPPB is pushing that the EPPP part 2 will become a standard part of the EPPP exam as of January 1, 2026. So unless you are able to get all these clinical hours and get licensed prior to that date, you will still likely have to take and pass the second part of the exam. So I really wouldn’t rush to focus on the EPPP too quickly anyway given that the lack of clinical hours is significantly more pressing in this situation. If you are curious how you would do, you can take a practice exam from any of the test prep companies. Prepjet offers a free week with a diagnostic exam. Take that and see how you measure up, if that is your primary concern.
 

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Does your school help you find these post-degree initial practicum experiences at all? What have other grads done?

I can't imagine signing up to be a supervisor in this situation in terms of liability and putting my own license on the line. Clinically supervising a person who has never been a therapist before on their initial cases is a huge undertaking and requires a special skill set and time commitment. When I started seeing clients for the first time in my second year, it was at the University clinic with a handful hand-picked clients. I audio recorded each session, my supervisor listened to it in its entirety and we met for an hour per week individually and two hours per week as a group to discuss cases. In contrast, my first job as a clinician I was seeing like 30 patients per week and getting 1.5 hrs of supervision per week. Jobs in the real world are not going to afford you the careful supervision that you require as an inexperienced therapist. I just don't see anyone willing to do this outside of a university setting.

I'm sorry you are in this position.


Thank you for your thoughtful response and for highlighting the challenges associated with finding appropriate supervision for initial clinical experiences. Your concerns about the responsibilities and liabilities involved in supervising a novice therapist are well-taken.

CalSouthern offers guidance on how to secure practicum and internship opportunities, although the responsibility ultimately falls on the graduates to find placements that meet the specific licensure requirements of their state. The school provides resources and support, but it doesn’t directly place students in these settings.

Other graduates from non-traditional programs like mine have pursued various paths to gain the necessary supervised experience. Some have connected with community clinics, private practices, or other mental health facilities that offer structured training environments suitable for new therapists. Others have sought positions that might provide more intensive supervision initially, even if that means accepting roles that are less than ideal in terms of workload or compensation.

I am aware of the substantial commitment required from both the supervisor and the supervisee in these initial stages. As such, I am committed to finding a supervision setting that not only fulfills the statutory requirements but also provides a robust educational experience. I am looking into settings similar to university clinics, which, as you’ve described, offer detailed and rigorous supervision that can greatly benefit someone in my position.

I appreciate your empathy and the realism you bring to this discussion. Your insights help to reinforce the importance of diligently pursuing suitable and effective supervision arrangements as I continue this journey.

Thank you again for your advice and concern.
 
If someone came to you and said they were passionate about performing heart surgery, had read all about, but never actually performed surgery, would you let them cut you open and operate on you?

1. At the end of the day, you would have to figure out how to complete the supervised clinical training outside of the training program and hope the state board accepts what you have done. You will have to do this without any licensure as you do not have the hours to qualify for a temporary license in any state (practica and internship).

2. No one cares what your university has determined. The only determination that matters is the one of the state granting you a license. If they determine you are not eligible to practice, then you cannot practice.



Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the impactful analogy you've used. It clearly illustrates the importance of practical, supervised training in fields where the stakes are as high as they are in clinical psychology.

  1. You are absolutely right about the necessity of completing supervised clinical training outside of my educational program. This is a critical step, and I am actively exploring viable pathways to meet these requirements. I understand that without these hours, I am not eligible for a temporary license, which indeed complicates the process. My approach includes connecting with established professionals and organizations that might offer supervised positions or training opportunities that align with state board requirements.
  2. Regarding your second point, I completely agree. The ultimate authority in licensure matters is the state board, not the educational institution. While my university provides guidelines and frameworks based on their understanding of state requirements, it is up to me to ensure that my training and experiences meet the specific criteria set forth by the state board where I seek licensure. This may involve additional coursework, seeking specific types of clinical experiences, or even undergoing further evaluations to demonstrate my competency.
Your comments are a valuable reminder of the rigorous standards and scrutiny involved in the licensure process for psychologists. They reinforce the need for thorough preparation and due diligence on my part to navigate these challenges effectively.

Thank you for your forthrightness and the clarity of your message. It's insights like yours that help me stay informed and proactive in my journey towards becoming a licensed psychologist.
 
Your program failed you. I am not trying to come down hard on your, but rather the program. I am sick and tired of these programs taking advantage of people in your position. You graduated without the proper amount of knowledge on how to become a psychologist, which would not happen in a quality program.

As you have stated, you do not have clinical experience and have not taken the EPPP. Therefore, you have no evidence for this claim.


Thank you for expressing your concerns, and I appreciate your empathy towards my situation rather than personal criticism. Your frustration with programs that may not fully prepare their graduates for all aspects of entering the profession is understandable.

I agree that the pathway to becoming a psychologist should include comprehensive preparation not only academically but also in terms of practical clinical experience. While my program offered a strong theoretical foundation, it indeed lacks the embedded clinical practicum and internship components that are crucial for seamless progression to licensure.

Regarding my readiness for the profession, you are correct that I have not yet taken the EPPP, nor have I completed the required clinical hours. These are significant steps that I need to address. My next steps involve seeking out and completing the necessary supervised clinical hours and preparing for the EPPP. I am actively exploring opportunities and resources to fulfill these requirements effectively.

While the road ahead is challenging, I am committed to taking the necessary actions to ensure that I meet the standards required to practice psychology. This includes rigorous preparation for the EPPP and securing relevant clinical experiences that not only meet licensure requirements but also enhance my skills and knowledge.

Thank you again for your candid feedback. It helps to reinforce the importance of diligence and thorough preparation in my journey toward licensure.
 
Positive Soul is not a human being. This is a bot provoking exactly this sort of discussion to enhance its LLM in this particular area (psychology) and subject (licensing).
 
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I am curious how long the LLM will carry this convo forward, or how long SDNers will.


It seems like you don't like my post. Unfortunately, I cannot delete this thread. I will be more than happy to lock it.
 
The NY statute requires that clinical experience be part of the coursework for a program to meet education equivalency: NYS Psychology:License Requirements

OP, I think this equivalency may only be the case if you did the optional clinical experiences. Which the program should have been more clear about.

If the qualifications are that a predoctoral internship or predoctoral clinical experiences of any kind are required, you cannot meet those requirements, as you’ve already been granted a degree.

Additionally, ASPPB is pushing that the EPPP part 2 will become a standard part of the EPPP exam as of January 1, 2026. So unless you are able to get all these clinical hours and get licensed prior to that date, you will still likely have to take and pass the second part of the exam. So I really wouldn’t rush to focus on the EPPP too quickly anyway given that the lack of clinical hours is significantly more pressing in this situation. If you are curious how you would do, you can take a practice exam from any of the test prep companies. Prepjet offers a free week with a diagnostic exam. Take that and see how you measure up, if that is your primary concern.


Thank you for the specific details regarding New York’s licensure requirements and the insights on the upcoming changes to the EPPP. Your advice is very helpful as I navigate this complex landscape.

You are correct that in New York, as in several other states, clinical experience integrated as part of the coursework is essential to meet education equivalency for licensure. It appears that without having participated in the optional clinical experiences offered by my program, I might face challenges meeting these specific requirements. I'll need to explore alternative ways to acquire this clinical experience to satisfy such criteria.

Regarding the EPPP, your point about the potential introduction of EPPP Part 2 as a standard component of the exam is well-taken. This certainly adds another layer of complexity to my licensure journey. Given this information, I agree that prioritizing the acquisition of clinical hours is more critical at this stage than rushing into the EPPP Part 1. Your suggestion to take a practice exam from a test prep company like Prepjet is a good idea. It will give me a clearer picture of my readiness for the exam and help me gauge areas that might need more focus in my study plan.

I appreciate your detailed and thoughtful response. It provides a clearer pathway and highlights the steps I need to prioritize in my quest for licensure. I will take your advice seriously and continue to seek out the necessary clinical experiences while keeping an eye on changes to the examination process.

Thank you once again for your guidance and support.
 
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