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10+ Year Member
Feb 15, 2007
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  1. Non-Student
I am interested going into social psychology. I want to go through a PhD program and start practicing in this field. I have Bachelors in Psychology and now have the time and money from my previous career in real esate to pay for school and to live comftrably.

I grew up in poverty in the south side of Chicago. It was in a high crime area where we did not sit by the living room window at night because of stray bullets from drive-bys. I thought my life would always be like this. I then started listening to Tony Robbins and reading Norman Vincent Peale. I turned my whole life around. I started to do better in school and got a job that helped my five brothers and sisters and mother move out of the area. This is while I was in high school. I then went to college and worked hard and the rest is the American Dream.

Anyway I felt like giving back and helping other people. I did Big Brothers and went to schools talking about business but I want to do more. I like the philosphies that people like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Peale, Tiny Robbins, Zig Ziglar and Dr. Kraus (http://www.realscienceofsuccess.com) teach. I escpically like Dr. Kraus because of his training, experience and methods.

I thought about being a counseling psychologist but changed my mind. I would rather help some of these people before they needed that kind of help or as a complement to that type of help. Also I would rather work in larger groups, even though I wouldn't mind one-on-one.

I want to be more like a Dr. Wayne Dyer or Dr. Peale by having seminars and writing books about success, how to turn your life around, how to end anxiety and depression (limited to certain circumstances) and basically improve your life. I want the academic training so I can learn more and have the proper credentials and possibly do limited research. I was wondering if anyone in this forum has had experience in this field I am looking at. I was also wondering the view of people like you on this type of field.


Pia Getty

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5+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2007
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Hi Larry, Sounds like you have an interesting background and have a lot to bring to psychology. For students who are finding their way in psychology, I always ask if they see themselves more as a practitioner or scientist. While many psychologists are a combination of the two, many lean one way or the other. From your description, it sounds like you lean more toward the practitioner side of the pie. From what I know, Ph.D. programs in social psychology usually do not train individuals to become practitioners or licensed psychologist that work directly with people. Rather, most social Ph.D. programs prepare individuals for an academic/research career. If you do see yourself working as an applied psychologist, you may want to explore a path in counseling, school, or clinical psychology. These are the main programs that train individuals to become licensed psychologist.


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Feb 5, 2007
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That is a shame. I think there is a lot that clinicians can apply from social psychology. Afterall, we have all of this great research going on in social psychology -- shouldn't it make a difference in our patient's lives? It would be neat to see a clinical program that focused on a social psychology orientation. I had a single class on clinical applications of social psychology. Very useful class.


Lurking in the shadows...
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5+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2006
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Larry1975, you might want to look at information about Industrial/Organizational Ph.D. programs. With this type of degree, you can become licensed as a psychologist and in fact you must take the same national exam as clinical Ph.D. (the EPPP). I/O psychologists do a wide range of clinical activities - you may have heard of "executive coaching" - that is just one activity. I/O Ph.D.'s also do more than just help companies select employees and screen applicants. I/O includes aspects of clinical and social psychology because you must be informed about disorders and about group processes, leadership, how to help people succeed, etc.

Your background is interesting You also sound like (from your brief post) you have determination and persistence, which is one of the key ingredients to success in grad school.

PM me if you want, I am happy to talk more specifically with you if you a seriously considering this. Also keep in mind- you may not have to pay for school if you are at a Ph.D. program and involved in research along the way- often you get a stipend and tuition waiver.

I/O psychologists are also the highest paid psychologists in the field....
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