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PhD/PsyD Some questions

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by mlm55, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. mlm55

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    1) What percentage of your time is spent doing therapy/seeing patients vs other tasks?

    2) If you are not willing to move around the country, how difficult is it to find a job that involves research, administrative duties, ect. (i.e., not purely a clinical role)?

    3) If you had to take a job that was a purely clinical role because of geographic restrictions, would it then be difficult to move into a job that involves research?

    3) Do you find that doing therapy is draining (especially for someone who is introverted/ has a hard time being "present") or becomes repetitive over time?
     
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  3. psycscientist

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    1. This is going to vary quite a bit from person to person and job to job. My clinical tasks are more consultation and training rather than direct care.
    2. Difficult. If you want a tenure-track position, your only option is to apply to places that happen to be looking the year you go on the market. Some folks are able to accomplish this without moving through networking and good timing, but most end up having to move for their academic job.
    3. It depends on what you mean by "involves research". If you mean a tenure-track job in which you conduct your own research, then yes going from purely clinical back to academia will be very hard because you likely will have ceased academic productivity during the time you were only doing clinical work.
     
  4. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    1. 70%

    2. small towns would likley not be conducive to this, but otherwise, you will likley be able to find something like that. Is that something a good fit for you/your interests/your training is another question though.

    3. Likley not at a R1 otr R2 acadecmic institition, no. But you could, if you had the demonstrated skills, go into other jobs that are heavy on research (pharm, private industry, etc.).

    4. a.)If you cant be "present" with another person, then you shouldnt be doing this. b.) If I have 7-8 patients in a day (which is relatively rare), then yes, I start to feel a bit drained.
     
  5. MCParent

    Faculty Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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    I've found being relatively introverted to be helpful in therapy, because I don't find intense one-on-one interactions draining at all (I find large groups draining). It sounds like you mean shy (i.e., fearful of intense personal interactions), not introverted. That would probably be a problem, yup.
     
  6. smalltownpsych

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    1. 80%
    2. Mobility helps in this career.
    3. Defer to other poster's responses.
    4. Enjoying being with people is very key to being a successful clinician. I agree with erg that when have 7 or 8 a day, I get pretty tired, but since I enjoy connecting with people and being a part of their growth, that helps to give me the energy I need to keep going. Most psychologists are introverted and introspective and I am as well, but I was probably one of the least introverted out of my cohort and that has helped me to succeed in a variety of settings. Also, coping with high amounts of stress is a part of being an effective clinical psychologist and being able to connect with people (other than clients) is an essential coping tool. Learning to open up to others is a skill that can be developed and in this field we tend to value personal development.
     
  7. AcronymAllergy

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    1. About 80%, if you're including face-to-face time (testing and feedback), records review, scoring, and report writing.

    2. As previous posters have mentioned,mobility helps, and being limited in this regard will be more or less problematic depending on what area we're talking about. As erg said, if it's a small town, then you're likely going to need to at least look at nearby cities; otherwise, it might take some time and/or probably won't include everything you want, but finding something would be plausible.

    3. At least based on what I've heard, going from clinical to research is more difficult than the opposite, unless you've maintained some semblance of scholarly activity in your clinical role--which is of course very possible to do, but will require that you spend your own time on those endeavors.

    4. I typically don't do much therapy; on the days when I've seen >5 or so patients (or >2 if we're talking neuropsychs), then yes, it can be tiring. However, I also then feel like I've accomplished a lot that day. And even if I'm worn down before a session begins, I tend to very quickly become energized once the session starts (and this coming from somewhat of an introvert).
     
  8. Therapist4Chnge

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    1. ~40% is face-to-face patient contact (a mix of in-pt consults and out-pt neuropsych evals). ~30% report writing, document reviewing, etc. ~10% supervising. 10% researching. 10% meetings and administrative duties.

    2. To land at an R1 or R2 you'll have to be flexible. I've been at two R1s and most/all of our top candidates were from out of state and looking to relocate to each respective city (once candidate already relocated to the city bc of family reasons). It's doable, but it can be quite difficult even in a large metropolitan area.

    3. Yes, it will be very difficult. Some/many people will take a 100% clinical position at an AMC and do research on their own time. Collaborating with more established researchers can get a foot in the door, but securing funding is getting harder and harder each year.

    4. I don't conduct therapy (outside of a bit of supportive therapy during a consult or eval), so I'll defer to others on this question.
     
  9. CheetahGirl

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    Keep in mind that I'm still in training, and not licensed yet:

    1. 60% (seeing individual patients, doing intakes/assessments, conducting groups); rest of time is spent in administrative tasks (writing notes, reports, etc.), team meetings/rounds, diadactics/colloquia

    2. You need to be in large metropolitan areas if you cannot or will not move. But, you better be at the top of your game to keep busy/competitive b/c large metropolitan areas are usually in high demand and fill positions quickly.

    3. I agree with the others' comments about AMCs....or you could begin teaching adjunct and get into academic research that way, but you have to keep publishing when you are "purely clinical," so I would keep close ties with graduate school researchers or fellow students to tag onto your & your mentor's current research to keep it going and stay involved in the research work. I've seen this done and have been part of others' research remotely.

    4. I agree with the others...why are you doing therapy if you are such an introvert and find others draining?!? The only portion that is really draining is (like others said above) heavy caseloads and if you feel particularly disconnected that day due to personal reasons (like feeling sick or too much going on in your own life), but like others said you usually perk up when the session gets going and your focus goes to the patient/client in front of you, and then you are doing your job. Even though each person is individually interesting, even both process & content of sessions can sometimes seem repetitive (like 'Why is EVERYONE depressed today?', or 'Here we go again: Meet-Greet-Chat-Reschedule')...but if that happens, you have just depersonalized your job and may need to figure out why. It all boils down to the therapist's self-care if you find therapy draining after making it through training.

    (Hey, I'm a poet and didn't know it.)
     
  10. mlm55

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    Thank you for the responses. What I mean by difficulty being present is not that I don't find listening to others problems interesting; it is just that I am a bit of a slow processer and often don't know how to respond in the moment. I have a hard time being "on" for extended periods of time and tend to be in my own head a lot. I have had a professor suggest this might be a deal breaker for being a therapist. Thoughts?
     
  11. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
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    You should work on some mindfulness. Would help with getting you out of your head and into the room with the patient. This is a skill you will need for every aspect of psychology practice, whether it be therapy, assessment, program development, etc.
     
  12. smalltownpsych

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    Being a slow processor and not knowing how to respond in the moment describes myself pretty well and it is a strength more than a weakness as a psychologist. Part of what we do is carefully choose our words and slow the communication process down. For certain aspects where we need to react more quickly like in crisis situations training and experience can really help. I don't know what the being on thing refers to. If what you are saying is that even innocuous one on one conversations require a lot of energy from you, then providing therapy may be problematic. Fortunately as a psychologist there is a wealth of opportunity to thrive without being an individual psychotherapist. It will still be part of your training and skill set so you'll need to find strategies to work on it.
     
  13. mlm55

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    I think I have some degree of social anxiety too on top of being introverted. For me, what is draining is second guessing whether I said the right things after the fact and not being able to anticipate what is going to happen beforehand. Will this improve with training or experience?
     
  14. erg923

    erg923 Regional Clinical Officer, Cenpatico National
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    I really don't think strangers on the internet are going to be able to make an informed opnion about that.
     
  15. smalltownpsych

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    Also, many psychology programs also encourage psychotherapy to help alleviate difficulties like social anxiety. Self-awareness and self-care are part of the core competencies of a psychologist.
     
  16. PsychBiker

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    Personally, I think being in therapy for yourself while doing therapy (during training at the least) is as important as supervision is. Finding out how you think might help you understand others, if that's what you are looking for. If you need to heal yourself before you can heal others, maybe you need to understand yourself before you can try and understand others as well.
     
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  17. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychologist
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    Not to entirely derail the thread, but my take--yes, understanding yourself is certainly important when it comes to delivering psychotherapy. But do I believe that participating in therapy onself is necessary in order to bring about this understand? No.
     
  18. smalltownpsych

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    I agree with that but I do think that an effective self-care/self-awareness program of some sort should be in play. For some it might be religious practices, for others supportive friendship network, a couple of guys that used to work for me participated in a men's group once a week. Heck, sometimes it can even be family members, although for me I usually need to talk to someone about my crazy family!
     
  19. AcronymAllergy

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    Indeed, although in my mind, I feel like that is starting to venture outside the purview of the program. Training faculty can provide information on possible practices/strategies and supportive services, but I don't think they should go so far as to somehow try and check on this if the student isn't having/reporting any difficulties.
     
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  20. Therapist4Chnge

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    Often times there are clinicians in the community who offer to see (a limited # of) students on a reduced fee basis. Your state/county psych association might know some of those clinicians.
     
  21. smalltownpsych

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    I guess some programs have done that? That would make me really uncomfortable as I myself have used many resources other than traditional psychotherapy.
     
  22. WisNeuro

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    There are dynamic programs that "strongly encourage" students enter into therapy. Unethical if you ask me.
     
  23. smalltownpsych

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    It raises the question for me of: what do you do in therapy with a patient who has no diagnosable psychological disorder? I have worked with higher functioning people but it tends to be brief and dependent on resolving or navigating a crisis or loss. I just have no idea what longer term "therapy" with a high functioning individual would really look like. Now when I am working with someone with multiple traumas and longstanding interpersonal difficulties related to unhealthy internalized object relations that they continue to replicate, then we have enough to work on for more than a few months. Usually about a year IME. By then they have learned to access other resources besides myself. I don't really like to foster dependency.
     

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