U. Mass. - Boston Ph.D. in counseling psychology program

CogNeuroGuy

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    I wanted to get some input from maybe some other spectators on the newly formed Ph.D. in counseling and school psychology at U. Mass. Boston. From what I can tell they are not yet APA accredited due to it being newly launched.


    I ask because I know that my husband and I are looking at many programs in medical school (for him) and counseling and clinical doctoral programs for me. I will be finishing my M.S. by May 2015 and will be applying to several programs. We were married in Boston this past summer (where I also used to live in 2007). We are looking at possibly moving up there for a better way of life and diverse opportunities. I know the number 1 rule is to not go towards non-accredited programs, however, considering the context as to why they have not yet been accredited seems validating. Also, they focus on LGBT outreach, populations and studies that really appeal to my ambitions as a future neuropsychologist. :p

    Opinions?
     
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    MCParent

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      I wanted to get some input from maybe some other spectators on the newly formed Ph.D. in counseling and school psychology at U. Mass. Boston. From what I can tell they are not yet APA accredited due to it being newly launched.


      I ask because I know that my husband and I are looking at many programs in medical school (for him) and counseling and clinical doctoral programs for me. I will be finishing my M.S. by May 2015 and will be applying to several programs. We were married in Boston this past summer (where I also used to live in 2007). We are looking at possibly moving up there for a better way of life and diverse opportunities. I know the number 1 rule is to not go towards non-accredited programs, however, considering the context as to why they have not yet been accredited seems validating. Also, they focus on LGBT outreach, populations and studies that really appeal to my ambitions as a future neuropsychologist. :p

      Opinions?

      Programs can't be accredited under the current rules until they graduate a few cohorts of students. While the reason it different than APA site visiting teams saying it's a terrible program, the implications for your career are the same.

      Why would you do a program in counseling/school psych if you want to be a clinical neuropsychologist? Do they have an established track in that? If not, that is far from the modal path to neuropsych...
       

      NCSP

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        I went to school in Boston and know a couple of people that went through the UMB MS programs and one that is now in the doctoral program - stay away! From my understanding there is lack of cohesion among faculty, infighting, and at least one of the professors who is noted in sexuality research appears to have significant personality difficulties. On the school psychology side of things I am less clear though I understand it is all the same department and that the leadership issues are the same. My friend wishes she had accepted another program as she now understands more about APA accreditation - basically the first cohort were told they would graduate from an APA accredited program which we know is not how that works.
         
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        CogNeuroGuy

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          Programs can't be accredited under the current rules until they graduate a few cohorts of students. While the reason it different than APA site visiting teams saying it's a terrible program, the implications for your career are the same.

          Why would you do a program in counseling/school psych if you want to be a clinical neuropsychologist? Do they have an established track in that? If not, that is far from the modal path to neuropsych...

          My current advisor who is a board certified neuropsychologist at the university I intern at was discussing with me that taking the counseling psychology path is just as feasible to become a neuropsychologist who went through a clinical program. In fact, I have had several professors in my undergrad who also are neuropsychologists and completed post-docs in neuropsychology despite having a counseling psychology Ph.D.

          I want to apply to both clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs next fall, I was scouting out programs there in Boston and have been coming across the UMass program a bit. I am just trying to get a sense of people's opinions. It seems like a "stay away" is the best policy for now. I have been looking at Boston College and Boston University. Funny enough, Boston University not only has a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology but also a Ed.D in counseling psychology (not APA approved).

          I will be applying at the schools around me here in Dallas, in Houston and many around Boston.

          Also, my master's is currently in cognition and neuroscience, so, if I were to opt for a counseling psychology Ph.D. program, I am hoping to use my coursework and experience gained in my M.S. as well as what I will gain from the Ph.D. program to provide as an attractive applicant for post-doc programs in neuropsychology. I read over the Houston guidelines and can attest that much of the coursework I will be doing in this master's program is spot on according to the Houston guidelines. Not to mention, the coursework I am taking is all doctoral-level work. What do you think?
           
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          MCParent

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            My current advisor who is a board certified neuropsychologist at the university I intern at was discussing with me that taking the counseling psychology path is just as feasible to become a neuropsychologist who went through a clinical program. In fact, I have had several professors in my undergrad who also are neuropsychologists and completed post-docs in neuropsychology despite having a counseling psychology Ph.D.

            It's less the counseling psych PhD on its own than the counseling psych PhD + nonaccredited program.

            Sure, it's possible, but Boston's a busy place for grad programs. Are the students in this program actually getting neuro pracs? If so, good. If not.. that (no prac + unaccredited program) would make it nearly impossible to get a neuro internship and postdoc.
             

            CogNeuroGuy

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              It's less the counseling psych PhD on its own than the counseling psych PhD + nonaccredited program.

              Sure, it's possible, but Boston's a busy place for grad programs. Are the students in this program actually getting neuro pracs? If so, good. If not.. that (no prac + unaccredited program) would make it nearly impossible to get a neuro internship and postdoc.

              I see, good points here. So, I will be scratching their school off my list :p.
               

              CogNeuroGuy

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                The reason for the lack of accreditation doesn't matter. An unaccredited program is an unaccredited program. It will severely limit your opportunities.

                Wish I could say something different because I know that opinion isn't what you want to hear. :(

                Dr. E

                It's all good Dr. Eliza. These are things I should know to become better aware. I knew that non-APA accredited programs are something I don't want to apply to, but I thought there may had been a differing circumstance with this program.

                Thanks again.
                 

                CogNeuroGuy

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                  How are LGBT issues connected to neuropsych? Are they just two separate research interests?

                  I am wanting to focus on both areas (broad in terms at the moment). I really want to build from the neuropsychological methods and merge them into researching LGBT populations and relative pathology associated with primary affective or trait based disorders with this population. Something I have been very interested ever since I did a senior capstone on sociological principles of pathology amongst LGBT people.

                  It's weird...I know, not exactly what current neuropsychologists do, but it's something that provides a possible in depth analysis of a specific group of people. I suppose that is what I was trying to convey in my previous message/ post. :)

                  FYI...it's not a make or break situation, but it is an area of interest that at some point would be nice to tackle.
                   

                  LivingOffLoans

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                    Yeah, it is a complex decision to apply to their program or not. They are attractive in the sense that it is UMass and that they likely have good research and clinical connections, but since they are not APA accredited and such, it becomes complicated. Follow your intuition that is related to your career aspirations. They are probably not the most attractive program right now since they are new, honestly speaking, but will probably be something worth attention in the years to come. Just some thoughts.
                     

                    olderpsych

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                      I went to school in Boston and know a couple of people that went through the UMB MS programs and one that is now in the doctoral program - stay away! From my understanding there is lack of cohesion among faculty, infighting, and at least one of the professors who is noted in sexuality research appears to have significant personality difficulties. On the school psychology side of things I am less clear though I understand it is all the same department and that the leadership issues are the same. My friend wishes she had accepted another program as she now understands more about APA accreditation - basically the first cohort were told they would graduate from an APA accredited program which we know is not how that works.

                      do you know who the faculty member is who is difficult?
                       

                      NCSP

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                        do you know who the faculty member is who is difficult?

                        I don't feel it appropriate to name someone specifically as I have not met them only heard through acquaintance/friend and a couple of older MS students who received supervision at a clinic I consulted with. As far as other question others advice is good - stay away for now. Beyond the programmatic concerns, you desire neuro specialty. I cross between clinical and school but this is after two desperate degrees and can't imagine being competitive for a neuro internship without at least a clinical program with focus on neuropsychology.
                         

                        LETSGONYR

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                          and can't imagine being competitive for a neuro internship without at least a clinical program with focus on neuropsychology.

                          To piggyback on this, the vast majority of neuro postdocs (at least reputable ones, that adhere to the Houston guidelines), which are required to become a neuropsychologist, require both an APA-accred program and an APA-accredited internship. While I'd say you'd be able to land a neuro internship without a program focused on neuropsychology, you won't be able to land one if your program is not APA-accredited.

                          So... if your end game is to be a neuropsychologist, going to an unaccredited program will be prohibitive.
                           

                          futureapppsy2

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                            I am wanting to focus on both areas (broad in terms at the moment). I really want to build from the neuropsychological methods and merge them into researching LGBT populations and relative pathology associated with primary affective or trait based disorders with this population. Something I have been very interested ever since I did a senior capstone on sociological principles of pathology amongst LGBT people.

                            It's weird...I know, not exactly what current neuropsychologists do, but it's something that provides a possible in depth analysis of a specific group of people. I suppose that is what I was trying to convey in my previous message/ post. :)

                            FYI...it's not a make or break situation, but it is an area of interest that at some point would be nice to tackle.

                            It could just be my rehab psych background talking, but what you mention here seems closer to neuroscience than neuropsych. In my experience, most neuropsych programs, labs, and positions focus almost exclusively on TBI, Alzheimer's, neurodegenerative diseases, and stroke--in other words, neurological diseases and conditions that may have cognitive or psychological effects. I don't know if what you are interested in would be something that would necessarily fit well with most neuropsych faculty and neuropsych labs. You may be better off focusing on programs with professors who research LGBT and have connections with medical centers and the like that have access to neurological imaging equipment.

                            Just my 2 cents.
                             

                            CogNeuroGuy

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                              It could just be my rehab psych background talking, but what you mention here seems closer to neuroscience than neuropsych. In my experience, most neuropsych programs, labs, and positions focus almost exclusively on TBI, Alzheimer's, neurodegenerative diseases, and stroke--in other words, neurological diseases and conditions that may have cognitive or psychological effects. I don't know if what you are interested in would be something that would necessarily fit well with most neuropsych faculty and neuropsych labs. You may be better off focusing on programs with professors who research LGBT and have connections with medical centers and the like that have access to neurological imaging equipment.

                              Just my 2 cents.

                              You are right, there is a bit of neuroscience that I do want to incorporate into it. It's weird with the setup I have now, I am currently in a master's program in cognitive neuroscience, but I am also doing a research internship at a university medical center in clinical neuropsychology. I am wanting to take some aspects of neuropsychology with some aspects of cog-neuro in whatever I do, I feel it creates more of a comprehensive picture in developing as a future psychologist and as a practitioner. There is a lot of overlap in the fields, especially the cognitive psychology principles in the design of the neuropsychological assessments.

                              ...it's a work in progress, and I hope to have it sorted sometime soon :p
                               
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