GeoffO

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I'm applying to 3 M.A. programs (one in community / social and two in general psych) and a Psy.D program. I have my reasons in my mind but I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the matter. Is a Psy.D necessary? Eventually I am looking to develop and run a program for Asperger's children and adolescents.
 

Ollie123

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Well...with a general master's or a social psych master's, you'll be in no way qualified to see clients or actually do interventions of any kind with those folks.

Assuming you want to actually be involved in treatment in some way, then I'd say yes, a PsyD (or PhD) would be very helpful. Or at least a master's in clinical as opposed to the sorts of master's you are applying to.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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One is training at the doctoral level, and the other is not.

There have been a number of threads on this topic. If you do a search, a few should pop up with some good information.
 
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Therapist4Chnge

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Originally posted HERE:

"Apples and oranges comparison. I'll address some of the basic stuff, and others can go from there.

First off, doctoral training is far great in breadth and depth. MHC is based in COUNSELING theory, and a PsyD is based in CLINICAL theory. They have different ways of looking at things, different ethical standards (though the same in general), different licensures, etc.

Because MHC training is 2ish years of classes, the work tends to be more applied, and does not spend as much time on the in depth theory or research. It is meant for people who want to learn the practical knowledge, and don't want to get into the research, assessment, etc that is involved in doctoral training.

The PsyD has far more focus on theory and research, in addition to clinical training. PhDs and PsyD's tend to different in the number of research and statistics classes, but all of the other classes are the same. Doctoral degrees are a full time 70+ hour /wk for 6-7 years commitment, and tends to be an all or nothing venture....you either are totally into it, or you are not. MHC's tend to be a bit more flexible with the schedule, and don't require people to drop everything they are doing to pursue the degree. They are much more friendly for second career options.

Assessment is a HUGE difference. I've probably had at least half a dozen classes that involve assessment (intelligence, projective, objective, behavioral, etc), and spent hundred/thousands of hours learning and working with them. This is a BIG area of clinical psychology, and if you don't like them, the a PsyD probably isn't for you.

Salary is what you make of it. If you go the private practice route (cash pay), you can charge what the market can handle. If you go the insurance route, you are limited by what the panel sets as the amounts. Licensing at the doctoral level will reimburse more (and differently) than a Masters level. I know both doctoral and masters level people who do VERY WELL in their private practice, but that tends to have more to do with their business ability and willingness to build their practices."
 

Therapist4Chnge

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Just a few additions.....

-Supervision is key. No matter what degree a person goes for, having a good clinical supervisor that works in your area of interest in essential.....so make sure there is one or more faculty members that work in your area of interest and can mentor you in said area.

-People can run programs at the MS level, though there tends to be a strong preference for doctoral level people (often times because research grants help fund the work, and they can be the Primary Investigations, supervisors, etc).
 

PsyDr

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you are basically asking what is the difference between 6-7 yrs of education and 2 years?


what's the difference between a high school graduate and a college graduate?

basically 4-5 yrs of education. same with psyd & ma.

a psyd will offer you: an education in inferential statistics (needed to be able to support your treatment), classes in program development, higher reimbursement rates, the respect from funding sources, a basic understanding of brain-behavior relationships, an understanding of how to professionally communicate with other doctoral level service providers so you can be taken seriously, years of actual experience in the population you are interested in, supervision of others who understand how to publish stuff so you can enter the academic discussion of aspergers and possibly meet up with the big names at conferences, being able to watch how program development is done, being able to assist in writing grants, etc.

hell you could even write your dissertation on your proposed treatment program, publish the results, and use this to get funding the day you graduate.



As for your other choices: I don't think a community psych MA can gain you licensure (allowing you to actually practice). If the general psych MA programs don't have a practicum then you you will not be eligible for licensure. Without a license and no supervision it would be illegal for you to practice. oh, and you can't bill for anything (insurance panels ask for your license number pretty much after your last name).

So between your choices you have: 3 degrees that prevent you from actually treating patients and 1 that does.
 

psychmama

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It's not that I disagree with the posters who are telling you that the PsyD gives greater options. However, I'd just point out that it is possible to practice with a Masters in many states. In a lot of states, there's something called an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or similar that enables Master's level clinicians to become licensed and practice. There's also the option of an MSW (social work) that could work for you. Master's level clinicians are usually reimbursed at lower rates than PhDs or PsyDs. Still, an extra 3-4 years of education is nothing to sneeze at. I'd check into the licensing requirements in the states you'd like to work in. Also, master's level clinicians are frequently found working in agencies and institutional settings -- where they don't have to be licensed in order to be able to practice. Look around at who's doing the sort of work you want to do in your neck of the woods. Surf the net and check out schools, clinics, agencies, hospitals, serving individuals on the autism spectrum. What credentials do they have? This will help you decide if you need the doctorate or not.

None of this is meant to dissuade your from the PsyD -- just to make sure you've evaluated your options fully. I went for the PsyD, and I'm glad I did.

Good luck.:thumbup::)
 

psychmama

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It's not that I disagree with the posters who are telling you that the PsyD gives greater options. However, I'd just point out that it is possible to practice with a Masters in many states. In a lot of states, there's something called an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or similar that enables Master's level clinicians to become licensed and practice. There's also the option of an MSW (social work) that could work for you. Master's level clinicians are usually reimbursed at lower rates than PhDs or PsyDs. Still, an extra 3-4 years of education is nothing to sneeze at. I'd check into the licensing requirements in the states you'd like to work in. Also, master's level clinicians are frequently found working in agencies and institutional settings -- where they don't have to be licensed in order to be able to practice. Look around at who's doing the sort of work you want to do in your neck of the woods. Surf the net and check out schools, clinics, agencies, hospitals, serving individuals on the autism spectrum. What credentials do they have? This will help you decide if you need the doctorate or not.

None of this is meant to dissuade you from the PsyD -- just to make sure you've evaluated your options fully. I went for the PsyD, and I'm glad I did.

Good luck.:thumbup::)
 

Ollie123

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It's not that I disagree with the posters who are telling you that the PsyD gives greater options. However, I'd just point out that it is possible to practice with a Masters in many states. In a lot of states, there's something called an LPC (Licensed Professional Counselor) or similar that enables Master's level clinicians to become licensed and practice. There's also the option of an MSW (social work) that could work for you. Master's level clinicians are usually reimbursed at lower rates than PhDs or PsyDs. Still, an extra 3-4 years of education is nothing to sneeze at. I'd check into the licensing requirements in the states you'd like to work in. Also, master's level clinicians are frequently found working in agencies and institutional settings -- where they don't have to be licensed in order to be able to practice.
This is all correct, but he isn't applying to master's programs that would allow him to do so! One needs a degree in social work, counseling or clinical psych to get the master's license, for the most part. You do not learn intervention techniques in social or general psychology master's programs (at least not any that I have seen) - you are no more qualified to practice afterwards than someone with a degree in neuroscience or english.
 

psychmama

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That's a valid point. Not all Masters degrees in psychology are the same. If the OP wants to practice, he needs to pick a program in clinical or counseling psych, or a degree in social work.
 

WannaBeDrMe

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That's a valid point. Not all Masters degrees in psychology are the same. If the OP wants to practice, he needs to pick a program in clinical or counseling psych, or a degree in social work.
Agreed. Also, be sure you know what you are getting into as far as a peer group.

I have a clinical masters and I was fairly unsatisified with the fact that the supervision wasn't always what I needed, craved, lusted for...

Some master's level clinicians are extremely gifted and skilled and would beat the socks off any one else regardless of their degree... but some are very grounded only in basic techniques and concepts and don't understand the meat or theory behind issues they face each day in practice.

A doctoral program will place you in the middle of the meat and will give you access to a peer group with similar understandings about the way the clinical world operates...

Just something to ponder... again, not knocking master's level work, I've ran into some great people who have taught me a lot... but I've also spent a good deal of time cleaning up after people who probably need a lot more training in a lot of areas to adequately serve their clients.
 
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