So, you want to be a clinical psychologist—but there are still more decisions to be made! What kind of degree do you need to get to where you want to go?
The truth is, if you’re interested in practicing psychology as a clinician—that is, a therapist—there are many routes you can take to get there, including Masters programs in social work, counseling, and specialized areas of psychology (e.g., applied behavior analysis, marriage family therapy); as well as doctoral level programs, such as the traditional PhD or the newer PsyD, which is more clinically oriented (but also much more expensive!).
In my next blog series, we’ll explore these options one by one, comparing and contrasting different degrees, the career and licensure opportunities they afford you, the costs, and the admissions requirements.
The decision of what degree you choose to pursue in clinical psychology is one that can be confusing and daunting—but fear not! I aim to clarify these options for you by putting all the research that I’ve done in one place so that you can get a better idea of which path will suit you and your career goals best.
Ultimately, the decision of which path you take is up to you, and entails a process of self-discovery. So I invite you to see this part of the process as a chance to dig deeper into your motivation to become a psychologists, understand what types of client populations you’re most interested in working with, and think more deeply about your ultimate goals and where you’d like to be 10, 20, even 50 years from now.
To give you a preview, these are some of the topics we’ll address in this series:
- PhD vs. PsyD
- MA vs. Doctorate
- Social Work and Counseling Psychology
- Specialized Programs: Neuropsychology, Applied Behavior Analysis
Hopefully, this new series will give you a better idea of all the options out there, and help you hone in on your goals in the process. The good news is, there are LOTS of options and ways to realize your dream of becoming a clinical psychologist—and finding the right fit by defining your goals from the start is an important step that will ensure that you apply to the right programs.
What other topics would you like to see addressed in this series?
Let us know in the comments section, below!