Where are my therapist/psychologist bees?

posted 1 year ago in Career
Post # 16
Member
10254 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

After many years in the mental health profession and an MS with an emphasis on diagnosis and testing, I freaked out and bailed out of my PhD program.  Suddenly, the work looked so daunting when stacked up against the earning potential.

I switched professions entirely, got my doctorate in an unrelated field, hating every second of it.

At long last, I’m returning to my roots and getting ready to go back and finish up my doctorate.  I’m only interested in online classes now, at this point in my life.  I have no interest in licensure.  My main goal is to enhance my credibility as an author and possibly teach some online courses.

It’s interesting that so many of the other Bees who posted also gravitated to testing and assessment.

OP, if you do pursue your education online, make certain you will be eligible for licensure in your state.

 

 

Post # 17
Member
10254 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2010

mandipandi :  

Forensic psych is an area I seriously considered, it seems fascinating.  What stopped me is my extreme reaction to any form of animal abuse, especially pets.  I just can’t handle it, and it’s in the background of so many violent offenders.  Just reading about it in a report would do me in.

It’s my Achilles heel.

 

 

Post # 18
Member
51 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

I got my Ph.D. In clinical psychology in 2012. The program was extremely intense, but ultimately worth it. I used to work for a major hospital in my area but I got sick of the politics and the pressure to see cases that didn’t interest me. I now work in my own private practice doing therapy and testing and I love it. I’m also to make pretty good money working for myself.

One thing to really consider if you decide to go for your doctorate is that the program you attend is very important in regards to your training, professional connections, and amount of debt. For example, in order to get your doctorate, you need to do one year of internship (it’s like a residency) at another site after you complete 4-6 years of regular grad school. There is a match system. At this point, less than 50 percent of applicants match with an accredited program, meaning that they can’t progress with their degree. They have to reapply again. Certain programs with good reputations have high match rates and others have very poor rates. A good friend of mine who happens to be an excellent clinician had to go through the match process 3 times because of her program.

Post # 22
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee

I have depression and anxiety. I started out doing a Masters in School Counseling but that program wasn’t a good fit for me. Then I took a year off and am now almost finished with a PsyD. (I’m in my internship and went through the national match process someone mentioned above, so I can answer questions about that too). I worked through most of both programs. Here’s what I’ve learned/experienced:

-I started out thinking I wanted to do counseling but I really love assessments! In some ways they are more straightforward but it’s also like a puzzle trying to figure a person out. I also enjoy writing so I like that there’s a mix of client time and alone time.

-A doctorate will give you a more in-depth education and will also open more doors for you. After doing a Masters and then my PsyD, looking back I can’t believe how broad the content of my master’s was. We didn’t really dive into any one topic very deeply. For example, in my Masters I had one class on theory for the whole program, and for my doctorate there was a separate class for each theory! 

-Having a job while in school is really difficult. I worked part-time and it was stressful. Life was a crazy balancing act sometimes, and I’d have to schedule time with friends weeks in advance just to fit everything in.

-One thing I didn’t quite consider about school was how it would feel to be constantly evaluated. Yes, there is a lot of hard work reading, going to classes, writing papers, etc. That’s all doable. But every time you turn in an assignment, give a presentation, take a test, you’re being graded and that takes its toll after a few years. Expect constant stress, especially when you get into clinical placements. 

-I’d reconsider an online program. Part of what kept me sane was seeing classmates every week. In-person interaction was critical to my learning. I got so much more from going to classes than I ever did from books or online discussions. Plus I made some great friends who continue to be a great support and will be a resource once I am ready to get a job. 

-Although it’s really expensive and really hard, doing work I love is worth it!

Post # 24
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee

queenbatgirl :  The short answer was that I realized that I had a talent for assessment and was not as good at therapy. You have to have quick processing abilities to conceptualize the client in the moment and come up with an appropriate intervention. Assessments, on the other hand, I can take away and mull over and then write my conclusions without the pressure of the client being right there. I also get bored of sitting and listening all day. I need variety. I plan on doing some therapy though, just not as my main specialty.

I don’t think depression/anxiety played much of a role in my decision to switch my focus, but I suppose it’s possible.

As for schools in Washington, there are plenty in the Seattle area. Are you outside the city? PM me if you have specific questions on programs. I’ve been to a couple. 

Post # 27
Member
7 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2019

Hello!

Clinical Mental Health Counselor here. I really love what I do and feel that I’m exactly where I want to be. I previously worked with court involved adolescent doing individual and family work and now am working in private practice (not my own, I’m still working on my licensure hours as I only graduated last January). 

I struggled with my own anxiety and depression for most of my life, but was able to overcome it on my own. It wasn’t until after I decided to become a mental health counselor that I actually started therapy for the first time. I think this position has given me the amazing opportunity to do what I always wanted to do since I was ten years old, which is to help people any way I can. 

 

Good luck on your PhD route! I’ve thought about going back for mine, but currently I’m focused on the wedding and a future family (I’ll be 28 when I get married).

Post # 28
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee

queenbatgirl :  That’s awesome that you’ve decided what you want to do! UW is a great school. It is extremely difficult to get into – I applied and I was told that you basically have to know someone because they take so few students a year. I hope that you get in (keep us posted!) but you might also want to consider having a backup plan. I applied to UW and another school and only got into the other school. It turned out to be a great fit for me. The only research I’m doing is for my dissertation, but I’ve had lots of opportuntities to do assessments and therapy during my clinical training. 

Good luck! I’m excited for you!

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