I will be applying to clinical/counseling psychology PhD programs for Fall 2020 admission, and currently I am trying to decide who my recommenders will be. I completed my BS in psychology in 2017, did one year of post-bacc RA (part-time, no pay), and currently working towards my master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. I have secured an LOR from my undergraduate research supervisor with whom I worked closely for three years, and another one from my academic advisor in the counseling program who could primarily comment on my academics and development in counseling skills. I am currently torn between the options I have for my third LOR, and I would greatly appreciate any advice!
Here are my options:
1. The professors with whom I took Research methods in the Counseling program. In that class, we completed a research proposal of our own interest from scratch, and she provided individual feedback and supervised our research design across the semester. I worked for her the next semester as teaching assistant for the research course, and she supervised me evaluating students' research questions and writing, and I presented a few times in class on academic writing and APA format. I also took the career counseling course with her. The only drawback about her is that she graduate with a PhD in Education in 2018, and her current title is visiting assistant professor. I am not sure whether admissions would judge recommender's experience, education background, and tenure-ship status.
2. The tenure-track faculty member in the counseling program who will supervise my independent research study in the coming Fall. I will be working with her individually from IRB submission to manuscript writing. The issue is that I have not taken any class with her before, and I don't know if working together for two months could help her write a strong letter about me.
3. The post-doc fellow I have been working with in a research unit at a medical school since last September. I had been helping the study team on an RCT study (not in my preferred research topics) as a research intern, and I'm usually in the research unit once a week. My main duties were entering data, managing database, and preparing questionnaire packets for dispatch. I meet with her weekly, and discuss the process of data collection and issues I noticed in the collected data. I don't think we will get to a point where we can perform data analysis by December, and it is hard to commit more time to the research unit due to my other duties.
4. My clinical supervisor at the outpatient mental health clinic where I am doing my counseling practicum and internship. I currently see 6 clients per week, and I meet with her twice a week to update treatment progress and discuss any issue I encounter during sessions. I know that she thinks highly of my clinical work, but she does not have much experience in academia.
Please let me know about your thoughts! Thank you in advance for your insight and advice.