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Would anyone be able to offer me suggestions on which doctoral-level programs I should apply to based on my interests? I have spent countless hours researching programs but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. I'm not sure if I should go for a PsyD or a PhD, and if I should choose clinical or counseling psychology (although I think I'm leaning more towards clinical). 

When I am done with grad school, I want to work in a group practice (and eventually a private practice). I want a program that will well prepare me for the clinical aspect of a career in psychology. My fear is that if I go to a school that is too research-oriented, I wont be prepared enough as a practitioner. I want to focus on treating people that don't have severe mental disorders (I want to focus on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.). I also don't really love doing research (I understand that some research is necessary). 

Do you know of Phd programs or PsyD programs that are (much) more practice based than research based? Any advice that you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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34 minutes ago, taylbuonocore said:

Would anyone be able to offer me suggestions on which doctoral-level programs I should apply to based on my interests? I have spent countless hours researching programs but it feels like I'm getting nowhere. I'm not sure if I should go for a PsyD or a PhD, and if I should choose clinical or counseling psychology (although I think I'm leaning more towards clinical). 

When I am done with grad school, I want to work in a group practice (and eventually a private practice). I want a program that will well prepare me for the clinical aspect of a career in psychology. My fear is that if I go to a school that is too research-oriented, I wont be prepared enough as a practitioner. I want to focus on treating people that don't have severe mental disorders (I want to focus on depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc.). I also don't really love doing research (I understand that some research is necessary). 

Do you know of Phd programs or PsyD programs that are (much) more practice based than research based? Any advice that you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Hi! I went through this prior to applying! Based on what you’ve just described, it sounds like you would benefit more from PsyD program. In a PsyD they would train you as a practitioner, whereas in a PhD program there is heavier emphasis on research; which if you already know you don’t like it, you may not have such a great time completing a PhD for 5+ years. The only downside to PsyD programs I see, for those who’d prefer to apply to them, is that most are not funded or have very little funding. As far as clinical versus counseling, there are combined programs that offer both. I used the APA website to look into their list of APA accredited programs and found those that i thought would be a good fit for me. I personally applied to various programs based on my specific research and clinical interests, even if some may be very different because they shared the same population I’m interested in working with in common. Of the PsyD programs I researched, the only one I’m applying to since it is fully funded is the combined clinical and school psychology program at James Madison University. I recommend looking through the APA website and looking specifically at PsyD programs in states where you would like to live. And then exploring the program websites and professor lab websites to see what “calls to you”. This will help to narrow down the search. Good luck!!

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Even PsyD programs require some research. Honestly, both train clinicians. The vast majority of people from PhD programs also go onto clinical careers. In regards to counseling versus clinical, there's also very little difference. Whether you choose a PhD or PsyD in counseling or clinical will get you the same goal. As the previous poster suggested, go to the APA website and look at programs to see what programs offer the experiences you think you'd like and the research that interests you (even PsyDs require a dissertation). So really, you will be ok regardless of which options. Just ensure that you are applying to APA accredited programs and look at outcomes: how many people get APA accredited internships and pass the EPPP, the national licensing exam for psychologists. All of this data is required per APA guidelines. 

Also, if you aren't interested in doing assessments for severe mental illness, you can also look into masters level clinical degrees such as mental health counseling and social work. You may me be able to achieve your goals in less time by pursuing a masters. The majority of hospitals and clinics hire masters level clinicians for therapy, and plenty of these providers open up private practices. 

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