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Looking for Guidance: Global Mental Health focus with a license


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Hi guys, I'm feeling slightly confused about options right now, and I was hoping to get some guidance.

My background:

-I have about 6 years of work experience (3 years that are directly relevant to a psych program!) and my MPH

-I have a strong interest in Global mental health work, stemming from my master's program, as well as from professional experience (currently working in the global development field)

-I am increasingly interested in the idea of going back for a PhD, in order to really develop an expertise in this area (My dream job would be to be affiliated with a university, or a multi-lateral organization doing some kind of applied research and/or policy writing

That all being said....I went through an extensive period of unemployment, and I also know one too many desperate, unemployed PhDs out there, so going back for a purely research based degree seems very scary to me and essentially like a non-starter.


I do have a year of counseling experience, and I discovered to my surprise that I actually liked that quite a bit. I don't think I  would be satisfied only doing counseling, but it would be great to end up in a place where I could see clients part time and do research/policy part time.


So, the question is, where does this leave me in terms of grad school options? 


It seems like the options are:

1. Apply for a  research PhD in Psychology or in Global Health etc. (Also thinking about Medical anthro as an option) And then do a quick counseling MA that would let me get my license, on top of that. This feels...excessive to me.  Also doing another masters is an option, but considering I still have loans from my MPH, I would rather do a PhD where I would have a chance at full funding.

2.  Apply for a Clinical PhD and just make sure it's a program that has a global focus. I'm finding that it easier said than done to find programs like this that fit the bill.

3.  None of the above. Something I haven't considered. (Perhaps run off and join the circus?)


Any suggestions, thoughts, program recommendations, would be greatly appreciated!  


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Out of curiosity, what is your 1 year of counseling experience from? Your post implies you don't have a license yet.

How are your finances? Do you need a fully funded grad program or are you okay shelling out some money for a program with your specific focus?

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I spent a year on a sexual assault hotline, doing crisis intervention work. So, counseling is probably not the best word to use, but I am never sure what a better generic term would be. In any case, it got me to realize that I really do like the one-on-one work far more than I would have expected.


In terms of finances, I am in a place where I could potentially get some support if if I had to pay, but  would really like to avoid if it at all possible. But at this stage, I'm not ruling anything  out, especially since this feels so difficult to find!

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