MaryQofS Posted April 27, 2021 Share Posted April 27, 2021 [Apologies in advance for the long-ass post! Brevity has never been one of my strengths] I am a non-traditional (43-year-old) student who would like to get a PhD in Psychology (preferably at Duquesne since I am very interested in humanist and existential therapies, but I am open to Counseling Psychology programs as well). I have been told that 43 is "too old" to try to get a PhD in Psychology, and that I would be better off just doing an MSW given that I do want to be a clinician eventually, but I have reviewed the coursework for several MSW programs and it just doesn't interest me all that much. I really don't want to go into debt taking coursework that doesn't interest or inspire me. Also, if I ever moved back to my country of origin, I wouldn't be able to work as a therapist even if I'm a LCSW in the US. In my country only graduates of psychology, psychotherapy, or counseling programs are able to work as therapists. I do love the social justice focus of MSW programs but, honestly, I would rather just read books about this in my spare time than spend money on classes about it. I am most excited by the idea of taking classes about counseling theories and pathology. My next thought was, of course, that I should do a Master's in Counseling, but my heart hurts a little when I think that these programs mainly train people to be "consumers of research" rather than researchers themselves. Even though my ultimate goal is to be a clinician, I absolutely want to do research, too, so this has led me to explore the idea of doing a PhD in Psychology. (Some of my research interests are behavioural addictions, specifically interpersonal addictions like "love addiction"; family estrangement; and procrastination and perfectionism). The issue is that I do not believe that I would currently be competitive enough to get into a funded PhD program because I don't have a background in Psychology or any research experience. I'm sure that I would have a good chance of getting into a non-funded humanistic program, but I'm not willing to get myself into 200K of debt. My Bachelor's degree from a major UK university is in foreign languages (I received a "double first" which I suppose is the US equivalent to "summa cum laude") and my Master's degree from a US R1 university is in Comparative Literature. I received a massive scholarship to come to the US for graduate studies (I intended to get a PhD and become an academic), but I crashed and burned for a variety of reasons - mainly mental health-related but also because I realized pretty quickly that academia wasn't for me. My graduate transcripts are pretty poor, and I worry that this makes me look like somebody who doesn't have what it takes for graduate study. I am currently training to be a substance abuse counselor, and I will start a full-time job in the addiction field in a few months. I have also been taking lots of Psychology prereqs at my local Community College. I also have experience volunteering as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault. I am hoping that completing a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology would make me a much more attractive candidate for Duquesne or Counseling Psychology PhD programs. However, I am unclear on how I can easily find terminal Master's programs in Counseling Psychology without spending months googling. Isn't there a nice, handy list somewhere? I am also unclear on how one is supposed to know whether a program is good or not. Texas Woman's University has a Master's that really appeals to me because of the feminist perspective and because it would also allow me to get licensure as an LPC if I decided not to take the PhD route after all. However, my friend says that it's a "low ranking state school" and that if I want to get into a PhD program later, I need to think about the name/status of professors who would be writing me letters of recommendation. I'm not sure if she's just being a snob, or if she has a point. University of Detroit Mercy has a Master's in Counseling (not Counseling Psychology) that interests me because they claim that students regularly publish in peer-reviewed journals, but I don't know if I would just be wasting my time doing a Counseling Master's if my goal is to apply to a PhD Program. I would be grateful for any and all advice! Thank you in advance! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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