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Counseling Psych PhD vs MFT PhD


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I know the "assassinations" is a typo, but I found it quite funny :)

Question -  does the MFT PhD allow him to practice? I was under the impression that you need to earn an MFT MA on the way to the PhD to be able to practice afterwards. I may be wrong about this.

In short: a Counselling PhD gives a lot of flexibility, the title of "psychologist" at the end, and other opportunities (such as the internship year) that overall seem better than an MFT program, especially if the program is funded (in my personal opinion). Students often do research and clinical work with adults, work with trauma (in both clinical and counselling programs), this is not limited to MFT. One can do therapy with couples, families, etc. as well. The only thing is that an MFT degree does limit employment opportunities to that particular field, while a "psychologist" designation allows for much greater flexibility overall in practice and research. 

That being said, the decision should be made with other considerations in mind as well, not just what I mentioned above: the match between person and supervisor/mentor, the available practicum opportunities each program offers, what kind of training in research students usually get, lifestyle considerations for each (since PhD program take quite a few years). Also, it would be a good idea to ask the program/ students about employment outcomes for people graduating from that program and see if it matches what your friend wants for the future. So I think it's better to have a chat with current students to get a better sense of the advantages and challenges of both, and go from there. 

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The MFT degree is license-eligible at the master's level only, so the person could only bill as a master's level provider, regardless of the PhD. The counseling psych PhD is a doctoral level licensure. Unless you intend to be a TT faculty at an MFT, I don't really see the benefit of the PhD vs just the master's for an MFT. A counseling psychology PhD will allow for the person to bill as a licensed psychologist and conduct doctoral level assessment, as well as therapy. 

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