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clinical MSW - Am I taking the wrong route?

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I have already sent in 2 applications to IUPUI and University of Cincinnati. I'm also applying to U of Indy, Southern Illinois Univ.-Carbondale, U of Southern Indiana, and U of Louisville. 


Anyway, I was searching through forums curious about when I should expect to hear back from the two I've already sent my applications to. I came across a person in one of the MSW forums (different website) saying that getting and MSW to go into therapy is a joke and that MSW's are not good therapists. They said that they come out of their program thinking they can do therapy, but they are not really qualified. 


I really want to be a therapist. I had talked with my undergraduate advisor about choosing between clincial PhD, PsyD, and MSW and I came to the conclusion after our conversation that MSW is best for me. I am not interested in the PhD because I do not have any interest in conducting research. I have done several projects as an undergrad, but I do not want to complete a dissertation. My senior thesis has caused me so much stress, I can't even imagine putting together a dissertation. So, I thought a PsyD would be best. However, I cannot afford the 100K+ in loans. My advisor asked me a series of questions about what I want to do: Do I want to do psychological assessment? Admininistration? Research? Teaching? etc. I realized that I am really just interested working one on one with clients, so I chose the MSW route. I also like how broad the field is and that I can enter the field at so many different angles. 


However, after reading that person's response on the message board, I am just having some doubts about my choices. I have no doubts (nor does my advisor) about my ability to go through a PhD or PsyD program. My undergraduate experience was amazing. The psych department at my school prepares us so well for graduate study. I have conducted 5 studies within my psych major and will be presenting my senior thesis at a research conference, and 3 studies within my sociology minor. I have a 3.9 GPA with a liberal arts background. I have a little experience in the field as well (rape/crisis hotline volunteer and youth care worker at a local youth shelter). 


Am I selling myself too short? Should I take a gap year to figure things out? I don't know what to do anymore. I don't know how to find out what is best for me when there are so many people saying that I am doing the wrong thing and just as many others saying I am doing the right thing. 


Thank you in advance for your advice. 

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I think you have to take anything you read online with a grain of salt. Can you talk to your advisor about your concerns? Your advisor probably knows you and the situation better. There are a lot of people that use MSWs to counsel people, and I think it probably depends on what you want to focus on in counseling clients if an MSW is the best way to achieve that. This might also be something you can ask the schools you've applied to once you're accepted. Maybe they have certificate programs that would address the specific population you want to work with? Maybe there is some way you can tailor your coursework to give you more of a background with individual counseling? I wouldn't start freaking out about what one person has told you online vs the guidance you've gotten in real life from people you know and trust. I think you should take that information as an opportunity to examine what school is going to be a best fit for you and how you can use your graduate education to counsel clients. 

Good luck with everything!

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I wouldn't put too much stock in what an online person said.  It seems like it can be 1 of 2 things: either it's someone who's gotten a PhD in Psychology (or etc.) and is bitter because MSW's are doing therapy, too (though the PhD's do get paid more, so I don't know why they're bitter) or it's an MSW going through imposter syndrome and doesn't feel ready for therapy.  You can't really do much about the first thing (bitter people will be bitter regardless), but if it's the second thing, like Amanda87 said, you can do certificates and additional coursework to make you feel ready for therapy.  LCSW's are also required to do continuing education credits and a lot of the topics have to do with therapeutic techniques/trauma/anything else.

No one can tell you what to do.  But look at it this way: if you do end up going the PhD and the PsyD route and eventually figure out that therapy is not for you or you no longer want to do it, there are other things you can do.  However, according to PhD's I know, you'll end up in research and/or teaching, but will be overqualified for other types of jobs.  If you end up going the MSW route and decide that you don't like therapy, there are so many other things you can do that don't involve therapy.  You aren't limited to therapy, research, and teaching with an MSW.

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