MA versus Psy.D

<p>If I want to work individually with those with anxiety disorders, would an MA or a Psy.D in Clinical Psych be best? I don't want to get my MA just to find out that there are no jobs left, and that all the ones that are left aren't even close to what I want to do.</p>

<p>ONLY go with PhD, as you will have many more insurances that will pay for services. PsyD have fewer insurances that will cover services. In other words, clients' insurance companies will pay you, IF you are a PhD, not so much PsyD. My dad is painfully aware of this, as he works in the field. Also, PhD are FAR more respected than PsyD and have many more opportunities, careerwise.</p>

<p>it is very difficult to get licensed with most MA degrees. you could get an MSW if you dont want a doctorate.</p>

<p>If you want to go for a PsyD, ONLY go to a funded program, most of which require some degree of research interest and research experience. If have no research experience, an MSW might be a better option. Do NOT go to an unfunded PsyD (or unfunded PhD) program.</p>

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PsyD have fewer insurances that will cover services

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<p>Not true. PhD holders and PsyD holders are both Licensed Psychologists, and insurance companies reimbursed based on licenses, not degrees.</p>

<p>MSW is NOT the way to go if you want to make a decent living in psychotherapy. Again, PsyD is NOT as accepted and highly regarded as a PhD. Don't make a mistake on this. It will be costly, indeed.</p>

<p>An MSW is NOT the way to go? Do you know the increasing scope for MSW/LCSWs nowadays? They are getting more administrative and clinical responsibilities that are shared with doctoral-level Psychologists and it's definitely encroaching on employability of a lot of recent Ph.D.'s.</p>

<p>I just received my MSW, and I worked alongside Psychology PhDs and PsyDs at my second year internship. I found that we had very similar duties to psychologists, except that MSWs can't do psych testing. For this reason, masters level clinicians are actually doing more therapy in non-private-practice settings these days, while psychologists primarily do testing.</p>

<p>If you do go the PhD / PsyD route, definitely go to a funded program, as others have said. Avoid Alliant, Argosy, and any similar program that will give anyone a doctorate who will pay $50,000 a year for the 5-6 years it takes to get the degree. Psychologists simply don't make enough money to take on that much debt, and degrees from those programs are not very respected. The disadvantage to becoming a psychologist is that they make more money, get to do testing (if that's something you want to do), and are called Doctor. The disadvantage is that it can be harder to get hired than an MSW.</p>

<p>An MSW is the best masters level degree to get, as the degree is more respected than an MA in counseling, plus you have a greater degree of job opportunities. An MSW takes two years to obtain, but then to get an LCSW you need to get two years of full-time supervision, followed by an exam or two, depending on your state. The good news is that you get paid while you're getting supervised. (MFT candidates usually have to volunteer their services.) As others have said, LCSWs are highly in demand and frequently do therapy, but the downside is that you don't make as much as an psychologist.</p>

<p>Hope this helped some.</p>

<p>@ Fish out of water:</p>

<p>If I decided to get the MSW and then get my Psy.D or Ph.D later, do you know if it would help or hurt my chances?</p>

<p>I think a background of working in mental health would help, but you'd have to write a convincing personal statement explaining why you wanted to switch from the social work to the PsyD / PhD perspective. That said, getting both the degrees sounds like a waste of time and money - you'd be better off trying to identify now which is the better fit for you.</p>

<p>It won't help much going from an MSW -> Ph.D. unless you were simultaneously involved in research--and with the time commitment needed to get your MSW/LCSW, it is going to be taxing.</p>