Different Opportunities for Psychology Doctorate Students

By: Search For Classes

The emergence of the Psy D degree in recent years has brought about change in the way psychology students approach earning a doctorate degree. A traditional PhD program focuses on the scholar-practitioner model while Psy D programs are aimed at those who wish to tailor their careers less toward research and more toward clinical and counseling psychology.

Recognized by the American Psychological Association, Psy D programs have steadily grown in popularity since their acceptance into mainstream academia. As PhD graduates in the field of psychology often enter into purely research oriented, clinical and research or teaching positions, the need for a program that could adequately prepare graduate students for the specialized area of clinical and counseling psychology has been ever present. Many who earned PhD programs before the advent of the Psy D program found entering the profession in a counseling capacity to be difficult. Simply meeting state licensure requirements and setting up a private practice or working for an established practice does not a clinical or counseling psychologist make.

The extensive coursework and dissertation work involved in a doctor of psychology degree program is geared toward the hands on instruction of the "Vail model" as opposed to the "Boulder model" associated with a PhD in psychology. The Vail model is named after a national training conference held in Vail, Colorado in 1973, which resulted from a disagreement from an earlier conference traditionally held in Boulder, Colorado (hence, the Boulder model). The Vail attendees endorsed an alternative training model that would be used to distinguish the scientist role from the clinical and counseling practitioner role.

In its earliest stages, the Psy D program was only offered by private colleges and universities. Today, several state schools offer Psy D degree programs in addition to the traditional PhD in psychology. Public University Psy D programs are some of the most competitive of all available doctorate degree options as a result of their relative newness. Entering classes at some institutions can be as few as 5 to 10 students, compared to substantially larger numbers for well established PhD programs.

As of this writing, Psy D degree programs from any accredited institution are accepted by licensing boards from all 50 states. Recognition from the APA, state licensing boards and the American Board of Professional Psychology is a good indication of level of acceptance regarding the validity of Psy D programs from the profession as a whole.

Education
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Education
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles