Pursuing a second PhD in Clinical Psychology

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Pursuing a second PhD in Clinical Psychology

Postby Peter Jones » Sun Feb 21, 2016 5:57 pm

I have a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and background in experimental psychology, and for years I have struggled to find my niche in research. I have worked mostly in basic research in academia, but at this point I am pretty convinced that being a PI is just not for me. I have also struggled to find non-PI PhD-level research jobs in government or industry. As a result, while I have trained and worked in research for over 15 years, I have come to the conclusion that a career in research may not be viable for me.

Not wanting my training to go to "waste," I have considered whether I might be able to apply it in a neuroscience-related clinical field, such as clinical neuropsychology. I have trained under neuropsychologists, have extensive coursework in psychology, and have experience in administering standardized clinical assessments. I also really enjoy patient interaction and have found this to be really the highlight of doing research for me. I wonder whether this field might be a good fit, but nearing 40, I also have concerns about the logistics of pursuing a new career.

My question is whether having a PhD and some potentially relevant experience through research would help at all in pursuing a second PhD in clinical psychology (e.g., reducing time to complete the degree or helping to get accepted into clinical psych PhD programs). Any thoughts on this would be great.


Peter Jones
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Re: Pursuing a second PhD in Clinical Psychology

Postby Rich Lemert » Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:02 am

Before you start investing in another PhD, figure out if its possible to leverage the one you have! You may just need a couple of continuing ed courses. If it's a license issue, you might find that a lot of the experience you already qualifies for that license.

Go talk to people that are already in the field you want to get into. Find out what types of jobs you can get now with the background you have. If the opportunities aren't appealing, find out what you really need to go further.

You're falling into a common trap we see that says "an additional degree is always a good idea." By the time you receive a PhD, however, the law of diminishing returns starts kicking in big time.
Rich Lemert
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Re: Pursuing a second PhD in Clinical Psychology

Postby D.X. » Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:08 am

HI Rich,

Peter will definately have to Research the State Licensing requirements but I do belive for such Professional Licenses he would have to get the appropriate degree from an accredited Clin Pysch program for the license.

There are other "lesser" licenses on can go for but that has to be reseached and having a customer base may be hard due to recognition by health insurances for reimbursement/co-payment for psychologic care.

If schooling is not a barrier and there is an interst in the practic of psychology at this Point why not look at the MD degree or Social Work degree? The PsyD is one to look at as well - may not be so rigourosu as a PhD and I think one can get a licenses to practice.

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