AcademicGround Anyone with a psych graduate degre

12/15/05 5:24 PM
Posts: 2150
what do schools look for as into getting accepted to graduate school in psychology. i heard of a test like the act for psych. or is gpa really important? extra activites? im looking for some advice from someone who has walked this road. thanks in advance.
12/16/05 10:23 PM
Posts: 4897
Good GPA, Statistics, and some research classes would do you good.
12/17/05 11:12 PM
Posts: 583
Paging Dr. Ted Bennett! Paging Dr. Bennett!
12/19/05 7:06 PM
Posts: 3111
Dr. Bennett isn't in, Iron Mongoose the hack is filling in. I have a Masters, which is good enough to charter in my jurisdiction. I'm not sure where you're at right now, so it's tricky for me to know what to tell you. Usually your department has an undergrad association that will hold seminars, give you some direction on this...? My school had the option of a thesis-based Bachelors, which I took. They also had an optional internship program, which I didn't take. It's alright, I got a good research assistant job after, which amounts to the same thing. Most schools will want your GRE General and your GRE Psychology. GRE Psychology is just multiple choice crap like early undergrad. I studied for it by reading my entry-level textbook. GRE General, you'll wanna prepare for with vocabulary lists and logic puzzles. Volunteering in clinical settings will not only give you good padding on the CV, and good letters of reference, but also a sense of what areas you're interested in. Depending on where you apply, a big part of it may be scouting websites for prospective supervisors, looking up everything they wrote, and emailing them with research proposals. If they like what you have to say to them, they'll basically fast-track you through the committee, but without a "sponsor" like this, you may have no chance at all. Again, this depends on which department you're applying in. Hope this helps a bit.
12/19/05 7:09 PM
Posts: 3112
Another thing I should have mentioned, the programs are generally very competitive, and the job market isn't the greatest. Clinical psychologists are often stunned when they graduate and people aren't lining up to pay them $70,000 plus. So keep yourself open to other options like psychiatric nursing and psychiatric social work that are very employable, and allow a lot more opportunities to do direct therapy, etc.
12/19/05 7:16 PM
Posts: 2167
thanks for the advice, i was thinking of Forenics. im a third year going for my bachelors. One of my professors said that the scores on GRE helps alot with getting accepted and my advisor didnt mention grades at all. whats your job ironmongoose.
12/20/05 2:34 AM
Posts: 3118
WEB, I'm a chartered psychologist in Alberta. This is one of the few jurisdictions that requires only a Masters. I would be considered a "psychological associate" in some other parts of North America. Forensics is a very expandable term, and can include not only criminal stuff but things like parenting assessments, custody and access, anything where you're likely to be on a witness stand. In the end, not a lot of forensic psychologists end up profiling stalkers and murderers. It is wise to apply broadly. Therefore the GRE is a good idea. If you are interested in violent criminals, which is what attracts most people to forensics, then be sure to check out Paul Meehl, and also John Monahan's classic "Predicting Violent Behavior", probably one of the most important things written on the topic. Get an internship (e.g. research assistanceship) in a correctional facility or a forensic unit of a psych hospital (working with NCR's "not-criminally-responsibles"), to see if you really like it. A lot of people quickly realize that they don't enjoy the prison environment. I didn't. The ambience is a little drab, and the guys you work with are often dirty, diseased, and deceptive. You don't see productive change as often as you would in general mental health, or better yet, outpatient therapy. But some people really get a kick out of the work. My 2c. I'm sure Dr. Bennett will have some helpful ideas for you too.
1/6/06 6:02 PM
Posts: 3436
Yo - sorry I'm so late to the discussion ;-) Will post in the morning tomorrow, as there is a *lot* to cover. Matter of fact, I'm prepping right now for a trip to Boston for the INS (International Neuropsychological Society) conference, where one of my duties will be to interview folks for the post-doctoral fellowship/residency positions at my current place of employment. If you get into grad school, then get an internship, then this would be your final educational step prior to interviewing for your first real job. I can walk you through each of those steps. *to be continued*
1/11/06 9:19 PM
Posts: 10674 wife is currently in her internship. She'll be defending her dissertation spring/summer 2006.
3/19/06 8:59 PM
Posts: 1120
3/20/06 4:59 PM
Posts: 7531
Pscyhology is practically useless. Only a handful of talented doctors have done some good work.
3/20/06 5:52 PM
Posts: 3775
An outrageous assertion, esp. considering your screen name. Modern psychology bears as much resemblance to Freudian/Jungian garbage as the UFC does to early 60's kung fu movies. But please, educate us - who are these handful of whom you speak? Let me know, so I can find out exactly how badly you have misstated yourself. If you are the average college freshman and you say Freud or Skinner, that's one thing. If all you know of psychology is Dr. Phil, that's something else. But if you were sophisticated enough to know who folks like Prigatano, Sherer, Linehan, or even Reitan are, then you *might* be something more than a first-grader telling a physicist that math is "practically useless."
3/20/06 6:10 PM
Posts: 7554
You are all bark and no bite with those purty words. Name one mental disorder they cured???? NONE! Have you ever sat in a chair talking to a Psych??? I have, a few times. It's all about ranting to get your problem off your chest. But in the end, I never changed. The only good it did was it helped me see some things I haven't seen before. I could have done that reading some Psych books at home.
3/20/06 9:21 PM
Posts: 3776 your "logic," since we still have cancer and AIDS (the deadliest things going), the entire fields of oncology and virology are worthless, correct? Hell, those worthless bastards can't even cure the common cold!

And you've talked to one psych - therefore you know them all? Wow, I saw this guy named Amaury Bitetti get beat up real bad by a guy named Don Frye, that Brazilian jujitsu stuff Bitetti does is the most worthless martial art ever!

BTW - there are *many* different types - was it a psychologist or a psychotherapist? Were they insight-oriented, cognitive therapy, REBT, etc.?  Knowing the type is important, as it helps you separate the wheat from the chaff - I could tell someone I train "martial arts," but there's a big difference in training McDojo TKD vs. Renzo's dojo.

I, on the other hand, have talked to hundreds of psychologists (seminars, conferences, hospital rounds, grand rounds, etc.) - and I can tell you that just like any group of people, you have some that suck and some that are amazing. I shudder at the thought of judging them all by one particular asshole.

And you could have read books at home - perhaps, folks get good stuff out of that all the time - it even has a fancy name, it's called bibliotherapy. But to keep in the frame of comparing martial arts and therapy - how much BJJ could you learn from a book vs from a coach?  Dunno about you, but I'll take the coach any day. After all, how do *you* know what constitutes a good book?

3/20/06 9:42 PM
Posts: 7570 your "logic," since we still have cancer and AIDS (the deadliest things going), the entire fields of oncology and virology are worthless, correct? Hell, those worthless bastards can't even cure the common cold! Then yes, it is worthless. And you've talked to one psych - therefore you know them all? I took a course in Pysch too. I just don't see anything cool about it. I mean only a handful of talented Pscyhs actually did some things. But that's it. how do *you* know what constitutes a good book? When it works.
3/20/06 10:43 PM
Posts: 2536
Ted- Would you list a few books that might interest me. im really into reading about studies. anything but eating disorders........
3/21/06 10:05 AM
Posts: 3777
Cajones - I don't give a rat's hymen about him. I do, however, actually care about the people he may affect with his ignorance. After reading his above post, I have two options to believe - either he is truly ignorant and willfully so or else he is a troll. In neither case is he worthy of my time or anyone else's - I don't have to worry about anyone being misled by him simply because I think anyone with eyes can see how negligible his contribution to the thread has been. Shame, really - if he were interested in learning something as opposed to spouting off bullshit, he might come away from this with some level of education/self-improvement. Alas, I think he'll waste his time with this thread just like he did with his therapist, cursing bitterly the whole way and blaming everyone else for the problems *he* creates. edited for spelling - damn that sticky "n" key :-P
3/21/06 10:36 AM
Posts: 3778
WEB - what are you interested in? Mood disorders liek depression? Anxiety? Brain problems? Psychopaths? Serial killers? Marriage/relationships? Child-rearing? Let me know your interests, and I can rec something accordingly.
3/21/06 11:10 AM
Posts: 7583
What's the matter? Are my arguments too pointed for you? Cajones is correct. Don't bother me with me. I'm too logical.
3/21/06 2:19 PM
Posts: 1736
Ted: While I don't pretend to know everything about psych and thus won't try to evaluate the field as a whole, you have to admit that many of psych's early leading lights (Freud, etc.) did the world a tremendous disservice with their BS and set the world backwards, rather than forwards, in terms of understanding ourselves. I don't know that psych, as a field, has yet "balanced the books" in that respect--that, of course, doesn't mean that it can't ever do so. What do you think? Also I have some skepticism about the efficacy of "talk therapy," but I think some things like psych-related pharmacology yielding drugs that help some people live normal lives when they otherwise couldn't are great.
3/21/06 3:04 PM
Posts: 3779
Thank you, buddhadev. I have no problem with people criticizing psychology, esp. its early roots. I've said this time and again on here, but it bears repeating - remember how Chris Rock said "Whatever white people don't like about black people, black people REALLY don't like about black people." In the same fashion, few people on here can criticize psychology with the venom that *I* can muster, simply because whatever you guys see that's objectionable about psychology, I see it 100x more, and it pisses me off much more than any random dude off the street ;-) Freud had some interesting ideas and some solid observations (his descriptions of what psychological defenses look like in the clinic are spot-on to this day), but his theory is absolute batshit. Anyone with any degree of scientific training will happily acknowledge that. Same with Jung, Adler, and all of those turn of the century guys. And don't even get me started on the existential psychologists. When you start looking at the behaviorist movement with Watson, Skinner, etc., then you're starting to talk about real science and findings that hold true even today. Bottom line, therapy works. This cannot be argued. Therapy has as much support as any medicine you care to name, and in many cases it has *more.* I'll be happy to provide numerous citations in support of therapy, if you wish. My own field of neuropsychology has *higher* accuracy rates than things like head CT/MRI scans for certain determinations, and docs rely on those things to a staggering degree. Does it work all the time, or in every case? Of course not. But the same is true of medicines. I could rattle off dozens of my patients who have seizures who get no relief whatsoever from any anti-epileptic drug/anti-convulsant currently on the books - doesn't mean those drugs are worthless (they sure work better than anti-depressants, which work perhaps 50% of the time). In the collective whole, the efficacy of therapy cannot be denied. Actually, what folks find after reading serious scientific literature on therapy is how *low* some other things are in comparison (e.g., EMG studies, electoencephalograms, etc.) - it's actually rather surprising how inaccurate/inefficacious many modern medical techniques are. Your talk about "balancing the scales" is in fact one of the reasons I constantly pop up on threads like this, I'm doing my part to educate folks and try to clear away the bullshit (of which there is plenty). It's just like MMA/UFC - they are trying to show people what real fighting looks like, but they still contend with the legions of loons who believe in death touches, 4 year old black belts, and wire-work style flying kung fu. Same thing with medicine - look at how many idiots wear copper bracelets for arthritis or take gingko-biloba/St. John's Wort/insert-useless-supplement-here, in spite of how the evidence shows they're harmless at best and prevent people from seeking real treatment at worst, but are in no way beneficial. Psychology isn't the only human endeavor that attracts massive loads of bullshit and con artists....
3/23/06 4:52 AM
Posts: 4841
Speaking of Psychology, anyone here familiar with the California School of Professional Psychology? They have campuses in San Diego and LA. Their undergrad school is Alliant International University. I know someone who is strongly considering going there, and was curious about their reputation.
3/23/06 10:50 AM
Posts: 3794
Poor - professional schools are not diploma mills, but they're the next step. The average Ph.D. psych program admits 5-10 people per year based on their number of faculty, usually with one new student per faculty member so they can be mentored one-on-one. Folks are generally able to get assistantships (doing teaching, research, seeing patients, etc.) that allow them to make some money and get tuition wavers, such that when they finish their loans won't be so bad. Professional schools will admit 50-70 people per year and minimize the one-on-one interactions. There are few to no assistantships, and tuition wavers are rare, so that folks finishing here often end up with $100 K in debt or more. Most professional schools have *no* research requirement, meaning they don't do a master's thesis or a doctoral dissertation. As a result, prof. school students are at a *serious* disadvantage when competing for internships, fellowships, jobs, etc. Doesn't mean they're not competent clinicians, of course. But purely based on your question about reputation, that's the general gist. There's a reason why 70 people out of 100 applicants get into something like the California school, and a different reason why 8 people out of 400 applicants get into Duke/Minnesota/any top notch Ph.D. program, with a resultant difference in quality of graduates.
3/23/06 11:31 AM
Posts: 1749
Ted, what's your opinion of Thomas Szasz?
3/23/06 12:01 PM
Posts: 3796
Hee-hee :-) I actually like some of his ideas about how psychiatry goes too far, but in essence he's fighting a battle that's a remnant from the 60's and 70's. If someone pops up on the UG and says, "I think grappling is an integral part of fighting," most of use would reply "Duh!" Twenty-thirty years ago that would have been a pisser of a debate, though. Nowadays, however, most of us realize grappling is good and we hash out finer points over particular styles and strategies. Same thing with Szasz. Arguing that mental illness does not exist is foolish - the support for tons of mental problems is overwhelming, esp. with new technoligies such as PET and SPECT brain scans, plus genetics studies. The question now is not do they exist, but how do we treat them. Szasz is kinda stuck in the mindset of folks who believe that having a bad day equates to severe depression, or that anyone who claims to have hallucinations (e.g., schizophrenics) is lying. Is he correct when he says way too many people take meds? I believe so. Is he correct when he says way too many people have diagnoses that are inappropriate (e.g., 30% of male kids being diagnosed with ADHD)? Again, I believe so. But for him to look at a person with OCD who cannot walk through a door or has to hit themselves in the head 15 times before answering a phone, etc., and say there's nothing wrong with them is ignorant. Two things of note to know about Szasz: one, either he's a Scientologist or else he works *very* closely with them; two, he has *never* treated anyone with a serious illness (his practice helps people with "problems in living."