Psych related PhD...how can I do this without

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by jakeysnakey, Jan 22, 2020.

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  1. jakeysnakey

    jakeysnakey New Member

    Hey guys -

    I’m 35, have a degree in biochemistry and biomedical sciences, an MBA (both from a top Canadian school), 10+ years of corporate marketing and sales. I have recently become a certified life coach through a top institution (iPEC).

    I want to become a psychotherapist who focuses on the impact of nutrition and inflammation mental health. For me, this has been a profound experience. Having struggled with anxiety, depression, and eating disorders, I was pretty much able to cure all that by eliminating a lot of food triggers, and also incorporating meditation, and a lot of deep spiritual work, including the resolution of “past traumas” - nothing major, but the usual unprocessed emotions that keep us stuck. I believe it falls under the new field of psychoneuroimmunology.

    I was planning on doing a masters in counseling from a Canadian school, but am also considering a PhD in integrative nutrition, or health psychology.

    Since I’ll already be licensed from my counseling degree, I wouldn’t need My PhD to practice.

    I want to do this online, mostly because I don’t want to move somewhere. I’ve already got two degrees from a brick and mortar school, and I seemed to make no difference.

    I was looking at a PhD in integrative nutrition from saybrook unkversity, or health psychology at Walden. American schools are so confusing to me - I live in the US but have only ever done school in Canada. It seems like many schools here are scammy. How do I know if Walden or saybrook are reasonably respected? Again I don’t need them for licensure.

    can anyone tell me:
    1. Are either of those schools better than the other? I don’t need a top line school but I don’t want my school to be an embarrassment.
    2. Could I start my PhD while finishing my counseling masters?
    3. Does anybody know a good online program for integrative nutrition, mind body, psychoneuroimmunology, or health psychology?

    Thanks a ton
     
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    The bottom line here is, why do you need the PhD in Psychology? In Canada at least, there is no need to be licensed to practice as a life coach or pastoral cousellor and although some provinces have licenses for psychotherapists, most don't need a degree but training in psychotherapy.
    The masters degree in Counselling from Yorkville or Athabasca, does not lead to a license but a certification. Certification is not the same than a license. A certification can be good if you are looking to work in a school or other place where a counsellor qualification is a requirement but if you are going to be a life coach in a private practice, this certification is not needed.
    The problem with life coach, certified counsellor, psychotherapist, etc is that in many provinces and states, your receipts are not accepted by insurance companies. Also, hourly rates that you can charge are way lower than a licensed psychologist and you are not allowed to write reports for psychology assessments.

    If you are going to go for a PhD in Psychology and your intention is to be an independent therapist, I would recommend clinical psychology. Even if you practice holistic, spiritual, etc, your license as a psychologist has weight and most prospect customers would rather go to see a psychologist than a life coach, spiritual counsellor, holistic therapist, etc. even for holistic psychology for the only reason that your receipts are accepted by insurance companies and for this reason can charge more for your services. At least in Toronto, a life coach charges between $50 to $100 while a licensed psychologist between $125 to $200. Also, it is not easy to get work as a life coach, most of these life coaches work only part time as they don't have enough work to make a living.

    There are many clinical psychology programs out there in online format but most require some residencies due to clinical work. If you are set to do a PhD in Psychology just to have the Dr. in your business card and work as a life coach, you might want to consider PsyD from California Southern University that is considerable cheaper than Walden or Saybrooke. The tuition fees for CSU are around 35K and be completed without a MAsters in Psychology.
     
  3. jakeysnakey

    jakeysnakey New Member

    Thanks so much for your reply! Do be honest the PhD is more about being able to directly study what I love and partly yes to get the Dr title. But I want to be able to practice sooner that what clinical psychology skulks allow me to do. Plus, I don’t have any interest in assessments honestly. I really just want to practice.

    My plan is to build a private practice. I have zero interest in billing insurance, that feels so limiting. I have an MBA and experience running a business, so I thought this would not be easy, but do able. I’d also provide life coaching (or executive coaching) which, believe it or not, (good) people charge a lot of money for.

    My biggest question is around what you said about yorkville and athabasca. You’re right that those lead to becoming a certified Canadian counselor. But does that not translate into a state licensure? My understanding was that a CCC in Canada was basically the same as a LCPC in the states, as there is some kind of reciprocity agreement between the countries. I know I’d have to pursue licensure in both places, and it didn’t seem like that was all that hard to do.

    Since I want to be in private practice, all I’m really looking for is the title of licensed psychotherapist (or similar). But now you’ve got me thinking - What actually IS a psychotherapist? It’s not a regulated title in Canada which is weird - what about in the US?

    Also for reference I’m a Canadian citizen living in the us on a green card. I want to be licensed in both places.
     
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    You've really got to slow your roll a little. If you really don't know the answer to that question, and I mean really know the technical answer, then you're moving waaay too fast. Not only to you need to know the answer to that question, you need to know all about the licensure laws for the various disciplines because they vary from place to place. Plus, there's no real reason to believe that you'd even be admitted to a Masters in Counseling Psych program. Have you ever even taken a Psychology course? Degrees in Biochem are largely irrelevant. Do you even know the admission criteria for these programs? You've got some homework to do.
     
  5. jakeysnakey

    jakeysnakey New Member

    I’ve done a lot of homework.

    And I have a (largely irrelevant) psych minor.

    Have you looked at the requirements for a counseling masters? Most of them do not require more than one maybe two psych courses. Of course I know the admission requirements For masters programs. I’m not interested in further rudimentary discussion on this topic.

    With respect to what you quoted about my comments about psychotherapy specifically, what I mean is this: it does not appear that every state licenses a “psychotherapist”. They license “clinical mental health counselors” or “marriage and family therapists” or “professional mental health counselors”. Not “psychotherapists”. It looks like Colorado licenses psychotherapists specifically, as does Ontario. Yes, it is semantics as I know that all of these professions are actually practicing psychotherapy. I’m specifically asking about a title/license.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  6. jakeysnakey

    jakeysnakey New Member

    Or asked differently - can any of these mental health professions call themselves a “licensed psychotherapist”? Or just a “psychotherapist”, without the licensed in front?
     
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OK, best of luck.
     
  8. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    "Psychotherapist" is regulated in some areas and not in others. In Colorado, a Registered Psychotherapist is a catch-all for anyone who takes an ethics course and is added to a registry. I can become a registered psychotherapist there today if I pay the fee and fill out the form (and take the online ethics course). In New York, the phrase can be used by a licensed social worker there is also the "R" designation (LCSW-R), this from what I understand is something the state does that is more about insurance billing but, officially, it is a psychotherapy license endorsement. It can also be used by mental health counselors, psychologists and, I think, psychoanalysts (a separate license) though they often refer to their craft as psychoanalysis which is a distinct form of therapy. That said, I don't know if anyone exclusively claims regulation of the word "psychotherapist" or if the various bodies simply control how their licensees use it. All of the relevant regulatory bodies say that you need to be licensed to use it, however, I have no idea what the enforcement mechanism is for that since mental health licensing bodies, unlike medical licensing bodies, don't typically just go after members of the public who are crossing into licensed territory. For mental health work it would be nearly impossible. The practical differences between what each practitioner can do in each license class are so small that it would be impossible to police, to say nothing of the myriad gaps such as pastoral counseling, hypnotherapy and life coaching where you can basically offer therapy but without being accountable to any such body.

    Short answer; it really depends on the state and even within a state it just depends on what you're doing specifically.

    All of that aside, honestly, I think you should focus on your masters and license before you worry about your PhD.
     
  9. Garp

    Garp Active Member

  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    CCC is not a license but a certification. It is recognized by employers and useful if you want to work for an employer such as a school, counselling centre, etc. If you want to set up your own practice, in most provinces you don't need a license to be a counselor but insurance firms would normally like to see some type of credential before they insure you but a degree (normally a masters) in psychology or counselling does the job without certification being a requirement.

    In the US, some states require licenses but there is no reciprocity with CCC as this last one is not recognized by governmental institutions at provinces. Psychology licenses can be transferred normally between the US and Canada but normally require a PhD in clinical psychology.

    If you don't like to study clinical psychology, another option is to become a psychotherapist but in the US most states do not require a license for this and only few provinces in Canada require a license. Most psychotherapist licenses are flexible and allow people with counselling, religion, natural medicine, social work, degrees to practice provided that they have the right training and right experience. The main problem with psychotherapy is that most insurance companies do not cover it so it is not so easy to get customers.

    For life coach, holistic counseling, transpersonal psychology, etc. The best is to become a member of a natural medicine association that allows practices in meditation, transpersonal, spiritual counselling, etc. For this you don;t need an accredited degree as most people get training from private institutes, an accredited degree with training normally allows you to become a member. Receipts from natural medicine practitioners normally are accepted by insurance companies.

    If you want to study holistic psychology, meditation, mind-body, etc. There are quite few online schools but normally are not regionally accredited mainly because these type of fields are non traditional. Some of them are religious based and low cost such as University of Sedona, University of Metaphysics, etc. These programs allow you to legally use the title PhD but are not accredited and many people might target you and ridicule you because the lack of accreditation (this forum is full of people that ridicule religious based PhDs). Some people get online PhDs from natural medicine schools but again, non accredited and the Accreditation police might hunt you down for using the PhD title with a legal but non accredited degree.

    If you want the best of the two worlds (accredited and non traditional psychology). The only school I know is California Institute of Integral Studies. Because they give you a regional accredited degree in Psychology (transpersonal), it would be easier to use it for a psychotherapy license in Canada and because it is non traditional and mainly uses natural approaches, you might also qualify for natural medicine practitioner memberships. However, not a cheap school.

    https://www.ciis.edu/
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  11. copper

    copper Active Member

    This program was mentioned in a previous thread and holds "National Accreditation". However, "Master’s Degree or higher from an accredited college or university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better in the field of Behavioral Health or similar (Counseling, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy).* See Exception for Admissions policy." https://cgi.edu/doctorate-of-behavioral-health/

    Nutrition and exercise is certainly a main contributor to "mental well being". Personally, I believe the foods and drinks we eat high in refined sugar and corn syrup contribute greatly to the problem. Further research is always needed!
     
  12. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    We have a regional/national accreditation setup, it's identifiable, it's a big deal, and it comes up in most of our discussions here, but you'll find that even though being accredited by an RA or NA accreditor is important, it's never the end of the story on whether or not a school is respectable as we also have the non-profit/for-profit part, and then public opinion as well. Regional accreditation is more widely accepted both in academia and in terms of public perception, and non-profit status has the same advantages over for-profit status (although the general public doesn't really understand how any of these things work and have just taken on opinions and media positions/biases regarding that). Then you have a number of gray areas and differences in how some states and licensing institutions handle things. For instance, it's often assumed that only nationally accredited degree holders have trouble with licensing, but California Southern is regionally accredited and their psych PhD was not accepted in New York the last time I checked (they may or may not have straightened that out by now). It can get a little complicated, so you really have to do your research before you enroll in any program to be sure of what you'll be facing. Never assume anything.

    Saybrook is a regionally accredited non-profit school. It has been known to carry a reputation as a school for people of the "flower child" vein. That can be good or bad depending on which side you see yourself. They do get attacked from time to time by the scientific community of skeptics, so that's something to think about.

    Walden is a regionally accredited for-profit school. I've read some really disheartening stories about Walden's PhD programs over the years. It's usually not about the quality of education from what I've seen, but the price and how things are planned out timewise.

    Could you start your PhD while finishing your counseling masters? Highly doubtful, and you shouldn't anyway. Finish your Masters and get licensed, then think about a PhD.

    All of that being said, there are better options out there than both schools, but you have to research and it's easy to do through online search engines. The one issue you'll find is that the psychology programs from higher profile schools usually require residency in addition to the practicum training you'll need to satisfy state training hour requirements for licensing.
     
  13. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    You can't use the Dr title. You can use "Jakey Snakey, PhD", but it won't be "Dr. Jakey Snakey". Since you're in the US, go for a CACREP accredited counseling degree - that should meet the requirements for most US states as well as the CCC designation in Canada (though you also need to check the respective provincial registration body to ensure they will accept it.)
     
  14. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    You can do anything, including using the Dr. title, as long as it's not in a medical setting where you could be mistaken for an MD.
     
  15. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    A licensed psychologist has earned the right to be called Dr. without the need to downgrade themselves just because MDs exist. MDs don't own the title of "Dr.", they are just one kind of doctor. Besides, if one goes to see a psychologist he/she knows what kind of doctor they're going to see, and since a psychologist is never going to be in the same room when a medical doctor is taking care of physical issues, there will never be a need to make it clear what the separation is. It's not as if when you end up in the ER a psychologist is going to suddenly enter the room to give an opinion on your chronic chest pain, or come in halfway through your routine exam and say "I hear you have some joint pain. How does that make you feeeeeeel?"

    This usually only becomes an issue with Doctors of Nursing Practice when they share common patients with MDs, and I recall a story where one was fired because she kept introducing herself simply as "Doctor" even after MDs repeatedly told her not to do it. She could've avoided the problem by simply saying "Hi, my name is... I'm a Doctor of Nursing Practice" but she refused to do that, and my guess is because she felt mentioning Nursing Practice didn't make her sound as official as she wanted to be seen as, which is pretty doggone pathetic to be quite honest.
     
  16. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Ceteris paribus, I'd be just as happy being seen by a DNP as an MD, but I suppose there's turf to defend.
     
    chrisjm18 likes this.
  17. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    I agree with Steve. I've had a CRNP and a PA as my primary care, and they were both awesome. I remember back in 2016 I was having an abdominal issue and none of the MDs including my primary care at the time nor the gastroenterologist could determine what was going on. I relocated to another state and it was the same thing, these specialists (MDs) couldn't find out what seemed to have been the issue. Well, it took an ER PA to diagnose me. Problem solved! The moral of the story, not only MDs are proficient in medical issues, nor should they act like the title "Dr." belongs to them. The root word for "doctor" means means "to teach."

    Here's a Twitter "war" I came across last month: https://twitter.com/rgibsongirl/status/1210927394170781696?lang=en
    It talks about Ph.Ds being the OG (original gangster) doctor. Interestingly, even today some medical doctors don't hold M.D., instead, they have MBBS. This degree is common in the Commonwealth and parts of Europe and Asia.
     
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  18. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

  19. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    Depends on the Province. Some are overkill when simple disclosure would cover the issue. Someone got a legislator's ear and the rest is history.

    Turf wars go on in the US too. Medical doctors tried to go after LMFTs right to diagnose (LMFTs went to court and won). This is partially the result of somewhat contradictory wording in profession specific regulation. There is another famous case involving psychology and what practicing psychology is.
     
  20. Garp

    Garp Active Member

    My recommendation to the OP is the same. See what the requirements for practicing Psychology are in your Province. Will the much less expensive Calsouthern PsyD do it (possibly with some leveling classes). Why go through the expense and time to earn a Masters to counsel first and then go on to earn a nearly six figure Walden PhD if the PsyD will accomplish what you want in less time and with less expense.
     

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