Moving from a Psychology degree to a Doctoral Degree in Psychology in Mental Health
With your Psychology degree, you can move on to earn a Doctoral degree. A Doctoral degree will allow you to work in various areas of mental health--university, private clinic, a non-profit organization, or government. There is always the option of being in private practice.
Clinical (PhD or PsyD)--concerned with psychopathological (mental health disorders) populations and behavioral health (including forensics).
Counseling (PhD)--concerned with vocational and career processes, human diversity, and professional training. Click here for a great link from Dr. Jospeh Hammer about all issues related to Counseling Psychology.
School (PhD)--concerned with the science and practice of psychology with children and the schooling process--involves a large percentage of time assessing children for learning disabilities
Non-profit Organizations/Government Agencies (Phd or PsyD)--concerned with organization/agencies that are designed to further a specific purpose or mission
Program and Policy Consultants (PhD or PsyD)--offer expert advice to various organization, government agencies, etc.
If you choose to go into Clinical Psychology you can earn one of two degrees--a PhD (Doctor of Philosphy) or a PsyD (Doctor of Psychology). Generally speaking, getting accepted into a Clinical PhD program is much harder than getting accepted into a PsyD program. In the other career areas listed above you typically receive a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy). One thing to note if you go for a PhD is that you must first complete a Master's (MA or MS) degree, either from the same school or another school. Also, a PhD will generally takes 4-6 years to complete your dissertation (research project). A PsyD takes a little less time to complete than a PhD, and it does not involve a research project. Finally, note that when you are working toward your PhD you do NOT pay tuition--you get a tuition waiver. In addition, you usually receive what is called a salary (called a "stipend" for working as a Research Assistant or Teaching Assistant). Those working toward a PsyD typically receive neither a tuition waiver nor a stipend.
Remember that both a PhD and a PsyD offer greater job opportunities and a greater salary than a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Also, both a PhD and a PsyD allow you to be licensed by a state to do certain activities (e.g., testing, therapy). Read about a comparison between Masters and PhD degrees in psychology here. Also, read about a comparison between a PhD and a PsyD here.
To learn more about applying to Psychology graduate school school check out the following:
Mental Health Careers--Master's in Clinical/Counseling Psychology
Mental Health Careers--Genetic Counselor
Mental Health Careers--Licensed Professional Counselor
Mental Health Careers--Marriage and Family Therapist
Mental Health Careers--Art Therapy
Mental Health Careers--Master of Social Work
Mental Health Careers--Pastoral Counseling
Mental Health Careers--School Counseling
Mental Health Careers--Substance Abuse Counselor
Mental Health Careers--Master's in Forensic Psychology
Mental Health Careers--Applied Behavior Analyst
Click on the link below to read about another Mental Health carees that requires a Doctoral or Professional Degree:
Mental Health Careers--Psychiatrist