Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures (via John Muir School Autism Play Project )

Hello. I will return to my regularly scheduled menu of therapy talk very soon. For now, I encourage you to vote and pass along the information.

Thanks so so much!

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures Yes, these are desperate times.  And desperate times call for desperate measures.  And as the contest progresses and we fail to move forward, I have become…desperate.  How desperate, you ask?  Well, here's some of the desperate things I've done. Buying & Discarding Pepsis:  Well, I'm not just buying Pepsi.  I'm buying tons of pepsi, writi … Read More

via John Muir School Autism Play Project


So, I Want to be a Therapist in CA, Part II: The Credentials

Welcome to the chair.

In the previous installment, I discussed the difference between master’s-level and doctoral-level credentialing in California.

Here, I’ll discuss the kinds of non-school-based credentials you might seek and why (or why not), as well as the licensing boards for each.

PhD In Clinical Psychology (CA Board of Psychology)

A PhD tends to be more academic and research-oriented than a PsyD. Students receive intensive training in psych research and assessment. After graduate school, individuals often seek work in hospitals, research organizations, or other arenas where their specialized skills will be put to good use.

Despite the strong academic focus, persons in clinical PhD programs are also expected to gain clinical competency, which means that they complete coursework and do internships (totalling about 3000 hours) that focus on working directly with clients.

PhD students are required to complete a dissertation, participate in an approved internship, and pass a credentialing exam before becoming licensed.

Post-credential, PhDs can work in private practice, as well as agencies, universities, and other research settings.

PsyD in Clinical Psychology (CA Board of Psychology)

PsyD programs are often similar in content and scope to their PhD counterparts. The difference? PsyD programs feature a stronger focus on preparing students to become clinicians instead of research. Although research methodology and assessment are essential elements of a PsyD curriculum, the primary focus is on building clinical knowledge, both theoretical and practical.

Like their PhD counterparts, PsyD students engage in extensive clinical training and supervision. They, too, must complete a dissertation and sit for a licensing exam. Although some PhD students obtain grants and tuition wavers, such is rare for PsyD students. Both tend to take 4-5 years from the first class through completion of the dissertation.

After credentialing, PsyDs work in private practice, agencies, hospitals, academia, and more. Continue reading

Playgrounds for Mental Health (via John Muir School Autism Play Project )

Playgrounds for Mental HealthThe John Muir Playground Project is happy to feature it’s first guest blogger, Alison Panko. A former autism educator and psychotherapist-in-training, Alison is dedicated to working with persons on the spectrum and their loved ones. She is especially interested in helping families accept their “atypical” children. To learn more, please visit Alison’s website: Play is essential to the well-being of all children. As Erik Eri … Read More

via John Muir School Autism Play Project

Could Amanda Knox Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder? (via TIME Healthland)

I still don’t know what ti make of this theory or it’s implications; as such, I’m going to think before I blog.

Amanda Knox, the 23-year-old American college student who was convicted of sexually assaulting and killing her roommate, Meredith Kercher, in Italy in 2007, allegedly after an orgy gone wrong, got good news this week. Independent experts working on her ongoing appeal said that the traces of DNA used to convict Knox may have been contaminated and are “unreliable.” With the DNA evidence excluded, the only substantiation of Knox’s guilt includes a p … Read More

via TIME Healthland

Pepsi Refresh Everything: Vote! Vote! Vote! (via John Muir School Autism Play Project )

This project is close to my heart. Please vote!

Pepsi Refresh Everything: Vote! Vote! Vote! Just a quick post-our project went up on Pepsi Refresh today!  Voting runs from July 1-31.  If we are in the top 15 vote recipients, we'll receive $25,000 for a playground!  You can vote for us every single day, and "boost (get extra votes)" your votes by entering in codes from pepsi bottles marked "Pepsi Refresh."  How to vote: * You can create a log-in with Pepsi, or log in using facebook. … Read More

via John Muir School Autism Play Project

So, I want to be a therapist in CA… What do I need to know?: Part 1

The process of becoming a licensed psychotherapist in CA can be exhausting, time-comsuming, expensive, and very, very confusing. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you how to sail through your education and  training with your income and sleep schedule intact. I can, however, help you make informed decisions about your choice to become a graduate-level psychotherapist in CA.

Doctor or Master?

If you want to see clients/patients, you’ll choose between several types of credentials, which I’ll explain below.

At the doctoral level, you’ll apply for either a clinical PhD or Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) programs. If you’re seeking a master’s degree, you’ll apply to Marriage & Family Therapy (MFT), Licensed Practical Clinical Counselor (LPCC), or Master’s in Social Work (MSW) programs*. Some psychiatric nurses and physician’s assistants also see clients. Pre-requisites vary among individual programs, so look carefully before you apply.

All  PhD, PsyD, MFT, LPCC, and MSW students must complete at least 3000 hours of clinical hours (in varying combinations of individual, couples, family, group, and child therapy; as well as training, supervision, advocacy, and more) work before sitting for licensure exams. In addition, much of the course work is similar, as are training sites and supervision. Indeed, students at various levels mingle throughout training and into their professional careers. Continue reading