"Do I need a Masters before getting my Doctorate in Psychology?"
This is one of the questions I get ALL THE TIME about pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology. The short answer is: NO
But let’s talk it through...
MANY people enter doctorate psychology programs without a Masters Degree. It is a myth that you must first obtain a Masters before pursuing a doctorate degree. While there are SOME doctorate psychology programs that may require the Masters, many don’t. Furthermore, there are some programs that have the Masters embedded into the Doctorate program without spending extra time or money in the program.
So how do you know if you should consider a Masters or not? Here's what to consider:
You should consider SKIPPING the Masters if:
In general, SKIP the Masters if your overall profile as a prospective applicant is STRONG (and if you’re not sure about whether your profile is strong or not, I recommend completing a PsyD Application Readiness Check- which assess your application readiness by determining the strength of your applicant profile).
Consider getting the Masters if:
In general, a Masters before your Doctorate in Psychology can help demonstrate your readiness for graduate level work if you didn’t do well in undergraduate. It can also help you become more certain about your desire to be in this field.
Need help navigating the PsyD application process?
3/17/2020 0 Comments
Continue to socialize from afar.
While you may not be able to have as many in person gatherings at this time, you should not forget about the other ways to be social. Continue to call and text your family, friends, coworkers, and other significant people. Consider using Google Hangout, Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, GroupMe and other tools to communicate and even video chat. This is likely an ideal time to reach out to that person who you’ve been having trouble making time for or that person who you haven’t caught up with in so long.
Bonus Tip: Schedule time for socializing just like you would any other work-related or important meeting. You may find that other tasks or priorities can easily fill up your time, so make socializing from afar a top priority by scheduling it into your day and week.
Take social media breaks seriously.
Keep a set schedule and routine.
Whenever life changes rapidly, i.e. during a global pandemic, you may notice that you lose track of your schedules and routines. Developing and maintaining routine is healthy because it helps to ward off uncertainty, anxiety, boredom, or even depressive moods. Schedules and routines keep us engaged in the moment, and helps us to anticipate what is needed and how to prioritize tasks.
Therefore, I highly recommend that you determine what your new schedule and routine will look like. It's possible that this will be different than what you’re used to because you may now be working from home or spending much less time outside of work or home. Therefore, take the time you need to ensure that your new schedule and routine is reasonable, realistic, and adaptable to future changes that may come.
Bonus Tip: When you figure out the schedule and routine that will work for you, make it visual and tangible! The schedule and routine you create will be much more effective if you write it down, print it out, post it, or put it up somewhere. Make sure that your schedule is visible for you to see so that you are more likely to stay on track.
Practice healthy self-talk.
You may have wondered if it's okay to talk to yourself. I want to let you know that it is absolutely okay to talk to yourself and it's something I recommend. Healthy self-talk is necessary during moments of crisis or challenging situations because your thoughts will likely feel more negative, fearful, or tense during those times.
One thing you must know is that healthy self-talk takes practice and something you should work on every single day. It's normal for this practice to feel awkward or forced at first, but the more you practice, the better and more natural it will feel.
Additionally, I want you to understand that positive self-talk is not always healthy self-talk. Therefore, as you practice self-talk, remember that it does not always need to be overly positive (which can sometimes feel invalidating). The goal is to practice healthy self-talk, self-talk that will support your mental and emotional well-being without invalidating your current reality or feelings.
Bonus Tip: If you are having trouble knowing what counts as healthy self-talk, try the following:
Remind yourself of what is going well in your life.
Remind yourself that current challenges will not last forever.
Ask yourself to recall a happy memory.
Tell yourself you are doing a good job.
Think of someone who inspires you.
Remind yourself of something you are proud of.
Don't neglect your basic self-care.
Dr. Amber Thornton
Dr. Amber Thornton
Clinical Psychologist | Personal Development Consultant | Balanced Working Mama Coach | Speaker | Mental Health Expert
© Dr. Amber Thornton Consulting, LLC 2020
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