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#1 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:35 PM

I'm at a point in my life where I'm mustering up the courage to change my entire life's path. 
I am in my last semester for my bachelors in Urban Learning. I have NO desire to be a teacher. I'm

only still on this path because of pressures from family, well-meaning friends, and the hope to begin making

a solid living soon. My actual desire is to become a psychotherapist because this career aligns with everything
I wish to contribute to the world. It also aligns with my actual interests, for I'm always reading psych related books.

My question:
Is it foolish to take a leap to working to get into the psychology field? Or would it be better to maybe start off teaching and ease my way into the field by joining a psych masters program later?

If I decide to teach, I will have to take another semester following this one to complete a student teaching program. Then I'll have to take a couple semesters of psychology classes to be eligible for the psych masters program.

If I were to switch to a psych major, it would take me a year to get a bachelors in Psych and immediately make me eligible for a masters program. 

Would I be a fool to follow my interests despite how it may prolong my difficult financial situation for another year? I mean, I can take up a side job, but teaching promises more stability than taking up a regular old job. Some have been saying I should get my teaching credential and then try for psychology.

I'm just confused because I want to follow my heart, but economic factors are making it difficult to do so... 

 

I know this isn't related to anything this site is about, but I really value the wisdom and opinions you all have here..

 

 


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#2 Moonless

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 07:57 PM

Hey RainbowCatipillar I am in undergrad in my last year aswell. I have talked about my interest in getting PHD to my professors and mentors and they have given me some advice I can share with you. I wish I knew more, I hope someone who has gone through the process of graduate school is able to chime in too.

 

EDIT: It could be helpful to know what country you are in. Because perhaps this is not at all helpful to your country and state

 

You need to take the GRE, try to take it as many times as you can.

 

Get started on researching graduate programs. Idk what its like in psychology but for mathematics if one gets into a PHD program then one doesn't have pay tuition for getting the degree and will only have to pay for housing. In addition the PHD programs for mathematics give a masters halfway to completion so this saves money and is recomended. My professors who did this got out of graduate school with not as much debt as undergraduate, got their masters on the way to that PHD and it was aid for by doing research for the university.

 

Talk to your professors and mentors about your desires.

 

I know its difficult but look into doing reading and/or personal projects in a field you are interested in.

 

To be clinical psychologist one must get that PHD, to be counselor you only need a masters.

 

You can always take time off school and go back whenever you choose. I talked to a guy who worked for a company doing statistics and they paid for his masters, then he decided to quit and go get his PHD from university.

 

When are you graduating? What is your course load looking like? I think its important to be diligent but realistic about what you can and cannot do in this time frame, but don't forget that if this is what you really want you can achieve it.


Edited by Moonless, 18 October 2019 - 08:05 PM.

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#3 Alder Logs

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Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:01 PM

I'm a high school dropout, so I haven't a clue.  I can only say, tomorrow has no guarantees.  That might be good to keep in mind.  Even as a dumb dropout, I was still trying to be something.  I was sixty seven when I finally got over that, finding I could just be.  I just heard this quote the other day from Krishna, speaking to Arjuna (Bhagavad Gita).  He said, "establish in being--perform action."   If you do can it that way, there can be no wrong way. 


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#4 Skywatcher

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 08:37 AM

IMO,  follow your hearts desire. To follow a course you have no love for, will not bring you to a place of personal satisfaction and may bring resentments. 

I had to drop all my studies in college to go to work. I had no other option. Once you leave education it becomes harder to go back. Not impossible, just more difficult. I always wished I had been able to pursue the commercial art to completion, and work in the field I love. It turned out fine eventually, as my artistic nature became an asset in the aquatic environment field. Even that however was the result of re-starting my life after realizing how I hated what I was doing just for a paycheck..............

 

If you can see teaching as just a step toward your true goal, it may be easier. If you could find employment as a councilor or more in line with the therapy, it would be adding to your work experience resume for further down the road.

 

There is certainly a need for kind hearted souls in the Psychotherapy field these days...........................


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#5 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:41 AM

Hey RainbowCatipillar I am in undergrad in my last year aswell. I have talked about my interest in getting PHD to my professors and mentors and they have given me some advice I can share with you. I wish I knew more, I hope someone who has gone through the process of graduate school is able to chime in too.

 

EDIT: It could be helpful to know what country you are in. Because perhaps this is not at all helpful to your country and state

 

You need to take the GRE, try to take it as many times as you can.

 

Get started on researching graduate programs. Idk what its like in psychology but for mathematics if one gets into a PHD program then one doesn't have pay tuition for getting the degree and will only have to pay for housing. In addition the PHD programs for mathematics give a masters halfway to completion so this saves money and is recomended. My professors who did this got out of graduate school with not as much debt as undergraduate, got their masters on the way to that PHD and it was aid for by doing research for the university.

 

Talk to your professors and mentors about your desires.

 

I know its difficult but look into doing reading and/or personal projects in a field you are interested in.

 

To be clinical psychologist one must get that PHD, to be counselor you only need a masters.

 

You can always take time off school and go back whenever you choose. I talked to a guy who worked for a company doing statistics and they paid for his masters, then he decided to quit and go get his PHD from university.

 

When are you graduating? What is your course load looking like? I think its important to be diligent but realistic about what you can and cannot do in this time frame, but don't forget that if this is what you really want you can achieve it.

Thank you for your advice! The goal would be to get into Clinical Psychology and then get training in Psychoanalysis. It's sort of a long road, but I think by the time I finish, I'll just be much more mature and prepared to help, lol.  

I know there exists Doctoral Programs in Psych similar to the sort you've described for math. I guess I'll try to meet with the Psych chair at my school and talk to her about my situation. Perhaps she'll be able to give me some advice on how to make the transition. Maybe I'll even show her some of the books I've read independently and express why I want to get into the field. I think this will be the first time I will actually articulate this passion to someone who can possibly help me.. Kinda anxious about that for some reason..  :biggrin: 

I'll also begin prepping for the GRE. The only reason I didn't start already is because I'm in a field I deeply dislike. It's been a bit difficult to see passed my aversion to it. Now that I'm thinking beyond this field I'm in, I have more clarity. Thanks again for your advice!

By the way, I'm already working on a personal project that may help me get into the Psych field. We'll see how this works out..


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#6 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:43 AM

I'm a high school dropout, so I haven't a clue.  I can only say, tomorrow has no guarantees.  That might be good to keep in mind.  Even as a dumb dropout, I was still trying to be something.  I was sixty seven when I finally got over that, finding I could just be.  I just heard this quote the other day from Krishna, speaking to Arjuna (Bhagavad Gita).  He said, "establish in being--perform action."   If you do can it that way, there can be no wrong way. 

Alder, thank you for sharing you wisdom. Ambition is definitely causing me stress. I will try to remember to stay centered in being, even as I move on this journey.. Thank you!


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#7 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 11:53 AM

IMO,  follow your hearts desire. To follow a course you have no love for, will not bring you to a place of personal satisfaction and may bring resentments. 

I had to drop all my studies in college to go to work. I had no other option. Once you leave education it becomes harder to go back. Not impossible, just more difficult. I always wished I had been able to pursue the commercial art to completion, and work in the field I love. It turned out fine eventually, as my artistic nature became an asset in the aquatic environment field. Even that however was the result of re-starting my life after realizing how I hated what I was doing just for a paycheck..............

 

If you can see teaching as just a step toward your true goal, it may be easier. If you could find employment as a councilor or more in line with the therapy, it would be adding to your work experience resume for further down the road.

 

There is certainly a need for kind hearted souls in the Psychotherapy field these days...........................

Skye, I'm certainly leaning more toward following my heart. You're so right about how following this path has caused me resentments. I've been resentful and bitter toward my past selves because I regret just going along a path someone else chose for me.. But I guess this must be accepted. I'm at least glad that I still have the chance to at least try for this career path.. And if I don't make it, surely there will be lessons to take from the attempt..

Your story is really inspiring. Despite you not having the opportunity to pursue commercial art, it's amazing that your artistic nature still blossomed. This gives me hope that there may be other ways to express this intrinsic desire I have to help others. I just hope I can make a living doing so.. 
 


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#8 DustStorm

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:28 PM

I'll tell you this Rainbow, I'm glad to hear that you're also pursuing a degree of higher education, and one in a medical field no less, and I support you and hope you can get through this to the end. I have faith in you.

 

Learning is different for a lot of us, and more often than not, we go through classes we don't like, we learn things we wish we shouldn't have, or we don't have a positive attitude towards it, nor want to associate with/use as a skill for job opportunities. You don't have to like the knowledge, you don't even have to be an expert in your field, you just need to show someone who can make you qualified/certified to do w/e, by showing them what you've learned.

 

My brother had got an associates degree in psychology, and his reason to get it wasn't to become a behavioral therapist, but rather it was so that he could understand people better, and not be anxious about what to do around them. He learned way more than just acting less anxious, and now has the ability to empathize with others and even himself. Now he's a socialite, as I'd call him, and everyone just loves his company because he can empathize with people more easily.  He works as a fitness instructor and workout coach, and always goes to the gym with multiple others just because they asked him to teach them how to workout and perfect their forms or change their diets. I guess he translated his skills in psychology towards instructing and giving people advice, literally like a therapist or guidance counselor, and I know he likes the feeling that he's helping others.

 

Whatever path you follow, Rainbow, just make sure it doesn't tire you out. Make sure that YOU are interested in it, y'know, if you don't want to just come out and say you like or love it. It has to be easy for you to think about, interesting to learn or see almost everyday, and I'd personally suggest you make sure it's a field that has some future proofing in terms of financial gain or employment stability.

 

Since you're already in this, I suggest you take small breaks to help recenter your focus. Most of the time we get stressed out by things that happen as time moves on, and so we keep the stress with us, worry about the stress, and then boom it becomes anxiety. Don't stay focused on the exact same dot of information, look across the whole line, the entirety of the big picture, and if something feels off to YOU, then name that emotion or feeling, and work towards improving on it or changing it.

 

I have faith in you.


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#9 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 12:49 PM

I'll tell you this Rainbow, I'm glad to hear that you're also pursuing a degree of higher education, and one in a medical field no less, and I support you and hope you can get through this to the end. I have faith in you.

 

Learning is different for a lot of us, and more often than not, we go through classes we don't like, we learn things we wish we shouldn't have, or we don't have a positive attitude towards it, nor want to associate with/use as a skill for job opportunities. You don't have to like the knowledge, you don't even have to be an expert in your field, you just need to show someone who can make you qualified/certified to do w/e, by showing them what you've learned.

 

My brother had got an associates degree in psychology, and his reason to get it wasn't to become a behavioral therapist, but rather it was so that he could understand people better, and not be anxious about what to do around them. He learned way more than just acting less anxious, and now has the ability to empathize with others and even himself. Now he's a socialite, as I'd call him, and everyone just loves his company because he can empathize with people more easily.  He works as a fitness instructor and workout coach, and always goes to the gym with multiple others just because they asked him to teach them how to workout and perfect their forms or change their diets. I guess he translated his skills in psychology towards instructing and giving people advice, literally like a therapist or guidance counselor, and I know he likes the feeling that he's helping others.

 

Whatever path you follow, Rainbow, just make sure it doesn't tire you out. Make sure that YOU are interested in it, y'know, if you don't want to just come out and say you like or love it. It has to be easy for you to think about, interesting to learn or see almost everyday, and I'd personally suggest you make sure it's a field that has some future proofing in terms of financial gain or employment stability.

 

Since you're already in this, I suggest you take small breaks to help recenter your focus. Most of the time we get stressed out by things that happen as time moves on, and so we keep the stress with us, worry about the stress, and then boom it becomes anxiety. Don't stay focused on the exact same dot of information, look across the whole line, the entirety of the big picture, and if something feels off to YOU, then name that emotion or feeling, and work towards improving on it or changing it.

 

I have faith in you.

 

DustStorm,

Appreciate you taking the time to share these insightful and encouraging words! I'm feeling deeply inspired right now! 

Thank you to all of you who responded to this post. I'm actually excited to go to school this week so I can meet with the Psych chair. I have a feeling that at this point in my life, I'm at the cusp of a great change. Thank you all for the wisdom you've shared. Can't thank you guys enough!



#10 bezevo

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 01:35 PM

i have a BAE in Art  with an K12  teaching endorsement in in psychology and  sociology . and a MFA in ceramics and sculpture .

 

my advice would be get a the teaching endorsement in psychology   . teach like high school like a yr and then go for/apply for masters in clinical  psychology, try to get a Graduate Assistant position . this pays for your   classes you earn this by teaching college classes as you work towards your Masters in clinical psychology.   .

 

 

this is how i paid for my masters was  teaching art classes as a graduate assistant at the college they paid for or i earned my tuition a small salary and they rented me an apartment  super cheap and a small salary

 

just a suggestion


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#11 RainbowCatepillar

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 02:53 PM

i have a BAE in Art  with an K12  teaching endorsement in in psychology and  sociology . and a MFA in ceramics and sculpture .

 

my advice would be get a the teaching endorsement in psychology   . teach like high school like a yr and then go for/apply for masters in clinical  psychology, try to get a Graduate Assistant position . this pays for your   classes you earn this by teaching college classes as you work towards your Masters in clinical psychology.   .

 

 

this is how i paid for my masters was  teaching art classes as a graduate assistant at the college they paid for or i earned my tuition a small salary and they rented me an apartment  super cheap and a small salary

 

just a suggestion

 

Interesting! I will consider this and do some research! It's something to think about. Thank you!



#12 Alder Logs

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Posted 19 October 2019 - 09:39 PM

About 35 years ago I was attacked and terrorized by some hunters and wound up in counseling with a married couple of psychologists and PTSD.  They were friends already, and became better friends.  I once did holotropic breathworks with them and that was pretty far out.  They told me they had gotten their sheepskins just so they could practice, and pretty much forgot the mainstream therapy cookbook their education would say they were supposed to be following.  I house sat for them once when they went to the big island of Hawaii.  Later on, the husband took some years off to hang with the shamans in Mexico, Central America, and South America.  I have told the story around here a few times about the "shamanic dose" of cubes I was given and ate, that had originated with Terence McKenna.  He was the guy who know Terence and who it was who gave them to me.  Eventually they moved to the big island.  They would be quite old by now, like me.  I hope they are doing well.  I had a wonderful psychologist at the VA as well.  All the real shrinks I have known have been crazier than shithouse rats. 


Edited by Alder Logs, 19 October 2019 - 09:40 PM.

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#13 Guy1298

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 10:28 AM

I did a BS and MS in Math. The MS was funded and I was paid to teach college courses. 

 

Whatever you do find something funded. I don't know how it works in psychology. I imagine it'd be a waste to switch to a psych major for the bachelors. A bachelors is too slow in my opinion. If you're really interested you won't have a hard time getting up to speed. You could take the courses in psych that you need for a masters program at the school you are in, extra money of course (you can take courses after graduating, if I'm not mistaken). Simultaneously study for GRE and all that. Potentially, the masters program will be fine with you taking those courses there (I knew a few math grad students that played catch-up for awhile, doing a masters). 

 

You might look for a less prestigious school and go for a masters. Find one that will fund you. After the masters, you can jump off from there, find a better school. You'll have professors to ask for recommendations from, from which you took graduate level courses, who know you better in the field that you're entering. And you'll have a better idea of what you're interested in for a PhD or whatever comes after that for psych. And it will be funded. Of course, I don't know if it's possible for psych. It is possible for Math... I did it.

 

Of course, I decided to stop at the masters because I started questioning the use of all that logic and those abstract concepts. Where is the real substance, true happiness? Right. Well, I was taking a lot of mushrooms back then and had some experiences that shifted my perspective on life completely. I give up. I am where I am. And primarily, I'm fine with it. 

 

As for the GRE... I took it once after taking one practice test. Do what you feel comfortable with. At the time, I was tutoring math, so the GRE Math section came naturally. And I didn't think the other sections mattered, so I didn't bother. But I didn't do badly! Heh.


Edited by Guy1298, 20 October 2019 - 10:40 AM.

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#14 Alder Logs

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 11:46 AM

Of course, I decided to stop at the masters because I started questioning the use of all that logic and those abstract concepts. Where is the real substance, true happiness?

 

I recently entered into a private membership forum.   I have been attempting to write out my whole weird scientific view in one thread, and writing another that is a fairly full bio (to give perspective to the first thread).  The forum has real scientists and mathematicians who have been quite respectful and willing to listen to this hollow Earther dropout.  This, with those of the scientifically educated persuasion, has been a very different experience.  It's a good group. 

 

Anyway, I have been writing this sentence repeatedly over there:  "The Tao that can be calculated is not the eternal Tao."

 

======================

 

Aren't psychiatrists required to have an MD, where a psychologist is not?


Edited by Alder Logs, 20 October 2019 - 12:06 PM.

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