(Where) should I go to grad school to be a (psycho)therapist?
October 11, 2009 6:28 PM Subscribe
I’m hoping for specific information and opinions about programs and degrees, hopefully from people who are very educated about the world of psychotherapy.
posted by tacoma1 to Education (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I’m thinking of applying to school this year but am unsure about a few things. First of all, I wonder if this is the best time for me to pursue this (I know no one can answer that question for me; I'm just trying to give a fuller picture of my situation.) I already have one master’s degree (MFA in poetry) but feel more naturally drawn towards being a therapist than going into teaching or publishing, which is typically where an MFA leads career-wise.
Secondly, what degree should I get? There’s the MSW, which therapists have told me is the quickest way to get a degree that will get you hired by agencies and allow you to start a private practice. There are masters in psychology programs, and then I guess I’d get licensed as a counselor…? Then there’s the MFT, which, if I understand correctly, is most valuable in California…? Is this true?
In terms of specific programs, I’m interested in Pacifica in Santa Barbara, a primarily Jungian school that focuses on depth psychology and body/mind connection work. It’s fairly alternative and has a great reputation. The students spend lots of time learning by participating in group therapy, feeling out the boundaries between patient, clinician, and student, an approach that appeals to me. Pacifica prepares people to practice psychotherapy, as opposed to cognitive-behavioral, etc. I’m also interested in the MSW programs at Smith and NYU. They’re both clinical programs. I just worry that, while extremely interesting, I might not get some of what I’m looking for (things that Pacifica offers) in an MSW program. I’ve also looked into the various Antioch programs (New Hampshire, L.A.) Any suggestions for other programs?
I love where I live but am also open to moving. The most likely places where I would end up living and practicing are North Carolina or New England or New York. (Also Cali and Oregon, but those are less realistic.)
So, I know this is a mess of information. I’m really asking for advice in relation to all of this: degrees, which degrees work in which states, specific programs, etc. Thank you!