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Graduate Study in Human Services “Many Roads Lead to Rome” Introduction This presentation aims to some light on the different types of training that prepare the student for a career in mental health. This is offered as starting point for your own exploration. A Variety of Degrees

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graduate study in human services

Graduate Study in Human Services

“Many Roads Lead to Rome”

Kathryn Kogan & Janet DiPaolo

  • This presentation aims to some light on the different types of training that prepare the student for a career in mental health.
  • This is offered as starting point for your own exploration.
a variety of degrees
A Variety of Degrees
  • There are many different degree programs that will prepare you for a career in human services.
  • Professionals with various degrees are able to build similar careers in direct care: providing counseling or psychotherapy to individuals and families. There is considerable overlap.
  • Likewise, various degree programs can lead to a job in administration and program development, or a career in research or teaching.
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • Length and cost of the training
  • Is the specialty licensed?
  • Potential earnings
  • Type of setting
  • Do you want your degree to open a wide array of options and be flexible down the road, or do you have a very specific interest?
  • Prescription privileges
getting licensed
Getting Licensed
  • Certain disciplines are license eligible.
  • Getting licensed is a distinct advantage for getting on insurance panels, getting jobs, and obtaining professional liability insurance.
  • Minimum of 1 year of supervised clinical work is usually required before taking the licensing exam.
  • Licensing is managed by the state.
  • Boards of Registration (licensing) exists for Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Medicine.
prescription privileges
Prescription Privileges
  • To prescribe medications in Massachusetts you have two options:
    • A degree in medicine (M.D.)
    • A degree in nursing with a nurse practitioner certification
  • In some states, psychologists have the ability to prescribe, but not in Massachusetts at present.
professions we ll consider
Professions we’ll consider…
  • Nursing
  • Psychiatry
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neuropsychology
  • School psychology
  • Social Work
  • Master’s in Counseling
    • Marriage & Family Therapy
    • Rehab Counseling
  • Special Education
  • Child Care Specialties
  • Expressive Therapies
  • Addictions Certification
psychiatric nursing r n msn
Psychiatric Nursing R.N., MSN.
  • Bachelors in nursing with specialty in psychiatric nursing
  • Master’s Degree Available: Clinical nurse specialist/Nurse Practitioner
  • Can prescribe medications
  • Hospital, clinic setting, private practice, administration

nurse practitioner

  • Licensed by state in which they practice, & board certification (often through ANCC or for specialty practice such as the NCC) in their area of practice.
  • Rather than a generic focus of education, nurse practitioners specialize in such areas as…


► Geriatrics► Psychiatry

► Acute Care


psychiatric nursing

Many choices in work type and setting

Employment readily available at decent pay

Prescription privileges


Can pursue Master’s

Great flexibility


The training has a medical focus.

As with medicine, you choose MH as a specialty.

Nursing has it’s own identity and focus

Psychiatric Nursing
psychiatry m d
Psychiatry, M.D.
  • A Psychiatrist is an M.D. (medical doctor) who completes a residency in psychiatry after completing 4 years of medical school.
  • Psychiatry is a “specialty” one can select following basic medical training, just as one can select pediatrics or dermatology (and make more money).



Specialty Areas


Powerful degree $$$

Prescribe medication

Conduct psychotherapy

Private practice

Hospital/clinic jobs

Administrative jobs



Must complete medical school

Length of training (6 yrs)

Rigorous & demanding

Must pass medical boards

Focus on meds

master s in social work msw
Master’s in Social Work, MSW
  • Great range type of work and settings
  • Training is applied and practical
  • Can select “macro” (policy) or “micro” (clinical)
  • Once licensed, can join insurance “panels”
  • Agencies, schools, hospitals, prisons, etc.
  • Administration & program development, private practice
social work training
Social Work Training
  • A Master’s degree, MSW
  • 2 years full time or 3 years
  • 4 years evenings
  • Clinical (micro) or Systems (macro) focus
  • State programs available
  • LICSW, licensed independent social worker (can practice independently)
  • LCSW, licensed clinical social worker


State Grad Programs in Social Work



Private Grad Programs in Social Work●●●●●


clinical psychologist ph d
Clinical Psychologist: Ph.D.
  • Carries the title “Dr.”
  • Careers in Research and/or clinical work
  • Private practice or clinic
  • Specialize in children or adults
  • University teaching
  • License eligible, then eligible for insurance panels
doctoral training for clinical psychology
Doctoral Training for Clinical Psychology
  • Length of schooling: 4 years full time plus dissertation
  • Research focus
  • Complete a Doctoral Dissertation: an original research project
  • Master’s degree after 2 years, then take “qualifying exams” to proceed to the Ph.D.

ph d clinical psychology

Excellent quality of training

Doctoral degree

Licensable/insurance reimbursable

Range of work/settings

Private practice

Access to University teaching

Psychological testing


Competitive admission

Job market limited

Length of training 5-7 years

Intensive research requirement & focus Cost

Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
psy d clinical psychologist
Psy.D. Clinical Psychologist
  • Designed as an alternative to the Ph.D. in clinical psychology, minus the research focus.
  • No research dissertation requirement.
  • Admission is less competitive than Ph.D.
  • Eligible for licensure and insurance panels.
  • Excellent choice for those interested in becoming a psychotherapist.
  • Doctoral degree (Ph.D.) with special focus in assessing and assisting patients with brain dysfunction.
  • Training in specialized neuropsych assessment.
  • Skills needed to help with treatment/educational planning with children and adults.
school psychologist
School Psychologist
  • Work in a school setting
  • Primary focus is on testing and evaluation
  • Write reports, attend meetings, determine needs of students
  • Limited ability to do therapeutic work
  • Tough job market

Who Are School Psychologists?

School psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all

students that strengthen connections between home and school.

School psychologists are highly trained in both

psychology and education.They must complete a minimum of a post-Master’s degree program that includes a yearlong internship and emphasizes preparation in mental health, child development, school organization, learning styles and processes, behavior, motivation, and effective


School psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work.

What Preparation Is Needed Prior to Entering Graduate School?

Graduate programs in school psychology usually require a Bachelor’s degree and some coursework in general psychology, child development, and education.

How Do I Select a Training Program?

It is essential to select a university with a specific program in school psychology, whether it is independent or housed within a department of special education, education, psychology or child development.

master s in counseling
Master’s in Counseling
  • MA in Counseling Psychology
  • MA in Pastoral Counseling
  • MA in Marriage & Family Therapy: LMFT
  • School Guidance
  • Problem: Not all are eligible for licensure/insurance panels
  • Exception: Marriage & Family Therapist is eligible for licensure (LMFT)
addictions counselor
Addictions Counselor
  • A year-long post-bachelor’s certification that qualifies one to work in addiction treatment facilities.
  • CADAC certification required for many jobs in addictions treatment facilities.
  • Can be a useful first step towards master’s level training.
  • Program available at UMB.
addictions counselor40
addictions counselor

expressive therapies
Expressive Therapies:
  • Master’s level training is available in a variety of “expressive therapies”.
    • Art Therapist
    • Music Therapist
    • Dance Therapist
  • Work in a variety of residential and inpatient facilities.
  • Job market is competitive
expressive therapies43

Powerful therapeutic approaches that are nonverbal

Many interesting applications, rewarding work

Excellent training available (Leslie University)


Limited job market

Not insurance reimbursable in most cases


Expressive Therapies
special education
Special Education
  • An excellent way to combine an interest in education with a psychology major.
  • Master’s Degree Training.
  • Variety of public school and special education settings employ professionals with this degree.