Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology

2178 WordsDec 10, 20119 Pages
Clinical Versus Counseling Psychology: What's the Diff? by John C. Norcross - University of Scranton, Fields of Psychology Graduate School The majority of psychology students applying to graduate school are interested in clinical work, and approximately half of all graduate degrees in psychology are awarded in the subfields of clinical and counseling psychology (Mayne, Norcross, & Sayette, 2000). But deciding on a health care specialization in psychology gets complicated. The urgent question facing each student--and the question frequently posed to academic advisors--is "What are the differences between clinical psychology and counseling psychology?" Or, as I am asked in graduate school workshops, "What's the diff?" This article seeks to…show more content…
The following table summarizes data from the APA (1997) national membership base. As seen here, Division 12 clinical psychologists were more often employed in private practice, hospitals, and medical schools. By contrast, Division 17 counseling psychologists were more likely to be located in universities (particularly university counseling centers) and other human service settings. Graduate Admissions In a large study, colleagues and I set out to obtain critical information on the admission statistics and student characteristics of APA-accredited programs in counseling and clinical psychology (see Norcross et al., 1998, for details). We secured the following information: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and grade point averages (GPAs), number of applicants and acceptances, percentages of incoming students entering with a baccalaureate only and those with a master's degree, and the percentages of incoming students who were women and minorities. The results from 178 clinical psychology programs and 61 counseling psychology (response rates of 99% and 95%, respectively) provide the empirical basis for these conclusions: • The mean GRE scores of accepted applicants in clinical and counseling psychology doctoral programs were similar overall with a few differences favoring the clinical programs. For all programs, verbal scores averaged 621 (SD = 45),
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