Dr. Ray’s Answer
For me the biggest struggle was the amount of schooling I had to go through before I could work in the field. I decided as a freshman in college that I wanted to be a clinical psychologist, but it took me a total of 10 years before I obtained my Ph.D. and my first job. In my case I fooled around as an undergraduate and didn't have very good grades, so I stayed at the same school and got a master's degree to prove I could do graduate level work. I also wound up having to do both a master's thesis and a doctoral dissertation. You can be smarter than I was and cut the time to 7 or 8 years.
Since you live in Texas I will add that the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists decided this spring to allow some people with masters' degrees in psychology to practice independently. This means that you could get a bachelor's and master's degree and probably be able to have your own practice. You may already know that people with masters' degrees in counseling, marriage and family and social work can also practice independently. I am glad I have a Ph.D. but don't know I would make the same decision in the current situation.