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If I want to become a Clinical Psychologist, what can I do early on in order to get my foot in the door?

Currently, I work as a Behavioral Therapist. Would this be a good way to get my foot into the clinical aspect of the psychology field? clinicalpsychology psychology mental-health-counseling

Putting yourself out there is a great way to get a foot in the door. Try volunteering or interning at places for people with mental illness to see how you feel working in that environment. Working as a Behavioral Therapist is also a great way you could also look into being a Case Manager. I am currently a Case Manager and find it to be a great experience. kianna C.

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David’s Answer

I would recommend doing a lot of reading in the areas of psychology that you want to study, exploring graduate programs that you are interested in attending, and speaking to psychologists in your area or by e-mail regarding their experiences and how they got started. I think that asking your question in this forum was a good first step.
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Linda Ann’s Answer


There is no "foot in the door" process of becoming a clinical psychologist. You must obtain either a PhD or a PsyD to become a clinician AND pass a national licensing examination to practice.

It's not clear to me how long you have been out of school since obtaining your BA (or BS) in psychology. Since graduate programs are highly competitive, I would recommend going for a masters degree and then attempting admission to a doctoral program. You will need research experience, strong letters of recommendation from faculty members and very high GRE scores. This is the reason I recommend starting off with a masters program so that you can gain research experience and establish relationships with faculty members who are in a position to write those letters of recommendation.

Good luck.