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Micah Perkins January 14th, 2005 11:12 PM

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JustBen January 17th, 2005 09:37 AM

Re: LPC vs PHD
Yes, Ph.D.'s are typically reimbursed at higher rates than their Master's-level counterparts. The difference varies from area to area. (I'd suggest you speak with the representatives of some of your local HMO's and insurance companies to get a better idea of just how much the gap might be in your region.)

The real economic advantage of having a Ph.D. in private practice, in addition to the higher reimbursement rates, is that you're probably going to find it easier to generate business as Dr. Perkins than you would as Mr. Perkins -- these sorts of titles mean a lot to people. Witness the wild popularity of John Gray, Ph.D., author of "Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus"...despite the fact that Dr. Gray's Ph.D. is from Columbia Pacific University, an unaccreddited institution. Or Dr. Laura Schlessinger, whose Ph.D. is in physiology!

Anyhoo, if you plan to teach, even at an adjunct level, I'd plan on getting your Ph.D. My little corner of the country isn't exactly a paradise of higher education, but you can't even think about a teaching position here in psychology without a Ph.D. There's just too many Psychology Ph.D.'s crawling around for an MA or MS to have a realistic shot. Again, this may be different in your neck of the woods. I'd suggest picking up the catalogs of colleges and universities in your area and checking out the faculty section near the back...this should give you some idea of whether or not Master's-level folks are teaching psych in your area.

And finally - whew, this post is getting long - it's not really appropriate to contrast LPCs and Ph.D.'s. The more accurate matchup is LPC's vs. Licensed Psychologists and, seperately, MA/MS vs. Ph.D. There are plenty of Ph.D.-level LPC's out there. Whether you decide to license as a psychologist or a LPC depends on your academic background and personal preferences. In my state, quite a few folks with Ph.D.s in Psychology are choosing the LPC route...unless your planning to get a permenant job in a state-run mental health hospital, it makes no real practical difference (in my state, anyway).

I'd suggest you try not to feel trapped by your local college/university. There are some decent distance/low-residency programs out there to check out.

Micah Perkins January 19th, 2005 12:04 AM

Re: LPC vs PHD
Thanks Ben for the reply and your great suggestions. I will take them into account.


Randy A. Rhoad January 24th, 2005 11:04 PM

Re: LPC vs PHD
In reality, the degree is not the factor that will create higher reimbursements, (at least in my experience as a former LPC and now a Licensed Clinical Psychologist). Insurance companies consider the licensure, not necessarily the degree. For example, I was licensed in VA with as an LPC with a master's degree. If my later earned doctorate degree would have been in Counseling (not Clinical Psych) insurance companies would not have allowed higher reimbursements. My degree in Clinical Psych AND subsequent licensure as a Clinical Psychologist was the sole reason for higher reimbursement. It is true that the doctorate degree may open more doors for you regardless of area, but I recommend the Clinical Psych doctorate if and licensure as a psychologist if reimbursements are a consideration.

Micah Perkins January 29th, 2005 10:05 AM

Re: LPC vs PHD
Thanks Randy for the response. I never even considered the fact that Clinical PHDs may get reimbursed at a higher rate than Counseling PHDs.

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