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(p. 46) Choosing a Discipline and Degree to Pursue 

(p. 46) Choosing a Discipline and Degree to Pursue
(p. 46) Choosing a Discipline and Degree to Pursue

Ann F. Garland

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date: 02 July 2022

One of the biggest challenges for someone interested in pursuing a career in mental health is to determine which discipline and degree path is the best fit for their particular interests, academic background, timeline, and budget. The goal of this chapter is to provide the information needed to make this decision. A summary of each of the following major disciplines is provided: counseling, marital/couples and family therapy, psychology, psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, and social work. For each discipline there is an overview of what makes it distinct from the others, as well as details on graduate school admissions criteria for that discipline, licensure pathways, subspecialties, and suggestions regarding the best fit with specific interests. Implications of master’s versus doctoral degrees are also presented. Finally, resources for learning more about each discipline and the associated professional organizations are recommended.

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