Credentials Question

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Sassy411

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Hello All,

Seeking some opinions. I've got an MS in psychology with plenty of clinical experience and a JD (juris doctorate--law degree). My current project is a series of books about relationships with troubled partners, i.e. personality disorders, abuse, addiction, that sort of thing. My readers are mainly women.

I'm an old bat and was really hoping to return to school for my PhD in psych. Unfortunately, my degrees from long ago maxed out my student loans. There doesn't seem to be a way around this. I'm more than a little heartbroken.

My question is: does it matter? Would seeing the PhD next to the author's name give you greater confidence in the book than just an MS?

By all rights, my JD entitles me to be called "Doctor", but that seems disingenuous to me.

Thoughts?
 

Anna Iguana

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You seem like you want permission to call yourself doctor. You also seem to know better. As a reader in your target market, that you're even raising the possibilty of doing something so dubious sends up a red flag to me, and would probably turn me away from your books.

Master's degrees are often terminal degrees for clinicians. Some of their books get published. I know the PhD is more common in your field, but "practicing clinician with x years of experience" seems like a selling point.

Don't beat yourself up over this one detail. Success in publishing has infinitely long odds. There probably isn't any one make-or-break factor.

If there is one factor that's make-or-break, given that you are/were a licensed clinician, it's your writing.

Write well; give good advice. Word-of-mouth sells these books--colleague to colleague, friend to friend. I don't pick books cold based on an author's PhD (or MS) on the cover.
 
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You're not a Ph.D. You don't get to call yourself a Ph.D.

I'm not a J.D. I've had some thirty or more credit hours in law school coursework—but I'm not a J.D. Therefore, I don't call my self a J.D. or an attorney or a lawyer.

Write well. Include your degrees and schools in your cover blurb or bio, but no one who's clueful uses a degree on the cover. It's pretentious and obnoxious.
 
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Sassy411

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I get it, I really do. There was never a chance that I would call myself "Doctor". What I needed was feedback regarding credibility as expert enough to be writing on topics like narcissism or addiction.

I am completely comfortable with my qualifications. Just wondering if other people will be.

To the PP who pointed out correctly that the Masters is a terminal degree in a lot of professions, i.e. Social Work (LCSW), Marriage, Family and Child Counselor (MFCC) and on it goes, depending on your location.

Still, I'm really disappointed in not being able to pursue the PhD.

Fwiw, this will be book number four for me.
 

cornflake

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Have you actually checked into programs? Many PhD programs don't actually end up costing you, and even pay a stipend to students.

Have you checked out PsyD programs too? They can be cheaper, especially as they're usually much quicker, and can also have backing $$.
 

Fruitbat

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I think you could start by searching Amazon for books similar to the one you have in mind. See what the authors' credentials are, how they're presented, their sales rankings, and what type of press they're published by. Good luck. :)

Also, just a casual observation here so fwiw, having a snappy title seems especially important. (Men are from Mars, Women are From Venus; He's Just Not That Into You; Hot Monogamy, etc.)

ETA: To answer your question, yes, I would prefer such a book to have been written by a someone with a PhD in the subject. But that wouldn't be the only consideration. Also, if you don't have one and don't plan to get one, that ship seems to have sailed anyway, yes?

I recall seeing "Doctor of Education" listed on books where education wasn't the topic. It just confused me but it's possible many readers would be more impressed to know you had a higher level education in general, I dunno. As with the EdD, though, JD would just confuse me, personally. I would probably think the book included advice for getting a good deal in the divorce from the troubled spouse... Maybe the JD could be included in the bio, though.
 
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Sassy411

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How about: The Fractured Fairytale: Love and the Narcissist.



There is not a lot left on Amazon that I've not read yet. Much of what's written on narcissism is written by authors with no credentials of any kind--just personal experience. Naturally, there are a lot of really awful books about narcissism. The good ones are a bit on the dry, clinical side.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I'm not your market. But that's a great title. Also, if I were in the market for such a book, I'd be more interested in clinical experience than degrees. Degrees without experience are no indication of genuine knowledge and knowhow in my experience.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Sassy411

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Thank you, Siri.

The Graduate Plus Loan is looking like a possibility.
 

Elizabeth George's book Write Away