Real-Life Resources for Behavioral Health Students & Early Career Professionals
Four years of undergrad. Five years (or more) of graduate school. Postdocs. We’re talking a minimum of 10 years from start to finish in order to become a Licensed Psychologist! If you’re like me, you are paying your tuition and school expenses largely through student loans, whether federally funded or private loans. Each year, that number keeps adding up. What was once a small hill has now formed into a mountain of debt! And once you’re no longer a student, that mountain looms over you as you begin a required low repayment plan.
But what can a student do? Here are seven tips from my experiences a 32-year-old early career psychologist.read more
As helping professionals, we share a united goal of empowering the individuals with whom we work to meet their goals. Though it remains important to address social issues on a large scale (e.g., protests, donations, advocating for policy change), a lot of what we do as helpers happens one-on-one. That is, most of us work to empower individuals interpersonally through therapy.
With this in mind, I would like to share tangible ways to support LGBTQQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) and/or gender non-conforming (individuals who do not identify as cisgender, meaning they have gender identities that do not match the sex they were assigned at birth, and/or those who reject the gender binary, or do not identify as male or female) clients in session while also acknowledging the importance of social justice advocacy on a much larger scale.read more
One of the challenges I faced during my training as a psychologist was determining how to improve client behavior between sessions in order to optimize treatment outcomes.
Clients often presented with stressful family relationships, relationships that seemed to limit therapeutic progress. I wanted to help my clients as individuals, but I also understood that they did not exist within vacuums. In family therapy, I was able to help clients appreciate how family dynamics and communication styles are important factors in achieving their individual behavioral health goals.
Family therapy also extended my therapeutic reach beyond the individual and beyond the one hour that we had together each week.read more
The core purposes of clinical supervision are to protect the welfare of clients by ensuring they are receiving ethical, quality care and to promote the growth of pre-licensed clinicians .
A couple of main areas that distinguish pre-licensure clinical supervision from consultation, mentoring, or another form of guidance are the evaluative and non-voluntary components of the supervisory relationship .
This tends to amplify a supervisee’s existing anxiety related to questions of competency, training demands, and balancing academic, occupational, and personal obligations . Too often, the level of anxiety is suboptimal, negatively impacting learning, growth, and clinical work.read more
Students within a graduate program will share research interests, goals, and dreams. By nature, graduate students share the qualities of motivation, diligence, persistence, and focus. We share accomplishments as well as setbacks. We also share supervisors, textbooks, friends, and Netflix accounts. Yet, despite these commonalities, graduate students within one program can be vastly different.
Remember The Breakfast Club? The Brain, the Athlete, the Basket Case, the Princess, and the Criminal had nothing in common other than the fact that they were in detention. Yet by the end of the movie they learned to connect with one another and bonded despite their differences. Graduate school is a lot like The Breakfast Club; it is full of unique personalities that come together for survival, but often results in strong personal and professional relationships that last a lifetime.
Conflict is common when a group of individuals is working toward a shared goal while simultaneously trying to meet their own needs. Needless to say, graduate school is full of conflict. It’s an environment where you willingly compete with those you are closest to, allow yourself to be vulnerable with those who evaluate you, all while trying to develop and maintain your identity as a professional.
Although conflict is often viewed negatively, it is not always a bad thing. When managed appropriately, conflict helps us to achieve our goals, express our opinions, learn new ideas and points of view, and strengthen our relationships. Essentially, conflict can help us to grow both personally and professionally.
Although conflict can often be beneficial, many people remain uncomfortable with the mere idea of it. Due to the inevitable conflict of graduate school and the common discomfort surrounding it, students are often left wondering, “How do I best navigate this diplomatic environment, achieve personal and professional goals, all while building and maintaining professional and personal relationships?”read more
Preparing your dissertation for publication can feel overwhelming. The dissertation represents the pinnacle of many challenging years in graduate school.
By the time its defended, you have no doubt poured countless hours into its design, implementation, and writing. It has likely been formally proposed, heavily critiqued and reformatted, and “defended” to an expert audience.
After this effort, repacking the dissertation into a concise, academic-journal worthy manuscript is time consuming, but completely doable. Here are 8 steps to help you succeed:read more
The #MeToo movement has exposed powerful men who leverage their positions to abuse and manipulate. The courage these women and men exhibit as they step forward to confront this behavior is inspiring.
May it continue to motivate other survivors to come forward, because as statistics show, roughly 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported . What a jarring reality, especially since nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives .
Survivors may have many reasons not to publicize their story. But if and when they do, are we as mental health providers prepared to help? A thorough manual on how therapists can propel them toward recovery is beyond the scope of this article , so what follows are 5 concepts to remember when working with survivors of sexual abuse.read more
When I was working on my PhD, I wore myself out like a pair of cheap socks. After a few years of reflection, self-care, and therapy, I can look through the ol’ retrospect-o-scope and give you some ideas about how to avoid the same outcome.
Here are four ways to burn out, followed by tips for self-renewal.read more
And there’s nothing you can do about it! You have to fail. You must fail… If you want to succeed.
To foster a patient who loves himself, warts and all, therapists must accept and own their foibles and follies. To the best of my knowledge, there is no greater strength than the courage to look our demons straight in the eye. This is a question – “what are your strengths and weaknesses?” – you will face at comprehensive exams and internship interviews; my answer always begins, “they are one-and-the-same: my greatest strength is how I have grown from my weaknesses.”read more
The Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) is something every psychology graduate student dreads. After spending years in school, hours reading, writing, applying for internship and fellowship, and collecting clinical hours, the day has finally come for that very last step.
Of course, it’s normal to feel anxious about the EPPP. Many have said, “You feel like you’re failing it the whole time you’re taking it, but it will be fine.” Or there’s an optimistic tone of, “You’re going to be fine, you’ll do great! You just need a score of 500 to pass.”
Then there are the aftermath celebrations and Facebook updates: “I passed the EPPP!” Or, “Another step closer to being licensed!”
I found it so rare and uncommon for my peers to speak about the other possibility: What happens if you don’t pass?read more