Real-Life Resources for Behavioral Health Students & Early Career Professionals
Although previous generations probably did not swap cat pictures or tell 350 of their acquaintances what they ate for dinner, even the most seasoned among us has to pause when we think about life before social media. People use their private social media accounts for a variety of reasons and clinicians are no different. Perhaps you are looking for a new job or even a relationship through social media. Or maybe you use social media to decompress by doing online workouts and watching Dr. Pimple Popper videos. Whatever the case, the chances are good you will run into a client on social media. This article explores some of the most common scenarios a clinician will encounter and the ethical implications of receiving a friend request from a client. Here are some of the most common scenarios you will encounter in the field.read more
Mental health stigma in ethnic minority communities can create critical barriers to treatment for groups including African Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. One of the primary contributors to disparities in mental health treatment is mental health stigma, which refers to a collection of negative attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, or beliefs that help to facilitate fear, rejection, and discrimination against people with mental illness1.read more
Suicide is a significant public health concern. Approximately 44,965 Americans die by suicide each year . This equates to approximately 123 suicides per day. Recent reports have indicated a 30% increase in suicide rates from 1999 to 2016 (10.5 per 100,000 to 13.4 per 100,000) . Additionally, we know that suicide does not only affect those with a diagnosed mental health condition. The CDC data notes that approximately half of those who died by suicide between 1999 and 2016 did not have a known mental health condition . Though a mental health condition can be a risk factor for suicide, other factors that can contribute to suicide include stress related to relationships, finances, jobs, housing, substance use, or physical health. The ubiquity of suicide and the increase in suicide rates over the last 17 years support the importance of community suicide education and consistent suicide assessment, intervention, and treatment among clinicians interacting with individuals at increased suicide risk.read more
Graduate school is an enormous feat for any student. Many graduate students may be employed, have children, or may even be dealing with serious health issues while attending graduate school. I, personally, fit in each of those categories. I’m currently a graduate student pursuing a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. I’m also a mother to a ten year old energetic son, and I’m dealing with health issues as well.read more
If you are reading this article, you are most likely in the midst of building your APPIC application or are gearing up to do so. First, congratulations! It is a lot of work to get this far, and there is light at the end of the tunnel! Yet, like every other aspect of grad school, there is a lot of work that goes into building your application and it can seem incredibly daunting. During my first internship prep meeting, we were warned that preparing our APPIC application and applying for internship was essentially a “part-time job.”read more
Talk to anyone who has completed their clinical training, and they will tell you becoming a psychologist is a process that begins early in your academic career. Laying the groundwork during your undergraduate years can provide a strong foothold into the field as well as into a graduate training program. One of the best ways to get involved as a student is to take advantage of the opportunities provided by your local undergraduate institutions. Universities are active breeding grounds for social science research and frequently employ students for pay or course credit.read more
As you and your cohort settle into practicum, you will hear at some point about the intake process, specifically how different sites may have different ways of approaching an intake. Department of Mental Health sites in your county may have an intake form with questions that go on for several pages. For example, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health Adult Intake form has nine sections, with subsection questions for each one!
However, if you find yourself in a site that allows you freedom to conduct a semi-structured intake, it may still be challenging to find the balance between having an organic session with the client while obtaining relevant information that can inform your treatment plan.read more
Many therapists and graduate students would like to do the legwork of starting a private practice while still in training or earning their licensing hours, but they struggle to find the time: How are you supposed to create your private practice while you’re still occupied with your other work? I know this dilemma from firsthand experience: I started my private practice while working full time at a demanding (yet wonderful) place where I had earned my licensing hours.
A lot of the steps below can be done while you’re working a full time job and building your practice, or even just in anticipation of opening a practice if you’re still in graduate school or earning your licensing hours. I laid the groundwork for myself as much as possible so I wouldn’t have to worry about all these things upon licensure, when I’d want to just focus on seeing clients as much as possible. It worked out REALLY well. Here’s how I did it!read more
More likely than not, most of us lamented about being a “poor college student” at one point during our undergraduate years. Despite experiences akin to daily microwave ramen for dinner and sharing a house with ten other people to save some money, we find ourselves seeking yet another two to four years of college life to pursue a graduate-level education. While student loan debt seems to be ubiquitous in graduate school, there are several steps we can take, between applying for graduate school to walking at graduation, to lessen the damage to our wallets.read more
Congratulations! You have completed your degree, finished your training hours, passed your exam(s), and paid your fees. Now, you have a fancy new license number and more control over your professional future.
Becoming a newly licensed therapist is not a magical process — you will not all of a sudden become a mindful, articulate clinician like many of your supervisors. Rather, it requires deliberate actions.
You have proven yourself to your state board and now it’s time to prove yourself to the rest of world, or at least to the psychological community.
The following are practices to consider when stepping into the big, shiny shoes of a licensed clinician.read more