Between running studies for your research, trying to get enough clinical hours, classes, comprehensive examinations, supervising undergraduates, lab meetings, teaching assistance-ships, and many other graduate school demands, it is sometimes a great accomplishment to squeeze in a few moments for lunch.
There is a general tacit agreement amongst graduate students and oftentimes, their supervisors, that achieving work-life balance is hard enough given the demanding schedules of graduate school; but achieving work-life-and-family balance can feel near impossible. Although it may be challenging, it is not impossible.
Typically, when therapists are asked to define “cultural competence” their response is usually race-based or location-based. Occasionally some include gender and sexual minorities, age, and ability. It’s rare that clinicians and therapists with little experience in deafness consider “Deaf” as a culture.
The topic of deafness and Deaf culture is vast, with many aspects to consider. It would be impossible to cover everything in only a few blog posts. This article is the first of a series about working with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (DHH) clients is intended as a starting point for clinicians to begin their own research into deafness and Deaf culture.
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.
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?”
The concept of resilience has become quite a popular one lately. There are countless articles, workshops, lectures, and even centers that focus on resilience.
But what exactly is it? And from where does it come?
Is it an inherited personality trait predetermined by genetics? Or is it something that can be taught, fostered, and developed? Perhaps more importantly, why do some people seem so much better at it than others?
These are exactly the kinds of questions that have inspired my colleague, Dr. Darlyne Nemeth, and me to probe deeper into the concept of resilience. Our research and experiences eventually transpired into a book, which was recently published.
We described the hallmark of resilient people as being grounded in today, learning how to benefit from yesterday, and imagining themselves in tomorrow. Resilience is not just about surviving, but also about thriving in the midst of challenge.
Licensing protects you, the public, and the profession. I appreciate that it exists, now that I have joined the ranks of licensure. However, the pursuit inspired many sighs, groans, and eye rolls between me and my colleagues. Complaints formed for many reasons – cost was (and still is) one of them.
What should you do to prepare – financially, at least – for licensure? Below, I outline seven steps with an estimated time that it will take for each. I will give you concrete suggestions, with real numbers and links included.
Many couples must separate physically for a variety of reasons, including career and academic advancement, military deployment, immigration restrictions, or familial obligations. Long distance relationships are becoming increasingly common  and graduate students and early careers professionals have even more reasons why they might need to live apart from their partners.
Being prepared by knowing the challenges ahead can help to ensure that your relationship and career are actually strengthened by the time apart.
So, you have reached the point in your life where you feel ready to enter the mental health field as a counselor, and you are left with the question of…now what?
You have completed the necessary educational and clinical requirements and are either in the process of pursuing provisional licensure or completing it. However, little is said about what you actually need to do next, particularly once you are fully licensed and essentially on your own.
Therefore, answering “who am I as a counselor” may seem like a daunting question and one that a lot of professionals often find themselves having to answer. Seeking the answer is not as difficult as you may think, but it requires a lot of self-reflection and a good understanding of the expectations and responsibilities the job requires.
Are there any tasks you do as a trainee, intern or psychologist that you did not expect to do before choosing a career in psychology?
One task that may come to mind is writing.
In psychology, efficient writing is a skill that is consistently required of us. Being a successful writer is a necessary proficiency to inform others about clinical matters such as patient care, reports, goals, and treatments, as well as research, statistics, and other forms of data. Oftentimes, we are not trained in professional or clinical writing and default to skills we have developed over time, which may contain common writing mistakes.
The following is a compilation of writing tips that may be helpful for a variety of clinical writing tasks for psychologists.