1549.01388.386241140001https://myrebeldiaries.com01
theme-sticky-logo-alt

Psychology careers guide

0 Comments

Hits: 3

Some of the links on this website are affiliate links, and that means we may earn a commission if you click or purchase through those links. The price you pay will be the same, but by using our affiliate links you are helping support our website. We genuinely appreciate your support. Thank you!


Psychology is an extraordinarily diverse field with hundreds of career paths. Some specialties, like caring for people with mental and emotional disorders, are familiar to most of us. Others, like helping with the design of advanced computer systems or studying how we remember things, are less well known.

What all psychologists have in common is a shared interest in the minds and behaviors of both human and nonhuman animals. In their work, psychologists draw on an ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge about how we think, act and feel and they apply the information to their areas of expertise.

Many psychologists work in more than one setting. For instance, college professors often consult for industry or see clients on a part-time basis. Although it is possible to identify a host of different work settings, for the purpose of this booklet, we’ll consider some of the most prominent examples.

Where psychologists work

Where Psychologists Work

Note: The chart represents employment settings for those with recent doctorates in psychology. Totals amount to 97 percent due to rounding and exclusion of 17 “not specified” responses. Adapted from D. Michalski, J. Kohout, M. Wicherski & B. Hart (2011), 2009 Doctorate Employment Surve y (Table 3)  (PDF, 33KB).

Psychologists conduct research

Many psychologists conduct research that runs the gamut from studies of basic brain functions to individual behavior to the behavior of complex social organizations. Subjects of such scientific study include nonhuman animals, human infants, both well-functioning and emotionally disturbed people, older persons, students, workers and just about every other population one can imagine. Some research takes place in laboratories where the study conditions can be carefully controlled; some is carried out in the field, such as the workplace, the highway, schools and hospitals, where behavior is studied as it occurs naturally.

Much of the laboratory research is conducted in universities, government agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health and the armed services) and private research organizations. Whereas most psychological scientists are engaged in the actual planning and conduct of research, some are employed in management or administration — usually after having served as active researchers.

Dr. Linda M. Bartoshuk Dr. Linda M. Bartoshuk
Psychophysics psychologist, researcher, and university professor

I am a psychologist and Bushnell Professor at the University of Florida (UF). I direct human research in the UF Center for Smell and Taste and collaborate with food scientists and plant geneticists working to make fruits and vegetables more palatable. I study taste and the genetic and pathological conditions that affect taste and thus alter a variety of behaviors (dietary choice, smoking, drinking) affecting health.

I earned my BA at Carleton College. Although I began my college career as an astronomy major, my courses in astronomy got me interested in people’s abilities to compare the brightness of stars, and that led to my interest in the senses. I switched my major to psychology. After receiving my PhD from Brown University, I worked at the Natick Army Research labs (where research related to food for military personnel is conducted), then went to the Pierce Foundation and Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and am now at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Psychology contributes to health in significant ways. As an academic working in the health professions, I have collaborated with dentists and physicians in using psychophysics to quantify symptoms, thereby advancing the understanding of disorders in my field (taste/oral pain) and promoting patient well-being. Psychology and the science supporting it have never been
more relevant to the world around us.

I spend a typical workday at my computer and with patients. My students and I design experiments to study the sense of taste, run the experiments and then analyze the data. Sometimes I serve as a subject in experiments, because I never do an experiment on another person that has not been done on me first.

I believe that to be a psychologist, a good background in mathematics and science is useful, and you need to observe the world around you and yourself. Behavior is fascinating. Psychology includes many subspecialties. The more you learn about them, the easier it will be to pick an area that will use your skills and give you great satisfaction.

I love being a psychologist. We study the behavior we see, but we know how to look beneath the surface to explore mechanisms. We are sophisticated and tolerant thinkers, yet we recognize nonsense. We have an impact on the lives of real people, and we care about them. To me, there is no better way to spend one’s life…I feel very lucky to be able to do the work that I love. The best advice that I ever gave myself was to go with my heart!

Dr. Robert Rescorla Dr. Robert Rescorla
University professor and research psychologist who studies how we learn

Dr. Robert Rescorla became a psychologist because he likes puzzles. “You see a phenomenon and try to understand it,” he says. “I like the logic of designing an experiment, developing a hypothesis, and testing your ideas.” Dr. Rescorla studies his favorite phenomenon, learning, at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs undergraduate studies in psychology and is Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Psychology. Throughout his career, he has discovered and defined the ways that animals (including humans) learn, especially by the power of association.

His love of research was sparked at Swarthmore College, where one professor encouraged students to conduct their own experiments in visual perception. Recalls Dr. Rescorla, “It was exciting to be the first person in the world to know the answer to something.”

After graduating in 1962, he earned a PhD in psychology in 1966 at the University of Pennsylvania. Inspired by a book by one of the field’s early researchers, Dr. Rescorla and Dr. Richard Solomon embarked on a classic series of experiments on the mechanisms of learned fear. Their findings have helped to shape effective therapies for treating phobia and other anxiety disorders.

Dr. Rescorla began his teaching career at Yale University. In 1981, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1986 he was appointed the James M. Skinner Professor of Science. He studies not only how animals and humans learn that one stimulus signals another, but also how they learn that this relationship no longer holds. Dr. Rescorla also figured out how to measure the strength of learning, the key to documenting his observations.

This lifelong researcher has seen his work help to relieve human suffering. Armed with insights into associative learning, clinical psychologists have developed ways to “extinguish” the phobias that develop when people learn to fear a stimulus because it signals a painful experience.

Dr. Rescorla encourages more undergraduate research because, as he learned, “Once you do it, you’re hooked.” At Penn, he has chaired the psychology department and been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1975 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985.

For students considering psychology, he recommends a broad liberal arts education and adds, “Take the psychology intro course, and then sample broadly around it so you can find out what psychology is, whether it’s right for you, and what particular topic within it grabs you.”

Dr. Rescorla also urges students to study more biology and math. “Psychology increasingly has a biological component — not just in the laboratory but in the applied world, for various therapies. Plus, you will need more of a quantitative background.”

Dr. Stanley Sue Dr. Stanley Sue
Clinical psychologist, researcher, and university professor

I am a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Excellence in Diversity at Palo Alto University. Unlike psychologists who specialize in a technique or a theory, I specialize in a population. Much of my work focuses on Asian American and ethnic minority clients, who often have special needs, especially if they immigrated to the United States.

I went to an all-boys technical high school and wanted to be a television repairman. Within a year, I became disinterested in electronics and woodworking, so I switched schools and tried to prepare myself for college. Along the way, I decided I wanted to become a clinical psychologist even though I was quite naive and didn’t know what a clinical psychologist actually did. But I remember always watching a television program called The Eleventh Hour that featured both a psychiatrist and a psychologist and thinking that this is what I wanted to do.

I told my father that I was interested in psychology, particularly clinical psychology. He’s Chinese from the old country and couldn’t understand what a psychologist does and how one could make a living at it. But I persisted and went to the University of Oregon to major in psychology and then to the University of California, Los Angeles for graduate work. Since then, my three brothers have gone into psychology. The oldest brother even married a psychologist!

At the Palo Alto University center, we focus on cultural and group issues involving diversity dimensions such as ethnicity; race; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues; gender; and social class. We conduct research, develop programs to promote diversity, integrate such issues into our courses, and recruit and train students to work effectively with diverse groups.

My particular area of interest is to study rates of mental disorders among Chinese people in the United States. Little is known about Asian Americans in this regard. Many people have said that Chinese and other Asian Americans don’t have many mental health problems. But we know that they have problems just like any other group of people, although there are some differences in the distribution of disorders.

What we have found generally, however, is that Asian Americans tend to underutilize mental health services and that those who do use the services tend to be very disturbed. This means that Asian American people with mild disturbances tend not to come in until their problems are serious.

We’re also trying to determine the factors related to mental disturbances among some Chinese people in this country and the factors that seem to insulate others in this population from mental problems. Several researchers at the center are also studying parent–child conflicts in Asian American families to see if the conflicts are different from those affecting other ethnic families and to identify ways to resolve the conflicts. Other investigators are looking at husband–wife problems to ascertain if they’re unique because of cultural differences.

One researcher has developed a scale that measures “loss of face,” which is a particularly important concept for people of Asian descent; fear of losing face affects how they behave. We are also going to look at how to improve the delivery of effective mental health services to Asian Americans.

Psychologists study social development

Developmental psychologists study the many behavioral and psychological changes that occur throughout the life span.

Dr. Pamela Trotman Reid Dr. Pamela Trotman Reid
Developmental psychologist, researcher, professor and college president

Developmental psychologists look at the changes that occur across an entire lifetime. It is a fantastic area because you can do so many different things. You can focus on language development, for example, and study why children’s speech may not reflect their thinking. You can look at adolescents and the problems they have in establishing identity. Or you can examine families, from how they use discipline to how they develop attitudes.

There is also a growing interest in adult development and aging, partly because of the graying of America and partly because we are beginning to realize that we don’t stop growing when we reach puberty. Instead, we continue to change and develop in many areas all our lives. Developmental psychologists can investigate adult learning issues at the workplace or the effects of aging on cognition.

I was always interested in science; even as a child I had played with chemistry sets. At Howard University in Washington, D.C., I majored in chemistry and thought about becoming a medical doctor. But because so many of my friends were taking psychology as an elective, I did, too. Psychology, I learned, is about both science and the application of science to people. I fell in love with the subject, switched my major to psychology, and then went to graduate school and earned my doctorate in educational psychology.

As a researcher and professor in psychology for many years, I specialized in social development; the effects of gender and culture were my primary interest. Today, as the president of Saint Joseph College in Connecticut, I still get a great deal of pleasure from teaching and research. I enjoy helping my students prepare for leadership roles by studying how leaders develop and what factors influence their leadership styles from childhood through adulthood.

In some of my past studies, I investigated why girls act in certain ways and why boys behave in different ways. One small body of research had suggested that women and girls are typically more interested in babies than men and boys are. But all this research had been conducted on White children and adults.

So I looked at both Black and White children and found no difference between African American boys and girls! In 8- to 10-year-old middle-class children, the White girls liked the babies (they looked at them, touched them, and smiled at them), the African American girls liked the babies, and even the African American boys liked the babies. Only the White boys appeared uninterested. As often happens, the research led to more questions. Now, instead of asking why girls are more interested than boys in babies, the question became are we socializing White boys so that they don’t like babies?

I also conducted research with children who lived in shelters because their families were homeless. I learned about the stresses they undergo so that we can understand how some children cope and others do not. For me, the important thing is that in psychology, you can research the questions that you are interested in, not only those that someone else has posed.

Dr. Miguel Ybarra Dr. Miguel Ybarra
Counseling psychologist and director of a VA substance abuse treatment program

There are many ways to enter the field of psychology, but the best way is to understand your strengths and what it is you want to accomplish. I started my academic career as a music major. One of my professors helped me see that my strengths, however, were in another area. I decided that there had to be a better fit for me in a different career. One day, it occurred to me that most of my friends and family would seek me out to talk about things going on in their lives. I felt I had a natural ability to help people see the options that were before them. It was at that moment that I decided to explore what I could get out of (and offer) the field of psychology.

Having to master statistics and research methodology was an intimidating prospect. In fact, the very idea of having to learn this material was so worrisome that I almost decided not to apply to graduate school at all! But once I started learning the material and applied these skills to real-life situations, it made sense and became enjoyable. Statistics became a tool I would use to actually provide the clinical services for which I was in training. This was the best part of my academic experience because the very thing that almost kept me out of a graduate program became the means to achieving my goals.

During my course work in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, I was fortunate enough to have worked with one of my professors and participate in a study he was directing. The design of this project was to learn about the use of various coping strategies by middle-school students living and interacting in a multicultural setting. This experience became even more important to me when I realized that we were also searching for ways to get our findings back to the community that had agreed to participate in the study. With great enthusiasm, we presented our findings to the parents and teachers of those students at an open meeting.

Through all of this, I learned that the need for psychologists to bring crosscultural considerations and multicultural competency to their work is increasing daily because of the changing cultural and ethnic composition of our country. As members of the larger and increasingly diverse society, we need to meet the needs of people from different backgrounds and communities, thus allowing them to build on their strengths. Also, let us not forget the role of language. We must understand the context from which language (and behavior) emanates in order to be successful psychologists, whether we are conducting research, teaching or providing therapy.

Since completing my doctoral degree, I have worked as a full-time and part-time faculty member and have taught in undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs and in college counseling centers. I have also been involved with the Veterans Affairs initiative to integrate mental health with primary health care; worked as a consultant for businesses and academic programs; and conducted research. Currently, I am the program director of a VA substance abuse treatment program. Each professional experience has helped to shape my own journey and has added to my satisfaction and success within the field of psychology. My best advice is to seek out diverse experiences that match your interests, be ready to transform a “not-so-great” job description into a great work experience, and never take yourself out of the running to achieve a goal you want to attain.

Psychologists teach and provide services to students

Psychologists…


Psychology is an extraordinarily diverse field with hundreds of career paths. Some specialties, like caring for people with mental and emotional disorders, are familiar to most of us. Others, like helping with the design of advanced computer systems or studying how we remember things, are less well known.

What all psychologists have in common is a shared interest in the minds and behaviors of both human and nonhuman animals. In their work, psychologists draw on an ever-expanding body of scientific knowledge about how we think, act and feel and they apply the information to their areas of expertise.

Many psychologists work in more than one setting. For instance, college professors often consult for industry or see clients on a part-time basis. Although it is possible to identify a host of different work settings, for the purpose of this booklet, we’ll consider some of the most prominent examples.

Where psychologists work

Where Psychologists Work

Note: The chart represents employment settings for those with recent doctorates in psychology. Totals amount to 97 percent due to rounding and exclusion of 17 “not specified” responses. Adapted from D. Michalski, J. Kohout, M. Wicherski & B. Hart (2011), 2009 Doctorate Employment Surve y (Table 3)  (PDF, 33KB).

Psychologists conduct research

Many psychologists conduct research that runs the gamut from studies of basic brain functions to individual behavior to the behavior of complex social organizations. Subjects of such scientific study include nonhuman animals, human infants, both well-functioning and emotionally disturbed people, older persons, students, workers and just about every other population one can imagine. Some research takes place in laboratories where the study conditions can be carefully controlled; some is carried out in the field, such as the workplace, the highway, schools and hospitals, where behavior is studied as it occurs naturally.

Much of the laboratory research is conducted in universities, government agencies (such as the National Institutes of Health and the armed services) and private research organizations. Whereas most psychological scientists are engaged in the actual planning and conduct of research, some are employed in management or administration — usually after having served as active researchers.

Dr. Linda M. Bartoshuk Dr. Linda M. Bartoshuk
Psychophysics psychologist, researcher, and university professor

I am a psychologist and Bushnell Professor at the University of Florida (UF). I direct human research in the UF Center for Smell and Taste and collaborate with food scientists and plant geneticists working to make fruits and vegetables more palatable. I study taste and the genetic and pathological conditions that affect taste and thus alter a variety of behaviors (dietary choice, smoking, drinking) affecting health.

I earned my BA at Carleton College. Although I began my college career as an astronomy major, my courses in astronomy got me interested in people’s abilities to compare the brightness of stars, and that led to my interest in the senses. I switched my major to psychology. After receiving my PhD from Brown University, I worked at the Natick Army Research labs (where research related to food for military personnel is conducted), then went to the Pierce Foundation and Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and am now at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Psychology contributes to health in significant ways. As an academic working in the health professions, I have collaborated with dentists and physicians in using psychophysics to quantify symptoms, thereby advancing the understanding of disorders in my field (taste/oral pain) and promoting patient well-being. Psychology and the science supporting it have never been
more relevant to the world around us.

I spend a typical workday at my computer and with patients. My students and I design experiments to study the sense of taste, run the experiments and then analyze the data. Sometimes I serve as a subject in experiments, because I never do an experiment on another person that has not been done on me first.

I believe that to be a psychologist, a good background in mathematics and science is useful, and you need to observe the world around you and yourself. Behavior is fascinating. Psychology includes many subspecialties. The more you learn about them, the easier it will be to pick an area that will use your skills and give you great satisfaction.

I love being a psychologist. We study the behavior we see, but we know how to look beneath the surface to explore mechanisms. We are sophisticated and tolerant thinkers, yet we recognize nonsense. We have an impact on the lives of real people, and we care about them. To me, there is no better way to spend one’s life…I feel very lucky to be able to do the work that I love. The best advice that I ever gave myself was to go with my heart!

Dr. Robert Rescorla Dr. Robert Rescorla
University professor and research psychologist who studies how we learn

Dr. Robert Rescorla became a psychologist because he likes puzzles. “You see a phenomenon and try to understand it,” he says. “I like the logic of designing an experiment, developing a hypothesis, and testing your ideas.” Dr. Rescorla studies his favorite phenomenon, learning, at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs undergraduate studies in psychology and is Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Psychology. Throughout his career, he has discovered and defined the ways that animals (including humans) learn, especially by the power of association.

His love of research was sparked at Swarthmore College, where one professor encouraged students to conduct their own experiments in visual perception. Recalls Dr. Rescorla, “It was exciting to be the first person in the world to know the answer to something.”

After graduating in 1962, he earned a PhD in psychology in 1966 at the University of Pennsylvania. Inspired by a book by one of the field’s early researchers, Dr. Rescorla and Dr. Richard Solomon embarked on a classic series of experiments on the mechanisms of learned fear. Their findings have helped to shape effective therapies for treating phobia and other anxiety disorders.

Dr. Rescorla began his teaching career at Yale University. In 1981, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1986 he was appointed the James M. Skinner Professor of Science. He studies not only how animals and humans learn that one stimulus signals another, but also how they learn that this relationship no longer holds. Dr. Rescorla also figured out how to measure the strength of learning, the key to documenting his observations.

This lifelong researcher has seen his work help to relieve human suffering. Armed with insights into associative learning, clinical psychologists have developed ways to “extinguish” the phobias that develop when people learn to fear a stimulus because it signals a painful experience.

Dr. Rescorla encourages more undergraduate research because, as he learned, “Once you do it, you’re hooked.” At Penn, he has chaired the psychology department and been dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. He was elected to the Society of Experimental Psychologists in 1975 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985.

For students considering psychology, he recommends a broad liberal arts education and adds, “Take the psychology intro course, and then sample broadly around it so you can find out what psychology is, whether it’s right for you, and what particular topic within it grabs you.”

Dr. Rescorla also urges students to study more biology and math. “Psychology increasingly has a biological component — not just in the laboratory but in the applied world, for various therapies. Plus, you will need more of a quantitative background.”

Dr. Stanley Sue Dr. Stanley Sue
Clinical psychologist, researcher, and university professor

I am a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Excellence in Diversity at Palo Alto University. Unlike psychologists who specialize in a technique or a theory, I specialize in a population. Much of my work focuses on Asian American and ethnic minority clients, who often have special needs, especially if they immigrated to the United States.

I went to an all-boys technical high school and wanted to be a television repairman. Within a year, I became disinterested in electronics and woodworking, so I switched schools and tried to prepare myself for college. Along the way, I decided I wanted to become a clinical psychologist even though I was quite naive and didn’t know what a clinical psychologist actually did. But I remember always watching a television program called The Eleventh Hour that featured both a psychiatrist and a psychologist and thinking that this is what I wanted to do.

I told my father that I was interested in psychology, particularly clinical psychology. He’s Chinese from the old country and couldn’t understand what a psychologist does and how one could make a living at it. But I persisted and went to the University of Oregon to major in psychology and then to the University of California, Los Angeles for graduate work. Since then, my three brothers have gone into psychology. The oldest brother even married a psychologist!

At the Palo Alto University center, we focus on cultural and group issues involving diversity dimensions such as ethnicity; race; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues; gender; and social class. We conduct research, develop programs to promote diversity, integrate such issues into our courses, and recruit and train students to work effectively with diverse groups.

My particular area of interest is to study rates of mental disorders among Chinese people in the United States. Little is known about Asian Americans in this regard. Many people have said that Chinese and other Asian Americans don’t have many mental health problems. But we know that they have problems just like any other group of people, although there are some differences in the distribution of disorders.

What we have found generally, however, is that Asian Americans tend to underutilize mental health services and that those who do use the services tend to be very disturbed. This means that Asian American people with mild disturbances tend not to come in until their problems are serious.

We’re also trying to determine the factors related to mental disturbances among some Chinese people in this country and the factors that seem to insulate others in this population from mental problems. Several researchers at the center are also studying parent–child conflicts in Asian American families to see if the conflicts are different from those affecting other ethnic families and to identify ways to resolve the conflicts. Other investigators are looking at husband–wife problems to ascertain if they’re unique because of cultural differences.

One researcher has developed a scale that measures “loss of face,” which is a particularly important concept for people of Asian descent; fear of losing face affects how they behave. We are also going to look at how to improve the delivery of effective mental health services to Asian Americans.

Psychologists study social development

Developmental psychologists study the many behavioral and psychological changes that occur throughout the life span.

Dr. Pamela Trotman Reid Dr. Pamela Trotman Reid
Developmental psychologist, researcher, professor and college president

Developmental psychologists look at the changes that occur across an entire lifetime. It is a fantastic area because you can do so many different things. You can focus on language development, for example, and study why children’s speech may not reflect their thinking. You can look at adolescents and the problems they have in establishing identity. Or you can examine families, from how they use discipline to how they develop attitudes.

There is also a growing interest in adult development and aging, partly because of the graying of America and partly because we are beginning to realize that we don’t stop growing when we reach puberty. Instead, we continue to change and develop in many areas all our lives. Developmental psychologists can investigate adult learning issues at the workplace or the effects of aging on cognition.

I was always interested in science; even as a child I had played with chemistry sets. At Howard University in Washington, D.C., I majored in chemistry and thought about becoming a medical doctor. But because so many of my friends were taking psychology as an elective, I did, too. Psychology, I learned, is about both science and the application of science to people. I fell in love with the subject, switched my major to psychology, and then went to graduate school and earned my doctorate in educational psychology.

As a researcher and professor in psychology for many years, I specialized in social development; the effects of gender and culture were my primary interest. Today, as the president of Saint Joseph College in Connecticut, I still get a great deal of pleasure from teaching and research. I enjoy helping my students prepare for leadership roles by studying how leaders develop and what factors influence their leadership styles from childhood through adulthood.

In some of my past studies, I investigated why girls act in certain ways and why boys behave in different ways. One small body of research had suggested that women and girls are typically more interested in babies than men and boys are. But all this research had been conducted on White children and adults.

So I looked at both Black and White children and found no difference between African American boys and girls! In 8- to 10-year-old middle-class children, the White girls liked the babies (they looked at them, touched them, and smiled at them), the African American girls liked the babies, and even the African American boys liked the babies. Only the White boys appeared uninterested. As often happens, the research led to more questions. Now, instead of asking why girls are more interested than boys in babies, the question became are we socializing White boys so that they don’t like babies?

I also conducted research with children who lived in shelters because their families were homeless. I learned about the stresses they undergo so that we can understand how some children cope and others do not. For me, the important thing is that in psychology, you can research the questions that you are interested in, not only those that someone else has posed.

Dr. Miguel Ybarra Dr. Miguel Ybarra
Counseling psychologist and director of a VA substance abuse treatment program

There are many ways to enter the field of psychology, but the best way is to understand your strengths and what it is you want to accomplish. I started my academic career as a music major. One of my professors helped me see that my strengths, however, were in another area. I decided that there had to be a better fit for me in a different career. One day, it occurred to me that most of my friends and family would seek me out to talk about things going on in their lives. I felt I had a natural ability to help people see the options that were before them. It was at that moment that I decided to explore what I could get out of (and offer) the field of psychology.

Having to master statistics and research methodology was an intimidating prospect. In fact, the very idea of having to learn this material was so worrisome that I almost decided not to apply to graduate school at all! But once I started learning the material and applied these skills to real-life situations, it made sense and became enjoyable. Statistics became a tool I would use to actually provide the clinical services for which I was in training. This was the best part of my academic experience because the very thing that almost kept me out of a graduate program became the means to achieving my goals.

During my course work in counseling psychology at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, I was fortunate enough to have worked with one of my professors and participate in a study he was directing. The design of this project was to learn about the use of various coping strategies by middle-school students living and interacting in a multicultural setting. This experience became even more important to me when I realized that we were also searching for ways to get our findings back to the community that had agreed to participate in the study. With great enthusiasm, we presented our findings to the parents and teachers of those students at an open meeting.

Through all of this, I learned that the need for psychologists to bring crosscultural considerations and multicultural competency to their work is increasing daily because of the changing cultural and ethnic composition of our country. As members of the larger and increasingly diverse society, we need to meet the needs of people from different backgrounds and communities, thus allowing them to build on their strengths. Also, let us not forget the role of language. We must understand the context from which language (and behavior) emanates in order to be successful psychologists, whether we are conducting research, teaching or providing therapy.

Since completing my doctoral degree, I have worked as a full-time and part-time faculty member and have taught in undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs and in college counseling centers. I have also been involved with the Veterans Affairs initiative to integrate mental health with primary health care; worked as a consultant for businesses and academic programs; and conducted research. Currently, I am the program director of a VA substance abuse treatment program. Each professional experience has helped to shape my own journey and has added to my satisfaction and success within the field of psychology. My best advice is to seek out diverse experiences that match your interests, be ready to transform a “not-so-great” job description into a great work experience, and never take yourself out of the running to achieve a goal you want to attain.

Psychologists teach and provide services to students

Psychologists…

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)
Previous Post
Mental Health
Next Post
Addiction treatment: First steps, types, and medications
Jess Olague

Let me help you build your own website, or create whatever you need. PM me for quotes.

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: