The Career of a Psychologist: Hero Worship

The career of a psychologist unfolds through many phases.  How does the experience, including both the joys and the challenges of being a psychologist, change over time?  Borrowing Jeffrey Kottler’s (2012) depiction of the stages in the career of a psychologist, we asked MSP faculty to offer their perspectives. La-Toya Gaines, PsyD, LP talks about Stage Two.

Stage Two – Hero Worship: “If only I could be like you”

La-Toya Gaines, PsyD faculty
La-Toya Gaines, PsyD, LP

My advice for this stage is:

Students, know that your professors and supervisors have moments that confuse them and leave them at a loss. I may appear poised and knowledgeable, and mostly I am, but I still have clients that prove to be a challenge for me.

I’ve learned to think fast on my feet and be creative. I don’t want my students to be like me, I want you to discover your professional identity and what works for you.




Kottler, J.A. (2012). The therapist’s workbook: Self-assessment, self-care, and self-improvement exercises for mental health professionals (second ed., pp. 10-16).  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.