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. Lee Bach, PhD speaks to Stage Eight.
Stage Eight – Revitalization: “What in me is getting in the way?”
In my career as a psychotherapist, I have experienced phases of transition and growth. Following brief
periods of doubt and pre burnout, I had an attitudinal shift that was facilitated by teaching two particular courses at the Michigan School.
In teaching humanistic, existential, and phenomenological theories to MA students, I began to view therapeutic processes through a beginner’s frame of reference. Role playing both therapist and clients in class, responding to questions relating to clinical work, and re-reading old materials with fresh eyes re-awakened my creativity and enthusiasm for my work as a clinician.
I always knew that practicing psychotherapy informed my teaching. Now I know that teaching positively informs my ways of being a as a therapist.
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.