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The Career of a Psychologist: Revitalization

September 28, 2017

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?”

Lee Bach, PhD - psychology associate

Lee Bach, PhD

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.