We delighted to feature Alum Kate Cusick, PsyD (’19) in our latest Faculty Spotlight. Dr. Cusick is new to the Core Faculty. She is teaching a section of Core Concepts in the MA program and History & Systems in the PsyD program.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Plymouth and attended Marquette University in Milwaukee for my undergraduate studies. I have lived and worked in Washington, DC and Chicago, but moved back to Michigan about 12 years ago.
What or who influenced you to study psychology?
I spent 15 years working in sales and marketing. While this afforded me the opportunity to travel and was challenging and enjoyable at times, I never felt completely fulfilled. I have always been drawn to better understand human behavior and engage with people on a deeper level, which helped fuel my decision to change careers and become a psychologist.
What are your research and/or clinical interests?
My clinical and research interests continue to evolve. My dissertation focused on existentialism and obesity. This research helps me when working with clients that struggle with issues related to body image, disordered eating, and self-esteem; as well as clients considering weight loss surgery. I also work with clients that have chronic pain and/or illness. These clients often suffer from depression, anxiety, substance use, and unresolved trauma, as well as a number of existential concerns related to meaning, choice, and death.
What appeals to you most about teaching at MSP?
My years in MSP’s Master’s and Doctoral programs were formative in my personal and professional identity. Returning as a faculty member is an opportunity to mentor and collaborate with students, as well as stay connected with the MSP community.
What is your favorite non-academic book and why?
I gravitate toward coming of age books. Some favorites include The Fault in Our Stars, The Secret Life of Bees, and The Kite Runner. Most recently I read Where the Crawdads Sing and highly recommend it.
What advice would you like to share with incoming or current students?
Take risks, step outside your comfort zone, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. These are things we often ask of our clients, which ultimately helps them grow in long-lasting and meaningful ways.