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The Career of a Psychologist – Perspectives along the Journey

Part of the challenge for students of clinical psychology is understanding that the career of a psychologist tends to unfold in phases.  And, that some parts of this process consist of self-doubt and fear.  Sharing the joys – and the challenges – of a career in clinical psychologist can help normalize the experiences that are very common, but may feel  to an individual psychologist like something has gone wrong.  Borrowing from Jeffrey Kottler’s (2012) depiction of the different stages in the career of a psychologist, we asked MSP faculty and staff to share their perspectives of how it felt along the way.

Chavez-Korell Shannon, PhD

Stage 1: What if I don’t have what it takes?

Shannon Chavez-Korell, PhD




La-Toya Gaines, PsyD faculty

Stage 2: If only I could be like you

La-Toya Gaines, PsyD




Stage 3: I can’t believe I get paid for doing thisHeidi Martin, PsyD

Heidi Martin, PsyD




Stage 4: I seem to know what I’m doing.Ann Smith, PsyD

Ann Smith, PsyD




Stage 5: Hey, I’m really good at this!Blackstock, Ryan, PsyD

Ryan Blackstock, PsyD




Fran Brown, PsyD

Stage 6: What if I’m not really doing anything?

Fran Brown, PsyD




Lee Bach, PhD

Stage 7: What in me is getting in the way?

Lee Bach, PhD




Ruth Anan, PhD

Stage 8: You want to be like me?

Ruth Anan, PhD




Kottler, J. A. (2012). The therapist’s workbook: Self-assessment, self-care, and self-improvement exercises for mental health professionals (2nd ed., pp. 10-16).  Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.