25 Apr 2017

How Did You Get That Job? A Q&A with Mediator Dr. David Gage

The knowledge, skills and experience gained through your psychology education and training can successfully transfer to a variety of jobs that you may never have considered. Mediator Dr. David Gage, PhD, uses his psychology expertise to prevent and resolve conflicts between business partners and family business co-owners. In this webinar, Dr. Gage discusses his experience as a mediator and as a founder of his own company, BMC Associates. Learn how you can apply your psychology background to a similar career path.

David GageSpeaker:

Dr. David Gage is the founder of BMC Associates, a multidisciplinary team of mediators with backgrounds in business consulting, law, finance and psychology that specializes in preventing and resolving conflicts in a niche population: business partners and family business co-owners. Dr. Gage says his interest in business, and his psychological training in couples, groups and family systems, prepared him to be part of a team approach with this undeserved population.


Dr. Garth A. Fowler is an Associate Executive Director for Education, and the Director of the Office for Graduate and Postgraduate Education and Training at APA. He leads the Directorate’s efforts to develop resources, guidelines, and policies that promote and enhance disciplinary education and training in psychology at the graduate and postdoctoral level.

This webinar series is based on, and borrows its name, How Did You Get That Job?, from the popular column in APA’s monthly member-magazine, The Monitor on Psychology.

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24 Apr 2017

Substance Use Disorders and Addictions Series

Substance Use Disorders and Addictions Series

Over the past few decades great advances have been made towards understanding the psychology of substance use disorders (SUDs) and addictions. This five-part series is designed to provide psychologists and psychology students with cutting-edge information about SUDs and addictive behaviors.

This series is a collaboration with the American Psychological Association (APA) Office of Continuing Education in Psychology, the APA Science Directorate, the APA Center for Learning and Career Development, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Society of Addiction Psychology (Division 50 of APA). The five two-hour programs focus on:

Overview of Substance Use Disorders and Addictions

An overview of the basic concepts of substance use and substance use disorders (SUDs) including, a review diagnostic criteria as defined in the DSM-IV, DSM-5 and the ICD-10, and comorbidity between SUDs and other psychological disorders.

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) for Substance Use Disorders and Addictions

SBIRT is recommended practice for many addictive behaviors demonstrating effectiveness in reducing risk and promoting movement through the stages of change. This workshop describes screening and brief intervention strategies that can be used to identify risky involvement with alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, tobacco, nonprescription medications and gambling behaviors.

Understanding People With Substance Use Disorders and Addictions

A look at some of the psychological, biological, and environmental factors that have been linked to the development of substance use disorders. The discussion also seeks to understand the challenges of living with addiction and considers the process of recovery and some of the factors that may help facilitate successful resolution of substance misuse.

Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Substance Use Disorders

An overview of the VA/DoD Clinical Practice Guidelines recommendations and how they were developed, including discussion of some of the gaps in the evidence base and selected clinical challenges.

Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in the Real World

A look at the most common addiction treatment modalities and content, with specific focus on identifying empirically-based principles of treatment and coordinating care with addiction treatment providers.

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21 Apr 2017

A Growing Wave of Online Therapy

A Growing Wave of Online Therapy

The flexible nature of these services benefit clients and providers, but the onus is on psychologists to make sure they comply with federal and state laws

It was an ad on Facebook that first prompted Los Alamitos, California, clinical psychologist Nina Barlevy, PsyD, to visit the online therapy website BetterHelp.com. The company promoted affordable online counseling, available anytime and anywhere, and Barlevy thought joining their panel of therapists might be a great way to supplement her income during slow times in her private practice.

"It looked like a good way to expand my practice here and there in my free time, if I was already going to be on my computer in the evenings or on my days off anyway," Barlevy says.

She went through Better Help's rigorous application process, which included verifying that she was licensed, and began communicating with users in her state via the site's secure messaging platform. The site also offers members the option to schedule live video and phone sessions with their therapists, though Barlevy worked mainly with clients via the site's unlimited asynchronous messaging service. They messaged her about many of the same issues her face-to-face therapy clients were dealing with, including stress, anxiety and relationship issues, among other concerns, and she messaged them back with questions, feedback, insights and guidance. They benefited from easier access to therapy, which particularly helps people in rural areas who may not be able to drive an hour each way to see a therapist face-to-face.

"[It is] a whole lot more appealing to be able to sit at your computer and type back and forth with someone," Barlevy says.

Telepsychology, be it by phone, webcam, email or text message, has been around in one form or another for more than 20 years, used most often by members of the military. But the explosion of smartphone users has created new opportunities for app-based companies to offer more accessible and affordable therapy.

Still, such online therapy creates concerns over patient privacy, as well as legal and ethical issues, including interjurisdictional practice issues, for providers who contract to work for these companies, which may not share the same code of conduct and commitment to do no harm, says Deborah Baker, JD, director of legal and regulatory policy in APA's Practice Directorate. Many of these online therapy companies also are not run by psychologists.

"When you're an individual provider, you can't assume that a business is going to be looking out for your best interest, so you really have to dig a little deeper and check in with your professional association and malpractice carrier to make sure you're complying with the law and with the APA Ethics Code."

Benefits for patients and therapists

The growth in online therapy companies—nearly a dozen have launched in the last several years—doesn't surprise Lindsay Henderson, PsyD, assistant director of psychological services at Boston-based telehealth company American Well, which offers therapy through video conferencing. The ease and convenience of scheduling a therapy appointment online and talking with a therapist from the privacy of one's own home—or wherever one may be—is a huge draw for consumers, many of whom are seeking therapy for the first time in their lives, she says.

American Well's online platform helps "normalize mental health care, especially among generations now who are so accustomed to interacting with people using technology," Henderson adds. "It just eliminates so many barriers."

Research studies, many of which are listed in bibliography format by the Telemental Health Institute, also indicate that telemental health is equivalent to face-to-face care in various settings and an acceptable alternative. While much of the research tests only the use of videoconferencing as the telehealth modality, a few studies, including two published in 2013, have also shown that asynchronous messaging therapy can be as effective as in-person therapy (Journal of Affective Disorders and Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Networking).

Even more encouraging is that when digital interventions are positive, effective experiences for patients, they may go on to seek face-to-face therapy, says Megan Jones, PsyD, adjunct clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine. A study she led found that college students who needed a higher level of care for eating disorders were more likely to seek it out after participating in a digital body-image program and working with a coach online via asynchronous messaging through the online therapy company Lantern (Journal of American College Health, 2014).

"It can really be a nice first step in treatment for someone who needs more intensive therapy," says Jones, who also serves as chief science officer at Lantern.

Mental health professionals can also reap benefits from joining online care teams. In addition to supplementing practitioners' incomes with new patients, providing online therapy can help them maintain a better work-life balance, Henderson says.

"From the provider perspective, the flexibility of practicing telemental health fits so well into my life and allows me to better meet my patients' needs," she says. "I'm not at a point in my life where I want to be going to an office at 8:30 in the evening, but I will happily go to my home office, lock the door and see a patient at that time."

Employment at online therapy companies isn't limited to providing therapy to clients, either. Opportunities abound and will continue to grow in supervisory and training roles as well as full-time research positions at these mental health technology companies, Jones says.

But tread carefully

Of course, online care is not for every patient or practitioner. Clients with more serious mental illnesses or addictions likely need more treatment than digital therapy can provide. And some clinicians may find certain telehealth modalities difficult, says Barlevy.

"I'm such a people person, so it was tough for me to feel a real connection when I was just messaging with people," she says. "Plus a lot of people just stopped responding, and I felt like there wasn't enough time to really build a relationship. It actually turned out to be more difficult than I imagined."

In addition, some online therapy companies don't have clear guidelines for handling risky situations, such as a patient who may seem suicidal in his or her messaging responses, says Lynn Bufka, PhD, associate executive director for practice research and policy at APA.

While some apps do report that they use a member's IP address to determine their exact location and send police if a therapist is concerned about a member's safety, it's often more difficult to determine a patient's level of risk via a messaging app than face-to-face with them in a therapy room.

"If you're using an online therapy platform and you ask someone if they're suicidal and they say no, is that it?" Bufka says. "Those kinds of clinical issues come up, which is why I think most psychologists seem to feel much more comfortable integrating technology into an ongoing face-to-face or video/teleconferencing relationship versus using only messaging."

Practitioners also need to do their due diligence when it comes to making sure their decision to contract with an online therapy company doesn't run afoul of complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountibility Act (HIPAA), state licensing laws and other legal and ethical practices, Baker says. In addition, platforms that allow patients to connect anonymously with therapists may create legal and ethical issues for psychologists.

"My concern is that some of these models are probably start-ups that are launched by people in technology, who have good intentions but haven't fully investigated all the nuances in what's involved in providing health services," she says. "Do they fully understand HIPAA/HITECH, any related state laws and patient confidentiality policies? Do they fully understand that psychologists cannot simply provide services to patients anywhere in the United States?"

Psychologists interested in joining these companies should investigate those issues, and also find out exactly where patients are located if they are providing them therapy services to ensure that they are authorized to do so. Such issues were part of the reason Columbia, South Carolina, clinical psychologist Shawna Kirby, PhD, decided to part ways with an online therapy company she worked for in 2015. After several months as a contracted therapist, she terminated the agreement, due to a series of ethical concerns she had over how the company dealt with interjurisdictional practice issues, consumer privacy, informed consent and therapy termination. When she brought her concerns to the company's clinical director and owners, none of whom are psychologists, she says they brushed off her concerns, and then eventually blocked her from messaging with her clients. "It all seemed more financially driven, rather than care driven," she says.

That's why it's so important that psychologists play a leadership role at mental health technology companies, Jones says.

"These companies need our knowledge and competency at the heart of their decision-making process because we have a very different framework and we understand the responsibilities that we have to users in a very different way than you do if you come from a technology background," she says. "I want to have a peer at any company like ours."

By Amy Novotney

21 Apr 2017

Secrets of a Great Group Practice

Secrets of a Great Group Practice

These top practices offer opportunities for research, pro bono work, built-in CE and more

After Anahi Collado, PhD, completed her postdoc at Emory University in Atlanta, the university recruited her for an assistant professor's job there. But she turned it down when an unusual, but appealing, opportunity opened up: The ability to conduct research in-house at Alvord Baker & Associates, a group practice with two locations in Maryland.

Now, Collado spends 80 percent of her time providing therapy and 20 percent conducting outcomes research in the practice and in local public schools where she studies a resilience program. The practice also has a full-time research assistant and director of research to support the clinicians who are part of the research team, which collaborates with Catholic University.

"I have the scientist practitioner model that everyone aspires to have," she says. "Here, it's a reality."

Offering in-house research is also part of the allure at Portland Psychotherapy Clinic, Research and Training Center in Portland, Oregon. Founding partners Jenna LeJeune, PhD, and her husband, Jason Luoma, PhD, were both trained in the scientist-practitioner model and wanted to design a practice that lived up to that ideal. "Even for the clinicians on staff who don't have research time, they see it as a really valuable part about why they are here," says LeJeune, who, with Luoma, detailed their approach in Professional Psychology: Research and Practice in 2015.

Providing research opportunities is just one of the ways these successful group practices appeal to clinicians—others include offering flexible scheduling, community service and mentoring. The Monitor talked with LeJeune and others to find out how they have created group practices where clinicians feel valued and empowered and clients love to visit.

Encourage personal growth. Another popular feature at Alvord Baker is in-house continuing-education programs offered twice a month on such topics as ethics, telehealth and interjurisdictional practice—many of which are presented by clinicians on staff. "We are always learning and always presenting," says founding partner Mary Alvord, PhD, who has a part-time staff member devoted to organizing CE.

Professional development is also a priority at Portland Psychotherapy, which offers lunchtime learning talks. In addition, every six months each clinician meets with Luoma to discuss ways they can grow professionally. "It's really helpful because I don't think I would think as much about the big picture without that meeting," says staff psychologist Melissa Platt, PhD. "There is a lot of attention to professional development here even when we are not outright seeking it."

Clinicians at Southeast Psych—with locations in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Nashville, Tennessee—are encouraged to be bold: Recently, one of the practice's licensed professional counselors, Myque Harris, MS, who is also a certified yoga instructor, asked her partners about revamping her office space so she could combine her clinical work with yoga instruction—teaching children, teens and adults yoga poses and breathing strategies that could reduce their anxiety and depression.

"Something I saw as a far stretch, they saw as something great I could offer the community," she says.

Now she has an office with enough open space to instruct up to six clients at a time.

Provide a great space. LeJeune and Luoma renovated an 1889 Victorian home in downtown Portland to house their practice and gave each clinician his or her own room. Platt says the cozy surroundings boost her mood and make the experience of seeing a therapist more enjoyable for her clients.

"I have worked in places where the therapy rooms were sad with no windows," she says. "Clients comment all the time that our environment feels therapeutic."

Likewise, IntraSpectrum Counseling in Chicago, a group practice with psychologists and social workers specializing in serving the LGBTQIA community, creates a welcoming environment by having LGBTQIA magazines in the waiting room, gender neutral bathrooms and even brewing a local coffee brand that has LGBTQIA-affirmative policies for staff and clients. They keep the staff pantry stocked with cheese sticks, granola bars and La Croix sparkling water to keep people's energy levels up.

"Staff only have a few minutes between sessions and you often end up thinking about your growling stomach in the session," says Rena McDaniel, MEd, LCPC, IntraSpectrum's chief operating officer and a staff therapist. "It solves a big problem in a simple way."

Clinicians at Southeast Psych, a general group practice with more than 50 providers, say the fun, positive environment is among the reasons they find their work so rewarding. When clients and their parents come for an appointment, a hostess greets them and offers refreshments and a professional cosplayer wearing superhero or princess costumes entertains younger children before sessions, while older children can play X-box games. The practice also has a theatre in its Charlotte office to host speakers and films for clients or staff. Their philosophy? Break the mold on practice design.

"You don't have to have a water fountain," in your practice, says founding partner Frank Gaskill, PhD. "But if you do, make it really cool."

Make it fun. Several of the practices offer just-for-fun team-building experiences. The team at IntraSpectrum chooses a yearly activity such as bowling or a cooking class to attend together—and all wearing wigs for a festive twist. Staff at Southeast Psych carve out two hours on the last Wednesday of the month for play, such as having pizza and watching a movie or playing arcade games.

LeJeune and Luoma host board games and cocktails at their house once per month as a way for the whole practice to connect. "We try to get to know each other as human beings and meet each other's families and know what is going on in our lives," says LeJeune. "It has made it a totally different place to work."

Offer flexibility. For Harris, who came to Southeast after a stint in a Charlotte private school, getting to set her own hours allows her time to attend school events with her young daughter. "A lot of places talk work-life balance but aren't really living it," says Harris, who doesn't work Fridays and only works half days on Wednesdays. "We are definitely living it here."

Alvord also encourages her staff to set their own hours—and invested in high-quality videoconferencing technology so that staff who can't make it into the office on meeting days can connect from home. "Everyone can see each other even if we can't all physically be in the same office," she says.

Create a supportive environment. At IntraSpectrum, clinicians have weekly "consultation pods" where four or five clinicians with similar schedules meet to talk through difficult cases in depth. More informally, people make it a priority to carve out time during the day to talk through challenges. "People often say that it's a way to be independent in your work, but connected," says McDaniel.

At Portland, clinicians triage cases every other week and "check in on where we need support in our clinical work and our personal life," says LeJeune. Clinicians at Southeast Psych are assigned mentors during their first year with the practice; every new hire attends one lunch and one breakfast each month with his or her mentor to talk about his or her work with clients and how to build their practice.

Serve the community. Giving psychology away is an important common goal among the clinicians at Alvord Baker—many give free talks at local social service agencies and schools on such topics as cognitive-behavioral therapy and managing anxiety. They take turns facilitating monthly support group meetings of the local chapter of CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder). In Charlotte, the clinicians at Southeast Psych do the same. Harris has given seven talks this year on such topics as how meditation can help children with ADHD and talking to children about sex. Southeast Psych also created "Psychology for All," a nonprofit arm of the practice that offers discounted services to local residents who can't afford psychological care.

As rewarding as these practices are, though, Gaskill says there is a downside to having a popular group practice: You often have to turn away great ­clinicians who want to work there. Southeast Psych gets at least two new resumes every week from prospective therapists.

At least one of those psychologists was inspired enough to create his own version. "He wrote to me eventually and said, ‘You guys rejected me, but I read your book, took it to heart, quit what I was doing and now I have my own group practice,'" says Gaskill. "Fifteen people now work for him; it is really cool to see that."

By Jamie Chamberlin

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21 Apr 2017

10 Tips for Speaking Like a Ted Talk Pro

10 Tips for Speaking Like a Ted Talk Pro

Advice from the experts on how to make any presentation sing

Psychologists and graduate students are often called upon to speak to an audience, whether to give a conference presentation, deliver a lecture to a class, lead a meeting or give a talk in the community. But public speaking is a skill that comes more naturally to some than to others, and there are some common pitfalls to avoid, such as seeming disorganized or looking down at notes rather than at your audience.

Regardless of how practiced you may be at public speaking, there are some very effective strategies to use to deliver engaging talks. The next time you have a speaking engagement, try these tips to deliver your message like a TED Talk presenter:

1. Know your audience.
Keep in mind whom you are going to be addressing when you craft your presentation, says Robert Sternberg, PhD, a former APA president who is a professor of human development at Cornell University. Is the audience going to be mainly fellow psychologists, health professionals, other professional groups, students or consumers? What do they want and need to hear? Knowing whom you are speaking to will help you tailor the talk and will help keep the audience engaged.

2. Keep it simple, especially if you're going to give a talk to a general audience.
"People have a tendency to give presentations the audience doesn't understand," says Barry Schwartz, PhD, a psychology professor emeritus at Swarthmore College and a visiting professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. He suggests giving a talk that makes people feel like they're smart and like they want to learn more about the topic. "The curse of knowledge is that once you know something, you forget what it was like when you didn't know it," he says. "I imagine that I'm going to present to my grandmother, who had a fifth-grade education."

3. Emphasize connection over content.
To best engage listeners, build your speech from an emotional place rather than from the content, says Kristi Hedges, leadership coach and author of the 2011 book "The Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others." Rattling off facts and figures and talking at the audience isn't effective if they aren't interested in what you are saying. "Be clear about what you want the audience to walk away with when they leave and use that intent as a structure to frame your talk," says Hedges. Your passion for a topic can draw people in; talking without any enthusiasm for the topic can deplete energy in the room and eclipse your message. "Talk to persuade, not just to inform," adds Sternberg.

4. Be authentic.
Some speakers may try to sound like someone they admire instead of being themselves, notes Daniel Gilbert, PhD, professor of psychology at Harvard University. "Some people try to sing like their favorite singer or dance like their favorite dancer," says Gilbert. "Similarly, some speakers may try to sound like Martin Luther King Jr. or John F. Kennedy." Authenticity—sounding like yourself and using everyday language—is key to getting your message across to an audience, says Gilbert.

5. Diversify your delivery.
People don't learn just by listening—different people learn in different ways, says Susan H. McDaniel, PhD, APA's 2016 president. Use visual tools (such as slides or a video), incorporate research and tell stories. Anecdotes can be a particularly effective way to connect with an audience. "It could be a story about yourself, especially if you're using humor and making fun of yourself," says McDaniel. One important tip to keep in mind about multimedia presentations: Don't let the technology obscure what you're trying to say, says Schwartz. "PowerPoint is incredibly powerful, but use it to get halfway there, rather than expecting it to do the whole job for you," he says.

6. Shake it up.
Another reason to use different media in your talk is to make it more dynamic and compelling. "Using mixed media creates energy and vibrancy," says Hedges. Think about ways to use slides, video, audio, handouts, props and even spontaneous smartphone polls to engage your audience. You might, for instance, start with a video and then use powerful images later in your talk, says Hedges. Or you can begin with an engrossing question and use the audience feedback as data with polling software such as Poll Everywhere.

7. Stick to your points.
Before you talk, determine your main points and outline them, says McDaniel. Some people refer to notes on stage while others may use PowerPoint or Keynote slides as prompts. One cautionary tip: Avoid simply putting the text of your speech in slides. "Writing out the words you'll be saying on slides is boring," says McDaniel. "Slides should be used for emphasis."

8. Know the setup.
Have a run-through in the space you'll be speaking at if possible, especially if you'll be talking in front of a large audience. Test the tech system during that practice run to troubleshoot possible problems in advance. For instance, the sound may not run properly with your video or your slides may be set up behind you (which would mean you'll have to constantly turn your head to see where you are in your talk).

9. Don't lecture the whole time.
Keep in mind that people don't have long attention spans. If you need to explore a topic deeply, use humor, an engaging video or other media to present various aspects of the topic. You can also break up a long talk by posing questions to the audience, suggests Hedges.

10. Leave time for questions.
Talking until the last minute is a common mistake many speakers make, says Hedges. If you have an hourlong presentation, plan for 45 minutes of talking and 15 minutes for questions.

A Ted Talk on Ted Talks: To watch a video on how to give a great talk, go to www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_teds_secret_to_great_public_speaking.

By Katherine Lee

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21 Apr 2017

Finding Your Dream Psychology Career

Finding Your Dream Psychology Career

Don’t want to go into practice, research or teaching? Here’s how to find a nontraditional career that uses your expertise and sparks your interest.

Many psychologists find their passions are not stirred by providing direct therapy, conducting research or teaching. They are more interested in applying their expertise on human behavior in new and atypical ways—but aren't always sure what those career paths look like.

Looking to find your own unique career path in psychology? Here's advice from career experts and psychologists who work outside academia on how to do it.

Look inward

Before you start exploring career possibilities, figure out your internal motivations and passions.

"People tend to focus on knowing what's out there and don't pay too much attention to knowing themselves," says Jennifer Polk, PhD, career coach and owner of the website From PhD to Life, which provides job advice, coaching and mentoring to doctorate holders seeking nonacademic jobs. She works with job seekers to delve into their broader interests and explore which career opportunities might be a better fit for them.

Getting comfortable with the thought of a nontraditional career requires job seekers to be honest with themselves about what they really want and why it's important to them, says Paula Chambers, PhD, founder and CEO of The Versatile PhD, a career education website that helps grad students and new doctorate-holders identify and prepare for nonacademic careers.

She recommends asking yourself questions such as:

  • What do you love about psychology?
  • What's missing?
  • What weird passions do you have that have nothing to do with your work, but you never run out of energy for?

These types of assessments can help you realize that the No. 1 person you need to please with your career is yourself, she says.

To conduct such a selfassessment, check out APA's free online resource aimed at helping job seekers develop a plan of action for pursuing their ideal jobs. Authoring your Individual Individual Development Plan starts with a self-assessment, and the tool helps users explore careers, identify gaps in experience, set goals, and create a plan with milestones and outcomes.


Get to know people in business and industry who can give you an inside perspective on different career paths. One way to network is to attend nonacademic conferences in the specific fields you might be interested in, such as social work, advocacy, criminal justice, military, transportation, modeling and simulation, training, engineering, energy and more. "Market yourself to people in industry," says Brandon Perelman, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in the Human Research and Engineering Directorate. "Communicate why your research and skills are important to them," he says.

Also, search for people who have a job you might like and contact them. "Don't be afraid to reach out to complete strangers, like someone you found on LinkedIn," says Chambers. "Ask if they would be able to talk to you for 20 minutes on the phone about their work." Such informational interviews can provide inside information about various careers and help establish new connections.

Identify your skills

As you start exploring alternative career paths, think carefully about the skills you already have. If you've coordinated a large research effort like your dissertation, you have project management experience. Conveying your ideas during presentations and discussions has honed your communication skills. By working in a lab, you've developed teamwork skills. Once you start examining the components of what you do on a daily basis, you can determine how to apply those skills to nonacademic jobs.

Test the waters

If you lack some qualifications for the type of job you ultimately want, work to develop those skills, says Chambers. Students can get involved in activities on campus and those already in the workforce can look for opportunities to bolster their resumes, such as writing grant proposals, learning about budgets and financial management, or developing and leading a project. Also, consider taking classes relevant to the jobs you want, such as business, grant writing or marketing.

Volunteer work can also help you learn a new skill.

Internships and fellowships also provide the hands-on experiences psychologists need to prepare for their dream jobs. Most federal and local government agencies have internship programs. For instance, you might find internships in health policy and advocacy, criminal justice or education program evaluation, and human rights advancement around the world.

Many private companies also offer internships where you can learn about for-profit research, government contracting, business development and customer relations. Companies don't always have formal internship programs, but many will hire an intern for the summer or during busy times. "I started doing a summer internship at a private government contractor and discovered I liked it a lot," says Perelman. The experiences and connections he made during his internship helped him land his current position.

Apply for the job

So, once you've identified the job you want, how do you get hired? "Talk about your experience and skills in ways that are friendly to the industry and the organizational culture where you intend to work," says Eddy Ameen, PhD, who directs APA's Office on Early Career Psychologists.

Also, be sure to read job ads carefully to address all the requirements. For example, don't submit an academic CV when the ad asks for a resume. Prepare a resume that is shorter and more focused than your CV. Instead of talking about yourself, shift to what an employer needs and speak directly to their requirements.

For more advice on creating a resume from a CV, see the Jan. 2016 gradPSYCH article "Make Your Resume Stand Out."

Land the job

During the job interview, "your answers must be focused on the company first and yourself second," says Chambers. "Research the company extensively so you can speak intelligently about the specifics of the business."

And, employers want to know your answer to a key question: What can you do for me right now that will benefit my organization? Show them that you are the person who will meet their needs by articulating the value a psychology degree brings to any field.

Above all else, be confident. "You need to be able to sell yourself," says Shari Schwartz, PhD, who works as a mitigation expert and trial consultant at the firm she launched called Panther Advocacy and Litigation Sciences. "You've attained a doctoral-level education so there is nothing to be intimidated about. Go in there and make sure they understand you have something to offer and you'll be an asset."

By Laura Zimmerman, PhD

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21 Apr 2017

Take Charge! Advice From Leaders to Early Career Psychologists

Take Charge! Advice From Leaders to Early Career Psychologists
When Jerrold Yeo moved from Singapore to the United States to start graduate school in clinical psychology, he was surprised to find that there were lots of leadership opportunities for students at APA, such as serving on boards and committees and advocating on behalf of psychology on Capitol Hill.

"In my own country, there were a lot of barriers to getting student voices heard and implementing changes," says Yeo, now a fifth-year graduate student at the University of Denver. "I wanted to make use of the freedom to be heard in this country."

Yeo initially assumed his chances of being selected for a leadership role were slim because he had little experience, but he applied anyway. He was delighted when he was chosen to be a member of the Convention Committee for the American Psychological Association of Graduate Students (APAGS), a position he held from 2013 to 2015. As he made connections within the organization, he started getting invitations for other leadership positions, such as serving as an APAGS representative to the Global Approaches to Integrated Health Care Summit, where he met psychology leaders from China, England, Norway and the United States. Now as a member-at-large with a practice focus on the APAGS Committee, Yeo is one of nine elected officers who advocate for graduate students and discuss new policies within APA.

The experience has been invaluable for his career growth, he says. "These leadership roles have taught me to be more confident, to be a better speaker and to negotiate," Yeo says. "It's a great way to find your own voice and learn what it's like to be a leader."

Yeo's advice to others who are considering leadership is to start by trying. "If you don't try, you'll never know where you might be successful," he says. "And don't let rejection discourage you." Yeo was rejected from multiple positions throughout his journey, and initially he took these experiences personally. "But now I understand that it's not about whether I'm good enough or have a flaw in my character. If I'm not the best person at that moment, there is probably another position for me that is a better fit."

The Monitor asked psychologists involved in leadership to share tips about how graduate students and early career psychologists can break into these roles. Here are their suggestions.

Determine what excites you. Look for leadership opportunities in an area that deeply interests you, says Sandra Shullman, PhD, a managing partner of the Executive Development Group, an international leadership development and consulting firm. "Effective leadership involves having a passion for what you are doing," she says. "You will meet like-minded souls you can learn from, and some of those people may become role models." Pursuing leadership in an area of interest can also help leaders grow during stressful times. For example, she's seen newer leaders struggle when they make decisions that displease certain people. They learn how to find the courage to do something, even if it's unpopular, and "they are more likely to do that in an area they have passion for."

Start small. Look for leadership opportunities at state and regional psychology associations, says Daniel Reimer, PhD, who recently earned a doctoral degree in behavioral psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He started learning how to organize conventions by joining a committee with the Nevada Psychological Association. That experience helped him land a two-year position as chair of the APAGS Convention Committee in 2013. Another entry point could be serving as a student representative for an APA division, a state, provincial and territorial psychological association or the APAGS Advocacy Coordinating Team, a network of graduate students who engage in legislative advocacy and awareness, he says. For those who enjoy working on projects, serving on a task force or special project within an organization is another way to get experience and to observe how others lead, says Shullman, who is also a member of the APA Board of Directors.

Do it well. Once you get a volunteer leadership position, follow through on everything you are asked to do, says Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, a former APA president and a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University. "You get a reputation quickly as someone who follows through or not," she says. She served in leadership roles on various APA committees earlier in her career and was always careful not to take on more tasks than she could do well.

Find leadership mentors. Kaslow encourages psychologists to find mentors who can provide guidance, feedback and connections. Potential mentors may surface in a variety of places, such as psychology departments, postdoctoral programs, state psychology associations and APA divisions and committees. She's also seen the benefits of peer mentoring. Kaslow and her colleagues recently surveyed graduate students and early career psychologists who had served as chair of APAGS or of APA's Committee on Early Career Psychologists during the last seven years and found that a combination of peer and senior mentoring seems to be "the ideal plan" because they have different strengths. A senior mentor can help mentees understand an organization's system, introduce them to people and share past experiences. But a peer can say, "I just tried doing something similar, and here is how it went," Kaslow says.

Find areas of need. Keith Micoli, PhD, was a postdoctoral fellow when he started feeling isolated because he wasn't part of a cohort or department like the graduate students at his school. After talking to other fellows, he quickly discovered he wasn't alone. To solve this problem, Micoli decided to launch a postdoctoral association at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. When he approached the university with the idea, he shared how a group for postdocs would benefit the institution by increasing postdoc satisfaction. "If you want to solve a problem, you'll increase your chances of support if you go beyond your personal need and consider the value to the institution," Micoli says. This experience led to connections on a national level, and now he's the director of postdoctoral affairs at the NYU School of Medicine.

Say yes. Melanie Lantz, PhD, an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Louisiana Tech University, wasn't looking for leadership opportunities during her first year of graduate school. But then several professors started encouraging students to apply for the Student Affiliates of Seventeen, or SAS, an organization for students associated with APA's Div. 17 (Society of Counseling Psychology) and Lantz applied. She ended up co-chairing SAS, which included serving on the Div. 17 executive board. Through the experience, she learned about APA's governance structure and the professional issues in the field. Now she's chair-elect of Div. 17's Early Career Professionals Committee and chair of the division's Hospitality Space Committee for the next convention. "If someone hadn't tapped me to apply for a leadership role when I was a new graduate student, I probably wouldn't have gotten involved," Lantz says. "If you are tapped to lead or serve, take those opportunities."

Attend conferences. Conferences and conventions are critical for networking, psychology leaders say. "Introduce yourself and get yourself out there," Yeo says. "When I attended conventions and division conferences, I met people who encouraged me to apply to certain leadership positions that were open." It's also important to develop and practice a 30-second elevator speech to introduce yourself to new people, says Helen L. Coons, PhD, president and clinical director of Health Psychology Solutions in Colorado and a member of APA's Board of Directors. Although the speech will vary depending on the audience, in general it's effective to share your name, your specialty and your interest in learning more about leadership opportunities, she says.

Seek out training. Look for leadership training programs offered by APA, state psychology associations and other organizations. Div. 17, for example, offers the Society of Counseling Psychology Leadership Academy for students and early career psychologists. When Kaslow started getting involved in leadership, she knew she needed to develop a new set of competencies, which prompted her to apply for leadership training programs offered by her university, the American Association of Medical Colleges and the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. She also secured fellowships through organizations like the U.S. Public Health Service to learn about public policy and other aspects of leadership.

Ask for feedback. While securing a leadership position is valuable, you can make the most if it by gathering input along the way, Shullman says. After leading a meeting, check in with a colleague to learn what went well and what could be improved. "Let people know that if something is bothering them, you would like to hear from them," she says. "Create an environment that invites feedback so you can gauge how you're doing and make midcourse corrections," Shullman says.

By Heather Stringer

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21 Apr 2017

A Collection of Health Psychology & Medicine Articles Booklet

A Collection of Health Psychology & Medicine Articles Booklet

Health psychology and medicine examines how biological, social and psychological factors influence health and illness. Health psychologists use psychological science to promote health, prevent illness and improve health care systems.

This booklet, A Collection of Health Psychology & Medicine Articles, covers a range of topics—from sleep loss among teens to the heightened risk of hospitalization among older adults—and highlights some of the most innovative research in recent years.

If you enjoy these articles, don’t stop here. APA’s Journals Program maintains a database of hundreds of papers on health psychology and medicine, and as an APA member you enjoy highly discounted access that enables you to explore these and other research topics online at www.apa.org/pubs/journals.


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21 Apr 2017

A Collection of Forensic Psychology Articles Booklet

A Collection of Forensic Psychology Articles Booklet

Forensic psychology is primarily intended to provide professional psychological expertise within the judicial and legal systems. The distinctiveness of forensic psychology is its advanced knowledge and skills reflecting the intersection of legal theory, procedures and law with clinical issues, practice and ethics.

This booklet, A Collection of Forensic Psychology Articles, highlights some of the leading psychological research today on topics ranging from sexual assault on college campuses to police community partnerships.

When curating this selection of articles, APA’s scientific staff drew from four of the leading journals on forensic psychology. We encourage you to visit these journals on our website at www.apa.org/pubs/journals where you can access them as well as hundreds of papers in the field of forensic psychology.

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20 Apr 2017

Eight Ways to Take Charge of Your Finances

Eight Ways to Take Charge of Your Finances

Financial literacy isn’t usually part of the graduate school curriculum. Here’s what students and early career psychologists should know as they embark on their careers.

After amassing $180,000 in student loan debt while pursuing his doctorate, Todd Hilmes, PsyD, felt so overwhelmed that he couldn't open his monthly loan statements. "I was definitely burying my head in the sand," says Hilmes, who earned his doctorate in 2011 and is now a clinical psychologist with the U.S. Department of Defense. "I was totally unprepared for what my options were when I started to repay it."

Hilmes is not alone. Research led by clinical psychologist and certified financial planner Brad Klontz, PsyD, of Lihue, Hawaii, has shown that compared with people in many other occupations, mental health professionals are more likely to have "money avoidant" attitudes, leading them to push aside their thoughts about money (Journal of Financial Planning, 2012). He's also found that these money-avoidant attitudes negatively affect psychologists' financial health. In a survey of more than 250 professionals from a variety of fields, Klontz found that mental health professionals are significantly less likely than comparable professionals to pay off their credit cards each month, to have money set aside for emergencies, to follow a budget, to have adequate insurance and to feel comfortable with their financial status (Journal of Financial Therapy, 2015).

He believes those characteristics were fostered in graduate school. "I was indoctrinated into the belief—as many of us were—that if you came into psychology to make money, you were in the wrong business," Klontz says. "Psychologists are just more likely to believe that money corrupts people, that there's virtue in living with less money and that we don't deserve a lot of money when others have less than us."

And such beliefs, he says, are associated with worse financial health, lower income and lower net worth than comparable professionals. How can students and early career psychologists better confront their financial issues? Klontz and other experts offer this advice:

1. Get past your discomfort

Klontz encourages students and early career psychologists to use their cognitive-behavioral training on themselves to examine any anxiety they may have about money and their beliefs about it. For example, in questioning one's belief that money corrupts people, you may find several examples where this is true, but it is by far not universal. "There are also many examples of people who are incredibly wealthy and who do incredibly wonderful things for people," Klontz says.

2. Understand your full financial picture

If you're a prospective student, find out precisely how much money you'll need to borrow to earn your degree. Tally tuition and the many other associated costs of obtaining a graduate degree, such as meals and living expenses, says Eddy Ameen, PhD, who directs APA's Office on Early Psychologists. "It's those indirect costs that people don't always think about that can really derail folks financially, like how much is rent going to be if they go to school in a large metropolitan area like New York City as opposed to a place like Columbus, Ohio, where they're already living," he says.

It's also crucial to compare each institution's full financial aid package and find out whether it includes nonbillable scholarships and grants or if tuition is covered mostly through loans that must eventually be paid back, Ameen says. If you're an early career psychologist with educational loans, it's important to understand exactly how much you owe—including what you may have borrowed as an undergrad—and compare your options for repayment (see step 4).

3. Ask about financial incentives

Students should also seek to reduce the amount they'll need to borrow, explore opportunities for nonfederal grants and scholarships—for being a member of an underrepresented group, for example—and ask your department chair or advisor about additional funding prospects, Ameen says. "While the university might not advertise this, oftentimes the graduate program itself will have tuition remission or tuition waivers in exchange for taking on a graduate assistantship or working in a research lab, which are things that you'd likely already planned on doing in grad school anyway," he says. "The trick is knowing what and who to ask to get the right information."

4. Understand your repayment options

Make sure that your payment plan reflects your individual needs, Hilmes says. Some early career psychologists who may not be eligible for loan forgiveness through their employers, for example, may choose to make sacrifices to pay off their debt as quickly as possible. But many new grads work in jobs that qualify for the federal government's Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. After 120 consecutive monthly payments, the remaining balance on your Direct Loans is forgiven by the government. In addition, if your federal student loan payments are high compared to your income, new grads should consider applying for an income-driven repayment plan such as Pay as You Earn, Income-Based Repayment and Income-Contingent Repayment.

"Your first year out of grad school, your loan payment can be based on what you made your intern year, which for almost all students is very low," Hilmes says. Find out what options are available to you through the Federal Student Aid program at studentaid.gov. APAGS also offers a frequently updated financial literacy toolkit, which offers guidance on median salaries for new psychologists, as well as information about aid, grants and funding opportunities; loan repayment and forgiveness; and budgeting worksheets and other financial tips.

5. Create a budget

If you have never had a budget before, the best way to develop one is to track all of your expenses for 30 days, says Neal Van Zutphen, a certified financial planner with Intrinsic Wealth Counsel, Inc. in Tempe, Arizona. "Just as you would if a fitness trainer asked you to record all of your food intake for a month, use a small notepad and jot down every single thing you spend money on for a month," he says. Once you have your list of expenses, determine which ones are fixed or mandatory—such as your car payment, rent, phone, utilities and student loans—and which ones are discretionary, such as trips to the movies, new clothes or gourmet coffee. Van Zutphen reminds new grads to consider expenses that occur quarterly, semi-annually or annually, such as car insurance or membership fees, that they'll need to save a part of their income for when these bills come due. Then, add up all your expenses and subtract them from your net paycheck for the month. "Hopefully, you have more money than month left to go." If you're not a fan of the paper and pencil method, apps such as Mint and Personal Capital can also help with budget creation and tracking. Van Zutphen also recommends that psychologists of any age check out the U.S. Department of Labor's free resource on creating a budget and spending plan, "Savings Fitness: A Guide to Your Money and Your Financial Future."

6. Cut back for a month

One way to boost savings and better understand your relationship with money is to try an experiment that Van Zutphen refers to as "Crunch Month." For 30 days, only spend money on the absolute essentials, he says. "Cut out all Starbucks trips and any other discretionary expenses and see what happens," Van Zutphen suggests, noting that he's seen clients discover they can save between 20 percent and 40 percent of their net income. "One couple I worked with on this actually lost 10 pounds because they ate at home so much more," he says. While most clients eventually ease up on the Spartan lifestyle, he adds, they learn they can save a lot more than they originally thought they could.

7. Don't forget retirement

Many early career psychologists may think it's best to put every dime they have now toward paying off their student loans, especially if they have a high interest rate, Klontz says. "But it's probably still going to take you 20 years to pay the loan off, and by then you're nearing 50 years old and just starting to save for retirement," he says. That's why it's critical to contribute as much as you can to a 401K or IRA as soon as you get a job. Klontz recommends putting around 10 percent of your salary toward retirement while you're also paying off student loans, or at least enough to contribute up to your employer's matching amount, if they offer one.

8. Talk to a financial professional

These experts can help you fine-tune your financial goals, whether you are saving for a home or thinking about starting a private practice. "An hour with a professional can set you up with everything you need to know for the next couple of years," Klontz says. "So, pay for the help."

By Amy Novotney

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