GradPSYCH - March 2012 - (Page 16)
fellowship at Emory University. Even then, there are no guarantees. “The reality is we don’t exactly know what the new model will look like. We don’t know what health-care reform will bring,” she says. But whatever the future, your education will continue long after you obtain your psychology degree, Savickas says. As the market changes, you’ll need to acquire new skills through internships, workshops, continuing-education classes and fellowships. A case in point: The number of psychology graduates seeking postdoctoral training has grown steadily over the past two decades, with the most recent numbers showing that nearly half of psychology graduates now complete a postdoc. Even some established psychologists seek advanced training. John Fabian, PsyD, a clinical and forensic psychologist in Cleveland, began a postdoc in neuropsychology a decade after getting his license. Since completing his postdoc, he’s expanded his consulting practice to include cases in which criminal defendants have both brain injuries and behavioral problems. “There are really not very many experts that can do both,” he says. The extra training not only made Fabian more marketable, it also enabled him to provide a valuable public service. His neuropsychology training allows him to better assess whether defendants’ criminal activities could have been influenced by previous brain injuries. And those evaluations help juries and
Video: Dr. Steven Walfish explains how you can be creative with your career. Click here for a transcript of the video.
judges decide whether criminals are competent to stand trial. Fabian has never regretted putting his practice on hold to get more experience. “Everything I’ve done has enhanced my career. I’ve never been wrong when choosing education,” he says. In addition to seeking diverse training, it’s also important to think broadly about how to apply your skills to fill new niches. Walfish, for example, happened to read a journal article on the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among car accident survivors. The article helped him see an untapped market opportunity. He read up on the topic, attended a personal injury evaluation workshop and obtained a copy of the assessment materials from the study. Then he began conducting his own evaluations, seeking out consultations when needed. “If one has a broad skill set and an entrepreneurial mindset, there will always be opportunities for private ? practice,” he says. Recent psychology grad Wennerberg already has that entrepreneurial mindset. He and a friend are launching a private practice A brain teaser? Or a psychological test that offers forensic evaluations and couples about behavioural change? therapy. Wennerberg sometimes longs for Learn how understanding behaviour in psychological testing can be one way the job security that psychologists had in the to drive effective change in your organisation, with the University of Liverpool old days, but the nostalgia never lasts long. online MSc in Applied Psychology. “I like having some diverse options and not Visit our website to discover the solution to the brain teaser, and learn thinking that I’m just going to get stuck about the online MSc in Applied Psychology. doing one thing for the rest of my life,” he says. n
Cassandra Willyard is a writer in New York City.
16 • gradPSYCH • March 2012
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