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Masters in Psychology Podcast

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The Masters in Psychology Podcast explores graduate psychology topics and issues that are relevant in aiding students who are interested in furthering their education in psychology. The episodes comprise interviews of psychology professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, professors, students, researchers, consultants, etc. These interviews feature information and provide advice to empower students to make knowledgeable choices regarding their academic careers.


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The Masters in Psychology Podcast explores graduate psychology topics and issues that are relevant in aiding students who are interested in furthering their education in psychology. The episodes comprise interviews of psychology professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, professors, students, researchers, consultants, etc. These interviews feature information and provide advice to empower students to make knowledgeable choices regarding their academic careers.



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69: Aldrich Chan, PsyD – Well-Known Neuropsychologist, Award-Winning Author of Reassembling Models of Reality, and Founder of the Center for Neuropsychology and Consciousness (CNC) Shares his Experiences and Advice for Building a Successful Career

Dr. Aldrich Chan was born in Canada, moved to Hong Kong for five years, moved to Seattle for two years, then moved to Costa Rica where he lived until he was 17 years old. When he thinks of home, he thinks of Costa Rica although he admits “Costa Ricans wouldn’t say I’m Costa Rican, the Canadians wouldn’t say I’m Canadian.” In this podcast, Dr. Chan shares his academic, professional, and a small part of his personal journey including what inspired him to specialize in neuropsychology and consciousness, how one can decide on which field or branch of psychology to focus, and we learn what it took for him to open his own practice and build a successful career in neuropsychology. Dr. Chan is a neuropsychologist, author of the award-winning book Reassembling Models of Reality: Theory and Clinical Practice published in the prestigious Interpersonal Neurobiology Series, and Founder of the Center for Neuropsychology and Consciousness (CNC), a practice in Miami, FL that provides neuropsychological and psychological services, education, cognitive remediation, and independent consultation. He always knew that he was interested in psychology and philosophy since high school, but it wasn’t until his second year in college that he specialized in psychology. He states, “by mid second year, I ended up taking abnormal psychology and sensation and perception and these courses really changed the direction of my life because I absolutely fell in love with those courses.” His parents wanted him to get into business and he suggested that he would go the psychology route to get into marketing. He wanted to get into a field where he could “include [himself] in the process of healing and use that knowledge in a way that is practical.” So, he ended up volunteering for many projects. During his volunteer work in Peru working at some orphanages, Dr. Chan realized a couple of things. First, he realized that he enjoyed working with people and was good at it. Second, his curiosity in sensation, perception, and psychology led him to decide to specialize in neuropsychology. He recalls, “I realized there’s so much information from neuroscience and psychology when put together could be so valuable to so many people and could really help direct treatment.” He then shares his experiences and research while attending Carleton University in Ottawa, ON Canada then at The Chicago School in Los Angeles, CA then at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA where he received his PsyD in Clinical Psychology. In addition to his practice, Dr. Chan was sought out to teach as an Adjunct Professor for the doctoral program (ranked #5 Best PsyD program) and the master’s program (ranked #1, Best Online Master’s program) at Pepperdine University. He acts as the Course Lead for the master’s program and lectures on such topics as neuropsychology, consciousness, psychotherapy, interpersonal neurobiology, affective neuroscience, and cognitive psychology. During our discussion, Dr. Chan shares the significant experiences and people that helped shape his journey and career. For example, while working on his Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy at The Chicago School, he read a book that really inspired him called The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy by Louis Cozolino. Dr. Chan read other books on interpersonal neurobiology and realized that Pepperdine was well connected and was one of the top schools (if not the top school). He remembers thinking “this is the person I need to work with.” So, working with Louis was the main drive for him selecting Pepperdine for his doctorate. When reflecting on his experiences at Pepperdine, Dr. Chan states “all the faculty there were just absolutely stellar and honestly my experience there was, is heartwarming. It’s an amazing experience and definitely grueling at times.” He continues to share that they put you through the ringer, but it was in a safe environment, and you get so much supervision and amazing mentors,


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68: Hope Kelaher, LCSW – Systemic and Relational Therapist Shares her Journey Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New York City

Hope Kelaher originally pursued environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore but quickly realized that she preferred helping people. She worked in the college’s career center as a career coach and had the opportunity to go to Cuba to study their public health system. After attending Johns Hopkins, Hope completed some internships with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva on postpartum depression. This was her initial entry into the world of psychology as she “did a lot of work in Inner City Baltimore at the Hopkins School Public Health doing family and child health research.” She then had the opportunity to go into the Peace Corp, where they commissioned her to Uganda doing AIDS Hospice work. However, when getting her physical, her doctor looked at her and said “why are you going to Uganda? You could do so much good here in Baltimore, why don’t you stick around?” Her doctor told her that hospice work is really hard and “I don’t really think this is the best thing for you.” Hope’s uncle also said the same thing. So, she decided to stay in Baltimore and worked at The Annie E. Casey Foundation, which was started by one of the founders of UPS, Jim Casey, and exists to help children thrive and survive in underdeveloped and low-income communities by providing services and grants to those in need. She also worked with the NECC Foundation and the Children’s Aid Society. In this podcast, Hope shares her academic and professional journey, discusses why she went into social work and some of the requirements to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in the state of New York. She also discusses her private practice, Hope Kelaher Therapy, located in Lower Manhattan, NYC. Hope received her bachelor’s degree in public health and sociology from Johns Hopkins University and her Master of Arts in Social Work from Columbia University. She conducted her post-graduate study in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling at the Ackerman Institute for Family in NY. Those interested in a career in social work or psychology may find that schooling can be expensive. In addition to internships, scholarships, grants, and other funding opportunities to help offset the cost of schooling, Hope shares how she attained funding from the Children’s Aid Society to help fund half of her tuition while attending Columbia University. Hope shares “so, Columbia and my agency had this agreement where I could, you know, go to school part-time and then work full-time, so that’s what I did.” She continues by stating “any recommendation I can give to people going into social work, social work does not pay a lot of money, so wherever you can find a deal, take it, right?” After graduating from Columbia, she decided to pursue family therapy, so she attended Ackerman Institute for Family. When reflecting on her journey, Hope shares “so really, my journey into private practice and being more of a clinical person happened while I was working in a nonprofit agency.” After she completed the Ackerman Institute for Family’s clinical externship, she remembers doing a lot of hard work, working really long hours, and not getting compensated fairly “and so, that’s something that people have to really think about when they do this work.” Therefore, Hope started her own very small private practice in 2018 while she was still working full-time. She explains that, in New York, a licensed clinical social worker can do therapy whereas in some other states, you have to have a PsyD or PhD. At this point, we discuss some of the requirements for becoming a LCSW in New York and share some valuable information and websites for those interested in this career path. Hope discusses some of the biggest challenges associated with opening your own private practice and provides helpful advice including making sure you “get a lot of experience working with many different people before you go into private practice because you never know who will show up.


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67: Greg Neimeyer, PhD – Professor Emeritus, Associate Executive Director and Director of the Office of Continuing Education in Psychology at the APA Reflects on His Career and Offers Tangible Advice

Those of you who are in the field of psychology, take a moment to remember what originally sparked your interest in psychology. For Dr. Greg Neimeyer, it was having an outstanding high school teacher who taught honors in psychology and was an adjunct professor at a local community college. He fondly recalls “for us, as high school students, we [had] a real-life professor in high school, and we were in awe. He taught it like a very intellectually challenging course, not unlike a college course, [and] really lit the fire under us in terms of intellectual interest, so the spark for me was really an outstanding high school teacher.” Dr. Neimeyer decided to attend college at the University of Florida, where he received a speech debate scholarship, and first selected speech as his major then the psychology seed that was planted in him in high school began to bear fruit and he changed his major to psychology during his second year and, as he states, “the rest, as they say, is history.” After attending the University of Notre Dame for his master’s and doctorate in psychology, he wanted to stay in the academic field and applied to multiple universities for his first faculty position. In this podcast, Dr. Neimeyer eloquently reflects on his career of over 42 years in the field of psychology highlighting the important experiences, people, and lessons he has learned while sharing important tangible and meaningful advice including how to select the right graduate program and university for you, tips on setting yourself apart from others when applying to graduate schools, and the importance of continuing education and paying it forward. Interestingly, Dr. Neimeyer returns to his undergraduate alma mater for his first faculty position. He shares that he always knew that he wanted to become an academic but wanted to maintain the clinical practice side as he “always regarded that as a key ingredient to be able to, you know, bring the clinic into the classroom and the classroom into the clinic.” Dr. Neimeyer is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida, where he served as Director of Training and Graduate Coordinator of the APA-approved doctoral training program in counseling psychology and has taught courses on the DSM, the ICD, and psychopathology. He currently serves as the Director of the Offices of Continuing Education in Psychology, the Center for Learning And Career Development, and the Center for Interprofessional Training and Education at the American Psychological Association in Washington, D.C.. Throughout our discussion, Dr. Neimeyer shares his thoughts, suggestions, and experiences in the hopes that it will help those who are interested in the field of psychology. He provides his thoughts on how to select the right graduate program for you and how to decide on which branch or field of psychology is a good fit given your interests. He says, “psychology is present in just about everything. So that’s the good news and the bad news. I mean, the bad news is you’re faced with having to make some difficult decisions among a blizzard of different opportunities. The good news is that whatever your interests are, you can attach them to, and draft in behind, the graduate program that’s likely to support that.” If you are having a hard time selecting a branch of psychology to focus on, he suggests a few things such as looking at your undergraduate psychology book. There are probably 30-35 chapters in the book so look through the book and identify the ones that resonate with you or in which you are interested and pass over the ones that you find yourself yawning at or not the least bit interested. He shares “probably about 80% of students wind up going into the professional side which is clinical, counseling, or school [psychology]. Those are the only areas that are licensed eligible.” He continues “my experience is that about 80% of students wind up wanting to have at least part, if not all,


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66: Katherine MacLean, PhD – Neuroscientist, Groundbreaking Psychedelics Researcher, and Author Shares her Extraordinary Journey and New Book Midnight Water

Dr. Katherine MacLean is a neuroscientist, writer, research scientist, mother, and adventure-seeker. Dr. Maclean thought she would study anthropology, religion, or pre-Med when she first started undergraduate school. She had many interests including genetics, spirituality, and the brain. She recalls “I took an anthropology of religion course, and that’s when I first learned about Shamanic and spiritual ceremonies that could trigger changes in the brain that created visions that created the experience of real-life entities.” At the time, she also took psychology courses and learned there was a rhesus macaque lab in the basement. She wanted to find out what those monkeys were doing in the basement so with the help of her undergrad mentor, Yale Cohen, she was able to corral all of her disparate interests and combine them with her passion to forge a new research path that combined her work on mindfulness research while earning her doctorate at UC-Davis and her psilocybin research at Johns Hopkins University where she completed her postdoctoral fellowship in psychopharmacology. In this podcast interview, Dr. MacLean brings us back to her undergraduate and graduate experiences and shares the critical events and people that led her to obtain her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Neuroscience and attend UC-Davis for her PhD in Research Psychology as well as attending Johns Hopkins University for her postdoctoral fellowship in psychopharmacology. She shares her experience visiting graduate schools and how she mentioned her interest in studying psychedelics “just to see how they would respond.” At the time, serious research on psychedelics was not happening so Dr. MacLean combined her interests and passion to establish a legitimate line of groundbreaking research studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics on cognitive performance, emotional well-being, spirituality, and brain function. Her research suggests that psychedelic medicines can enhance openness to new experiences and promote mental health and emotional well-being throughout the life span. Dr. MacLean co-founded and directed the first center for psychedelic training and education in New York, was featured in the New Yorker article entitled “The Trip Treatment by Michael Pollan, and her TED Talks have been viewed nearly fifty thousand times. She was one of the lead researchers on the Shamatha Project, which was a groundbreaking study of the effects of intensive meditation on psychological and brain function. When she was a research follow and faculty member at Johns Hopkins, she apprenticed with and was supervised by two of the world’s top psychedelic therapists – Bill Richards, PhD, and Mary Cosimano, LSW – learning how to effectively and safely support people before, during, and after high-dose psychedelic experiences. When reflecting on your journey and her professional career, Dr. MacLean shares practical advice for those “climbing the ladder of success.” She states, “I might have been very happy as a tenure track faculty member at Johns Hopkins. But, the thing that I want to impress upon young psychology students is something that a medical doctor told me when I was deciding whether to leave Hopkins, ‘sometimes as you’re climbing the ladder of success, you get to the top and realize it’s on the wrong wall and you have to get all the way back down and put the ladder up on a different wall and start from scratch.’” Dr. MacLean spent the last two decades studying the effects of mindfulness meditation and psychedelics on cognitive performance, emotional well-being, spirituality, and brain function. Her professional journey takes an unexpected detour following the death of her sister from cancer. She left her faculty position and decided to travel the world. In her new book, Midnight Water: A Psychedelic Memoir, she shares her story of grief and redemption. During our discussion she shares more about her book, why she wrote it,


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65: Jim Loehr, EdD – Pioneer and World-Renowned Performance Psychologist, Author, and Coach Reflects on his Career and Discusses the Most Important Book he has ever Written

How much would you pay to spend almost 90 minutes with a world-renowned performance psychologist (a pioneer in the field), researcher, New York Times best-selling author, C-suite coach, co-founder of the Human Performance Institute (HPI), co-founder of APeak Tennis, advisor and coach of Evolve Leadership? In this podcast episode, I had the privilege of talking with Dr. Jim Loehr as he reflected on his more than 30 years of vast experience and applied research designed to successfully leverage the science of energy management to improve the productivity and engagement of world-class performers in the areas of sport, business, medicine, and law enforcement. He shares what he believes is the most important factor in success, personal fulfillment, and life satisfaction. Dr. Loehr also discusses his recently co-authored book that he believes is “the most important book [he has] ever written” called Wise Decisions: A Science-Based Approach to Making Better Choices. Dr. Jim Loehr’s parents were deeply religious, devout Catholics so his whole life was centered around religious teachings and beliefs. His sister became a nun, and his brother became a Jesuit priest out of high school and was in the Jesuits for seven years. Dr. Loehr explained that “there was no choice as to where I was going to go to school…I had to go to a school that [my parents] approved.” So, he attended Regis High School then Regis University. The only graduate school his parents would accept, while staying reasonably close to home, was the University of Northern Colorado. Therefore, Dr. Loehr received his BA in Psychology from Regis University, and an MA and EdD in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO. During our discussion, Dr. Loehr reflects on his academic and professional journey highlighting the experiences and people that impacted him and explains the events that led him to become a pioneer in the sport and performance psychology field. Throughout our discussion, he offers thoughtful and practical advice to those interested in the field. He shares a story in which he wrote a book called Mental Toughness Training for Sports and sent it to 19 major league publishers and got 19 rejections where they all said, “what the heck is mental toughness?” Dr. Loehr’s father played professional baseball and read the book and said, “this makes sense…I’m going to go ahead and take a risk here” and he paid someone to produce the book and they sent it around to see what people thought of the book. The book became an underground bestseller and, all of a sudden, it was picked up by a major publisher and sold millions of copies all over the world. Dr. Loehr realized that the concept of mental toughness was so new and “because it was before its time, they thought it was absolute nonsense.” Resilience and toughness are needed when you are a pioneer and you are doing something different. Dr. Loehr shares some of the most significant experiences of his career, the ones that impacted him and his journey the most, including his experience as Chief Psychologist and Executive Director of the San Luis Valley Mental Health Corporation. We discuss how he founded The Center for Athletic Excellence in Denver, CO and his involvement as the Executive Director and Sport Psychologist at the Jimmy Connors United States Tennis Center. Dr. Loehr shares the story leading up to getting that position. Essentially, there was an ad for someone to run the Jimmy Connors United States Tennis Center in Sanibel Harbor, so he called Bob Davis and said, “I’ll run all the facility for you, but I want to have access to Jimmy’s brain. I want to be able to do videos and everything else. I want to see what makes that competitive brain work. I need to learn. So, he didn’t check with Jimmy. He just said, ‘no, it’s done. We’d love to have somebody with a Doctor of Psychology down here.’” He had such a reputation and following that many of the players at the Nick Bollettieri ...


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64: Neil Lewis, Jr., PhD – Dual Appointed Associate Professor at a Research One University Shares his Advice and Journey & Discusses his Multifaceted Job

Dr. Neil Lewis, Jr. was born in Jamaica and came to the United States as a kid. In this podcast, we discuss his academic and professional journey beginning from what originally sparked his interest in psychology including a demonstration by his high school economics teacher at Cornell University in Ithica, NY to what led him to the University of Michigan for his graduate degrees in social psychology leading to his dual appointment and recent promotion as Associate Professor at Cornell University and Weill Cornell Medicine. During our discussion, Dr. Lewis shares his experiences and advice with those interested in getting their graduate degree in the field of psychology and those wanting to stay in the academic field. Dr. Lewis is a behavioral scientist who has a dual appointment as Associate Professor of Communication and Social Behavior at Cornell University and Associate Professor of Communication Research in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. Dr. Lewis states, “the reason for the dual appointments, in this case, is I do a lot of health research including research on how the ways health clinics and health systems communicate information to patients affects the health behaviors the patients engage in and health outcomes.” So, in the Department of Communication, he is surrounded by communication scholars and other social scientists who are interested in the communication process. Then, in the Medical School, all of his colleagues are medical doctors who put these communication processes into practice. He believes “being in both worlds really allows me to get the broader set of perspectives that I need to have on health issues and that improves my ability to study those issues as well.” He also co-directs Cornell’s Action Research Collaborative, an institutional hub that brings together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and community members to collaborate on projects and initiatives to address important equity issues in society. Dr. Lewis received the Early Career Scholar Award from the International Communication Association, the Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, and Cornell’s Research and Extension Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Science and Public Policy. Outside of academia, Thinkers50 and Deloitte identified Dr. Lewis as one of the 30 up-and-coming thinkers whose ideas will shape management in the coming years due to his contributions to work motivation and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Lewis’s interest in psychology actually stemmed from a great high school economics teacher who sparked his interest in economics through his teachings and demonstrations. Dr. Lewis thought that an economics degree was a “practical degree to get…to be employable at the end of my undergraduate journey…but the most interesting part of economics for me were the parts that were fundamentally psychological.” For example, he recalls a demonstration in which the professor took out a $20 bill and a $1 bill and ripped both of them in half. When the professor asked the students to reflect on their reaction and explain why they were more upset about the $20 bill being torn in half than the $1 bill being torn in half, they replied that one was worth more than the other even though both were made of the same pieces of paper and used the same kind of ink. Dr. Lewis realized that as long as we share a collective belief, then that belief becomes part of our reality. He recalls, “I kept thinking about how much of these systems that govern our social world depend on people’s beliefs in those systems.” Dr. Lewis adds, “And, of course, the discipline that was really established to study belief systems and other thoughts and behaviors is psychology. And so that’s one of the reasons I ended up pivoting from economics to psychology.” When discussing his graduate school opportunities and choices, Dr. Lewis states,


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63: Jessica Sinarski, MA, LPCMH – Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH) and Founder of BraveBrains Discusses Her Ongoing Journey and Mission to Help Children and Adults

Since high school, Jessica Sinarski knew that she wanted to be a therapist. She found that empathy was a strength of hers and she wanted to lean into it. She originally didn’t want to work with kids but that all changed during an internship she had in graduate school at Boston College. She thought that she would work in the marriage and family counseling space or in premarital counseling but then everything shifted when she had a couple of kids in foster care on her caseload. Jessica recalls, “I found my calling.” Jessica is a Licensed Professional Counselor of Mental Health (LPCMH) and a highly sought-after therapist, speaker, and instigator of hope. Her extensive post-graduate training and 15+ years as a clinician and educator led her to create the resource and training platform called BraveBrains which is “a resource and training platform for K-12 educators and beyond. Using innovative solutions rooted in brain science, we empower children and adults to reach their full potential.” In this podcast, Jessica discusses her academic and professional journey, how the mission and vision of BraveBrains has transformed over the years, and how she makes Social Emotional Learning (SEL) practical, available, and easy to understand for parents and professionals. During her internship at Boston College, she was at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC). Jessica shares “there were several kids in foster care on my caseload, and it was just heartbreaking. Growing up’s hard enough. And then there not only was there instability at home, but these seemed to be the kids that got passed around professionally as well and that broke my heart.” Her first job out of graduate school was at a foster adoption child welfare support agency in the South Bronx in New York City “and it became very clear, very quickly that I didn’t know what I needed to know to be helpful” so she studied to become certified as an adoption therapist. She also learned about attachment in the brain and Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson’s work around The Whole-Brain Child and making brain science really accessible. Jessica worked alongside Jonathan Baylin who is ”just a brain nerd, he just loves neuroscience. He’s a clinical psychologist and the author, co-author of a couple books and we would, we would talk about this stuff.” Jessica is the author of multiple books including Your Amazing Brain, the award-winning Riley the Brave series, and Light Up the Learning Brain. One of her newest books is Riley the Brave’s Big Feelings Activity Book: A Trauma-Informed Guide for Counselors, Educators, and Parents. She admits “it’s kind of funny to me that I’m a therapist who writes kids’ books now. I mean, I write other books too, but I didn’t like therapeutic kids’ books. I very rarely found one that I liked. There are more out now that are great, but I struggled to find things that kids could relate to and so, I guess, that’s part of my passion now is how do we make the tough stuff a little less tough?” Jessica offers a multitude of advice to those interested in the field of psychology, social work, and especially those interested in opening their own practice or business. She points out “I haven’t seen a school yet that actually talks about or has a course on how do you open and run and maintain a business or a practice.” So, she says don’t be afraid to ask for help. She states, “You don’t have to have everything figured out” and remember “the value of collaborating and networking, especially if you’re going into private practice like solo private practice because it can be so lonely.” What other advice does Jessica offer? Pay attention to what lights you up. She says, “Pay attention to your passion because you’re much more likely to be persistent with it if you are passionate about it, that’s grit 101, right?” In response to my question “what’s one of the most important things you’ve learned in your life thus far?”,


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62: Rebecca Kase, MSW, LCSW, RYT – Author, Entrepreneur, EMDR Trainer & Consultant, and Owner of Kase & CO Shares her Journey and Advice and Discusses her new book Polyvagal-Informed EMDR

Rebecca Kase grew up in Missouri and attended the University of Missouri (Mizzou or MU). She declared psychology as her major early in her freshman year of college, right after her first psychology 101 class. She recalls, “I love this. I get it. This makes sense to me. Something just really clicked inside, and I really felt like this is my path.” She also loved taking neuroscience classes and ultimately graduated in about 3 ½ years with a number of graduate level courses in her pocket. Rebecca then took a year to do volunteer work with AmeriCorps helping tutor inner-city elementary school kids in St. Louis, MO and she loved the experience. She used this experience and time to help figure out the next step in her academic journey. She knew she needed to go to graduate school because she thought she couldn’t really do anything with her bachelor’s in psychology, so she considered getting her master’s in counseling, social work, or psychology. In this podcast, Rebecca shares her journey and advice for those faced with a similar decision and discusses how she turned her passion into a successful, and prominent, training and consulting company, Kase & CO, which specializes in comprehensive Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and trauma training for psychotherapists. Throughout this podcast, Rebecca shares her experience and offers practical advice for those considering a career in psychology, social work, or counseling. She chose to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW); however, her advice can be applied to those in the counseling or psychology fields as well. How do you decide on which path to take or in which university or program to enroll? Rebecca says, “consider your end goal.” She suggests asking yourself “Where do I want to end up and based on what I want for my career, which program seems to fit best?” She also reminds us that “where we think we’re going to end up, isn’t necessarily where we end up.” For example, she admits that she never thought she would own one of the largest EMDR training programs in the country and that she would love running a business but that is exactly what she is doing with Kase & CO Training and Consulting. Rebecca started EMDR training while she was still in graduate school, so she has been practicing EMDR since 2006. She started her LLC in 2009 and as her LLC grew, she became a trainer and consultant. In 2017, Rebecca started diving into Polyvagal theory as it “really resonated” and helped “explain why our nervous system does what it does.” After looking into Polyvagal theory, she realized that she could combine EMDR and Polyvagal theory to help supercharge therapy and the recovery process, so she started incorporating the two into her training and consulting at Kase & CO and has seen its incredible impact on her clients and their clients. Rebecca is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and has been practicing yoga since she was 15 years old. She shares “it has been my saving grace and saved my life multiple times emotionally and physically.” She has integrated yoga into her EMDR training as she points out “research shows that yoga therapy is incredibly useful and powerful to bring into your sessions with clients no matter their presentation or diagnosis.” One of the 8 phases of EMDR focuses on preparation and where you learn about regulation skills and where you build somatic awareness. She says that yoga helps clients who have learned to “check out” from their feelings and sensations and who don’t know how to feel their body. Rebecca is the author of Polyvagal-Informed EMDR: A Neuro-Informed Approach to Healing (W.W. Norton & Company, May 23, 2023). She said the book started as her pandemic project. She began pulling her thoughts and experiences together and organized them in such a way that one of her friends said “Rebecca, you have a book here.” She explains that both Polyvagal Theory and EMDR offer powerful pathways to healing.


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61: Lauren Cook, PsyD – Clinical Psychologist, Professional Speaker, Consultant, and Author of Generation Anxiety Shares her Journey and how to Build your Career based on your Passions

Dr. Lauren Cook grew up loving theater, performing arts, and public speaking. She also loves the intimacy of the one-on-one connection and having deeper conversations. As an undergraduate student, Dr. Cook recalls being more interested in journalism, in fact, she had an internship at NBC News and E! and thought that is what she wanted to do because she loved the storytelling component of it. However, when she saw the lifestyle of the journalist (always on the go, always on the road), she reconsidered and thought that she could bring the storytelling component of journalism into psychology by helping people understand their stories and helping them on their journey. This is one of the reasons why she pivoted into psychology along with knowing that “one of the most rewarding aspects of our job is really feeling like we are making a difference in people’s lives.” In this podcast, Dr. Lauren Cook shares her academic and professional journey, explains why she earned a PsyD instead of a PhD, and discusses how she has applied her experience, passion, and degrees to create her own personalized career where she could focus on clinical psychology, professional speaking, consulting, and writing. She shares how she created the opportunities to satisfy all of her passions and how to maintain a work-life balance. Dr. Cook shares “it was always a dream of mine to have a private practice. And I would meet so many clinicians who were so afraid of having a private practice. ‘That seems impossible. How do you do it? I’m interested, but I just don’t even know where to begin.’ You know, it actually, it wasn’t too hard. I feel like if you want to do it, and you’re willing to ask other people who have done it, it’s very much possible.” She discusses how she started her own private practice called Heartship Psychological Services in Pasadena, CA during the pandemic. She always thought she would (or should?) have a brick and mortar, however, she now questions the need for one as most of her clients are virtual and PSYPACT exists now where if you are licensed in one state, you have the ability to provide services for people in other states. She is excited to see how PSYPACT plays out as it may mean that practitioners don’t need to have a traditional office as in the past. Dr. Cook also shares how she finds the majority of her clients (it’s probably not what you’re thinking…find out more around 22 minutes into our conversation). Dr. Cook is a professional speaker with CAMPUSPEAK and shares how she got started when she went by “The Sunny Girl” and spoke about all of the happiness research. Her very first book, The Sunny Side Up! Celebrating Happiness was published in April 2013. Since then, she has published a couple more books including Name Your Story: How to Talk Openly About Mental Health While Embracing Wellness (2017) and her newest book Generation Anxiety: A Millennial and Gen Z Guide to Staying Afloat in an Uncertain World (2023). Dr. Cook states “I really wanted to tailor it to millennials and Gen Z and also the family members who are supporting millennial and Gen Z person, we are just seeing anxiety go through the roof. I’m very candid about my own lived experience with anxiety and how I’ve been able to work through that in my own life. And so, I really wanted to give people the tools to really figure out how to cope with anxiety and it’s through what I call ‘empowered acceptance.’” Not only is Dr. Cook available for speaking engagements (keynotes, seminars, courses, etc.), but she also offers consulting services, professional development, and clinical psychology services dealing with anxiety management, life transitions, couples dynamics, effective decision making, and identity development. She also enjoys doing her podcast, The Boardroom Brain, in which she has “insightful conversations with CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders as we explore what makes up the psychology of success.


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60: Kimberly Berens, PhD – Scientist-Educator, Founder of Fit Learning, and Author of Blind Spots Discusses How she found her Passion and Built a Career using her Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Degrees

Dr. Kimberly Berens grew up around psychology as her father was a psychiatrist. Her mother was a biologist, so she was also very interested in the natural sciences. She recalls that family dinner time conversations were always interesting as they talked about various mental health issues, general psychology, and human behavior and development. As a result, Dr. Berens originally planned on majoring in biology and minoring in psychology when she started her undergraduate career at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Although her introduction to psychology class was unique in that each section of it was taught by a professor known in that area of psychology, she was somewhat unimpressed as she “didn’t see a lot of science involved in those sections.” However, that all changed when Dr. Maria Ruiz, her first mentor, walked into the classroom. Dr. Berens shares that Dr. Ruiz was “teaching the section on behavior science and that day changed my life forever because it was at that moment that I discovered that actually there is a natural science of human behavior, and that is what behavior science is.” She ended up switching her major from biology to psychology and Dr. Ruiz remained her mentor through her time at Rollins and beyond. Dr. Berens shares her academic and professional journey in this podcast and reveals how she applied her degrees in psychology and behavioral science to co-create a powerful system of instruction based on behavioral science and the technology of teaching, which has transformed the learning abilities of thousands of students worldwide. As a doctoral student at the University of Nevada, Reno, Dr. Berens founded Fit Learning in a broom closet on campus and has expanded her business to more than 31 locations worldwide with 3 to 5 new locations opening each year. For more than 20 years, her system of instruction has produced one year’s worth of academic growth in only 40 hours of training. In addition to Dr. Maria Ruiz, Dr. Berens discusses how other mentors have helped influence and shape her knowledge, career, and passion for helping improve the education and quality of life for students. She discusses, among others, Dr. Elbert (Eb) Blakely, Dr. Ogden Lindsley, and Dr. Seven C. Hayes who also appeared as a guest of the Master’s in Psychology Podcast in November, 2022. She explains that she received her theoretical basic science mentor in Maria and her clinical and applied mentor in Eb. Steven was another one of her mentors while in undergraduate school and she recalls, “I knew that I had found what I was going to do for the rest of my life.” Dr. Berens explains why she attended the University of Nevada for her doctorate in behavioral sciences and provides advice to those who are interested in the field of psychology or behavioral sciences. She recommends that you find a mentor who you look up to and who is doing research in the area of study you are interested in so that you can learn from them. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and say, “I’m looking for a mentor” or “I’m looking for someone to guide me through the process of potentially exploring doctoral training or masters training in the field.” You may be surprised to learn how many faculty members are overjoyed when a student seeks them out for help and asks them to be their mentor. Dr. Berens also discusses her newest book, Blind Spots: Why Students Fail and the Science That Can Save Them. Close to 70% of kids are now below proficiency in all academic subjects in America and this increases to more than 80% for students of color and those living in poverty. Dr. Berens explains “the reason is because science isn’t used in instruction and teachers aren’t trained in science and education is actually an ideological institution, not a pragmatic or scientific one.” We discuss the fact that most teachers are not taught how to effectively teach. We have all had that teacher or professor who obviously knew their subject but didn’t know how to t...


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59: Sa-kiera Tiarra Jolynn Hudson, PhD – A “must listen to” podcast as “Kiera”, Assistant Professor at UC Berkeley Hass, Reflects on her Journey, and Offers Insightful Advice

Are you considering a career in the field of psychology but don’t know where to start or what questions to ask? Perhaps you are a high school, undergraduate, or graduate student who is looking for insightful and practical advice regarding your academic and professional career path in psychology. In this podcast, Sa-kiera “Kiera” Hudson, PhD, reflects on her journey and transition from undergraduate student to graduate student to postdoctoral fellow to Assistant Professor at University of California Berkely Hass School of Business in the Management of Organizations (MORS) group. Throughout our lively and candid discussion, Dr. Hudson shares practical and insightful advice for those interested in advancing their educational and professional careers in the field of psychology. Add this to your “must listen to” podcast list as Kiera provides an honest and transparent view into her personal, academic, and professional journey and offers impactful advice on a variety of topics. Sa-kiera “Kiera” Tiarra Jolynn Hudson is a first-generation college student who matriculated at Harvard before switching over to Williams College in Massachusetts, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology and Psychology. When she attended Williams, she originally wanted to be a biology and STEM major as she thought it was important to do STEM as a Black woman. Kiera thought “psychology was what people did when they couldn’t hack it in the sciences” so when she needed to take a fourth course in her sophomore year, she thought “let me go take this easy psych class that everyone is talking about.” She recalls, “I was floored. I fell in love with psychology because it was the study of social issues using the scientific method. And that blew my mind, it just, it truly, truly did.” She discusses how her introduction to psychology class was taught in a unique way (i.e., it was taught by 5 different professors each in their own discipline). Kiera then attends Harvard University and explains the process related to searching for graduate schools and programs in the field of psychology and why she ultimately chose Harvard for her doctorate in Social Psychology. She recalls, “one thing I had to remember when it comes to picking graduate programs that is different than undergrad, and part of that is, when you’re picking a program for graduate school it's really about the fit with your advisor.” During our discussion, Kiera opens her Google spreadsheet and shares the exact details regarding how many graduate programs she applied to, how many interviews, and some other factors she considered when making her final decision on where to attend for her doctorate. When considering all of the graduate programs and universities in psychology, Dr. Hudson suggests that “you’re not going to get everything from one person and you’re actually not going to get everything you need from one place, and I don’t think you should.” She then discusses the pros and cons of having older, tenured professors as advisors versus having younger, pre-tenured professors and how having both can be beneficial. When asked how she found herself in the area of social psychology versus other areas or branches of psychology, she states, “Great question. So, I honestly believe that a lot of these fields of psychology are blending…and, to me, it always comes down to methods, theories, and frames of reference. So, there might just be certain things that you’re really drawn to do.” She also shares her thoughts on the qualities and skills that psychology students should have if they want to work in the field including the ability to “abstract up” and “be a critical but constructive thinker” and to learn the foundational theories in any particular field as these will help you build your “collective wall of knowledge” and help you talk with many different people in the field. In her case, Dr. Hudson shares that having this knowledge helped her stand out and she was able to engage with almost...


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58: Haley Perlus, PhD – Sport & Performance Psychology Expert, Speaker, Consultant, and Author Shares Her Unique Journey, Experiences, and Advice

Dr. Haley Perlus is unique. Since she was 12 years old, Dr. Perlus aspired toward a career in sport psychology as a junior world champion athlete. Within one year of earning her PhD at the age of 28, she became a professor, well-known public speaker, consultant to national team and division I scholarship athletes, published author, and appointed industry leader. Together with her personal experience as an elite athlete and coach, and her fitness and nutrition certifications, Dr. Perlus takes a unique 3D approach to helping people achieve their highest standard of performance in sport, business, and wellness. In this podcast, Dr. Perlus shares her unique journey and advice to those interested in the field of sport psychology and those who want to make a difference in their own life and their clients’ lives. Dr. Perlus is from Toronto, ON Canada and has a unique story to share regarding how she chose her career as a sport psychologist. She states, “I had a fabulous coach when I was 12 years old, who put a lot of pressure on me. In fact, one race he pulled out a $100 bill and put it in front of my face and told me that he had bet on me to win.” She explains that her coach really taught her about preparation from a mental standpoint to help her perform better. She adds, “he also brought a sport psychologist to come and speak to my team…and so putting the two together, how he was coaching me and what the sport psychologist was saying, there was one day when I went home, and I told my parents that I wanted to do sport psychology and I was 12 years old.” Dr. Perlus received her BA in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and her MS in Sport Pedagogy from the University of Florida. She attended the University of Northern Colorado for her PhD in Sport Psychology because she always loved Colorado. Although the advisors, curriculum, and research were wonderful, she admits that she chose the school because it was in Colorado, and she loved the changing of the seasons and she could continue skiing. She shares that the number of PhD programs in the field of sport psychology was really “slim pickings” at the time in that area of the country. She recalls Denver University had a combined master’s program and now they have a “fabulous” program thanks to Dr. Mark W. Aoyagi. On her website, YouTube channel, and in her practice, Dr. Perlus shares Mental Toughness Tools and sport psychology tips. She also shares advice with those interested in the field of psychology. Throughout her journey, she surrounded herself with people who could mentor her and share their experiences and advice. She also states, “I really looked outside of academia as well” and “observed and watch what people who were applying the art or science of sport psychology was doing.” She mentions that being a sport psychologist is good and bad. She states, “sport psychology is great because you have this niche. Sport psychology is bad because you have this niche.” Some people may think that you can’t broaden your horizons or apply sport psychology outside of the sports field. However, you can and should. Dr. Perlus mentions one of her mentors, Dr. Jim Loehr, who is a sport and performance psychologist who “completely went into the corporate world” with his sport psychology. If you are new to the field, you may wonder what is sport psychology or sport and performance psychology? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “sport psychology is a proficiency that uses psychological knowledge and skills to address optimal performance and well-being of athletes, developmental and social aspects of sports participation, and systemic issues associated with sports settings and organizations.” Sport psychology has been coined the “Science of Success” because it studies how successful people optimize their psychological and emotional states for maximum results. Dr. Haley Perlus is a disruptor and firmly believes that she can apply her specialize...


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57: Roxy Manning, PhD – Clinical Psychologist and Certified Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) Trainer Shares her Journey, Passion, Advice, and Discusses her Two New Books

Can one person leverage the power of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and the power of authentic dialogue to create a more just, equitable world? A world in which a person can be both fierce and compassionate while directly challenging racist speech or actions without shaming the other person? In this podcast, Dr. Roxy Manning, a clinical psychologist, and certified Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) trainer, shares her journey and passion for nonviolent social justice. She also discusses her two new books that help people learn about their own implicit biases, how to engage in antiracist conversations, and the power of authentic dialogue. Dr. Roxy Manning originally thought that she was going to be a medical doctor. Then, when attending Howard University, an historically black college in Washington, DC, she realized that she disliked chemistry, so she eventually transferred to the City College of New York where she had five different majors before realizing that psychology was something that she found “really intriguing and interesting.” After receiving her bachelor’s in psychology, Dr. Manning attended Binghamton University in NY where she earned her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She had her first child while in graduate school and shares a brief story about that experience. She states, “my dissertation adviser, who really was quite amazing, gave me this little, tiny room in the lab where I could put a little play pen and he came with me to campus like almost every day.” After having her third child, Dr. Manning took a break and stayed home and that is when she started a very small private practice where she could see a few clients. During this time, she also learned about Nonviolent Communication, “So, I started doing a lot of training and education in that and started merging those two fields, king of bringing all the things I knew from psychology with working with people individually with nonviolent communication, and then working with organizations.” Dr. Manning is a certified Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) trainer and integrated NVC into her psychotherapy practice since 2003 and has been offering classes and workshops in NVC since 2005. Throughout our discussion, Dr. Manning openly shares her journey, experiences, and advice not only to those interested in the field of psychology but also to those who want to learn more about their own biases and how to engage in antiracist conversations. Dr. Manning discusses her two forthcoming books. In the first book, How to Have Antiracist Conversations, Dr. Manning provides a new way to conceive of antiracist conversations, along with practical tools and frameworks that make them possible. Her work is grounded in the idea of Beloved Community, as articulated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a goal to aspire to and even experience now, in the present, when we give up on the transformative power of human connection within ourselves, with potential allies, and with those who words and actions create harm. In the second book, The Antiracist Heart, Dr. Roxy Manning and Sarah Peyton explain the neuroscience behind concepts such as privilege and its impact on the brain, disgust and coded language, and microaggressions and provide specific exercises and skill sets designed to rewire the brain, in order to unravel implicit bias. Implicit biases begin forming before we have language and are deeply rooted in the subconscious. By combining neuroscience, introspection, and self-compassion, one can disrupt unconscious patterns. During our discussion, Dr. Manning delineates between a “conversation” and “authentic dialogue.” She states, “I think of conversations as we’re kind of sharing information, I might be wanting to let you know about my point of view, but that’s it. When I think about dialogue, I’m thinking about I’m actually sharing honestly and vulnerably my experience inviting you to share yours with the idea that we can be moved,


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56: Sanam Hafeez, PsyD – Neuropsychologist, Director & Founder of Comprehensive Psychological Services, and TV & Media Medical Expert Shares her Journey and Advice to Building a Successful Career in Psychology

Dr. Sanam Hafeez immigrated to the US from Pakistan when she was 12 years old, and she was the first one in her family in this country to go to college. Though both of her parents were college educated and has an uncle in London who has a master’s in psychology, there was no one to really guide her through the college experience. She started college earlier than her peers (17 years old) and found the freedom of college intoxicating. At first, she thought that she could stay in her room and read all of the books and materials instead of attending classes. She gravitated toward older people, and it was these friends who helped her realize the importance of going to class and educated her on how doctoral programs, and the schools that offer these programs, are the hardest schools to get into. She recalls, “I was very quickly made aware of the fact that I wasn’t going to sail into a program.” In this podcast, Dr. Hafeez shares her interesting and unique journey and offers impactful advice regarding building a successful career in the field of psychology. Dr. Hafeez earned her PsyD in School-Community Psychology from Hofstra University. Dr. Hafeez is a neuropsychologist, Director & Founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services (CCPS) with two locations in NY (one in Manhattan and the other in Queens), and a TV & media medical expert. She is published as a contributing author to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. She has appeared as an expert guest on The Dr. Oz Show, CNN News, CBS, NBC, and others. Dr. Hafeez is fluent in English, Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi (Pakistani and Indian languages) and shares how this helped her find opportunities and grow her business. During our discussion, Dr. Hafeez actively sought out opportunities to set herself up for a very successful academic and professional career. The advice she offers throughout this podcast is practical and impactful. For example, she states, “one of the things that I love to tell everyone, but especially the younger people, [is] that your friends can truly make your or break you.” She knew in high school that she wanted to be a psychologist and was undeterred from that path. Even when her academic advisor at Queens College, where she attended for her undergraduate degree in psychology, laughed at her when she told her that she wanted to get a doctorate in psychology, Dr. Hafeez didn’t let her break her spirit or deter her from her goal. Her advisor stated, “I can’t believe you think you’re going to get into a doctoral program. You’re not going to get into a doctoral program. Your best bet is to get a masters in psychology and then try your luck.” Dr. Hafeez didn’t apply to a single master’s program. Instead, she applied to only three doctoral programs and was accepted into all three of them (Hofstra University, Pace University, Long Island University). She shares a few of the reasons why she selected Hofstra University for her doctorate instead of the other universities. When opening her own private practice, Dr. Hafeez recalls never “skimping” on hiring help or staff. She states, “I know I could not do everything myself. I knew I needed help with answering phones, making appointments, billing, support staff, people to help with the psychometrics of things. So, I have always hired very generously, compensated generously, and it’s paid me back.” She believes treating people with respect and knowing your own limitations as it “allowed [her] to flourish and grow as a person, as a clinician, it’s helped my evolution.” She grew her practice very organically through hard work and referrals, and eventually got contracts with the City of New York and with the Departments of Education in Long Island, and Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. We discussed her private practice at length and how fascinating the brain is because it never really takes a rest, even when you are sleeping.


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55: Lisa Orbé-Austin, PhD – Licensed Psychologist, Executive Coach, and Imposter Syndrome Expert Shares Her Journey, Advice, and Discusses Her New Book Your Unstoppable Greatness

Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin was the first person in her immediate family to go to college. Her parents were immigrants and wanted her to become a successful doctor, lawyer, or businessperson. She liked kids so she originally thought she would be a pediatrician. She experienced some obstacles so she changed her major to English as she thought she could become a writer. In this podcast, Dr. Orbé-Austin shares her academic and professional journey including how her path changed from becoming a pediatrician to a writer, to an Assistant Professor, to becoming a licensed psychologist. She openly shares her struggles and successes as well as the self-reflection process that led her to the field of psychology including how, and why, she opened her own private practice in the greater New York City area. Dr. Orbé-Austin is a licensed psychologist and executive coach with expertise in Imposter Syndrome, career advancement, and leadership development. She is a co-founder and partner of Dynamic Transitions Psychological Consulting, a career and executive coaching consultancy, where she works mostly with high potential managers and executives. Dr. Orbé-Austin earned her doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Columbia University. Her views about career advancement, leadership, job transitions, and diversity & inclusion are regularly sought by the media, and she has appeared in outlets such as The New York Times, NBC News, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Refinery29, Business Insider, and Insight Into Diversity. She has been honored twice as a Top Voice on LinkedIn in the areas of Job Search & Careers and Mental Health. She gave a TEDx talk entitled The Imposter Syndrome Paradox: Unleashing the Power of You. Dr. Orbé-Austin shares many stories and impactful advice during our discussion. For example, she was an RA (Resident Assistant) for two years and really loved working with students, counseling them and supporting them in their own journeys while in college. She states, “And I thought maybe I could be a counselor or a psychologist. And my father, at the time, worked at an insurance company and they happened to have an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) and he said, ‘there’s a psychologist there. Do you want to talk to her about what it takes to become a psychologist?’” The psychologist she talked with happened to be a counseling psychologist and an English major during her undergraduate career. Dr. Orbé-Austin recalls that the psychologist she talked to “was the first person who really introduced me to the idea of a counseling psychologist and gave me the entrée into then pursuing my, actually pursued my master’s degree at Boston College as well and it started my real love of psychology. And that’s where it really began.” She continues by stating, “I think what really, like really, changed the game for me was my internship my second year where I did it at Tufts University at the counseling center there working with Jonathan Slavin.” Dr. Orbé-Austin reveals that her training and experience at Tufts was a “clinical boot camp” for getting started and her experience as a Career Counselor and eLearning Coordinator in the Starr Career Development Center at Baruch College was the “boot camp of career counseling” as “it actually taught us how to do real career counseling and it was such a profound experience…it was the most amazing experience that actually led me to having a career aspect of my practice.” She was able to diversify her practice so that they offered psychotherapy and career counseling services, and this proved to beneficial during the recession “because people were not willing to, at the time, invest in psychotherapy, but they were willing to invest in career. And so, our career practice really thrived, and it became a mainstay of what we did and what we were known for because we were one of the few people, offering in our area, offering testing.” Dr. Lisa Orbé-Austin discusses her two co-authored books on Imposter Syndrome and ...


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54: Hannah Schacter, PhD – Assistant Professor of Psychology at Wayne State University Shares Copious Practical Advice While Discussing her Academic and Professional Journey

Dr. Hannah Schacter grew up in the Boston area and in a family where both parents were psychologists, so she was exposed to the field at an early age. She recalls being very interested in the idea of data and learning about other people. She states, “I remember being in fifth grade and taking surveys of things like people’s favorite ice cream flavor in my class.” As she got older, she developed an interest in working with children. She worked at summer camps and babysat, and it wasn’t until she attended college where she had the opportunity as a psychology major to merge her interests by studying child development and developmental psychology. In this podcast, Dr. Schacter shares many experiences related to her academic and professional journey to help those interested in the field of psychology gain perspective, learn from her experiences, and how best to navigate the journey. Throughout our discussion, Dr. Schacter provides copious practical advice and even shares some moments that helped shape her interests, direction, and choices regarding which university to attend for her undergraduate and graduate career as well as how she conducted the process related to searching for graduate schools and programs. Dr. Schacter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Wayne State University and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Merrill Palmer Skillman Institute for Child & Family Development. She is also the Director of the Adolescent Relationships in Context Lab (ARC). Dr. Schacter started getting involved in research during her undergraduate career at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. During our discussion, she explains why she travelled from the East Coast to the West Coast to attend UCLA for her graduate degrees (MA and PhD) in developmental psychology. She also discusses how she found various opportunities as an undergraduate and graduate student as well as how she found her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California. For example, she shares how she became an undergraduate research intern at Yale University by applying for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program through the National Science Foundation. Dr. Schacter explains the various ways of finding a postdoc fellowship. She explains one way of finding funding for postdoctoral researchers on the NSF website. In today’s environment, more and more academic institutions expect that you have postdoc experience before applying for a faculty position. She states, “I would say it has become increasingly common and I would also probably say it’s more common than not to have postdoc experience before entering a faculty position.” Dr. Schacter shares her advice regarding how to best select your graduate school or program. She states, “I think so much of a PhD is really what you make of it” and “ I think it’s less about, you know, making the right choices and more about making a choice that feels like a strong fit.” She also points out that there is an interpersonal aspect of selecting your graduate program and mentor. She suggests that you ask yourself “is this someone you want to work closely with for, you know, 5-6 years? That’s, that’s an important factor as well. Do you get along? Do you feel like they’re going to be a supportive mentor?” In response to my question regarding how to keep students motivated and passionate about their studies and their research, Dr. Schacter suggests immersing yourself in your work and surrounding yourself with other students, people, and mentors in the field. She also reminds us that some schools have Psi Chi, which is a society for students in psychology, and this can be used to help keep you focused and expand your knowledge and network. Near the end of our discussion, she offers some additional advice for those interested in the field of psychology. She states, “I think talk to as many people as you can, especially, you know, if you’re,


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53: Emily Bashah, PsyD – Belly Dancing Licensed Psychologist, Author, and Podcast Co-Host Shares her Personal, Academic, and Professional Journey and Discusses The Optimistic American and her New Co-Authored Book Addictive Ideologies

Dr. Emily Bashah is a licensed psychologist, author, and podcast co-host with a private practice in Scottsdale, AZ. She was born and raised in Canada and her parents are from Iraq. In this podcast, she shares her personal, academic, and professional journey and discusses The Optimistic American and her new co-authored book Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You. Dr. Bashah also shares what drew her to the field of psychology and her commitment to humanitarian and social causes, about which she feels very passionate. Dr. Bashah shares a story of her parents living in Iraq during the rise of Saddam Hussein’s power and control. She states, “so, when my parents were living there, my father was 17 years old at the time…he’s riding his bicycle and all of a sudden, he comes across a commotion in the main Town Square, which is called Tahrir Square, and this is in Baghdad, and he sees that there are Jews that are being publicly hanged. This was a mock trail. It went over a couple of days. Basically, the government hand-picked several Jews. There were actually seven Jews that were hanged that day, two of whom were minors under age 17, and they were falsely accused for being spies for Israel.” Dr. Bashah later shares “unfortunately, my grandfather, my mother’s father at the time, was last seen being pushed into a government vehicle and disappeared. The last we know about his whereabouts, he was taken to an underground jail called the Palace of No Return, never to be heard from again.” Dr. Bashah remembers being 12 years old and really committing herself to “somehow undoing or finding some kind of justice for the harm that had been committed to my family and my grandfather’s disappearance because I saw how much it really traumatized my, my mother and my father.” She shares that she wanted to work with people in some kind of healing capacity and “that’s really what led me to psychology.” Dr. Bashah discusses her work in forensics and how the intersection of psychology and law has helped her in her private practice as well as earning her a reputation as an expert witness in criminal, immigration, and civil courts. She has also worked on high-profile cases related to domestic terrorism, capital offenses, and first-degree murder. In addition to her private practice, Bashah Psychological Services, PLC, she is involved with The Optimistic American and is co-host of The Optimistic American podcast alongside her partner and co-host Paul Johnson, entrepreneur, and former mayor of Phoenix, AZ. Together, they also co-authored a new book Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You. Dr. Bashah shares the harrowing story of the persecution of Jews in Iraq by Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party through her family’s own personal experiences while Paul Johnson uses his own mayoral experiences to chart a path for the future that can avoid similar atrocities. The book draws upon an understanding of societal divisions and clinical and social psychology to show the real power we have to promote constructive change. Dr. Bashah reflects on her journey and shares advice with those interested in the field of psychology and shares a message of hope for those who want to recreate themselves. She states “I'm an author. I have a podcast. I have a private practice. I supervise doctoral students. I'm a businesswoman. I'm an entrepreneur. There are all these different facets of me. I'm an expert in courts, but also, I'm called upon as an expert in media and in, there’s so many different things that you could recreate who you want to be. It’s a wonderful thing, and psychology permits that, but find your own path.” Near the end of our podcast discussion, Dr. Bashah shares how she picked up belly dancing and why dancing is such an important part of remaining connected to her Arab ancestry and heritage. She also offers additional advice including “I know a lot of your guests and listene...


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52: Janeé Steele, PhD, LPC – Licensed Professional Counselor, Certified CBT Therapist, and Walden University Core Faculty Discusses Her Journey and New Book Black Lives Are Beautiful

Dr. Janeé Steele is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), counselor educator, and has earned the status of Diplomate and Certified CBT Therapist through the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies. Dr. Steele is the owner of Kalamazoo Cognitive & Behavioral Therapy, PLLC where she provides therapy, supervision, and training in CBT. She is also a member of the core faculty at Walden University School of Counseling where she has served as a counselor educator for the past 10 years. Her scholarly activity includes service as an associate editor of the Journal of Multicultural Counseling & Development and authorship of works focused on the areas of CBT, cultural diversity, social justice advocacy, and counselor training. She has published conceptual and research-based articles in peer-reviewed journals including the International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, Counselor Education and Supervision, and the Handbook of Counselor Education. During her senior year in high school, Dr.Janeé Steele did not really have post-graduation plans until her aunt called her and asked, “where are you going to college?" Janeé responded, “I’m not” to which her aunt replied, “yes, you are.” Dr. Steele shared “I’m from a generation where you kind of just do what your elders say. So that was pretty much the end of the conversation. Like literally, she said ‘yes, you are. Ok, talk to you later.’ And we hung up.” She remembers having to quickly figure out where she was going to college. Her aunt was starting law school so she could go where her aunt went to college or where her aunt was attending law school. So, she left Arizona and went to Southern Illinois University where she earned her BA in Psychology. This started her journey in psychology and counseling. Dr. Steele shared this, and many other, stories related to her academic and professional journey highlighting where she received her degrees, why she chose the schools and programs, and the people who influenced her career. One of the people she mentions in this podcast is a professor named Kevin Cokley. Dr. Steele states, “he was doing a lot of really interesting research related to the psychology of the African American experience. And that was so impactful for me as an African American just looking at ways in which this field can be used to enhance the mental health and the quality of life of people who look like me.” Dr. Steele stayed at SIU to earn her MSEd then attended Western Michigan University for her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision. Throughout this podcast, Dr. Steele shares practical advice for those interested in the field of psychology and counseling and offers suggestions to those interested in opening their own private practice. For example, she states, “if we’re thinking about advice for individuals who are thinking about entering this field, I would really encourage them to anticipate the need to continue your education and to seek meaningful, as many meaningful certifications as they can obtain.” She believes that her CBT certification and her PhD have helped draw in more clients. She states, “having a PhD affords me a little bit more credibility as these both provide more credibility. And so, I think that as individuals are thinking about ways to make themselves appealing to the broadest number of individuals, they might want to think about things that lend credibility and provide evidence that they have adequate training to be able to deal with the mental health issues that people are bringing into therapy.” Dr. Steele discusses the impetus for her, and Dr. Char Newton’s, new book Black Lives Are Beautiful: 50 Tools to Heal from Trauma and Promote Positive Racial Identity. There are millions of workbooks and other resources focused on anxiety, depression, or self-esteem, however, there are not as many resources “that people could use to facilitate healing outside of the therapeutic dyad” for the issue of “stigma attached to ther...


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51: Char Newton, PhD – Psychologist, Assistant Professor, and Author Shares her Journey and Advice and Explains how she Found her Niche in the Field of Psychology

Dr. Charmeka Newton, known as Dr. Char, originally wanted to become a journalist so she took communication and writing courses. However, while she was taking these courses, she also took some psychology classes and found that psychology matched her personality more than communication, so she ended up earning her bachelor's degree in psychology and communication. She recalls, “I think the thing that really sparked my interest [in psychology] was the ability to help people and to make an impact on individuals’ lives.” She followed that interest and passion by attending Penn State University for her master’s degree in Community Psychology & Social Change then followed up by attending Western Michigan University for her PhD in Counseling Psychology. In this podcast, Dr. Char shares her academic and professional journey and shares the experiences and mentors who helped her find her niche in the field of psychology. She has always loved counseling and psychology, so she knew early on in her career that she wanted to open her own private practice. However, she also realized that she loves teaching and supervising psychology students. She started her own practice, Legacy Mental Health, in Lansing, MI in 2014 and still maintains a case load of clients. Dr. Char is also a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of North Dakota and enjoys teaching full-time. She states, “I’m able to supervise people through UND and supervise people through my practice so it was like right now I feel like this is probably the most satisfying time in my career because I found that niche. I found where I, you know, where my passions are, which are teaching supervision, multicultural work, and that’s just it, just feels really good when the work you do brings you joy.” If you are not sure about which area or branch of psychology to focus on, Dr. Char shares practical advice regarding finding your own niche. For example, in addition to reaching out to people who are doing research in the area in which you are interested, Dr. Char also recommends that you “start networking, start connecting with individuals so that you can begin to distinguish between the various areas of psychology and things you can do within the profession.” She also suggests “joining professional networks” and “student-based organizations” through organizations such as the American Psychological Association (APA) and other local and regional associations. She states, “connecting with professionals in the field that can also help you kind of find your niche and also develop yourself as a, you know, as a professional.” Dr. Char also shares how her nickname was “Safe Char” until she took a risk and did private practice and teaching full-time and UND. She discusses some of the challenges in taking this risk and provides advice to those who want to open their own private practice. Dr. Char also discusses the stigma around mental health, especially for African Americans and Black Americans. She states, “when we look at the research, we know that it takes African Americans and Black populations longer to enter into treatment and then once they enter in like their retention rate is much lower than white Americans.” She then shares how people and practitioners can overcome, and even change, this stigma. When asked what she loves most about her job, she responded “One of the things I love most is that I’m able to do stuff that can impact individuals, right, and so being able to like write a book and to know that people have been giving us good feedback…and it’s making the impact like that, to me, is the thing I love most.” You can hear more about her new book Black Lives Are Beautiful: 50 Tools to Heal from Trauma and Promote Positive Racial Identity around the 30-minute mark in the podcast interview. Near the end of the podcast discussion, she shares her favorite principle and admits that she loves basketball and LeBron James and says, “I always tell people,


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50: Lisa Strohman, PhD, JD – Psychologist, Attorney, Author, Speaker, and Technology Wellness Expert Shares her Journey, Advice, and New Book Phone Alone

Dr. Lisa Strohman is a licensed psychologist, attorney, author, and speaker. She is known for her work, advocacy, and education around mental wellness as it relates to our digital lives and is an international expert on the intersection of mental health and technology use. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Davis where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She later earned a PhD and JD by completing a joint integrated program in Law and Psychology at Villanova and Drexel University. Dr. Strohman is the founder/CEO of the Digital Citizen Academy (DCA) and the president of the DCA Foundation. In this podcast, we review her academic and professional journey, learn more about the DC Academy and its Foundation, and discuss her new book Phone Alone. Dr. Strohman grew up as a country girl who loved being outside with the animals. She originally wanted to go into medicine but realized that it wasn’t for her after her experience dissecting live animals in a lab. She had a psychology professor that she “absolutely adored” and found that psychology “felt natural” and easy for her so she shifted her focus to the field of psychology as she loved studying how the brain works and how individuals interact with each other and the world around them. In addition to her academic studies in clinical psychology and law, she worked as a visiting scholar with the profiling unit at the FBI, worked with law enforcement internet crimes units, and completed her dissertation in cooperation with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI. As a result of these experiences, she became passionate about helping prevent and educate students, parents, and educators on issues related to technology use and overuse. She states “DCA was really created out of a social need for what I saw as a clinical psychologist.” Dr. Strohman also has her own private practice but wanted to do more. She shares “I can only do and help one person at a time in an office. But DCA was really built out of my passion for families and kids that were struggling with self-harm and bullying, and the things that were happening online.” She discusses the DC Academy and the DCA Foundation and its goals. Dr. Strohman shares her advice with those interested in the field of psychology. She shares “if you have that calling in yourself, clinical psychology is really focusing on ‘I want to deal with individuals and help them through therapeutic measures.’” She also believes that it is important to be very empathetic as a therapist and shares her thoughts on the future of mental health and technology. Dr. Strohman has authored multiple books including Unplug: Raising Kids In a Technology Addicted World (2015), Digital Distress: Growing Up Online (2021), and Phone Alone (2022). She discusses her most recent book and shares how she stays up to date with the latest research and developments in the field of psychology and technology including following Jean Twenge and setting herself up to receive alerts on social media, addiction technology, and problematic internet use. Near the end of our discussion, Dr. Strohman states, “To me, it’s such a gift to be in this field and I think it’s an honorable field to be in and understand the magnitude of the power that you have in that and use that wisely and use it for good and with a full heart. Because I think that if you can do that, you will change the world in many ways over in this field.” Connect with Dr. Lisa Strohman: Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | InstagramConnect with the Show: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn Interests and Specializations Dr. Lisa Strohman specializes in developing curriculum to provide education and programs that address challenges children are facing daily through technology. She is known for her education and advocacy around mental health and technology wellness.