Masters in Psychology Podcast-logo

Masters in Psychology Podcast

Health & Wellness Podcasts

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.


United States


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.




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...


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,


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.


49: Frank McAndrew, PhD – Experimental and Evolutionary Social Psychologist and Professor Discusses his Journey, The Power of Gossip, and the Psychology of Creepiness

Dr. Frank McAndrew was born on a U.S. military base in Germany and grew up in the anthracite coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania. When Dr. McAndrew started college, he recalls, “I was not at all interested in psychology because, like many people, I didn’t really know what it was about.” He knew that he wanted to become some kind of a scientist, probably a biologist. It wasn’t until he took an introductory psychology class, that he realized “there was this discipline that did all this cool stuff. It was a science. But it was doing a lot of the things that I thought biologists did, running rats through mazes and seeing how the brain works. And so, I got hooked in introduction to psychology.” Dr. McAndrew continued taking biology courses and “an awful lot of English literature courses” because he liked reading the plays and novels as “they were more interesting than textbooks.” He states, “I got a good broad liberal arts kind of education, but psychology was the thing that I really loved the most.” He shares that he decided to go to graduate school simply because he loved being a student and he found out that if he went for a PhD, he would get paid for doing something that he liked to do. He attended the University of Maine for his PhD in Experimental Psychology. In this podcast, Dr. McAndrew shares his academic and professional journey including his experiences when applying to graduate schools and offers advice about this process in hopes that current and future graduate students can learn from his experience. He also offers specific advice to those seeking a graduate degree in experimental psychology. For example, he states, “if we’re talking about a graduate degree in some area of non-clinical psychology, the prestige of the school you go to does matter, and that’s something, especially if you’re looking for an academic job, that carries an awful lot of weight when you’re on the job market.” On the other hand, “when you’re applying for a PhD in experimental psychology, in particular, you’re not really applying to a school, you’re applying to work with an individual.” Dr. McAndrew also offers his thoughts on the important skills that psychology students should develop in order to be successful in their future careers. Dr. McAndrew shares his thoughts on becoming a teacher and professor and discusses the academic lifestyle. After receiving a one-year appointment at Knox College in Galesburg, IL, he found that he liked teaching and the academics and admits that he “agonized” over staying in the academic world for “a good 15 or 20 years” after he started teaching. He said that it didn’t seem like a real job to his relatives because he had too much free time and “didn’t seem to have a boss.” He had many interviews for other jobs in marketing and research “but at the end of the day, whenever these job offers came through it always came down to, ok, I’ll be wearing a suit and I’ll get two weeks’ vacation and I’ll be working on things that other people think are interesting rather than what I think is interesting.” So, he stayed in the academic world and is now the longest-serving psychology professor in the history of Knox College (44 years & counting). In fact, he founded the environmental studies program at Knox and served as Chair of the Department of Psychology for a decade. He is currently the Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology and teaches introductory psychology, social psychology, industrial psychology, organizational behavior, statistics, evolution and human behavior, environmental psychology, and the history and systems of psychology. Dr. McAndrew is an award-winning teacher, and his research has appeared in dozens of professional and academic journals and is regularly featured in popular media outlets such as NPR, The New York Times, the BBC, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and NBC’s Today Show. His current areas of interest include aggression, gossip, creepiness, and the naming of children.


48: Deborah Offner, PhD – Clinical Psychologist, Adolescent Development Expert, and Author Shares Insightful Advice and Discusses Her Book Educators as First Responders

Dr. Deborah Offner grew up in the Boston area and after attending Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT for her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology, she applied to a number of PhD programs in clinical psychology and was accepted to Boston University. She really wanted to return home and live in Boston and BU had what was called the “scientist practitioner model” where you learned how to do research and use statistical methods but also spent a significant amount of time in clinical training sites where you applied what you have learned and gained important clinical experience. When Dr. Offner started college, she was drawn to the social sciences and she loved sociology. In fact, she thought she might become a sociology professor but after breaking up with her college boyfriend and seeing a therapist, she discovered her love for psychology as “it’s more applied than sociology.” Therefore, she changed her major to psychology and sociology and eventually applied to graduate schools in clinical psychology. Before attending graduate school, Dr. Offner worked as a research assistant at a teaching hospital in the psychiatry department. She shares that she didn’t apply to graduate school right out of college because if you were going to get a PhD in psychology, especially clinical psychology, “they want you to have some work experience.” Though there was a professional school in the Boston area that had a PsyD program, she wanted a PhD because she wanted to have the option of becoming a professor in a psychology department. Dr. Offner served as a consulting psychologist, teacher, and Dean of Students at the Commonwealth School, a co-educational college preparatory school in Boston. Dr. Offner knew that she wanted to start her own private practice early in her academic and professional career. She states, “I think I always thought I would have a practice. I never anticipated it would be my full-time job or my primary occupation, and it really never has been. So I always knew I wanted to do it because I like the luxury and freedom of time to sit with people and have a long conversation and get to know them.” While discussing her practice, she provides a recommendation to anyone who is looking to start their own private practice…”don’t quit your day job.” You want to build up your practice gradually. When discussing how she decided on pursuing clinical psychology instead of the many other branches of psychology, she states “I decided on it because it had a practical applied aspect to it and a profession associated with it.” She also loves social psychology and developmental psychology so being a psychologist allows you to practice both of these areas of psychology. She also shares “I wanted flexibility and work life balance. There’s an income aspect too. If you can have a private practice, which I always have, you can augment whatever else you’re doing, and I really like that idea.” In addition to her private practice, Dr. Offner also serves as a consulting psychologist at Beacon Academy in Boston, which is “a 14-month program between eighth and ninth grade that prepares students from communities with limited resources for entry into independent day and boarding high schools.” Dr. Offner and I discuss her recently released book, Educators as First Responders: A Teacher’s Guide to Adolescent Development and Mental Health, Grades 6-12 (Routledge, December 29, 2022). While she was working at a private high school in Boston for 14 years, she learned that kids will generally go to their favorite teacher if they have a problem or an issue, rather than talking with a parent or going to a school psychologist or school counselor. She states, “a teacher will notice when a kid is struggling because the teacher is the one who sees them every day and can tell if something is changing.” Dr. Offner says that she “wrote the book really for all teachers at the middle and high school level who are de facto, you know,


47: Kristin Neff, PhD – Self-Compassion Pioneer and Co-Founder of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion Shares her Journey and How to Turn Your Passion Into a Career

Dr. Kristin Neff is a pioneer in the study of self-compassion and has been recognized as one of the world’s most influential research psychologists. She is the first to operationally define and measure the construct of self-compassion almost twenty years ago. As an undergraduate student at UCLA, Dr. Neff was a communications major but near the end of her undergraduate career she studied cultural anthropology and became fascinated with the issue of cultural relativism versus universalism. She took many different courses and fell in love with psychological anthropology. She continued her education by earning her master's and doctorate in educational psychology (human development) from UC-Berkeley. During the last year of graduate school, Dr. Neff became interested in Buddhism and has been practicing meditation in the Insight Meditation tradition ever since. While doing her post-doctoral work, she decided to conduct research on self-compassion – a central construct in Buddhist psychology – as it had not yet been examined empirically. In this podcast, Dr. Neff shares her academic and professional journey highlighting when she became interested in self-compassion and discusses how she turned her passion into a career helping people improve their mental and physical well-being. She also discusses how she and her colleague, Dr. Chris Germer, co-founded the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion (CMSC) and developed an empirically supported training program called Mindful Self-Compassion, an eight-week program which is taught by thousands of teachers worldwide. Dr. Neff is an accomplished author and she briefly discusses her enormously popular first book, Self-Compassion, which offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects. This extraordinary book provides exercises and action plans for dealing with many different types of emotional struggles each and every one of us faces on a daily basis. Dr. Neff also discusses her most recent book Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive which expands on her previous work and research by exploring new ideas that further develop and broaden our notion of self-kindness and its capacity to transform our lives. Fierce Self-Compassion shows women how to balance tender self-acceptance with fierce action to claim their power and change the world. As a pioneer in the study of self-compassion, Dr. Neff does a lot of media interviews and has a TED talk where she talks about the difference between self-esteem and self-compassion. She states, “I have a TED talk where I joke that I’m a self-compassion evangelist, you know, kind of my goal is to spread the good word that there is a different way to relate to yourself that actually makes a dramatic difference in your ability to cope with difficulty and your happiness and well-being.” She further explains “self-compassion works. It transforms lives. It’s not like an abstract, theoretical idea. It’s something you can actually do. It’s a practice…anyone can just try it out and see immediately for themselves how it changes the way you relate to difficulty.” Dr. Neff offers advice to those interested in the field of psychology and one of the pieces of advice she offers is “the thing I love about psychology and the thing I love about what I do is the ability to help people. The ability to change lives. Ironically, you’re not going to change as many lives if you’re a researcher. I mean, I was kind of fortunate in that my research happened to be in a niche that you know, and sometimes you do find applied applications of the research that makes a big difference, but realistically, you’re more likely to be able to change lives if you are a counselor or if you are a social worker, or if you’re a teacher.” One of the unique things Dr. Neff shared with me is that she was in a documentary called “The Horse Boy” which is a film about her autistic son, Rowan,


46: Monica Vermani, C Psych, PsyD – Clinical Psychologist, Author, Mindfulness and Mental-Health Expert Shares her Journey and New Book A Deeper Wellness

Dr. Monica Vermani was born and raised in Toronto. Her parent were immigrants from India. Her dad was the eldest of five and her mom was the youngest of five. Though the dynamics in her family were very traditional, the dynamics changed when her dad experienced a work-related injury. Her mother had to go back to school and change her path and Dr. Vermani had to become a caregiver at a young age to help with the family. She recalls growing up “in a household with more compassion, more empathy. You know, a little more suffering and you become a caregiver a little bit.” She also remembers that she started working very young and wanted to find her “own path.” She states, “I just wanted to be more independent. I wanted to learn how to be self-sufficient. I wanted to also learn, you know, how to be the best I could in every area.” Dr. Vermani is a clinical psychologist, founder of Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing (private practice in Toronto) and Start Living Corporate Wellness. She has over 25 years of clinical practice experience and has become a prominent expert in the trauma, mindfulness, and mental health wellness space. In this podcast, we discuss Dr. Vermani’s academic and professional journey, some of the important people and experiences that helped shape her career path, her private practice in Toronto, her recent TEDxUofT talk, and her recently released book, A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety, and Traumas. Dr. Vermani recalls always gravitating towards volunteering and helping people. Growing up people would tell her that she should “go to school” and then do “social work or counseling or psychology stuff.” She shares that she hadn’t really thought about doing that seriously until she ended up taking some psychology and sociology courses and became very interested in those areas. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, Sociology & Criminology, Women’s Studies from the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Vermani shares what led her to Adler School of Professional Psychology (now called Adler University) in Vancouver, BC to earn her master's degree in counseling psychology then to Adler University in Chicago, IL for her Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in Clinical Psychology. Along the way, Dr. Vermani has earned a number of diplomas and certificates to improve her knowledge, experience, and skillset in preparation for opening her own private practice. She shares some of her experiences working in internships, working at private practices, and getting hands-on experience working with prominent clinical psychologists such as Dr. Giorgio Ilacqua who was the chief psychologist at a correctional facility for women called Vanier Centre for Women. She recalls that Dr. Ilacqua used to give her extra work and she was wondering why she was so special until one day he asked her to work with him at his private practice. She remembers him saying “Listen, you’re really bright. What about doing some private practice on the side? You sound like, you know, you’re eager to work in the field and, and learn more.” So, she did. She worked in his private practice as a psychometrist and at the Vanier Centre and eventually Dr. Ilacqua turned into her coach. She shares that he was the one who encouraged her to apply for her master’s and her doctorate to become a psychologist. She also discusses other great mentors and experiences that helped shape her career including working with Dr. Martin Katzman at the Anxiety Disorders Clinic and with whom she built the START Clinic which focuses on Stress, Trauma, Anxiety, Rehabilitation, and Treatment (START). The START Clinic specializes in “outpatient assessment and treatment services for people with mood & anxiety disorders.” She also worked with Dr. Nussbaum who taught her about neuropsychology and with Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Pat Gerbarg who taught her a Breath~Body~Mind Program. She states, “so, as I grew, my mentors, my colleagues, my, you know,


45: Laura Petracek, PhD, LCSW – Clinical Psychologist and Addiction Specialist Shares her Journey and New Book The DBT Workbook for Alcohol and Drug Addiction

Dr. Laura Petracek is a clinical psychologist, addiction specialist, certified Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) therapist, author, and speaker with over 30 years of experience in psychotherapy, 26 of which have been spent as a practicing clinical psychologist in California. In this podcast, Dr. Petracek recalls her academic and professional journey, discusses the circumstances leading up to her opening her own private practice, then provides some highlights and background regarding her new book The DBT Workbook for Alcohol and Drug Addiction. When discussing how she ended up in the clinical psychology field of psychology, she states, “Sometimes I don’t know if I chose the field or if it chose me.” She shares that at the age of 17, she went into drug and alcohol rehab and through that experience, she knew that she wanted to be a counselor then a therapist. So, after getting out of rehab, she immediately started her undergraduate work. She received her associates in chemical dependency counseling at Metropolitan Community College (now called Metropolitan State). Dr. Petracek then received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. She received her Master of Social Work (MSW) in Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies from Wurzweiler School of Social Work in New York, NY. She then attended the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco, CA for her PhD in Clinical Psychology. She and her cohorts at CIIS were the last group to receive a PhD in clinical psychology as the program is now a PsyD program. We discussed the differences between a PhD and a PsyD and why she chose the PhD route. Although Dr. Petracek could have received a doctorate in social work, she admits that was not the area she wanted to be in as she knew she wanted to eventually go into private practice. Before she did this, though, she gained a tremendous amount of experience as a clinical director of New Leaf Services, Associate Professor at National University, and psychologist with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at San Quentin, CA. She has had her own private practice in the San Francisco Bay area for over 26 years. Dr. Petracek discusses her private practice and the challenges of building a private practice in a new area. She offers advice to those who are interested in running their own business and explains what she did regarding how to handle the accounting, marketing, and other aspects of owning your own private practice. For example, she recommends joining a group practice at the very beginning of your career as this offers you many benefits (e.g., learn more about running a business, sharing ideas through consultation work, help you understand how to determine how many clients to take on, build your client list, etc.). She also describes her ideal therapist. When describing her ideal therapist, she states, “someone who is knowledgeable in different theories of psychology and psychotherapy…someone who is not afraid to call me on my BS if it comes up” and someone who “offers compassion, but is challenging” and “supportive.” Dr. Petracek shares that she has been in therapy herself and states “my last therapist, he helped me tremendously through a challenging time when my daughter, only daughter, had left home for college and it was just a really rough time.” As a result, she went into a six-month DBT program. She explains that DBT is usually a six-month program but sometimes it is a six-month to a year program. Dr. Petracek discusses evidence-based therapies such as DBT, which is an extension of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The experience she gained going through the DBT program herself, getting certified as a DBT therapist, and her years of experience helping treat those with addictions all acted as the impetus and spark which led Dr. Petracek to combine the strategies and tools available in ...


44: Donna Marks, EdD – Psychotherapist & Addictions Counselor in Palm Beach, Florida Discusses her New Book The Healing Moment

While working on her master’s and doctorate degrees at Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Donna Marks never thought that she would become a renowned licensed psychotherapist and addictions counselor in Palm Beach, Florida. Additionally, if someone told her while she was in graduate school that she would write multiple books and receive over 25 awards for one of those books, she would have thought you must be joking. In this podcast, Dr. Marks shares her personal and professional journey in the field of psychology and discusses the significant events and people that led her to open her own private practice, develop a chemical dependency training program, which eventually turned into a four-year degree, and receive the Florida Governor’s Council Award. Dr. Marks has been a psychotherapist, addictions counselor, and teacher of A Course in Miracles for over 30 years. She is a certified gestalt therapist, psychoanalyst, hypnotist, and sex therapist. During our discussion, she explains what gravitated her towards psychology and how she naturally felt like the resident therapist for her family and friends. Although she wasn’t planning on attending graduate school, Dr. Marks recalls the reasons and circumstances that led her to receiving her MA in Counseling Psychology and her EdD in Adult Education at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Throughout this podcast, Dr. Marks shares practical and thoughtful advice to those interested in the field of psychology. For example, she states “If I had it to do over, I would have gotten my MSW in Clinical Social Work” because “a lot of the Medicare and Medicaid insurance policies will pay clinical social workers. And at the time they would, they would not pay licensed mental health counselors.” She summarizes by stating “But if someone were going to start now, I would encourage them to get that MSW licensure, licensed clinical social worker for that. Because when you’re first starting, you want to be able to serve as many people as you can, and for you to get reimbursed and for your patients to get reimbursed.” Dr. Marks shares that she became certified as a sex therapist because the state of Florida passed a law that you couldn’t discuss sex in therapy without being certified as a sex therapist. She also mentions that if you are going to counsel people with additions, there are a lot of people with sex addictions so that is another reason why you should consider getting the sex therapist certification. She also discusses the benefits of getting training in, and becoming skilled at, gestalt therapy and psychoanalysis. Dr. Marks shares her experience with The Southeast of Florida Institute for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy as she received two certifications (one in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and one in psychoanalysis). Dr. Marks discusses the people who significantly impacted her and her academic and professional career. She also discusses how she developed a chemical dependency training program at Balm Beach Community College “where any therapist, nurse, or anyone that had these types of licenses, clinical social workers, family therapists could go and take any one of the courses that were offered and get continuing education credits.” This training program has grown into a four-year degree in addiction at Palm Beach State College and she received the Florida Governor’s Council Award for developing this program. During our discussion, Dr. Marks discusses her books Learn Grow Forgive – A Path to Spiritual Success and Exit the Maze: One Addiction, One Cause, One Solution (revised). While discussing addiction, she states, “there has been a shift recently in psychology and in treatment to not call it addiction anymore. They’re calling it brain disorder, substance use disorder, different behavior disorders. And I think that’s a travesty because that model says that I’m born this way.” She explains why she doesn’t believe people are born with an “addiction” gene.


43: Ben Bernstein, PhD – Performance Psychologist & Coach Shares His Journey, Insight, and Career Advice to Psychology Graduate Students

If you want to get to know Dr. Ben Bernstein, you need to look at his history growing up as a young child in New York City. Dr. Bernstein’s father was a very well-respected clinical psychologist and his mother directed plays for the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). At 9 years old, Dr. Bernstein was cast as a child psychologist in one of the original plays his mother directed. Dr. Bernstein was also a prodigious piano player. He loved music and immersed himself in Mozart, Beethoven, and Bartok yet when he performed in competitions and recitals, his hands and knees shook so playing the piano became a nightmare. During our discussion, Dr. Bernstein shares these and other experiences that led him to become a performance psychologist and earned him the title “Stress Doctor.” In this podcast, Dr. Ben Bernstein, known as “Dr. B,” shares his academic, professional, and personal journey in hopes that it helps anyone interested in the field of psychology. Dr. B attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, MA where he studied English literature and sociology and graduated with honors. He shares a story of how he got involved in new educational developments that were happening in England and how he was invited to teach and run a research project at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he received his MEd and PhD in Applied Psychology. An educator for the last 50 years, Dr. B has taught at every level of the educational system. Originally trained in London, in the progressive British infant schools, he received major grants from the American and Canadian governments for his work. Dr. B recognized early on that he was a “natural psychologist” in terms of listening, observing, and feeling compassion for people. He shares the events leading to opening his own private practice and eventually realized “I wasn’t suited really to sitting and listening to people all day” so he found a supervisor and mentor to help figure out why. He states, “I went to see her and in pretty short order, she said to me she said, ‘well, the reason you’re so unhappy is because you’re acting like you think a psychologist should act, and it’s not you.’” Dr. B shares that he is talkative and likes to be very engaged and interactive with his clients. He states, “And you know that style of therapy, although it has changed certainly over 40-45 years, was not really in vogue at the time.” This experience along with a few other significant experiences that Dr. B shares during our discussion eventually led him to discover that he loved performance coaching and why not combine it with his education and experience as a psychologist to become a performance psychologist. Before doing this, however, Dr. B realized that he wasn’t fulfilling something for himself and that was his engagement with music. Therefore, the year he and his wife, Suk Wah, got married, they moved back to California and he got into a graduate program in music composition at Mills College in Oakland, CA where he received his MA in Music Composition. Though he already had two licenses (one in Connecticut and the other in New York), in order to keep his psychology work going, he had to apply for licensure in California. He states, “California had its own particular requirement after EPPP, after your 3000 hours of postdoctoral experience, to have an oral exam. And so, I had to take the oral exam and I joined a study group where people practice giving answers. And I came to find out that the pass rate for first time takers of this oral exam, the penultimate requirement for licensure in California, the pass rate was 18%. So this was astounding to me because in that group, people were answering questions, very adept clinicians, very sensitive, very complete. So, what was happening that they would cross the threshold and they would fall apart?” He was able to coach all of the people in the study group and everyone passed so this became his whole niche,


42: Soren Kaplan, PhD – Award-Winning Author, Keynote Speaker, and Founder of Discusses his New Book “Experiential Intelligence”

Dr. Soren Kaplan grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, went to UCLA for his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and attended Alliant International University for his master’s and doctorate in Organizational Psychology. In this podcast, he shares his academic and professional journey (and some of his personal journey), offers practical advice for those interested in the field of psychology, and discusses his new book, “Experiential Intelligence: Harness the Power of Experience for Personal and Business Breakthroughs.” During our discussion, Dr. Kaplan recalls what sparked his interest in psychology, in general, and why he focused on organizational psychology for his graduate work. When asked why he selected Alliant International University, Dr. Kaplan responded “I wanted what was being called, at the time, a scholar practitioner model” so that he could “do things in the real world that bridge academia and practice.” He emphasized this by stating “I wanted the knowledge, but I also wanted to make change.” Dr. Kaplan has been creating change for himself and others ever since attending graduate school. As a graduate student, he worked as a consultant for one of the first innovation consulting firms, IdeaScope Associates. One of the many pieces of advice he has for anyone looking for a graduate degree in psychology, especially those in organizational psychology, is to get real-life experience. He states, “I realized very quickly, business wants experience, not just letters after your name.” Therefore, he worked very hard to beef up his resume with real experiences which included internships, working part-time or full-time at organizations or businesses in the industry, and even doing volunteer work. He states, “I loaded up my resume with real experiences that were very short and quick and kind of easy to get for somebody like me.” For example, he shares “I volunteered for a community mediation organization nonprofit where I got trained as a mediator.” Change happens through innovation and breakthroughs, so it is no surprise that Dr. Kaplan is the founder, or co-founder, of three Silicon Valley startups. He was the co-founder of iCohere with is father (Pascal) which was one of the first online learning and collaboration platforms. He is the founder of InnovationPoint, a strategic innovation consulting firm and, more recently, the founder of Praxie which is an online marketplace of business best practices from industry experts, book authors, and consultants. When discussing Praxie, he states “it’s all about trying to take what I’ve gained from my life experience and make it accessible for other people so they can then do what’s important to them. That’s been the most rewarding for me.” His life experiences have contributed to his success. Dr. Kaplan is a best-selling and award-winning author, an international keynote speaker, an affiliate at the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO) at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and a columnist for Inc. Magazine and Psychology Today. His first book, “Leapfrogging: Harness the Power of Surprise for Business Breakthroughs” was named the Best Leadership Book. His second book, “The Invisible Advantage: How to Create a Culture of Innovation” received the Best General Business Book distinction by the International Book Awards. We discuss his third book, “Experiential Intelligence: Harness the Power of Experience for Personal and Business Breakthroughs” which came out January 24, 2023. Although Dr. Kaplan didn’t coin the term “experiential intelligence,” he states “I have expanded upon it and kind of tried to give it life through this book in a way that the world hasn’t yet embraced.” Dr. Kaplan shares that Dr. Robert Sternberg, Past President of the American Psychological Association, coined the term “experiential intelligence” which may also be referred to as “creative intelligence.” To put things into perspective regarding intelligence, first,


41: Phyllis Leavitt, MA – Author and Retired Psychotherapist Shares Her Journey and Brings a Message of Urgency, Hope, and Healing in her New Book

Phyllis Leavitt originally majored in English at Simmons College in Boston, MA before transferring to The New School College in New York, NY. In this podcast, Phyllis shares her academic and professional journey leading us through her decision to return to school for her master’s degree in psychology and counseling to practicing as a psychotherapist for over 32 years to running her own private practice for 25 years. She has recently retired and though she has already authored multiple books, she is currently working on a new book that brings a message of urgency, hope, and healing to America. By the time Phyllis wanted to go back to school for her graduate degree, she had three children and was considering being a teacher or a therapist. During our discussion, she states “I chose psychology and therapy and I’m so glad I did.” Although there were other graduate programs in psychology in New Mexico, Phyllis recalls meeting a field representative from Antioch University who, at the time, was putting together a program that she really liked as it included a small teaching venue, a lot of independent study opportunities, and it “brought together a lot of local professionals to teach classes in different areas, and then we could design some of the program ourselves.” She admits the customization of the Antioch program and that it was in Santa Fe, where she lived, were the two most appealing reasons she attended Antioch University. After earning her Master of Arts in Psychology and Counseling, Phyllis Co-Directed a sexual abuse treatment program before going into private practice. She states that working in the sexual abuse treatment program “was a fantastic experience” and would recommend anyone interested in working in a clinical setting get as much experience and peer supervision as possible as it helps tremendously, especially if you want to open your own private practice. Phyllis recalls that they did mostly group therapy and had groups of all ages of children, non-offending parents, adults who survived sexual abuse, and groups for offenders. She states, “I felt like it gave me a very solid foundation for moving into private practice.” Now retired, Phyllis is following her passion…writing. Though she had the idea for her current book almost 20 years ago, she is glad that she waited to write the book as her understanding and scope for the book has grown. She explains that there are multiple themes in her book. One stems from her own abuse in her childhood and once she started therapy and realized this, then all of the puzzle pieces began to fall into place. She also realized that there are “millions of people like me out there, and they’re not only the victims of child abuse, but they’re victims of war and, and you know, discrimination and poverty and sexism” and there are “so many people in the world who don’t know why they are the way they are.” Phyllis then discusses another theme of her book which is a belief that ”our government operates very much, in many ways, like an abusive parent” and that “there are many people in positions of great power who pick their scapegoats, target certain populations and make them the enemy, which is exactly what abusive adults do in their own families.” She says that her book is designed to bring this understanding to the way we see our country and the way we treat people. She then discusses the term “identified patient” and explains the underlying thesis in her book “is that the most symptomatic among us are calling for help for the American family, for our country’s family.” She continues “If we could move beyond domination and submission and really experience ourselves as equals and find the balance of the male and female within ourselves as well as honor that in others, we wouldn’t have war. We wouldn’t have rape. We wouldn’t have greed.” Phyllis also discusses hope in therapy and states, as therapists, “we have hope for our clients,


40: Calvin Lai, PhD – Assistant Professor and Implicit Bias Researcher Shares his Academic and Professional Journey and Offers Practical Advice

Dr. Calvin Lai grew up in Canada near Toronto and then moved to New Jersey when he was ten years old. Much of what he learned about race and race relations was channeled through topics in his history classes and his daily experience as an Asian, particularly Canadian Asian American. However, it wasn’t until he learned about implicit bias and other related systemic factors that he was able to unlock the vocabulary “for all these kind of subtle acts of exclusion that I had encountered over the years, growing up as an immigrant and so that’s kind of what made me so passionate about it…to understand how it works…and what we can ultimately do about it in terms of, you know, giving everyone the kind of fair treatment they deserve.” Dr. Lai recalls first getting interested in the social sciences as a senior in high school where he took a sociology class which sparked the initial interest of using tools of science to better understand people. At this point, he thought that he would become a sociologist, then he took a psychology class and admits that he got the “bug” there too which explains why he graduated with his BA in psychology and sociology as he sees them as complementary. Dr. Calvin Lai is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. In this podcast, Dr. Lai discusses his academic and professional journey and shares his advice to those interested in the field of psychology and offers practical advice to those interested in applying for doctoral programs in psychology. For example, he suggests that you figure out what you are passionate about, build research experience, and find mentors who can help you figure out where to apply. You need more than a good GPA and a good GRE score. Although, these will get you past the initial cutoff, Dr. Lai points out that PhD advisors may often only get to pick one person that entire year, so they are looking for a candidate who really knows what they’re signing up for and “if you have the experience to show that you do know what you’re signing up for, that’s going to be a real big leg up for a particular PhD advisor.” Dr. Lai is the Director of the Diversity Science Lab at Washington University. When asked how important lab, or research, experience is for someone who wants to attend graduate school in psychology, Dr. Lai states “it is super-duper important.” He adds “I can’t think of a single PhD student” who didn’t have experience before applying to a doctorate program. He states, “if you are able to, it’s really, really important to try to do something like an honors thesis or senior thesis or capstone project.” Therefore, it is essential to gain some research experience if you want to set yourself apart from others during the graduate application process, especially at the doctoral level. When asked what the most important thing was when selecting a graduate psychology program, Dr. Lai states “number 1, by far, was the kind of research fit in terms of, like, if I’m going to spend like five years mostly in the office by myself studying some topic, I really wanted to be sure I was passionate about that topic” but also figuring out “what are my career opportunities likely after going through this graduate program?” Dr. Lai shares “the thing that really blows my mind is just how many different types of graduate degrees that you could pursue that are related to psychology, particularly if you’re interested in things that are related to clinical practice.” So, doing research on the branches or fields of psychology as well as careers in psychology may help guide you when selecting your academic and career path. During our discussion, we also discussed funding options when applying for graduate programs. You typically get more funding opportunities when you apply to a doctoral program than a master’s program. When applying to graduate programs, consider the funding package they offer in your decision.


39: Frank C. Worrell, PhD – President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Reflects on his Academic, Professional, and APA Journey

Dr. Frank C. Worrell was born in Port of Spain, Capital of Trinidad and Tobago, and he remembers growing up in an area where the only running water in the house was from the tap in the kitchen. In this podcast interview, Dr. Worrell begins talking about his academic and professional journey by recalling where he and his parents grew up and how hard his parents worked to support the family. His parents were born in little fishing villages in Trinidad and Tobago, and he shares that his “mum eventually became an elementary school teacher.” Dr. Worrell liked education and his favorite subject growing up was English, so he was going to study English at the University of the West Indies, Trinidad campus. However, he shares an experience that changed his life and started him down the path of psychology. In fact, it was his interest in psychology that made him leave Trinidad “because psychology was not offered as a subject, even undergraduate, at the University of the West Indies.” He further explains “I’m the first in my family, the third of four kids, and the first to go to college, and so they agreed to let me go to Canada.” Dr. Worrell shares how he ended up attending the University of Western Ontario for his BA in Psychology and his MA in Educational Psychology. He explains why he changed his major from English to psychology and reveals how his father helped him while he was in school. In particular, his father came out of retirement and started working two jobs to pay for his tuition and he encouraged him to apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which helped pay for his junior and senior year in college. After completing his master’s degree in educational psychology at Western, Dr. Worrell went back to Trinidad and was an English teacher and school counselor for a year. Then he was a Principal of a private, low-tuition school where the kids had been kicked out or flunked out of the regular school system and explains this is where he “got very interested in the factors that pushed kids out of school.” After spending a couple years in Trinidad, Dr. Worrell thought that he would go back to Canada and probably go back to Western to do his PhD, however, one of his best friends was at UC Berkeley and asked him if he was considering applying to Berkeley. His friend sent him a catalog and he ended up applying to many different schools that offered a graduate school psychology program. Out of all the schools in California that offer a graduate program in psychology, Dr. Worrell explains why he selected UC Berkeley. Dr. Worrell completed his postdoctoral work in clinical training at the Center for Educational Diagnosis and Remediation (CEDAR) Clinic within the College of Education at Pennsylvania State University. We then discuss his first professorship as an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at Penn State where he remained from 1994 to 2003 as an Assistant and Associate Professor before going back to UC Berkeley as an Associate Professor in Cognition and Development. Dr. Worrell eventually becomes the Director of the School Psychology Program, Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program and the California College Preparatory Academy. He is also an Affiliate Professor of the Social and Personality Program in the Department of Psychology and a Distinguished Professor of Education in the School Psychology Program at UC Berkeley. Dr. Worrell is the author of more than 300 articles and book chapters, and he has received numerous awards for his teaching, service, and research. Recently, he received the Distinguished Lecturer award from the National Association of School Psychologists. Dr. Worrell and his co-editors Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Rena F. Subotnik received the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Scholar Book of the Year Award two years in a row for two different books. They received the NAGC Scholar Book of the Year Award in 2019 for their book “Talent Development as a framew...


38: Sarah E. Gaither, PhD – Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University is Fast Becoming a Leading Researcher in the Field of Multiracial Identities

Dr. Sarah E. Gaither was born and raised in Sacramento, CA and went to the same school from kindergarten through 12th grade. She then went to UC Berkeley for her undergraduate work before doing two gap years at UCLA in Southern California. She states “I never knew I wanted to go to Graduate School until those gap years and it was me actually running the study where I discovered, through a literature review of all things which I know lots of people don’t like doing, but through this literature review, I actually discovered that in 2008 there wasn’t a single paper in psychology that had a biracial sample. I’m a biracially identified person. My dad’s black, my mom’s white. I look very white presenting and so for me, this literature review which most people hate was actually what pushed me to want to apply to graduate school.” Dr. Gaither applied to both social and developmental PhD programs because she has always been interested in kids and families, and identity development. During our discussion, she explains how she ended up at Tufts University in Medford, MA for her master’s and doctorate in Social Psychology. She also explains some of the processes she went through while applying to graduate schools and offers impactful advice to those interested in the field of psychology, especially those interested in earning a doctorate in psychology. In fact, she has a YouTube video which offers “5 Pieces of Advice for PhD Candidates” which we also discuss in addition to some new, updated advice she often offers her current students and other students she is mentoring. Dr. Gaither is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. While discussing her academic and professional journey, Dr. Gaither states that she “applied to 44 jobs across developmental psychology, faculty positions, social psychology, and a few business schools actually.” For her, one of the main factors in choosing Duke over other universities was the location. Duke University is located in Durham, NC which, she explains, “is very split between white and black populations and it’s one of the most racially integrated places I’ve ever lived. So, for me, being able to recruit multiracial and racial ethnic minority participants, it’s very rare to find, what we call a research one university, like Duke, to be located in a city that actually has a ton of racial integration. So that was a big selling point for me.” In this podcast, Dr. Gaither briefly shares why someone should consider the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience at Duke University around 18 minutes into our conversation followed by a brief description of what a typical day looks like for her as an Assistant Professor. She highlights the academic freedom and job flexibility to ask the questions you want to ask and explains “you can literally make every day yours.” Now that she has young kids (twins), she very much appreciates the flexible academic schedule and states “I wouldn’t trade that for the world…I love being an academic.” Dr. Gaither discusses the importance of getting direct research experience if you are interested in getting into a psychology PhD program. She states, “It’s essential. I don’t think anyone will get into a psychology PhD program regardless if it’s social, developmental, clinical without direct research experience. It’s getting more and more competitive every year as we look through our own graduate pools…So, working in research labs, I think, is a must.” As the Director and Principal Investigator of the Duke Identity & Diversity Lab, Dr. Gaither helps guide the research done by the lab members and other collaborators. The Lab team also strives to apply their research to the real-world and showcases their work on their “In The News/Media page.” During our discussion, Dr. Gaither also shares her views regarding the different areas or branches of psychology and believes many of them are not that different. She states,


37: Steven C. Hayes, PhD – Top-Ranked Psychologist and Foundation Professor of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno Shares His Unique Journey and Advice

Imagine growing up in Southern California in the 1960’s, attending high school at University High (which was affiliated with a Catholic college, University of San Diego) and attending college at Loyola University (now called Loyola Marymount University). You, like many others, were undoubtedly influenced by the hippie counterculture of the time as it most likely impacted your personal, academic, and professional life. In this podcast, Dr. Steven C. Hayes shares when and why he took an interest in psychology then takes us on a journey exploring and discussing some of the significant events, experiences, and people who have influenced his illustrious career in the field of psychology. Dr. Hayes decided to be a psychologist while he was still in high school because it combined art and science and he loved both. He states, “I think I was interested in psychology in part because of the suffering I saw around me” and “I wanted to do something that would, you know, make a difference going forward.” He explains that he wanted to take what is deeply important about art, literature, and human complexity into “evidence-based approaches so that…we do a better job of empowering people to live the kind of lives they want to live.” His drive and ambition are almost palpable during our discussion and has certainly contributed to his success. Dr. Hayes is a Nevada Foundation Professor of Psychology in the Behavior Analysis Program at the University of Nevada. An author of 47 books and over 675 scientific articles, he is especially known for his work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) which is a popular evidence-based form of psychotherapy that uses mindfulness, acceptance, and values-based methods and has been shown to be helpful in a wide range of areas. His newest book, “Learning Process-Based Therapy: A Skills Training Manual for Targeting the Core Processes of Psychological Change in Clinical Practice” came out in December 2021. An expert on the importance of acceptance, mindfulness, and values, he is ranked among the most cited psychologists in the world. In fact, as of this writing, Google Scholar data ranks Dr. Hayes among the 935 highest impact living scholars worldwide in all areas of study and lists him as the 63rd highest impact psychologist in the world. When I reminded him of these rankings and showed him where he was ranked on, Dr. Hayes shared that he and his mentor, Dr. David H. Barlow, had a good laugh as Dr. Barlow told him “you’ve been chasing me for 30 years and you finally caught up” (Dr. Barlow is ranked 65). Dr. Hayes is very proactive in sharing his research, information, and findings with the public. His TEDx talks and YouTube presentations have exceeded over 1 million views. He also shares relevant information and findings through his blog, Psychology Today, Medium, Thrive Global websites, and through the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS) which is one of the three scientific societies that he formed or helped form (the other two are Association for Psychological Science [APS] and the Association for Applied and Preventative Psychology [which hit about 2000 member but eventually folded]). Throughout our discussion, Dr. Hayes offers realistic and impactful advice to those interested in entering the field of psychology. For example, for students wondering if they should apply to a master’s program or a PhD program, he states “my thought is always have a fall back with the master’s programs and a range of them if you’re applying at the PhD level.” For those who are not sure of which branch or field of psychology to follow, he suggests “follow your heart because what’s going to keep you going at 2:00 in the morning when you know when the chips are down is what brings passion into your life, so your ideas are really, really important.” He later adds, “when push comes to shove, what’s going to be important is what brings passion to your life and so take t...


36: Martin Hsia, PsyD – Serendipitous Journey of Licensed Psychologist and Executive Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California (CBTSoCal)

Dr. Martin Hsia grew up in Los Angeles, CA and first took an interest in psychology while in high school but wasn’t quite sure. He had friends who really loved history, chemistry, and math but recalls “none of those really kind of felt like they were going to be my jam. I thought maybe I’d be interested in medicine, because I kind of like the idea of helping people.” He attended Tufts University in Medford, MA and realized that med school wasn’t his thing either and eventually gravitated back towards psychology. In this podcast, Dr. Hsia discusses his academic and professional journey and the serendipitous circumstances that led him to Fuller Graduate School of Theology then to Fuller Graduate School of Psychology and eventually led him to become the Executive Director of a private practice called Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California (CBTSoCal). After Dr. Hsia received his BA in Psychology and Spanish at Tufts University, he admits “I didn’t really think about being a clinician, being a therapist at the time.” He was hired in an administrative role for a large provider of mental health services around the greater Boston area in their intake department. In this role, he interacted with people who were calling for therapy services for medication management. He states, “on the back end, [I] also interacted with the clinicians, the psychiatrists, the clinical nurse specialists, the social workers, and the psychologists and it really was a, a great exposure to being in the world [of psychology].” Out of all the psychology graduate schools in California, Dr. Hsia only applied to one graduate school. During our discussion, he shares why he chose Fuller Graduate School of Theology and Fuller Graduate School of Psychology for his PsyD in Clinical Psychology. He liked “a component of integrating sort of spirituality and issues of existentialism and faith, worldviews was really important to me, and so it just interested me because Fuller’s program is unique.” He also explains why he decided to earn his PsyD instead of a PhD. He admits “I didn’t even know the difference between those two until I applied to graduate school.” Once he learned the difference, he recalls that he was more interested “in being a therapist and the PsyD was much more clinically focused in that regard” so “that’s the path I chose.” Dr. Hsia shares his advice for those interested in the field of psychology and explains those who are considering doctoral studies, “typically in clinical psychology, the last year is a full year working as a pre-doctoral intern before you get your degree.” He shares his experience at Loma Linda VA Hospital as a pre doctoral intern and as a postdoctoral fellow in the trauma recovery program working with veterans and former service members dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other conditions. During our discussion about how he became the Executive Director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center of Southern California (CBTSoCal), Dr. Hsia explains how his “good friend and former colleague and mentor Dr. Rodney Boone…founded the practice quite a number of years ago.” He explains that the practice specializes in working with people who have OCD, anxiety disorders, and insomnia among other things. CBTSoCal has two locations: one in Torrance (South Bay) and another in Glendale (San Fernando/San Gabriel Valleys). In this podcast, we discussed Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) as well as two approaches for treating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), sometimes referred to as Exposure with Response Prevention, and Inference-Based CBT (I-CBT). Near the end of our podcast discussion, Dr. Hsia also discusses body dysmorphic disorder which falls under the larger umbrella of OCD. You can jump to around 38:55 to find out more about this disorder. Connect with Martin Hsia: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | WebsiteConnect with the Show: Twitter...


35: Rex Jung, PhD – Unconventional Career Path of Clinical Neuropsychologist and Owner of Brain and Behavioral Associates

Dr. Rex Jung only had one introduction to psychology class during his entire undergraduate career at the University of Boulder, CO and admitted, at the time, psychology wasn’t his path. Instead, he graduated with a BS in Finance and was working for several years in the business world before he found his passion. It wasn’t until he started volunteering for the Special Olympics that he became fascinated and interested in how the brain works. Now in his late 20’s, he decided to explore what kind of work was available in that area and psychology, in general, was one of the paths. He states, “I discovered later, neuropsychology was the particular path that would get me to where I wanted to be.” In this podcast, you will learn more about Dr. Jung’s unconventional career path in psychology. If you want to follow the typical academic path and become a professor in psychology, this episode may not be for you. However, if you are looking for inspiration and advice on how to find your passion and turn that into a career that, as Dr. Jung states, “tickles” your brain and makes your “brain sing,” then this is the Master’s in Psychology Podcast episode you don’t want to miss. To make the strange transition from finance and business to psychology, Dr. Jung started in the clinical psychology program at Loyola College in Baltimore, MD so “that I at least look plausible” as an applicant when applying to PhD programs. Dr. Jung shares the backstory leading up to starting graduate school at Loyola. He had to move furniture in both Colorado and Baltimore to put himself through school and to provide himself with food and lodging. While he was in Baltimore, Dr. Jung did many things. He worked at the National Institute of Aging in a research laboratory of personality and cognition. He volunteered at Shock Trauma Hospital as a neuropsychology technician doing testing and also volunteered at Johns Hopkins in neurosurgery (and pediatric neurosurgery), so he was able to see the medical training and neuropsychological aspects of the field which helped him decide on a graduate school and realize that “it was the specialization of neuropsychology that was the best fit for me.” His National Institute of Aging job and Shock Trauma job later turned into paid positions so he could eventually stop moving furniture and that is when he had enough money to start graduate school in the master’s program in clinical psychology at Loyola. Dr. Jung had two main criteria for PhD graduate schools. First, there had to be mountains in or near it. Second, there had to be snow. He missed the western part of the country, so he applied to schools all up and down the Rocky Mountain range. He was a little over a year into his master’s program when he was accepted and started his PhD at the University of New Mexico. He recalls that many of his classes transferred from the master’s program to the PhD program at UNM. After receiving his doctorate in clinical neuropsychology, Dr. Jung followed the advice of his advisors and found a place outside of New Mexico for his internship. He looked around and found that the best research was being done at Baylor College of Medicine, so he applied there and a number of other places and was accepted at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. While there, he worked side by side with neurologists and neurosurgeons to do awake craniotomies “to test patients while they’re undergoing neurosurgery to determine if you’re cutting part of the brain that is important to ongoing cognitive functions.” He still had family in Albuquerque, so he made fifty round trip flights during that year. He states, “it was an important, hard, expensive year, but I got the experience that I needed.” Dr. Jung is a licensed psychologist and a practicing clinical neuropsychologist. He is president and owner of a private neuropsychology practice called Brain and Behavioral Associates, PC in Albuquerque, NM which “provides neuropsychological, legal,


34: Jeffrey Froh, PsyD – Writer, Professor, and Emerging Leader in the Rapidly Expanding Field of Positive Psychology

Dr. Jeffrey Froh is a writer, professor, and fast becoming a leader in the field of positive psychology. He attended St. Joseph’s University as an undergrad majoring in sociology and minoring in psychology, that is, until his dad asked him “Jeff, what are you gonna do with a degree in sociology?” After reflecting on this, Dr. Froh recalls answering, “I don’t know” to which his dad replied “Well, why don’t you major in Psych and minor in Sociology just so you can ‘hang a shingle.’” It was then that Dr. Froh changed his major and began focusing more on psychology. In this podcast, Dr. Froh recalls his academic and professional journey and shares the significant events, experiences, and people who have impacted his life and career. He discusses the reasons why he attended St. John’s University in Queens, NY and why he received his graduate degrees in School Psychology. Dr. Froh also shares why he chose the PsyD route versus earning a PhD and explains how it eventually helped him when getting an academic position at Hofstra University. He explains “they were looking for someone with a PsyD” to show students that you can go the academic route instead of the practitioner route. Many people automatically associate PhD with academic and PsyD with practitioner so Dr. Froh was happy to help Hofstra University show that this doesn’t have to be the case. During our discussion, he shares how he developed an interest in, and passion for, the rapidly expanding field of positive psychology. Dr. Froh has been teaching at Hofstra University since 2006 and, during this time, he created a Positive Psychology course that is one of the most popular courses in Hofstra’s history. He is a Distinguished Teacher of the Year recipient, and he is a New York State certified school psychologist and a licensed psychologist. Dr. Froh is a past Associate Editor for The Journal of Positive Psychology, and he is the Founder and past Clinical Director of the Positive Psychology Institute for Emerging Adults. Dr. Froh provides guidance and advice to those interested in the field of psychology. Among other things, he believes research and clinical experience is crucial for those interested in attending graduate school in psychology. While discussing his career, Dr. Froh admits “every job that I’ve had, any school psych thing or academic adjunct, whatever, I was able to put the foot in the door was because of a relationship.” He then shares the backstory behind how he got the academic appointment at Hofstra University. He also shares what a typical day looks like as a Professor of Psychology at Hofstra University and reveals that one of the benefits of the job is “you can recreate yourself as a professor, you know, which is one of the beauties of the job.” Dr. Froh explains how he met his wife and how they became co-owners of Positive Psychological Counseling Services, LLC and why, after working so hard to get the practice up and running, he decided to walk away because he thought he was supposed to be doing something else. Dr. Froh explains that the practice, Family Psychology of Long Island in Oakdale (NY), is still up and running and that Dr. Mark Furshpan is running the business and is a phenomenal clinician. Dr. Froh walked away so that he could focus on writing. This led to a discussion of his new book “Thrive: 10 Commandments for 20-Somethings to Live the Best-Life-Possible” and why he wrote it as well as how he used many different sources in the book including Scripture, science, philosophy, Greek mythology, and stories from his clients, students, and personal stories. One unique thing about Dr. Froh that many people may not know is that he loves listening to Christian rap music. In fact, his favorite artist, NF, is actually highlighted in Chapter 5 of his new book. Connect with Jeffrey Froh: Faculty Website | Faculty Profile | Thrive BookConnect with the Show: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


33: Jada Philips, PhD – Encouraging Advice from a Licensed Psychologist and Owner of Reserved For You Psychological Services

Dr. Jada Philips originally wanted to be a lawyer. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, WI, she moved to New York with her then boyfriend, now husband, with the idea of going to Columbia University to become a criminal lawyer. Circumstances changed so she adjusted and used her interest in psychology and her psychology classes toward earning her Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College in NY. Dr. Philips describes this part of her journey as going with the flow. In this podcast, Dr. Jada Philips (known as “Dr. J”) recalls her academic and professional journey leading up to her opening her own private practice in New Jersey called “Reserved For You Psychological Services.” She shares her experiences and thoughts in hopes of helping those interested in the field of psychology or wanting to become a licensed psychologist and opening their own business. She admits there were some challenges along the way but said “I have pushed beyond what people said I could do.” She shares some of the challenges associated with starting your own private practice. She also discusses how and why she earned two master’s degrees and why she decided to receive her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Walden University. Throughout the podcast, Dr. J offers practical advice to those who are seeking a graduate degree in psychology and those wanting to become a licensed psychologist. For example, she states “definitely speak with enrollment staff about the whole licensing requirements for [your] state. Find out how many hours you need. Find out how the school assists in getting those hours or having connections to other businesses or other mental health professionals that can help get those hours.” Dr. J also recalls how many clinical hours were required to receive her New York psychologist license and how important it is to find the postdoc opportunities and those people who can sign off on your hours. When asked if she had any additional advice for those wanting to break into the field of psychology or open their own private practice, she offered these encouraging words “if you’re willing to do it, step out on your own” and “I would say do it if you want it. If that’s where your interest is at, don’t let anything hold you back.” She also shared that she joined a group on Facebook called “Clinicians of Color [in Private Practice]” that helped her overcome some of the challenges of thinking through and starting her business. She said that there are many BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) therapists in the group and many people who own their own private practice who share their information and stories which helped her and can help others wanting to open their own psychology private practice. Near the end of our discussion, I learned one thing that is unique about Dr. J, she loves giraffes. When she was younger, she remembers everybody liking a certain animal, usually one of the common animals like a cheetah or elephant. She loves giraffes because they are so unique and different. With this in mind, I believe she would enjoy, and agree with, the following advice “Don’t be afraid to stick your neck out and reach for your goals.” Connect with Jada Philips: LinkedIn | Facebook | Instagram | WebsiteConnect with the Show: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn Interests and Specializations Dr. Jada Philips has over 14 years of mental health experience and she specializes in individual therapy, testing and assessments, and private consultations. She develops individualized therapy treatments for people suffering from trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, and loss. Her treatment approach is centered on the person as a whole. She also has a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace Certificate. Education Bachelor of Arts (BA), Criminal Justice (2005); Mount Mary University, Milwaukee, WI.Master of Arts (MA),