#21 Career Close-up: Psychologist Transcript



The test to get your license is a pretty grueling test. So that’s at the end of everything else that you do, you take a national test. The people study for months for so very much like the bar exam for lawyers or the medical exams for physicians, it’s all the work of becoming a lawyer or a physician.


And I can tell you right now, Yeah, lots of reading, lots of writing, lots of clinical practice ahead of time,


uh, career as a psychologist, the dream of many of the students I work with for most, they desire to serve others through being a therapist. I found my decade plus of college major and career coaching that without close investigation, this is a career path, often underestimated in what it takes to get to the finish line.


My guest on today’s career closeup is clinical psychologist, Dr. Robin Arthur, who shares about four different pathways for those who want to become therapist, as well as other careers in the field of psychology. She also shares how, as a practicing positive psychologist, she is helping families with teens and young adults navigate stress and build resilience.


She based this around her free resource. She has her parents in that she’ll share with us in this episode, I’m Lisa, mark Robins, and I want to welcome you to college and career clarity, a flourish coaching production. Let’s dive right in to. Great conversation.


well, I always love to do our career spotlights and today we have, what I know is going to be a wild, hot. For people, psychology. So we are welcoming to the show. Dr. Robyn Arthur. She is a psychologist, a clinical psychologist. She uses positive psychology and working with families, adults, adolescents, Robin, welcome to the show.


Hi, Lisa. Good to see you today. Thank you for having. Oh, I’m excited. The reason. So I want to give everybody the backstory that I already shared with you on why I was like, okay, we’ve got to do a career close up on psychology. I recently posted a job for what basically is an executive assistant position with my company.


And I had over 400 applicants, which is not surprising right now because it’s a remote job. So those are super popular. But what did surprise me was I said, I prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree. We got lots of them. And the number one degree for this executive assistant position was a psychology degree and undergrad, which fascinated me.


So as I got into interviewing people, I still had. Those that had that degree. And even though on face value, it was maybe like, well, that’s not what this job is, but they had some work history there. And when I asked them, well, tell me about majoring in psychology and undergrad, lots of people while I love the, the subject.


I loved the major that I underestimated the career. And what it would take to be a practicing psychologist. So we are here today to help in some of those people said, like, I wish I would have maybe done another major, but some said, well, I loved it. And eventually I found my way into this type of work that I’m also loving.


But I thought we need to fill people in on the requirements that are vastly underestimated, and I knew you would be the perfect person to help us. So let’s start with just how people, what is the psychologist, a doctor of psychology. Yeah, well, a doctor of psychology is prepared to do a lot of things.


That’s one advantage of the degree. So you’re prepared to do research. You’re prepared to do therapy. You’re prepared to work in hospital settings or private practice settings or community mental health settings. You’re prepared to write. You’re prepared to teach. You’re prepared to go into the business world if you want, because of a good even undergrad in psychology is a nice liberal arts degree, prepares you to understand human behavior, to understand how to motivate people.


So. I think that’s why a lot of young people love psychology is they either take it in high school. They take the psych 1 0 1 class and they’re like, I love psychology. I want to be a psychologist, but they don’t understand the career path to truly be a licensed psychologist. It is a great degree. If you can stand to get through the whole process.


Right? I mean, I took lots of psychology classes when I was in my undergrad, even in grad school is a fascinating topic. And what I love to hear from you is like all of those different areas that it set somebody up that they could eventually. Flourish in a wide array of careers. What I found was the people I was talking to that when they went into it in often the teams that I’m working with, as they’re trying to figure out what comes after graduation that we do in our launch career clarity course, most of them are aimed at.


They want to talk to people, help people. But I love hearing that long list that you just gave us. Yeah. Where do you see people? Most commonly go. I mean, that was a lot of, like, you could research, you could teach at the college level, you can do therapy. Where do you see most people had with that? Yeah, I think most people go into and thinking they want to be a therapist.


They want to work with people. Now you can get an industrial organizational psychology degree and then you go right into business. So there are sub fields under psychology, but most people are saying, I really do want to go work with people and be a therapist when they start out. So you mentioned if you can get there, there’s a, there’s a lot of opportunity.


Right, but the path to get there. And that’s what I learned and saw in people a path to get there underestimated. So let’s talk about the path. If you’re going to go into a doctor of psychology, do you have to have that bachelor’s in psychology or could you get a different degree? Well, okay. So the path is extremely compelling.


And I don’t think people really understand that when they major in psychology. So if someone comes to me and says, what do I need to do to be a psychologist? I say, you need to hit the ground running from the beginning of your college degree. So within the first year, you’re going to take a lot of psychology class as that will help you understand, is this really what I want?


In addition, you need to be doing community service in psychological settings of some sort like group homes and things like that. Community mental health settings, you need to be getting as much of that under your belt, as you can. You need to make sure you have a very high GPA because most psychology programs take between 10 and 15 people.


So that’s not very many. When you think about how many people really want psychology to do. You need to be writing with a doctoral level psychologist, if you can, during research, if you can, and you’re going to be doing all of this while you’re getting your degree. So if your bachelor’s degree, your bachelor’s degree, so people think it’s an easy bachelor’s degree.


It’s, it’s really not. You do a lot of writing when you’re getting a bachelor’s degree and you have to do a lot of statistics. So if you get through your bachelor’s and then you start applying for your graduates. And I would say apply to as many as you possibly can because they are very competitive and sometimes you don’t get accepted the first year.


And if this is something you really want to do, you take an extra year, you build up your resume, you do work setting things, and then you’ll apply again. I would say if you don’t get up in the second time, I wouldn’t, I would pick a new way. Yeah, you’re right. I think some people go in there and go like, oh, these psychology classes are pretty easy.


And so maybe the bachelor level psychology classes aren’t necessarily grueling like an organic chem or something for a pre-med student. But if you’re really aimed at, I want to go all the way through and get that PhD in psychology. It’s the. Ancillary work, the extra curricular work that you really need to be doing to set yourself up, to be able to go that path.


Absolutely. Because once you get into graduate school, you have another four years of courses, then you have a full year internship. And then if you do a post doctoral study, like I did a postdoc in neuro-psychology also you’re in school about as long as becoming a medical doctor. And then you go out and look for jobs or start a private practice or whatever.


So it is a long path. You have to be. I think that is underestimated as well. Like how many years? So we’ve got four years undergrad. So then they’re actively applying to their master’s program, cast a super wide net. If you don’t get in the first year, try one more year again, cast a super wide net because they are very limited in how many students they take.


Then you’ve got two years for your master’s degree. And then two years of coursework with the doctoral degree, would you say again, your advice when you’re then looking at the PhD programs, are you casting another wide net? Are you like, what does that process look like? Yeah. Well, so you do two years, you get your master’s another two years of coursework and clinical practicums.


So you start practicing after your masters. And when you’re looking for your doctoral programs, you want to look for people who are doing the kind of work you want to do when you’re spinning. And then cast a wide net to as many people, as you can try to get to know those professors ahead of time, if you can, because it’s not just about grade point, it’s about your personality.


It’s about how well you match in the program. So, and if it’s a funded program it’s even more competitive than a program that you’re going to pay for a lot of time, the PhD programs prepare you, especially well for research and the CIDY programs prepare you, especially well for. Practicing as a psychologist and therapy.


So there are two different doctoral level psychologist, uh, good point. So two very different programs. If we go back to what you said at the beginning about the wide array of fantastic career choices that are out there for someone who’s got the grit to get through. The education and the training side of this it’s really, once you get to that, you’re heading into your doctoral program that you really start to need to understand better.


Like, am I going in because I want to do therapy. I want to do research. I want to teach. And then that helps inform that choice around the PhD program. Am I hearing. Absolutely that’s accurate. And I will tell people that there are other ways to become a therapist. So if you don’t like, let’s talk about this because that there are other less grueling ways to become a therapist.


Because I think when we’re having those conversations inside my Facebook community, or when I’m engaging with people on social or they go to one of my free events or they’re in our launch course, oftentimes the heart of the matter is. I just want to help people. I want to do therapy. I want to talk to people I think now, and we’ll talk about this and just a bit with everything that’s gone on with COVID and the stress that our, our teens and our families are under.


And I want to definitely give some time to that today and how that relates to the work that you do as a psychologist. If the heart of it is therapy, what are those other. Paths, the other types of quote therapists that are out there. And how do those differ from what you do as a clinical psychologist?


Yeah, I think that’s a great question. And I frequently tell this to people. If they come to me and say, I want to do therapy, I give them all the levels. So you can become a social worker, a master’s level social worker, and you can do therapy. By becoming a social worker, you can become a licensed professional counselor and do therapy.


You can even go to nursing. If you love sciences, you can go to nursing and become a psychiatric nurse and they frequently will do therapy as well. So then they can prescribe medications and. Because psychologists do not prescribe medications, psychiatrist prescribed medications, but a nurse can prescribe medications and do therapy.


So the nursing social work, licensed professional counselor, or the other paths you could take, not do as much schooling as getting a doctorate in psychology and still go out and practice as a therapist. And ultimately of those options are masters degree level. So we’re still looking at not just a bachelor’s degree, you’re always going, if you want to be a therapist, you always are going to have to do more than get your bachelor’s degree.


That’s correct. If you just get a bachelor’s degree, you can go work in a community, mental health setting and places like that, but you’re never going to be a licensed. Therapist. The other thing with a bachelor’s degree, just to put it out there is it’s a very well-rounded degree. You can go into business, you can go into marketing, you can get a master’s in marketing, you can do all kinds of things in business.


A lot of financial planners have undergrads in psychology, so it is a nice well-rounded degree, but it does not prepare you for a career course, right out of your bachelor’s degree, you’re going to have to look harder at what do I do with it. If I don’t go on to become a therapist or a doctoral level psychology.


And everybody, it’s a long commitment to get there, but if it’s truly what you love to do, I don’t ever want to dissuade somebody from doing what they truly think they want to do. I think too, it’s like you already said, you got to really know yourself. Well, particularly once you get to that point where you’re looking at grad school programs.


Inside my framework that I teach pillar one is know yourself really deeply then know careers and do the research. So you’re looking for that alignment. And sometimes alignment might even be like, I don’t what I just heard her say, eight years of school plus internships. I don’t want to do that much.


That’s okay. If, if that’s where you, you’re going to say like, okay, that’s not in alignment with me, but it’s doing the research to just know before you go. And like you said, if you go in with your eyes wide open and you know what you’re getting into and you want to study psychology then great. But understand what it takes to get there.


Now, psychologists are licensed by each state. Correct? That’s correct. So I’m licensed in Ohio currently. They are doing some things now where you can practice across state lines. They’re trying to open that up, but currently you have to be licensed and the patient has to be in the state where you are practicing.


There’s very, very similar. There’s a national test you take, and then you take a state test also. So if I went to Florida and wanted to practice in Florida, I would have to take the Florida test. That is I’m sure very similar, but you do get licensed in every state that you practice in. Okay. So, and I, I tell students who are heading into school, like if you want to stay in your home state or you want to move out of your home state, you really should look at licensure requirements.


That’s a very, that’s a great idea. Absolutely. And the test to get your license is a pretty grueling test. So that’s at the end of everything else that you do, you take a national test that people study for months for so very much like the bar exam for lawyers or the medical exams for physicians, it’s all the work of becoming a lawyer or a physician.


And I can tell you right now, lots of reading, lots of writing, lots of clinical practice ahead of. So a lot of people love to talk to people and they want to do the therapy side, but you’re like, you better be up for the reading and writing. And I tell students out about, if they say, I want to be an attorney, you better be up for the research, the reading, the writing that goes into it.


And that pathway. Absolutely. Talk a little bit more about, so you, you mentioned that you finish all that coursework and then you’ve got to do an internship. And I know that’s also true of if you go the other path of like a social worker, a licensed professional counselor, I would assume also with the psychiatric nurse, if you can do it, you want to do an American, psychological association accredited internship.


So we call it an APA accredited. Those are very competitive. Also, there are more students applying than there are APA internships available every year. So it’s a very stressful day on match day. Just like physicians it’s match day because you go through all your interviews. It costs you a lot of money to go interview all these places and you just.


For the email telling you if you’ve matched or not. And if you didn’t, then you either wait another year to try to get an APA accredited internship, or you take an unaccredited internship. We don’t recommend that unless you never want to practice in a hospital or a government agency because those, the government and hospitals typically require that you did an APA accredited intern.


That’s not to say that you can’t get your license without doing that. Cause you can, and there are people who do it, but if you can do the APA credit, you shut it. And remember it’s very competitive. So it’s going to open more doors of opportunity and you should count on it being a requirement at the hospital level or any kind of government work.


Absolutely. Yes. And how long is the internship? Typically? An internship is a full year. That’s another. Some internships are paid. Some are not some practicum sites when you’re practicing are paid, some are not. So you have to think about your income loss for all those years, that you’re in school. Also.


There’s a lot to consider and deciding to get a doctorate really in any field to get a doctor is a big committee. Yep. Before we start talking about the work that you do and how you’ve chosen to specialize. I want to hop back to something you said earlier. So you had mentioned when you’re getting that bachelor’s degree, one of the extracurriculars that you’re building that resume to make yourself a highly likely or increase your likelihood of getting a new master’s program would be to work at.


Agencies homes. Let’s talk a little bit about that extracurricular. Cause as you’re saying it and I work with teenagers and so to you, I’m thinking like, well, they, they could start this in high school too. This would be a great resume builder all the way back in high school. If you think that maybe you might want to do this.


So talk a little bit more specifically, like what kind of jobs might you see them doing? I think a lot of is probably even volunteering, but what opportunities are out there a little bit more specifically? Like what might they be doing? So, yes, volunteering is great. Anything that feels, thinks, looks like social services of any kind.


And that’s like in high school years, as you get into your college years, you’re going to want to go to community mental health agencies frequently we’ll have college students in group homes. We’ll have college students. It’s much harder to get into hospitals. So you’re really want to going to want to look for the community mental health agencies.


Sometimes schools will do it also with people who are thinking about psychology, but you really want to be thinking about what are some social service agencies where I can go volunteer or get paid to work. You can also look at your professors while you’re in your undergrad and see who’s doing research because they love undergrad students to help them with their research.


And that may not be a paid thing, but you’re going to get a good letter of recommendation. You may end up on one of their publications as an author, and those would be things that would help you get into graduates. Very good. So let’s talk a little bit more about specialization and the work that you do.


So you went through this grueling path. You, as I sat here and listened to the path, I’m like, Robin is one smart lady. She’s got grit, determination intelligence that obviously takes all of those things. So first of all, kudos to you for, for being able to accomplish that. It’s a huge accomplishment. Talk a little bit about how you have special.


The work that you do. Originally out of my career, I was, I did my post-doc in neuro-psychology, so I love the brain of a brain geek. And so I was doing a lot of work with how your brain affects you and your body mind spirit connection. Most recently. So I did my doctoral studies in child and adolescent and adult and neuropsychology.


Most recently I’ve really shifted in 2022 and to working with parents and families, because the need is so great to help parents and to help kids post pandemic because the mental health crisis, where, and is growing and growing. And it’s estimated that it’s not going to subside for about side years and many mental health professionals do not have space any longer in their practices.


So I really shifted away from doing more executive coaching and business stuff that I was doing back to. I really have a passion for helping parents and families. And that’s where my focus is right now. Oh, you’ve been a huge help in my launch community. I know you’re active in our Facebook community, launched college and career clarity, but those that were in my last cohort of the launch career clarity course had a masterclass with you that was live.


And I know they got a ton out of it. And even people have gone back and watched and rewatched the, even the recording. And I hear it from them about how helpful it was. So you’re exactly right. We might not be. Stop heading into the grocery store any longer, but certainly the stress, the anxiety, the issues have not gone away share with us.


I know you’ve got at, and we’ll put this in the show notes@postcovidparenting.com. You have a complimentary webinar, and I think this is great for two purposes. It showcases the work of a psychologist. Right, right. And it also is arming parents, teachers, other professionals, those that work with teens with some fantastic strategies.


So if, if a family goes to, if a parent heads over to post COVID parenting.com and watches your free webinar, what can they expect to learn? That’s going to help their kids in this post pandemic. Era. Well, the webinar will teach you the five common mistakes parents make with stressed out. And then what we’ll give you some strategies to change those mistakes.


And I always say this is a no judgment zone. I’ve made every mistake that I talk about with my four kids. So, right, exactly. It’s go get the information. Also, I just did a masterclass called post pandemic parenting. And what I did is I took what you would learn in my office if I had time available and I made it into a master class.


So that way I could reach as many parents as possible. So if you have it from kindergarten to college, This course can be very helpful to you in dealing with their emotions. If they’re out of control, dealing with their fears about COVID during dealing with their fears about going to college, going to kindergarten it’s it’s strategies, I would teach you in my office, explain that in a way that you can learn it and then you can teach it to your kids.


And so I always say, if I teach a parent and they have more than one child, All of those children get educated from the parent. So that ripple effect. And I think that goes back to the heart of where I started at the beginning of this interview, as we’re wrapping up now is when I hear people talk about, oh, I studied psychology.


And then I thought, oh gosh, I don’t want to go to school for, you know, four more years after this and do all of the things. Or I want to be a therapist. Somebody says that to me, the heart of the. Nine times out of 10. When I met a conversation about careers in psychology gets in there. It’s the heart of it is helping people.


It’s what I love about your practices. There’s only 24 hours in a day. We need to eat and sleep. You have a family, you have grandchildren as well. So the ripple effect of being able to put out the information to help families is huge. When ours and therapist officer limited, and it goes right back to that heart of somebody who’s doing therapy is helping others.


So thank you for the work that you’re doing. Robyn is fantastic. I hope our listeners will go take advantage of it. I learned a lot when you offered it to. Launch career clarity group. And I loved about that. We got to ask questions, live and interact, but that webinars are a fantastic way to help people.


So thanks for educating us on the field of psychology. I love these career closeups. No, thank you for having me, Lisa, I do want to say really fast. If you see the complimentary webinar and then you feel like you want to take the masterclass. I discounted it for the summer because I want as many parents to take it as possible.


So you use the summer program. The word summer when you sign up for it and you’ll get a huge discount. And then just please spread the word for me, because there are so many parents out there who need this help. I love talking about psychology. I’m passionate about helping people to live a joyful life.


So I appreciate Lisa having me on here too. I think we should mention that we are recording this and mental health month mental health awareness month, May, 2022, because what I’ve noticed on my podcast is people go back and listen to old episodes all the time. My first and second episodes are still getting fresh listens today.


So when we’re talking about your summer stuff, we’re talking summer 2022. Yeah. I’m sure that that URL is not going away and you’re going to have resources for parents, even if it’s past summer of 2022. So, absolutely. Thanks Robyn. Thank you, Lisa. My thanks to Dr. Arthur for making available her resources to help all families.


If you’re a regular listener, you know, at the end of each and every episode I give your college bound family a challenge that my hope is you’ll complete by the end of this very next weekend, I do this to help keep your college bound momentum going and to keep you out of overwhelm on what is a very busy time of life.


I was recently there. Regardless of any interest in psychology. I hope every family who’s listening today will go to post COVID parenting.com and watch Robin’s complimentary webinar to help you avoid mistakes that you like me may make with your stressed out teen or young. Now, if your team is interested in the field of psychology, the American psychological association has a robust website that I’m linking to.


In the show notes, they have a section in there called pre college and undergraduate use your college bound appointment this week to explore and learn about the field of psychology. On the APA site. I will link to that exact page of pre college and undergraduate in my show notes. Now, if you’re finding my conversations with guest helpful, I hope you’ll rate the podcast wherever you listen.


And bonus points for dropping a review, like a psychologist. My purpose is to help others in getting the podcast out there to college bound families. And those who work with teens and young adults helps me practice my purpose. And thank you for listening to the college and career clarity podcast, where I help your family move from overwhelmed and confused to motivated, clear and confident about your teens future .