When I began grad school in 2008 to pursue a degree in Counseling Psychology, I planned to become a practitioner, possibly a professor and academic researcher. To be honest, that’s all I knew about psychology – I didn’t realize there were so many more career options. But as I finished my M.A. in Counseling Psych at Loyola University Chicago, I knew that therapy wasn’t for me. I decided to pursue an additional research-focused degree and enrolled in another M.A. program, this time in Human Sexuality at San Francisco State University. If you’re going to learn about research it might as well be on a fun topic.
As my second degree came to a close, I was tired of being a broke student. I loved doing research, but the thought of another 4-6 years in grad school pursuing a Ph.D. was too much. Living in the most expensive city in the country was taking its toll, and my student loans were already sky-high. I needed a job – preferably one that pays well.
I was also disenchanted with academic research. I disliked that it took years to finish a study and it seemed the results, while meaningful long-term, weren’t immediately making an impact. But what I really hated were lit reviews – designing studies and analyzing data were much more fun. I dreamed of a job where research moved fast, results were immediately clear and actionable, and lit reviews were a thing of the past. I didn’t think such a role existed, but I was about to stumble upon it.
It is a time of turmoil and dramatic change in the United States. This is reflected in divisive executive orders, the rise in hate crimes, and hate rhetoric targeted at marginalized groups.
So what can you do? This article calls on psychologists and psychologists-in-training to use their expertise and privilege to combat prejudice and discrimination as well as promote inclusion across the spectrum of diverse identities.
The Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB) has repeatedly explained that its mission is to support licensing boards in meeting their goal of public protection. With this in mind, on March 21, 2016, the ASPPB announced its intention to create a competency exam, the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology Step 2 (EPPP2), which the ASPPB expects to be ready for implementation by January of 2019. Unlike the EPPP, which is intended to assess knowledge, the EPPP2 is intended to assess competency-based skills. While public protection is an admirable goal, and one which I believe the ASPPB is sincerely committed to, it’s unclear how this additional test would help licensing boards meet their goal of public protection. The EPPP itself has been subject to many critiques that remain unanswered, critiques that would likely apply to the EPPP2 as well. Due to the significant investments of time and money students will be required to make in taking the EPPP2 (the cost of the EPPP is $687 in most jurisdictions, and half of test takers spend over 200 hours preparing), these critiques should be addressed prior to the implementation of the EPPP2.
A few years ago, I visited the tomb of Oscar Wilde, atop of which is a glorious sculpture by Jacob Epstein which sets it apart from all others in Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. Something else which set it apart is the covering of lipstick kisses which I am almost certain Wilde, as a covert narcissist would have approved of. This adoration he would have regarded as rightly deserved after being misunderstood at the very end of his life.
The Covert Narcissist
If you, like Wilde are apt to see all around you as inferior and rather than make a scene, retreat into either spoken or written witticisms, knowing that one phrase from you is worth ten of everyone else’s then you may well be a covert rather than a more obvious narcissist. Wilde could encapsulate a whole paragraph of superiority on any topic into a few pithy and extremely witty words. One of my favourite quotes is his commentary upon poverty: “Charity creates a multitude of sins”.
As many of you already know, President Trump issued an executive order on January 23rd to freeze the hiring of Federal civilian employees across the executive branch with the exception of military personnel. The President’s memorandum can be found here. At present, this freeze includes all hiring at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BoP), and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Taken together, these three Federal departments are host to more than 700 APA-accredited internship slots, the vast majority of which are accredited through the VA.