It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, but we’re calling it Mental Health Action Month. And what stronger action is there that making your career in mental health? There are many professional paths within the field, find out how Taylor decided on Psychology.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN PSYCHOLOGY?
I had a few classes in college that sparked my interest. I took “Intro to Psychology” and thought, “Wow, it’s fascinating that there are humans who do experiments on other humans to figure out how they work.” I was inspired and eventually realized that instead of learning ABOUT people, I wanted to work WITH people, so I went into the clinical side of things.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE CONSIDERING A CAREER IN PSYCHOLOGY?
Read books about psychology and volunteer with people who are hurting, underprivileged, and under-served. Put yourself in their world. To current students: customize your degree program to what you want to do: if you only want to do outpatient psychotherapy, don’t get a doctorate in neuroscience, get a clinical mental health or social work degree.
COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR JOB DUTIES?
I help patients who have had traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries reintegrate back into their lives. I conduct talk therapy and neuropsychological assessments. If you broke your arm, you wouldn’t pick up a twenty-pound dumbbell and see how many times you can lift it. With neuro-psych assessments, we figure out how much a brain can “lift.”
WHAT WAS YOUR EDUCATION PATH?
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Philosophy > Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology > Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST FULFILLING ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION?
It’s as simple as helping people. There are moments where I ask myself, “Did I do something worthwhile today?” and I don’t have to think very hard to answer it.