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Every semester I have a student who emails me with a request to interview me about what it’s like to have a private practice. I thought I would publish my answers in hopes to help others who are considering interview this field.
1. How many hours per week are you expected to work in this field?
There is no expectation in private practice but on average therapists work 20 hours. Since I am balancing being a supervisor and seeing my own clients, I average 40 hours a week.
2. Can you describe your experience balancing life and work?
One of the benefits of being self employed is the ability set my own hours. Which makes balancing life and work easier. The hard part is to not be a ‘Therapist’ all the time. To address that issue I try to avoid discussing what I do while socializing.
3. What qualities do you need to have to be successful in this field?
Besides being passionate about psychology one needs to love marketing and networking.
4. What do you find to be the most rewarding aspects of this field?
When clients have aha moments.
5. A lot of people think that the field of psychology is an “easy” major or that you cannot find a job with a degree in psychology. What would you say to debunk this misconception and encourage a student to purse a degree in psychology?
I think the degree can be converted to a lot of other positions that require understanding of human nature. Sales, HR, and child oriented positions come to mind.
6. What advice would you give to a student who is considering studying psychology?
To drill down on what their intent in studying it is. Is it for the love of learning or to actually be employed in the field. If employment is the goal then figure out what part of psychology is of interest, it is a very broad field.