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AcademicGround >> School Psychologist?


6/22/07 4:59 PM
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money8
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Edited: 22-Jun-07
Member Since: 07/25/2003
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I have a BA in Psychology and I am looking into a School Psychology program. Just wanted some feedback on job satisfaction from some people who have experience in this area. I am scared to put 3 years of school in just to be completely frustrated with the politics of the school system and end up changing careers (again). Thanks in advance for the feedback.
6/23/07 3:16 AM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 23-Jun-07
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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My friend does school psych and really likes it, but is often frustrated by it. Especially in elementary school, you often get the unenviable job of being the first person to tell parents that their kids are disabled in some way. The resentment toward this is, apparently, quite fierce. She also has to deal with teachers who have absurd Tom Cruise like opinions on psychology (one even tried to sell a parent on the Indigo Child bullshit).
6/23/07 7:57 AM
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money8
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Edited: 23-Jun-07
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Thanks for the post, Jonwell. I haven't even thought about dealing with parents or teachers with such tainted views. I can definitely see the frustration in that. My concern is that the job would just include testing all day and not much therapy. I would like to help the emotionally troubled kids (drugs, violence, etc.) get their shit together.
6/23/07 6:20 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 23-Jun-07
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She did mention that there's a lot of testing... not sure how predominant it is, but I can ask for you. My g/f (also a psych BA) recommends going for a social work masters degree, since you'll actually get to do what you want- work with troubled kids.
6/26/07 11:25 AM
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Ted Bennett
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Edited: 26-Jun-07
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ttt for forum bro eabeam - I believe he's a school psychologist or else works within that system, he could tell you a whole lot more than I could as a purely clinical guy.
6/26/07 1:01 PM
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money8
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Edited: 26-Jun-07
Member Since: 07/25/2003
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Thanks for the posts. I saw eabeam post on another thread and wanted to talk with him, but I am unable to e-mail him without a pro account.
6/27/07 8:45 AM
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money8
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Edited: 27-Jun-07
Member Since: 07/25/2003
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ttt
6/28/07 6:12 PM
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Jonwell
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Edited: 28-Jun-07 06:16 PM
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i massaged messaged eabeam for you.
6/28/07 6:32 PM
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money8
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Edited: 28-Jun-07
Member Since: 07/25/2003
Posts: 5
lol....thanks Jonwell. You've been very helpful..
6/29/07 9:38 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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Yes, I am school psychologist. For me, it was a great career choice. The only thing I would have done differently has to have stayed in an get my PhD. Once you get used to a real-world paycheck, it is hard to get back into higher-ed, where the real job satisfaction (but not $$) is.... Some key points. A - Like most careers in public education, you have to get use to the idea of the same job description for a long time. B - The job description varies, depending most ly on the state. I was trained in New England and work in California. I am also on the Board of Directors for the California Assoc. for School Psychologists. I can speak intelligently for those regions of the US. C - In terms of $$, vacation, and benefits --- school psychologists do very well. I pay my psychs high $70's to mid $80's for a 210 day contract (10 weeks vacation). Full-medical, dental, and state teacher pension. D - You will be jack-of-all-trades, master of none. You will have to do assessment (behavior, learning disability, some psychopathology), lite counseling, crisis intervention, and program development evaluation. E - One of my favorite advantages is the environment. Morale is low lately due to NCLB, but consider other environments that you can work mental health. (Completely over generalized, don't flame me, I am just illustrating a point.) I can work with behavior kids, developmentally delayed kids, learning disabled. I may also due grief counseling with healthy, normal kids that actually thank-you. You can mentor a student organization, etc. Hospital - people at their worse point, their stays may be short, or they may be so psychotic that the meds are more important that the counseling. Community mental health clinic - over-worked, underpaid, working with people that may or may not appreciate or care about your effort. University - great job sat. low $$$ Private practice - good $$$ once you are licensed and established, but you usually have to work somewhere else to get to that point. Jail - Good $$$. But you work at a jail. People will follow along with the program, then forget you existed when they are out.
6/29/07 9:40 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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For more info... www.nasponline.org www.casponline.org or ericadambeam@aim.com Or you can just ask me some specifics ???s on here. (I had been lazy, if I am on my laptop - I should be working on my dissertation. My answer, use laptop less = less guilt.)
6/29/07 9:41 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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Oh, and yes it is REALLY stessfull. But that's what all of the vacation is for... you will need it.
6/29/07 10:01 AM
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money8
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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Thanks for the feedback eabeam. That is some good information. I truly want to work with disadvantaged children in an educational setting, but the attrition rates are alarming. School counseling attrition rate is 60% in the first year and teachers are close to 50% in the first 3 years. It definitely makes me think hard about the decision to enter the public education sector. I am second guessing my ability to handle that type of stress. I don't know if I can "leave it at the office". I am trying to talk to people in the profession and see if the benefits outweigh the (my personal) costs.
6/29/07 10:10 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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People that have a hard time coping usually fall into 2 categories. 1. They have their own psychological issues that create problems with role boundaries. My general advice for this is to never go into a mental health field where you are still dealing your own issues. I do not think that people dealing with coming from broken homes should do family counseling, 3 time divorcees should do couples therapy, etc. and/or 2. they did not receive good supervision in their internships or rookie years. If you have a quality program and quality internship (one that focuses as much on your development as the free/cheap labor) you should be given the skills to deal with that kind of stuff.
6/29/07 1:31 PM
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money8
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
Member Since: 07/25/2003
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Thanks again eabeam. I have done alot of research on school psychology, but you are the first person who has touched on the different areas and actually spoke candidly about them.
7/23/07 6:38 AM
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eabeam
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Edited: 23-Jul-07
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My experience is that the higher the restrictiveness, the higher the burnout and staff turnover. The residential units I send my students to are always turning staff over. #1 - It is a different skill set than outpatient alone. #2 - It is high stress. My wife supervises a Day Treatment facility. She is constantly trying to get the good therapists to transfer out to outpaitent before they get too burned out. Otherwise, the agency loses them completely.
6/20/08 3:23 PM
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eabeam
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Money8... whatever happenned?

Are you grad school?

What program?
8/29/08 10:08 PM
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eabeam
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Would still love to hear an update!
8/30/08 9:53 AM
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ViewType
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Member Since: 9/6/02
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A school psychologist? Wowwee, cool! Then you could write a book report on other people's psychological research and publish it as "On Killing" and become hailed as an expert in killology.

Oh, wait, that was already done by a school psychologist.

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