President’s Column, By Dennis O’Grady, Psy.D.
One of my favorite sayings I learned in high school speech class was, “He climbs highest who helps another up.” As a “Senior Psychologist,” I am truly impressed regarding the passionate drive and keen insights of our esteemed “Junior Psychologists.” If we keep an open mind, we have much to learn from one another and be grateful for. My oldest daughter who graduated from SOPP, Dr. Erin Curro, recently passed the grueling EPPP exam. In my opinion, it’s the Marine Corps boot camp version of pushups for new recruits. I’m not a fan. Erin has one more Jurisprudence Exam hoop to jump through to become a newly anointed psychologist. Truth be told Erin performs far better than her dad did at the same age and stage. But don’t tell her that! LOL.
Dr. Curro is moving to Boston soon to begin her new practice, and I will surely miss her and her husband, Jim, who is my son by heart. I love them both very much. And I admire the sparkle in their eyes, the fire in their bellies, and the bounce in their step as they both lean into their respective careers.
So, I decided to ask Erin how we “Senior Psychologists” could “help up” and be of highest service to our esteemed “Junior Psychologists” for this column. And here’s what Dr. Curro advised:
From a Junior (almost licensed!) Psychologist
Authenticity: model being yourself and that it’s OK to not have to be “perfect.” I am learning that Psychologists are a really funky (and fun!) bunch, can we take pride in just owning that fact already? 😊
Collegial Relationships & Respect: the Imposter Syndrome is still really real and I definitely do not feel like I know it all, in fact I feel like there is still so much I have to learn. Senior Psychologists still walk on water to me. Please make me feel visible and valuable as a member of our field. Be curious and open, I would love to share some of the things I have learned with you too. For example, being asked my opinion or to consult with you is one of the highest compliments. It Is an honor to feel helpful.
Guidance: even though I am no longer being supervised, I am still eager to learn and miss supervision, and believe a wonderful mentor is invaluable. Help guide me in this early career transition process and pass down the “tools of the trade” so that I can continue to grow and do the same for others. Share with me some of the knowledge and wisdom you wished you had when you were in my shoes that served a pivotal role in your personal and professional development.
Connect with Compassion: little acts of kindness go a long way; show an interest in getting to know me. I would love our field as a whole to feel more diversely connected.
Empathy: please do not forget what it’s like to be where I am, not just developmentally, but also emotionally. It’s not easy feeling like the “freshman” in a group of “seniors.” Any and all support is greatly appreciated. Getting licensed is an arduous process; taking the EPPP alone was very anxiety producing.
Gratitude is an attitude. I challenge all of you “Senior Psychologists” to reach out to a “Junior Psychologist” and help them up. Go the extra mile and smile. Ask how you can be of help. Let us together recall how we’ve all been helped up.
Looking forward to seeing all of you at our next DAPA CEU event. And invite a young colleague, too.
Finally, please email Dr. Terri Pelley at firstname.lastname@example.org your warmest thanks for her astute leadership as our 2019 DAPA President.