sherp

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Hello,

I have a chronic problem with social anxiety and am interested in pursuing a career in psychology, preferably clinical. While my anxiety is predominately an issue when it comes to making small talk and talking for extended periods, I am a very good listener and am gifted with a powerful intuition and believe I would make an excellent psychologist. I have completed my bs in psych and saw myself as a natural in class discussions and was really able to grasp the material well. Does anyone think I should avoid this career? I know this is tough to answer as I haven't given you much info...is there anyone here who suffers from social anxiety and is a psychologist?
 

Therapist4Chnge

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There are clinicians who have a range of Dx's who are able to do well in the field. There are a few more bumps in the process (as grad. school is inherently anxiety provoking, demanding, etc), but people find a way to deal with it. You'd also need to be extra careful with counter transference issues and/or over-identifying with your patients who may share some of the same challenges.
 

2BeAProfessor

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Don't forget that you can seek help for your own self prior to entering graduate school to make the transition more easier on yourself....be it self-help via books on small talk or therapy...
 
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gradstudentNOS

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Honestly most of the people in my program have issues, me included. If its what you really want to do, get yourself a good shrink and do it. I have a huge public speaking phobia and I make an ass out of myself on a regular basis. But I keep going back and Ill get through. Think, if you get through this you will be able to give your clients the courage to do it too one day. The key is not giving up. And benzos :)
 

WannaBeDrMe

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I, too, had a few people in my program with active diagnoses that they disclosed to the group and certainly, we all have family/friend issues that led to distress at some point along the way.

It is absolutely critical to make sure that you have a support network if you know you are vulnerable going into a clinical placement. I was placed in an internship with a person who relapsed completely, lied to school for a bit, then ended up arrested, and is now, totally not able to function.

Would this have happened anyway? I don't know... but the person had 8 years sober before starting the intensive and triggering clinical placement. It was a very difficult thing to go through for all of us... the process of clinical training... and so, I imagine the more vulnerable you are when you walk into that setting, the more complications are going to come up...

T4C was especially right about counter-transference stuff. I once laughed in the face of a young adult actively symptomatic gal w/borderline. I never would have done that if I wasn't exasperated by a personal issue... it was a mockery to this patient's real clinical symptoms. Don't count on your supervisor to correct you, either, because no one ever called me out on that... NO ONE... b/c a lot of stigma exists around that diagnosis... but I should have been called out. It was unprofessional and it was an issue I should have addressed in supervision.

So, good luck, congrats on your decision to go into the field.
 

psychlove

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I can relate--I too have social anxiety and phobias about public speaking.
I've found that it really came to a head when I entered my master's program. I also found that it finally gave me an opportunity to seek help. By sharing it with a counselor at the university's counseling center and being completely honest with my colleagues and advisor about my apprehensions, I've been able to come out of my shell and even be called "confident."

Therefore, if you're motivated enough to do well and you're passionate about your field then there is help available and you can overcome your fears.
 

2BeAProfessor

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I would edit "psychlove"'s statement to say that if you're motivated enough, AND YOU SEEK HELP for your issues, then there is help available and you can overcome your fears.

A friend of mine did a MS in clinical psychology and said that we're psychology students and if I become a therapist without seeking therapy for myself - that's hypocritical of me as I am recommending a product/pathway that I myself have not tried!
 

2BeAProfessor

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Also, quick note: a student I know of got dismissed from a grad school program because they had a lot of anxiety towards a client with certain issues - i'd say seek help now and the transition into graduate school becomes much more easier.
 
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