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What was your biggest motivation towards becoming a counseling psychologist ?

I'm a freshman in Waimea High School and I'm interested in majoring in psychology in college and hopefully becoming a therapist.

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Katherine’s Answer

Hi Rianne,

I was always interested in psychology because I heard my parents teach me and my siblings about parenting and parenting skills, since they wanted to be better parents than their own parents had been, and they had good books in our house that they referenced...but it was always interesting to me how their own upbringing and bad habits were ingrained and they didn't have so much motivation for doing things differently, and so there were always dissonances between how I was "being taught" to have a marriage and family, versus what I saw my parents doing every day to try to relate well with their spouse and kids--my parents still have trouble with their marriage and their relationships with their kids, but I started really reading their books and then studying more where I could, to learn to really do things better. My siblings and I are all adults now and we know some things that our parents just haven't learned yet.

I haven't become a psychologist myself though I have considered it for an undergrad degree and also for grad school; but I have learned a lot and always keep learning.

Just in terms of wanting to learn more about the field, you will want to become familiar with some good professionals who have put out good books and podcasts etc.--look up John Townsend, Henry Cloud, Les and Leslie Parrott, Gary Chapman, Ross Campbell, John and Julie Gottman, Terry Real, and John Delony and get familiar with the kinds of things they say and write and teach, as well as John Gray's books What You Feel You Can Heal and Beyond Mars and Venus; and you could also work to become at least somewhat familiar with 12-step programs and what their tradition and culture are. Knowing about these resources can let you know the kinds of conversations that are happening about things that many people come to psychologists for help with, and let you start to know what you would want to look into further or form your own opinions.
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