Reflection on Personal and Professional Direction
During this course, we have read about and discussed the foundations of becoming a doctoral-level psychologist. We have looked at the doctoral process—the steps involved in building thinking, writing, and research skills, the practice involved, and perhaps most importantly, your purpose. One major aspect of a doctoral program is the need to become more self-aware of, more conscious of, and deliberate about the ways in which you think and behave in your personal and professional roles. This assignment asks you to reflect on all of these aspects and to develop your own story, answering the three key questions:
Why are you here? What are the primary interests, characteristics, and motivations that have moved you to pursue a doctoral program in psychology? What do you expect to be the value of your doctoral degree—to others, as well as to you?
What are you trying to become? How will you develop your own professional identity as a scholar-practitioner and a doctoral-level psychologist?
How will you do this? How will you analyze your interactions with other professionals, assess the level of expectation and responsibility of a doctoral-level psychologist, and meet the licensure expectations of roles at that level?
Complete the following:
Reflect on this course. As preparation for writing, review each of the following aspects of the first three assignments you completed during this course:
The research skills needed to complete those assignments.
The course readings, especially from your Critical Thinking in Psychology text.
The ethical aspects of conducting a research project like the one outlined in those assignments.
The summary of your findings from the research you did in the course project. What insights into your specialization topic did you gain from the experience?
The insights you have gained about yourself in the discussions and exchanges with your peers in this course.
The changes you have experienced in your self-image.
Any additional approaches you will need to consider to ensure that you meet the high ethical standards of a professional psychologist.
Consider the following:
Changes in your thinking and behavior. For each of these aspects, analyze the connection between changes in your thinking and the work you have done in this course. Describe specific examples that illustrate the changes, and explain the relationship between your new thinking or behavior and this doctoral program. Identify and cite at least two specific resources you have encountered in this course that have triggered these changes, and explain the connections.
Changes in your approach. Choose a major event earlier in your life. Include the roles of other people who were involved in this event and their relationships with you. Analyze ways in which you might approach that event differently now, considering the new direction that you are taking in your life. Include specific examples of the manner in which you worked with others, and the extent to which you might handle those relationships differently, knowing what you know now. Identify and cite at least two specific resources you have encountered in this course that have triggered your new ideas about approaches.
Changes in your role. How do you expect to assess the value of your doctoral degree? Look ahead 8–10 years into the future and describe the ways in which you expect your life to be different. Explain the connections for any differences that you see as directly related to this course or to the doctoral program. Identify and cite at least one credible career resource that supports your image of the future.
Write about your reflection. Organize your written assignment according to the three questions in the overview: Why I am in this program? What I am trying to become? How I will achieve my goal? Use the insights you have gathered from your analysis of changes in your thinking, behavior, relationships, and plans as evidence to support your answer to each question. Suggestion: Some learners find it easier to write the second and third sections before attempting to complete the first section.
In your paper, address the following:
Assess the value of your doctoral degree in psychology to others, as well as to yourself.
Describe specific examples of personal change required to pursue a doctoral degree in psychology.
Analyze requirements for performing ethically in accordance with professional standards.
Include your findings from the research you did in the literature review portion of the course project.
Explain how learning the skills involved in doctoral research will impact your self-image.
Describe a plan for your career direction in the field of psychology.
Your assignment should meet the following requirements:
Written communication: Written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall message.
APA formatting: Resources and citations should be formatted according to current APA style and formatting. Include a title page, an abstract, and references.
Number of resources: A minimum of five resources.
Length of paper: A minimum of seven typed double-spaced pages, not counting the title page, abstract, or references.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
Reflection on Personal and Professional Direction
I have always had the passion for pursuing further studies in psychology. As such, having an opportunity to undertake a doctoral degree in psychology at [insert university name] has totally changed my worldview. I chose this program with an objective to understand the dynamics of human behavior as well as help others to understand the interactional nature of human beings. Furthermore, I had the desire to explore human developmental patterns and systems. My worldview was altered radically as I came to a full understanding of how human beings behave. With the help of course content such as theories of developmental psychology entailing significant theorists, Freud and Erik Erikson, triggered my worldview of how individuals change as they grow.
The values entailed within a doctoral degree in psychology encompasses critical and creative thinking skills that enabled my interactions with others in regards to multiculturalism awareness and sensitivity for proper functioning within a group or an organization (Liu, Sheu, & Williams, 2004). Notably, the decision-making patterns within my areas of professionalism have changed as I am now able to integrate each factor within the dynamics of human understanding to make rational decisions. This is one of the major reason I am pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology.
Arguably, I can see how life is connected, as a came across the module on life cycle analysis. As such, van Leeuwen and Haun (2014) stipulates that human beings have to understand their environment and make changes in the environment since they possess the ability to conform. This analogy has changed my worldview of sticking to my culture-based thoughts and accepting diverse thinking about important aspects of life. Additionally, I had to abandon my success-oriented approach to life because I agreed to the need for a “beyond-modernist” view of life. Now, I am afraid to rely on my rational mind as I have to embrace my novel worldview.
The course has granted me an opportunity to enhance my scholarly writing through the elaborate practice of Doctoral Competencies in research. According to Cialdini and Goldstein (2004), it is healthy and ethical for a psychologist to avoid relationships that can lead to an impairment of professional performance when conducting research. This analogy has helped me in creating a working relationship with participants in my research. Furthermore, scholarly research must be conducted by following informed consent codes and standards since it is required of the researcher to stipulate the purpose, duration, expected outcomes, and procedures of research (Nagy, 2011).
To add on, I was able to improve my research skills in regards to writing a literature review by conducting searches on psychology articles database such as Psych INFO. The art is a bit different when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree at the undergraduate level. At the doctoral level, the process is more integrated and precise as it is required of doctoral students to conduct a novel research that will be applicable in the current changing world. Furthermore, as a doctoral researcher, we have to abide by the ethical guidelines of research as stipulated by American Psychological Association (Smith, 2003).
As an undergraduate student, I happened to be a friend to a person who had a stressful life. As such, our relationship deteriorated as the individual became more of a loner. I could not explain why she was behaving in such a manner at that time. I tried counseling my friend, but this could not work. After a joining my doctoral classes and understanding the ethical issues I had implicated at that point in time, I realized it is not ethical to counsel someone without proper practice as well as having a close relationship. During my course, I came to understand the dynamics related to stress as well as counseling procedures as stipulated APA (Grégoire, Baron, & Baron, 2012).
Pursuing a doctoral has immensely changed my career direction. My role as a manager at a local firm has changed. This is triggered by the use of the concepts I learned from Industrial/Organizational Psychology module with the combination of developmental psychology. I have realized that my managerial position at the firm has led to greater improvements in regards to employee satisfaction and production processes. Evidently, the dynamics of organizational structure can be enhanced by exercising productive motivational models, rewarding systems, as well as creating a good relationship with employees. Notably, I follow Fredrick Herzberg’s Two-factor theory of motivation which stipulates that employee motivation and satisfaction are influenced by factors such as career progression, recognition, company policies, relationship with managers and workmates as well as salary and benefits (Story, Hart, Stasson, & Mahoney, 2009). In the next eight years, I am visioning to become one of the best manager as well as a humanitarian.
pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology has opened up more pathways in
enhancing my career and my understanding of human nature. It has
changed my worldview drastically and has
equipped me with the best skills and
expertise in becoming a researcher as well as a goo manager. The realization
that decisions are dependent on the dynamics of critical thinking is an imperative component to my new way of making decisions. All in all, I have realized the need to be culturally
Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2004). Social Influence: Compliance and Conformity. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 591–621. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.142015
Grégoire, S., Baron, C., & Baron, L. (2012). Mindfulness and Counselling. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 46(2), 161–177.
Liu, W. M., Sheu, H.-B., & Williams, K. (2004). Multicultural competency in research: examining the relationships among multicultural competencies, research training and self-efficacy, and the multicultural environment. Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology, 10(4), 324–39. https://doi.org/10.1037/1099-9809.10.4.324
Nagy, T. F. (2011). Essential ethics for psychologists : a primer for understanding and mastering core issues. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4312018.aspx
Smith, D. (2003). Five principles for research ethics. Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved from http://eddiejackson.net/data/college/14_Research_Methods/unit03/assignments.rtf
Story, P. A., Hart, J. W., Stasson, M. F., & Mahoney, J. M. (2009). Using a two-factor theory of achievement motivation to examine performance-based outcomes and self-regulatory processes. Personality and Individual Differences, 46(4), 391–395. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.10.023
van Leeuwen, E. J. C., & Haun, D. B. M. (2014). Conformity without majority? The case for demarcating social from majority influences. Animal Behaviour. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2014.08.004