Interview: Exploring Careers in Mental Health
Exploring Careers in Mental Health
I am frequently asked by students about entry into the mental health field. Many UHD students are interested in the field, but not exactly sure where to start, what questions to ask, and how to gain access to a professional’s time. Your education is much more than learning terms and writing papers; it is about developing critical thinking skills to use throughout your career and learning path.
The purpose of this assignment is to gather more information about a prospective mental health career (e.g., marriage and family counselor, psychologist or social worker, etc.), develop a sample interview protocol, and write a sample interview. Now, because COVID has impacted us in unique ways, you will not be required to directly interview a professional this term, but you are required to develop the protocol. I did provide optional steps, in case this is your passion, to facilitate further growth in this area.
By completing this assignment, you will gain the following knowledge:
The pros and cons of the profession you have chosen to explore
Issues facing the health profession
Formats for completing and documenting scholarly research
Asking for help from professionals
Developing cover letters and interview questions
Practicing work related social skills and interviewing techniques.
The assignment requires you to gather information from both primary and secondary sources; synthesize information to develop an interview; prepare a sample interview and submit your work.
Steps to Complete this Assignment:
1. Select a specific field: psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, social worker, neuropsychologist, school psychologist, marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, etc
2. Select additional sources related to the field that may facilitate development of the interview. Suggestions include graduate school websites, state licensing board requirements, professional ethical codes, speciality divisions (think APA Clinical Division 12), job postings, research related job postings (postdoctoral training), graduate school resources (APAGS for example), and blogs or sites related to graduate school. Additionally, you could choose scholarly articles but those may have less info than these types of sources. I might also suggest learning about “reverse job interviews”—one example is here: https://www.lawyersmutualnc.com/blog/9-questions-to-prepare-for-a-reverse-job-interview
3. Write a paragraph or two (500 words minimum) outlining the nature of the mental health role, required education, training, and practical hours (internship), licensure, general duties or work sites (schools, government, hospitals) and potential specialty areas.
4. Next, prepare 20 questions to ask the professionals about their experiences in their career field. These questions must be based on a review of the career using five credible sources.
5. Develop an action plan to identify a potential interview subject in our region. This individual should identify as the same type of provider as the one in your first paragraph (e.g., don’t write about psychology then pick a psychiatrist). Describe why you think this person would be a good match (250 words).
6. Write a sample email introducing yourself and asking for an interview (no need to send the email, but make a draft). The sample email/cover letter should be 250-400 words.
7. Generate a reference list of resources you reviewed and make sure it is prepared in APA style. You need a minimum of 6 sources.