Succeeding in Graduate School: The Career Guide for Psychology Students

By Steven Walfish; Allen K. Hess | Go to book overview

9
The Mentoring Relationship
in Psychology Training Programs
James M. O'Neil
Lawrence S. Wrightsman

Janice Hudgins has just arrived at the state university, to begin her doctoral work in clinical psychology. As she sits in the hallway awaiting her first interview with her assigned major professor, she feels hot and sweaty. Is it because of the early September lingering heat? Or is it her apprehension over meeting the person who will guide her work and training for possibly the next four or five years? The wait is mercifully short, and Professor Willetson ushers her into his cramped office. After sitting down, he scrutinizes her carefully and says, “My, what's a pretty girl like you doing, taking on the task of getting a PhD in clinical?” Janice Hudgins's first thought—which she successfully struggles to keep to herself—is, “God, is this the way professors behave in graduate school?”

Meanwhile, in a different university in a different state, Professor Steven Barretmeyer has just met one of the new graduate students in counseling psychology, Ted Havens. Although the student knows little about Professor Barretmeyer except that he has published several articles in attribution theory, the professor has studied Mr. Havens's credentials carefully. Without any of the usual preliminaries (such as “Settled into town?” or “How do you like the university?”), Professor Barretmeyer begins firing nonstop questions at the student about his past training and competence: “I see you had two courses in statistics as an undergraduate. Do you know anything about linear regression models?” “How are your programming skills? Have you used SPSS or Biomed?” Ted Havens is thinking, “Gee, this fellow sees me as his research assistant, not as a student. He's putting a lot of pressure on me. I wonder if I can do it?”

-111-

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