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Private Practice Tip – Your Degree And Training Is Just A Gateway To Your Career In Private Practice

Private practice is often the ultimate dream for the mental health professional.

After years of training and education, the top of the mountain includes an office, a desk, a chair, and a couch.

If we are really lucky, some of us will experience the joys of a private waiting room, a reception area, and perhaps a suite of offices.

After that, I think many mental health professionals experience the same feelings that many people with just a high school degree feel.

It’s easy to feel limited, even with your advanced training and education.

Being a mental health professional is a very focused and specific career as a result of very specific and focused training and education.

Many people in the workforce today are stuck!

And it’s not a far stretch, albeit different, that you might feel like a high school graduate.

Does this sound familiar to you at all?

  • Go to school
  • Get your degree
  • Do an internship
  • Do your postdoc (for some)
  • Get your license
  • Here’s your career
  • Make some money

If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, I highly encourage and recommend that the next book you purchase and read is: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” by Robert Kiyosaki.

This one book can change your entire understanding and outlook on the traditional messages we are often taught as a result of being dedicated, high achieving students.

In a nuthsell, Kiyosaki shares a personal message, based on both experience and belief, that these traditional methods are not a blueprint for success and financial freedom today.

They may have worked in the past…

…But they will not ultimately work today.

In fact, he suggests that this type of mentality is risky behavior.

For the mental health professional, the risky behavior is believing that your degree and training alone will set you up for success and financial freedom.

I am not suggesting or speaking to you about being a millionaire or billionaire.

I am talking about having an advanced degree, and still living paycheck to paycheck.

Is this why you went to graduate school?

Consider life after graduation:

  • Student loan payments
  • High, personal cost of education
  • Low entry-level salaries
  • High costs of living
  • Personal health insurance costs

A salaried job is likely not going to cover your expenses.

Even with a higher education degree, you you will likely need to find other sources of revenue…

Fortunately for you, your training serves as a gateway to success and financial freedom.

As a highly trained provider of healthcare, psychoeducation, and therapy, you are positioned for a life of unlimited success.

Psychology (and related fields) are the gateway to:

  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Counseling
  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Sales
  • Research
  • Presentations

The list is long and wide…

The choice is yours.

Allow your training and education to be a gateway to success in private practice.

Medical Assisting Education and Career Preparation Options

Working inside the healthcare field as a medical assistant has professionals performing a wide range of office and clinical duties. In order to be qualified for positions students need to successfully complete the required level of training. Students that have a desire to enter the medical assisting field can enter several training opportunities.

Students that complete programs offered by various vocational colleges have the best professional opportunities. Programs are available at the certificate and associate’s degree level of training. Through these career preparation programs students develop a wide range of skills that are used constantly inside the workplace. When pursuing an education and career students need to be aware of the difference between medical and physician assistants. The reason for this important distinction is that medical assisting is a different profession than physician assisting.

*Medical Assisting

In a standard office professionals update and maintain patient files. Administrative duties also include answering phones, scheduling appointments, and filling out insurance forms. Clinical duties include performing laboratory tests such as collecting specimens and sterilizing medical instruments. Professionals also explain procedures to patients, record vital signs, and remove stitches.

*Physician Assisting

The main responsibilities of a physician assistant is to work with doctors on examining, diagnosing, and treating patients. Under supervision they record medical histories, perform laboratory tests, and prescribe certain medications.

Students that want to step inside career positions as medical assistants need to research programs to ensure they enter the correct training. Certificate programs are a great starting point for students that want to enter the industry quickly. Programs last one year and focus on just the material needed to become a successful assistant. Programs will explore different subjects that teach students how to conduct laboratory tasks, run computer applications, and maintain clerical duties. Courses give an equal amount of time to both clerical and clinical duties. Medical terminology, medical documentation, insurance billing, laboratory procedure, and anatomy are some courses completed. Further education can be completed inside other certification programs, which prepare students to work in specific areas such as optometry and radiology.

Academic studies in biology, English, and other general coursework compliments the medical training needed to be successful inside associate degree programs. Students will study all the practices that make up today’s industry. Aseptic techniques, examination procedures, and transcription practices are all explored through coursework. Students typically work through clinical courses, which may take the form of internships. Inside these types of courses students work inside medical offices practicing the skills they obtained inside schooling. Health care law, medical coding, office administration software, and physiology are all course topics explored in depth when completing a training program. Once coursework is completed students are prepared to gain certification.

Being certified, although not required, is extremely beneficial inside the professional workplace. It distinguishes students and gives them the opportunity to advance and obtain higher salaries.

Students can work towards entering careers by enrolling in accredited medial assistant colleges that offer programs that match their schooling needs. Full accreditation is provided to quality programs by agencies like the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools ( ). Begin training and become a professional in two years or less.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised on our website.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP, LLC.

Preparing Your Dog During Your Pregnancy For Your Baby – Avoid Jealousy-Anxiety and Train For Safety


Over the years I’ve worked with countless dog-owning young couples with feelings so strong for their dogs that they could not imagine those feelings could be any stronger for a child. However, when they became pregnant they found released from within an even greater capacity for love. An accompanying byproduct of this heightened state is a fierce, innate, hard wired need to provide the safest of environments for their child. From that moment and for many years to come they know that all decisions will revolve around the impact they will have on their child. That first pregnancy launches a furied time of preparation part of which is includes an evaluation of their current environment from its baby-friendly perspective. What was once just a means to access the basement they realize is now a path of potential danger that must be addressed. What was once just a cupboard to store cleaning supplies is now a reservoir of peril. What was once ‘their dog’ is about to become the ‘family dog’ and regardless of their devotion consideration is given to potential for conflict however minor. Based on past experience some dog owners will be aware of the possibility of jealousy or anxiety however many will not be aware of the potential for either that the addition of a baby can uniquely elicit. Others have little worry about conflict based on malice or fear but much to worry about regarding unruliness. Behavior that could once be worked around; they realize will by necessity need to be addressed. Outside of injury due to unruliness, statistics confirm that an objective eye is warranted and that each dog should be assessed for its baby-friendly status. According to many high profile sources one out of two children is bitten by a dog before reaching the age of twelve and dog bites are greater health problem for children in the US, than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined. For most dog owners though the risk their dog brings is due more to sheer unruliness than meanness of spirit. However either way intervention before the dramatic change in lifestyle that accompanies the birth of a child is becoming more common amongst dog owning expectant couples.


My initial interest in infant safety around dogs stems from the prenatal class I took in preparation for the birth of my first son. The nurse teaching the class was asked what precautions should be taken when the expectant parent was also a dog owner. The recommendation offered by the nurse that expectant moms and dads could help prevent future jealousy or anxiety by introducing a baby doll into the house hold, and simulate day to day interaction with an infant. This would entail cuddling, carrying, bathing, dressing, etc. I have read this as well on countless websites and in articles like this one and books. To a layperson this might make sense. However, children’s toys, including baby dolls, are made from the same material as is found in many dog toys. After over 20 years working with thousands of dogs I can say with confidence that the keen senses of a dog are not going to be fooled into connecting a baby doll with a true baby and thereby acclimatizing it. However some have been known to make a grab for the baby doll as if it were another plastic toy gift from their owners creating unnecessary worry for the parents to be. Another well-meaning myth is that bringing home an infant’s hospital blanket will introduce the dog to its scent and somehow make it easier for the dog to accept the baby when it arrives. Where this advice originally came from remains a mystery but it certainly did not come from a professional. Any behaviorist, psychiatrist or psychologist knows that if desensitization is to have a desired outcome it is a slow incremental process. The idea that a sniff of a blanket might temper the sensory impact that an infant will have is the equivalent of expecting that a glance of the ultrasound image will realistically prepare an expectant mother for her labor experience let alone the impact of all that will follow once she brings her child home. Fortunately, there are much better options to turn to that will help a dog make the transition from being an ‘only child.’

Reality – Some Dogs You Can Change, Some You Cannot

Cohabitation between humans and dogs has existed for thousands of years. However, for better and worse, over the last century the nature of the relationship has changed significantly. Dogs are no longer just a means to an end for securing food, herding and protecting livestock, and protecting home and hearth. For many of us, they have become family members. The upside is that a dog is one of the few things that you can pour a little love into once in a while and harvest back an endless stream of unconditional love. The down side is that as well-meaning as we might be, many of the signals we now send our dogs confuse them as to who should be the teacher and who should be the student and without this stability they often unnecessarily develop behaviors that range from the annoyance of unruly behavior to becoming actual safety liabilities. Expectant dog owning parents should keep in mind that over the last few decades many of the breeding protocols that lead to a physically and mentally balanced dog have become the exception rather than the rule. Also, training methodologies have changed such that many dog trainers now erroneously believe and so advise their clients that even the slightest discipline will make a dog’s behavior worse and so they recommend all-positive, all the time training. This in spite of the irrefutable evidence provided by every parenting dog, wolf, ape or human that the skills to survive and thrive in the real world come through both positive and negative. The end result of these poor breeding and training practices is that many expectant parents find themselves with a dog with characteristics that can impact the equilibrium of the household from a child’s safety. Some of these situations can be resolved by switching to a more realistic training model while others where the dog’s temperament has been more seriously impacted by breeding and training conventions can create anxiety and concern in the expectant parent.

Early Intervention Whether for the Unruly or the Uncomfortable Dog

Armed with fact rather then myth expectant parents can assess where and why their dog might need their assistance and how either through their own efforts or along with a professional’s develop a strategy that balances their dog’s needs with their baby’s safety. I have found in the countless assessments I have done for expectant parents that every household can benefit by learning more on how their dog sees the world and makes connections that lead to joy and anxiety. Sometimes it is as simple as learning how to teach baby friendly obedience such as ‘Stay on Your Mat’ or a proper heel and recall so that opportunities to properly exercise their dog and thereby relive its stress can be taken advantage of more often once the baby has arrived. In other situations we discovered that due to circumstances beyond the control of its owners, typically the result of breeding or early socialization, the dog had some yellow or red flag characteristics. In some situations these were addressable, in others they were not. Unfortunately other then the traditional mythical advice outlined above there is in prenatal education very little practical advice for dog owning expectant parents. Never the less, forewarned is forearmed and consideration as to how a dog and a baby might affect each other should become as an important part of prenatal preparation experience as learning the safest of car seats, cribs, strollers and any other factor that might impact an infant’s well being.