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- Galezewski, J. & Kelly, B. (2012, August). Resilience and Trauma on an International Stage. St. Mary’s College, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK.
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Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.
A: The main goal in my teaching is to create a positive atmosphere that encourages students in their learning of class material. I work hard to create a learning environment in which positive social interaction and active student involvement come together. I strive to do this through personal enthusiasm in presenting the material. I have been fortunate in being able to teach topics in which I have a good deal of interest in. I spend a good deal of time setting up my classes in multimedia and prepare for each class by reading both the class text and supplemental literature. Being in the clinical world and in collaboration with psychologists of other disciplines, I try and use carefully "sanitized" examples that I have observed as a way of applying content to the real world. I believe this helps the students apply the material to their own lives and also helps them to see how psychologists apply their training. I also believe that a professor needs to have and show interest in students and their needs outside of class as well as in class. I end each class with a brief assessment, asking students what they need to know more about or what they need explained more fully. The next day's class then opens with an attempt to address those needs. I keep regular office hours and actively ask for email communication between classes. It is my hope that giving the students of my enthusiasm, time and interest helps them to learn in content, skill set, application and critical thinking.
Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
A: My philosophy of psychology tends to be quite simple: My purpose as a clinician is to empower people to heal. My current practice is a generalist practice, yet most of the work I do with clients has to do with helping them through times of exhaustion, discouragement and "lostness." The goal of our work is for them to rediscover their needs and wants, rejuvenate their own spirituality, resources and energy and then move on towards their life goals. In the course of therapy, I can be a sounding board, a comforter, a coach or a fellow traveler.
Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
A: It was a lateral move. I had been working in the field of mental health since 1983. Prior to enrolling at The Chicago School, I worked as both a Pastoral Counselor and a Marriage and Family Therapist. The decision to work on my Psy.D. was not as much about becoming a psychologist as it was gaining more knowledge and experience. My time as a student helped me a great deal toward my goals of becoming a better and more well-rounded clinician.
Q: What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
A: Get to know both your professors and peers. They will be of great help and support when you need it. Also, work hard. It sounds cliché, yet in my experience, the good psychologists were the students that applied themselves to both the more academic side of the program and the practical, applied field work. Don't underestimate the time and energy you need to give to your program.