Dr. Switzer obtained a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology in 1995. His professional work has focused on psychotherapy and diagnostics, with a special focus on private practice, substance abuse, disability, child abuse and neglect, HIV impacted individuals and GLB populations. He has worked in inpatient and outpatient settings, primarily with adults. He has supervised a large number of doctoral students in their diagnostic work with HIV impacted and GLBT clients. He has been an adjunct faculty member at The Chicago School since 2000. He continues to be active in his private practice, where he provides individual psychotherapy using an eclectic approach including aspects of psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioral, rogerian and 12-step based techniques. His interests include substance abuse and addictive disorders, 12-step work, depression, psychodynamic psychotherapy, severe personality disorders, diagnostics, personality assessment, the Rorschach and the integration of personality theories. His coauthored text on the the integration of 12-step work and psychotherapy will be released in June 2013. Dr. Switzer is also an avid cycler and typically cycles whenever possible.
Clinical Supervisor, Canticle Ministries
American Psychological Association: www.apa.org
Society for Personality Assessment (SPA)
Q: Please describe your teaching philosophy.
A: I have a passion for the practice and science of psychology. My first goal as a teacher is to impart not just knowledge but the passion that drives that search for knowledge. I prefer to do that by making the classroom an interactive experience between myself and the students where we explore the material together. I especially prefer to do this using actual clinical material.
Q: Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
A: First and foremost, the client is a consumer. As a practitioner, we are required to provide competent, ethical services that the clients seek. Beyond that, I find that my role as a clinician or consultant to resemble that of a midwife, where I provide necessary information but mostly help guide someone through their natural process of healing.
Q: Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
A: I come from family with a long history of helpers and healers. I began college as a biology major, hoping to work in genetics. However, midway through the program I realized that my planned career lacked something. Although I could not name this missing factor at the time, now I can identify that it was missing hands on contact with people. Without a major or career goal, I then began searching for a new career and in the process began volunteering at a crisis hotline. There I discovered that I found it incredibly rewarding to sit and listen to someone's story and in the process of listening, understand what they meant, helping them to discover new meanings or just find comfort. To this day, my major sources of satisfaction in this field come from learning new information, applying knowledge, and essentially unraveling the puzzle that client information represents to the clinician.
Q: What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
A: School is not just a series of classes where you will gain knowledge. Instead, it is the beginning of a process that will change you in ways that you would not expect. Although it can be quite rewarding and exhilarating, like most growth expect it will be challenging, difficult, and emotionally challenging.