Interim Assistant Chair
- Downtown Chicago
- Clinical PsyD
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- Office Phone
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 LGBT clients. He has been teaching at The Chicago School since 2000 and a core faculty member since 2007. He is currently the Assistant Chair of the Department and is charged with addressing curricular matters. He continues to be active in his private practice, where he provides individual psychotherapy using an eclectic approach including aspects of psychodynamic, behavioral, rogerian and 12-step based techniques. He is also a consulting editor for the journal Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 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. He coauthored Integrating 12-Steps and Psychotherapy:Helping Clients Find Sobriety and Recovery. Dr. Switzer also practices yoga (or attempts to), is a foodie, and thus must engage in cardio.
- Education History
Degree Institution B.A. Psychology State University of New York, Buffalo, NY Psy.D. The Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Chicago, IL
- Professional Memberships
Role Organization Member American Psychological Association Member Society for Personality Assessment (SPA) Member Midwest Psychological Association
Licensed Clinical Psychologist—Illinois
- Areas of Expertise
Area Expertise Clinical Psychology / Mental Health Addictions Assessment/Psychological Testing Mood Affective Disorders / Suicide Personality Disorders Psychopathology Psychopathology Substance-Related Disorders Substance-Related Disorders Mood Disorders Depression Psychology Subdisciplines - Clinical Psychology Sexuality/Gender Issues HIV/AIDS LGBTQ Behavioral Therapy Humanistic/Existential Therapeutic/Theoretical Orientation Object Relations Psychoanalysis
Osten, K. A., & Switzer, R (2014). Integrating 12-Steps and Psychotherapy: Helping Clients Find Sobriety and Recovery. Los Angeles: Sage.
- Question and Answer
Please describe your teaching philosophy.
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. I strive to work with students to help then develop deeper and more rich ways to listen and think about the material that is being presented to them.
Please provide a statement or philosophy regarding the practice of psychology.
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. To do that, I strive to meet the client where-they're-at, providing services of a type and level that best meets their goals and needs.
Why did you choose to enter the field of psychology?
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.
What advice would you give to a student entering The Chicago School?
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. Although you will gain much, school will require sacrifice and a great deal of effort. You need to be passionate about Clinical Psychology to succeed.
- Professional Skills
addiction, anger, depression, diversity issues, forensic psychology, gay, lesbian, bisexual issues, mood disorders, personality disorders, psychotherapy, sexuality, testing issues