Psychologists visit campus to discuss career paths

Three psychologists spoke on the American River College campus Tuesday about their respective experiences in their studies, running their own businesses, and separating work and personal mindsets with patients at a college hour in Raef Hall.

“I sit with people on the worst day of their life,” said clinical psychologist Joshua Weidenbach, who specializes in crisis work in the emergency room.

“I like being a positive vibe in what may be a tough time,” he said.

The hour was hosted by the Psi Beta Honors Club at ARC.

David Shoemaker, another clinical psychologist who specializes jungian and cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, and R. Lee Zasloff, an anthrozoologist specializing in psychosocial research of human-animal interactions, were the other guest speakers.

Zasloff also teaches psychology courses on the American River College campus.

The guest speakers spent the first half of the hour sharing their stories, with Shoemaker and then Weidenbach each speaking for about eight minutes, and Zasloff speaking roughly 15 minutes.

Shoemaker detailed not only the passion he has for his career, but that he also has learned how to run his own business operation as a result. He stated, however, that it isn’t always easy practicing solo, though he finds it rewarding. Shoemaker sees about 25-30 patients each week.

Weidenbach revealed to the attendees that he has only been licensed in his field for three months. He also said that it took him nine total years of higher level education to get where he is now: four years of undergraduate school, four years of graduate school and one year of doctoral training.

Zasloff was originally working in mental health, but after discovering an animal center school at the University of Pennsylvania, decided to go back to school and change her field.

Zasloff emphasized how anthrozoology is a newer field and one of research discipline, but notes that major universities such as the University of Colorado and University of Tennessee offer programs in the subject.

The latter half of the hour was reserved for questions from the audience.

ARC student Kristen Shirkey felt she left the hour more knowledgeable about the broad field.

“(I learned) a lot about the opinions of psychology, the vast occupations and variety,” she said.

Chantal Norman, another ARC student, said she similarly “learned (there is) a lot of personal reward by working in this field.”

Various types of careers were discussed, ranging from cognitive study, to human and animal interaction, to different areas of counseling and therapy.

“There’s many options. Psychology isn’t just sitting down and listening to people’s problems, there’s many opportunities,” said Zasloff.

A total of four presenters were supposed to speak at the event, but only three attended.

Doctoral candidate Kari Allen-Hammer was not present for reasons unknown to the Current.

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About the Author

Matthew Peirson
Matthew Peirson is a third-semester student on the Current, where he serves as Co-Managing editor. He previously served as the Co-Sports editor and the Opinion editor. Matthew is majoring in broadcast journalism and plans to transfer after graduation.

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