Section 10 (Graduate Students and Early Career Psychologists) of the Society of Clinical Psychology (APA Division 12) has developed a Clinical Psychology Mentorship program. This program will assist student and early career members by pairing them with full members of the Society and by encouraging them to cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship. Junior members will profit from the expertise of senior members in enhancing their career development, and senior members will share knowledge and tap into the younger group’s concerns. The Mentorship Program will create connectivity within the Society, and hopefully, continued growth of its membership.
Advantages of Mentorship for Early Career Members
Early career members of Division 12 can gain access to experience and advice to supplement the information they learn in their graduate and internship programs. Students can secure information and advice about the field of clinical psychology and discuss training issues that may occur within their training programs. The mentoring program is designed to be informal and non-judgmental, so a student may feel freer to ask questions in this relationship than at their university or internship site. For Early Career Psychologists, being paired with Senior Members can provide crucial advice and mentorship during the transition to becoming independent practitioners and practitioner/scientists.
Advantages of Mentorship for Senior Members
The senior member/mentor may cultivate strong relationships with numerous junior colleagues, from various training programs, that they might not have the opportunity to meet, otherwise. This relationship may lead to collaborations as time goes on. Senior members also may feel they are giving back to the field that has been their livelihood by imparting wisdom and information.
Section 10 of Division 12 has created a matching process using two forms: one for interested Graduate Students and Early Career Psychologists, and one for prospective mentors. Questions pertain to the respective research and clinical interests of the student and the mentor and what each hopes to achieve through the mentorship relationship. The forms include a rank order list of four topics of particular interest to the junior member, and expertise of the senior member.
Mentors will be assigned for six months. After this time, both parties can evaluate the relationship and decide to continue or to be re-matched. This procedure allows a mentor to limit his/her time commitment while also allowing the student to be mentored by more then one person. If either, or both, parties desire to end their match prematurely, the individual(s) would be asked to contact the section to discuss the best way to handle the situation.
Thank you for your interest and we look forward to your participation.