With a bright jobs forecast in the Bay Area, demand will also remain strong for specialized positions, including sociologists and psychologists. One acclaimed Bay Area individual who has a background in both fields is Dr. Knute Anderson of the Alameda Health System, spent a few moments to provide insight into her stellar career, academic inspirations and career advice for psychology students.
What is your current position and level of education?
“I’m a staff therapist with Alameda Health System. I work in Outpatient Psychiatric Services on the Fairmont Campus in San Leandro providing individual and group psychotherapy to adults, and consulting as part of our interdisciplinary treatment team. I’m also the clinic’s psychology training coordinator, conducting supervision and didactic training with psychology interns and postdoctoral residents. I earned a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) from the Wright Institute in Berkeley in 2008. My internship was through UCSF’s Psychosocial Medicine Clinic at SF General Hospital and I did my postdoctoral residency through Kaiser Permanente. I’ve been licensed for independent practice as a psychologist by the state of California since 2009.”
During your academic studies, what inspired you most to become a psychologist?
“I was tremendously inspired by interdisciplinary research into human attachment and efforts in the field of psychology to apply that research to psychotherapy. We are neurologically wired to connect and when we’re connected to people who are trustworthy and supportive, we experience a variety of benefits including improved mental and physical health, enhanced creativity and heightened motivation to engage with others and contribute to our communities. There is now a large body of research demonstrating various correlations between supportive relationships, or lack thereof, and health outcomes. These findings support the evolving integration of mental and physical health care in order to truly promote whole person wellness, which in turn, when made accessible to all, supports inclusive, vibrant, healthy families and communities. It’s a very exciting time in psychology and health care more generally.”
What advice can you offer to someone interested in a career in psychology?
“Two suggestions come immediately to mind. First, volunteer. It’s a great way to get a feel for what some of your work as a psychologist may be like—whether it’s as a research assistant or answering a crisis line. Second, prepare to ‘walk the talk’ by cultivating self-awareness and stress management. There’s no particular ‘right’ way for this to be done. Traditionally, for the field of psychology, it’s been through participating in individual or group psychotherapy, but practicing meditation, exercising regularly and/or engaging in just about any healthy activity that offers both challenge and delight could serve these functions.”
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on Examiner.com Examiner.com.