Academia Expectations vs. Growth Expectations

Dismissal from any form of an academic program is a serious offense. This process can be both stressful and disheartening for many students. Often, students begin graduate programs to gain a better understanding of the field they are interested in. Psychology graduate programs are designed to help students increase or gain skills that help them advance in careers and opportunities. If students are unable to meet the expectations of a program, it would be unethical for graduate officials to allow them to continue forward. Being a therapist requires specific emotional and intellectual skills to perform roles effectively. Programs expect students to develop insights into their behavior patterns, the given literature, and experience lend way to manifest such skills. 

Depending on the offense, remediation will only be helpful to students if they are given fair warning. This will give them the time to create change and adjust. Graduate professors must also be made aware of the remediation. In doing so, students will have more opportunities to be mentored and supported during a time of change. I believe that psychology programs should deliver their academic content similar to the therapeutic relationship. Specifically speaking, the way information is shared with students should be intentional and present. I learn best when I am interacting with others. This connection allows me to consider how others are feeling and how I am being perceived. Therapists interact with a client in a variety of ways. Classroom education lends way for mentorship and supervision. According to Stoltenberg (2005), the process of supervision is effective due to its focus on ethical and competent treatment (to meet the needs of the client). Supervision also promotes therapeutic skills and professional development (to meet the needs of the trainee). 

I often try to understand the root and onset of an issue to create a remediation plan properly.  Depending on the therapeutic approach the program aligns with, remediation can begin by exploring personal ideologies. For example, a program that is highly aligned with CBT can introduce Cognitive Remediation Therapy with students who have trouble with implementing therapeutic skills. This remediation, “is a method based on behavior training in order to sustainably and widely improve cognitive activities (attention, memory, executive function and so on” (Fan et al., 2017, p. 373). This process opens the way for brain activity to develop new patterns. If students are struggling to maintain sound judgment and therapeutic skills, there may be internal stressors inhibiting their ability to adapt to new learning abilities. This process could range anywhere between 1-3 months. Students will be expected to attend their therapy sessions outside of school hours. While in school, students will be expected to report their progress through individual meetings.  

Growth is an extensive journey. Therapists offer clients space to grow and evolve. A remediation process must also offer genuine space for psychology students to grow as individuals and as a psychologist. Remediation within education aims to allow students to develop new insights into their journey of learning. At what point can we tell a student they are not suitable for growth and change within a program? I guess at the time where we have exhausted all options to foster growth.

With Intention.

Resources

Fan, Q., Liao, L., & Pan, G. (2017). The Application of Cognitive Remediation Therapy in The Treatment of Mental Disorders. Shanghai archives of psychiatry29(6), 373–375. https://doi.org/10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.217079

Stoltenberg, C. D. (2005). Enhancing professional competence through developmental approaches to supervision. American Psychologist, 60, 857– 864