Inspired by this post from Sean Erreger LCSW about social work, I thought I’d also take a go at asking google about my field.
Two quick notes before I dive into the questions. First, for those looking for a quick introduction to who school psychologists are, I wrote a piece you can read here. Second, for many of the questions in this google search it’s important to understand that there are two levels of licensure for school psychologists.
Schools are busy places. One school psychologist serves hundreds of children. There is a Farside cartoon one of my professors is fond of: It’s a building on fire, floating down a river, about to fall off a waterfall, with a sign that says “Crisis Clinic”.
Ask a group of people who work in a high needs school if they feel like this cartoon reflects their day to day life and watch the hands go up.
School psychology is a broad field. Its researchers and practitioners have a wide range of training and expertise. This can make it hard to explain exactly who school psychologists are, but it’s also one of the field’s greatest strengths.
A quick google search will tell you a lot about who school psychologists are not. We’re not guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, social workers, or psychiatrists (MDs) — although we may work with each of these professionals. Sometimes we’re both school psychologists and licensed health service provider psychologists. Some school psychologists hold specialist degrees (MEd/CAGS or EdS) and some hold doctorates (PhD or PsyD). Sometimes school psychologists are also behavior analysts (BCBAs). Some states have separate licensure for educational psychologists. Confused yet? You’re not alone.