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GSAPP Alumni Speaker Series

Career Reflections from GSAPP Alumni

On March 3, 2010 students and faculty gathered for the first colloquium in our GSAPP Alumni Speaker Series. This lunchtime colloquium was presented by two prominent 1977 GSAPP alumni: Drs. Carol Lidz and Julian Slowinski. The two graciously agreed to speak to the student body on their careers, the development of their professional lives, and advice for budding professionals. Students packed the conference room, with overflow listening intently from the hallways.

Lidz and Slowinski


Lidz Dr. Carol Lidz spoke on her career as a school psychologist. She retired in 2004 after over 40 years in the field, with accomplishments including six books, numerous articles and book chapters. Despite her retirement, she continues actively engaging in the field via writing, speaking and consulting. Her areas of expertise include parent-child interactions, pre-school assessment and dynamic assessment. After receiving her Psy.D. from GSAPP, Dr Lidz worked in school districts, a rehabilitation hospital, a community mental health center, and towards the end of her career, a private practice.

In addition, Dr. Lidz created and directed a school psychology program in New York City. Dr. Lidz provided the student body with numerous lessons learned over the course of her career, urging them to seek mentorship, stay alert to unexpected opportunities, find a niche, and to “try a little chutzpah.” She related an early instance of risk-taking, when she sent her dissertation to publishers. This resulted in the publication of her first book. She further highlighted the importance of writing and continuing education, as well as the need for evidence-based treatment.

Dr. Julian Slowinski has worked in the field of human sexuality as a clinician, researcher, educator and author for 35 years. He recounted his unique career path—living and teaching as a Benedictine monk for nine years before entering the field. He applied to the Clinical Psy.D. program of GSAPP to “branch out,” exploring behavior therapies and sex therapies, among other subjects. He recounts finding a mentor in Dr. Arnold Lazarus, with whom he wrote his dissertation on multimodal therapy.

Slowinski

Upon graduating, Dr. Slowinski took a position at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, where he served as the Director of outpatient Family Mental Health Services and currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Throughout his career, he has worked in numerous settings and modalities—seeing clients in private practice, consulting with clergy, writing books, and serving as a speaker for drug companies (e.g., Viagra), in order to train medical professionals on how to effectively discuss sexual dysfunction with patients.

Much like Dr. Lidz, Dr. Slowinski provided the students with advice for building their careers. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a sense of humor and incorporating one’s own personality into the therapy. He further instructed students to “see as much psychopathology as you can” while still in training, remarking on the significance of accurate diagnosis of severe mental illness for both the practitioner and client. Also, Dr. Slowinski related that one must remember to “have a life,” as burnout occurs easily when a therapist works hard for his or her patients.

With Dean Messer
With Dean Messer
With Faculty
With Geraldine Oades-Sese, Dean Messer and Dan Fischman

If you missed the colloquium and would like to see it you can watch the video. See Pk in room A307 to borrow the DVD.