CEBS Student Spotlight: Olivia Goodman
- Friday, November 19th, 2021
Name: Olivia Goodman
Major(s): Psychology, Criminology
Minor: Clinical and Community Behavioral Health
Graduation Year: 2019
Hometown: Beaver Dam, KY
Why did you choose WKU?
Growing up, I remember taking multiple tours of the campus for school field trips, and other various events. I fell in love with how beautiful the campus was, and enjoyed that fact that it wasn’t too far from home.
Why did you choose your degree program?
I had known since middle school that I wanted to work in the psychology field. I care deeply about the people around me, and wanted to be able to help those who struggle. People were there for me when I was in need, therefore, I want to be that person back.
What key activities/organizations have shaped your WKU experience?
During my undergraduate I was involved in Dr. Thornberry’s Parent-Child Interaction Therapy research lab. The thought of research as an undergraduate was overwhelming and scary, but I learned a lot with the help from him. I was introduced to PCIT and how it works, I worked on my own undergraduate research, and was introduced to psychological assessments for the first time through the lab. I am currently involved in his lab now as a graduate student, and continuing the learn more and help the lab thrive.
How have you already applied what you are learning?
I have been able to apply what I have been learning throughout my education on an almost daily basis. I am currently at an internship site right now where I get to utilize the skills that I have been learning about since undergraduate. From learning about CBT, to learning about different therapeutic modalities in greater detail, I now have the opportunity to utilize these skills in a therapeutic setting. As well, learning skills like how to be an active listener has not only helped me out in the field, but in my interpersonal relationships as well. What I have learned, and continue to learn I can use not only in the field but to continue to better myself as a person. Reflecting back on my progress and growth from even a year ago is amazing.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I plan to continue my career path with working with adolescents, preferably in an inpatient setting similar to my current job. With later aspirations of going back to school to obtain my doctoral degree.
What experience(s) have you had during your years as a WKU student that have helped or is helping you prepare for a career after graduation?
During my undergraduate I took the PSY 390 course, and I interned at a behavioral health hospital. This was my first “job” within the mental health field. I definitely learned a lot, and was allowed to view first-hand what therapy was like within an inpatient setting. A couple years later I started my first job in the mental health field at a children’s crisis unit, and will have been there for 3 years this January. Though some days are easier than others, I love my job. I, along with my coworkers, help teach our clients about coping skills, emotion regulation, etc. What really drives it home for me is when a client comes up and genuinely thanks me for helping and listening to them during their stay.
What has been the best part of your WKU experience? Why?
I would sat there have been two “best” parts of my WKU experience. My advisors, supervisors, and professors throughout my academic career at WKU have been amazing in aiding me in my educational and career paths. It did not matter whether I had concerns, questions about classes, or providing me with resources to help myself, they were there.
Second, my overall undergraduate experience was great. However, I would say that while it has been stressful, but challenging, meeting and going through the Clinical Psych MA program with my cohort has been the best part. My cohort has been an amazing source of laughter, advice, a shoulder to lean on, and overall good times. They have made going through the master’s program much easier, and for that I am grateful.
What advice do you have for future Hilltoppers?
Something that I have been learning myself is to not let the fear of failure weigh you down. In this new chapter of your life, it is easy to get wrapped up in wanting to only succeed. However, you can learn from your failures. It is okay to ask for help, or admit that you do not know something. Also, be sure to surround yourself with people who will not only be there for your success, but be there for your failures as well. At the same time, also remember to be kind to yourself.