Psy.D. Program Graduate Profiles: Liz Albertsen

Liz Albertsen

Psy.D. The Wright Institute, (Dissertation Title: Interpersonal Guilt, Spirituality and Religiosity: An Empirical Investigation of Relationships)
B.A. Psychology, Walla Walla College

Liz was born and raised in Washington State. Her father taught elementary school and her mother was a clerk. Liz plays pickup basketball games several times a week, hikes, and belongs to a women’s book club.

Q: How did you decide to become a psychologist?
A: By late high school, I knew that was my career goal. Mental health and psychology in general are the most interesting fields to me, and I wanted to really do something in my life that would help other people

Q: Why did you select the Wright Institute?
A: I wanted to be in the Bay Area, and I was really impressed by the students’ enthusiasm, and the thoroughness of the program in course offerings and areas of study. A big part of my decision was the Field Placement Office, and the help they provide students in obtaining their practica. The Wright seemed to do a lot more than other schools in guiding students through field placements. The Wright also encourages students to obtain a variety of clinical experiences before narrowing down to a specialty.

Q: What was your APA Internship?
A: I interned at Valley Mental Health in Salt Lake City, Utah. I completed rotations in the alcohol and drug unit, at an adolescent residential unit, at a child behavior therapy school, in testing and assessment (as part of the University of Utah Medical Center), and in general outpatient work with children and adults. It was a great internship with a huge variety of experiences. I especially enjoyed seeing how severe the need was for helping patients, and that change can happen over a short period of time. The Wright's focus on clinical experience and learning made me comfortable in working with clients in many contexts. I was exposed to many models, theories, and styles of supervisors so I could figure out what to do. The sheer volume of experience and the theoretical grounding gave me an advantage over other interns.

Q: Describe your current work.
A: I am a psychology resident at Valley Mental Health. I work with women substance abusers who also have mental health issues. I provide individual therapy and run groups (women’s support, orientation to treatment, family), and do screenings and intakes. It’s very satisfying to know that I am making an important differences; sometimes small changes make a very big difference in these women’s lives. At some acute moments, I know I made a difference in whether they lived until tomorrow. I hope to become a licensed psychologist in the next two years.

Q: Describe your best experience at the Wright.
A: I loved my classmates, especially in the Case Conference. We had a reunion because the relationships were important and we wanted to keep them intact. The Case Conference provided a place where we could bring our difficulties, and get good feedback and support to help us move on in our work. I have no regrets; the Wright prepared me for where I am today.

Q: What should potential students know about the Wright?
A: It’s a school that will focus you on clinical training and experience. You will have lots of opportunities to find the areas in which you will want to work, and you will learn by being aware of the variety of theoretical models and from the staff and teaching faculty who care about your development.