New Member Spotlight: CJ Swanlund

1)     What is your background in psychology (e.g., education)?

I am currently a student in the Psy.D. Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.  In 2009, I received my B.A. in Communication, a related field, from the College of Saint Benedict.

2)      Describe your current occupation and any involvement in the Minnesota Psychological Association if applicable.

I recently resigned from my part-time Mental Health Rehab Worker position at People Inc.’s Anchor House, where I worked with women with severe and persistent mental illness.  Currently, I am a full-time student and serve as a Student Division Co-Chair for MPA.

3)      What inspired you to pursue a degree in psychology?

My journey into psychology did not start that long ago, as it began on a study abroad trip to Australia during my last year of my undergraduate education.  In Australia, I had the opportunity to take a course in counseling skills and training.  Prior to my experience, I was planning on applying for medical school, yet after some intense introspection that was sparked by my trip, I realized that my true interests were in the field of psychology.  I am inspired by the opportunity to foster a therapeutic environment, in which a person feels safe to share her/his story, and to provide support and empower her/him to make changes in her/his life.

4)      Why did you join the Minnesota Psychological Association?

I joined MPA for networking and educational opportunities.

5)      What do you hope to learn/gain from your new membership?

I hope to become more aware of the opportunities for psychologists working in Minnesota, be informed and updated on the current research and political action in the field of psychology, and expand my network of (future) colleagues.

6)      Any outside hobbies/interests you do not mind sharing?

I enjoy golfing, relaxing with friends, and spending time with my partner and our two new miniature dachshunds, Lena and Brutus.

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