What Can I Do with a Degree in Psychology?

The Class of 2015 recently crossed the podium to receive their degrees in venues that were filled with proud parents, amazing keynote speakers and scores of hopeful graduates. While many may have already secured jobs or slots in graduate schools, a fair number are unsure of their “next steps”.  Many of those who are in limbo have completed coursework and earned a degree in Psychology.  These alumni are able to converse about human behavior, statistics and learning theory, however, are sans prospects for employment. What to do once you have obtained a degree in Psychology and have no immediate plans for graduate school? To answer this question we first will need to ask a few more.

Examine the Big Why? Why did you study Psychology? What was your vision for the future when you first entered your freshman Psychology 101 class?

Many people enter the field of Psychology because they have an interest in what makes people “tick”.  They are people watchers who can view groups or individuals at hours on end.  Fascinated by a child’s play or perhaps arguments among couples, the student of psychological behavior enjoys being a voyeur of the human element.

Each person has what I like to call the Big Why. It is what inspires you. Your passion.  What keeps you studying when you rather be out with friends.

My catalyst for becoming a Psychologist was when I read Virginia Axline’s book, DIBS, In Search of Self.  This book about an Autistic child and play therapy piqued my interest regarding a single topic in a way that I had never experienced before. I delved in to the stacks of my hometown library to read everything I could find on the subjects of play therapy, autism and psychology. By the time I had exhausted all available resources I knew for certain what would be my career path.  I had discovered my Big Why.

Read more about the life of Virginia Axline and play therapy 

While many, like myself, enjoy interpersonal relationships and social engagement, there are those interested in the field of Psychology, but, prefer to keep their days within a laboratory setting. While not for me I have met many who are more enamored with psychology as a research science vs. a social science.

If you are interested in Psychology be sure to ask what is your Big Why? Do note that we all have the right to change our minds.  Maybe studying Psychology wasn’t what you expected and now you need to modify your course and forge ahead by looking for your next vocation. Consider interning, finding a mentor or becoming a volunteer as you learn about other professions. In my opinion, it is great to pursue what you feel passionate about as long as it provides you with a stable income.

 Find out what are the most popular college majors

What is stopping you from going to graduate school and continuing in the field of Psychology?

Many people are just tired of studying.  The thought of one more book, one more test, or one more term paper makes some want to scream.  If you are a Psychology major and have lost interest in studying but the profession, then take some time off to recharge and rejuvenate.  Consider becoming a “shadow” to several people who are employed as Psychologists (or in related fields).  Sample the various occupations that utilize the skills you have learned and figure out what you need to acquire.  Don’t let being tired now be the excuse that hinders you from a successful future.

If it is a financial concern, consider seeking counsel by college coaches who know about scholarships, grants and much more. Jodi Okun, founder and owner of  College Financial Advisors conducts a weekly Twitter chat – #CollegeCash – that is chocked full of information for anyone seeking the 411 about  resources on career, financing graduate school and overall college planning.

Have you thought out of the box?

Perhaps you can use your degree to work in a field that uses “people skills” but doesn’t need graduate school.  Sales and marketing careers are dependent on good interpersonal skills, as is the travel and hospitality industries.  Education also is a option and if traditional graduate programs in Psychology are not your “cup of tea” then consider becoming a School Psychologist.  This is one field where there is more demand than supply, especially in larger states such as California.

Learn about School Psychology via NASP

The online gaming industry also uses people and analytic skills – both that are stressed in Psychology coursework. This industry is growing by leaps and bounds with many openings cropping up on job boards nationwide.

How to find a job in online gaming, travel, sales, etc?  When seeking a job in Psychology be sure to first update your social media profiles (including securing your privacy settings on anything you don’t want a future employer to know about you.)  Linkedin, Indeed and other career sites have a plethora of online job listings.  I recommend to job seekers to splurge for the premium Linkedin membership during your job search. Uploading profiles on multiple sites widens the possibilities of being seen by potential employers. Don’t forget to highlight your talents. Speak a second language? Be sure to add that to your profile! A whiz in social media or computer programming? Add that, too!

Also don’t forget that  there is a lot to be said about a career in the armed forces.  While not a first choice for some, the military has proven to be an excellent career choice for many.

In closing, while studying Psychology has been thought to be a stepping stone to graduate school and a career as a Psychologist, it doesn’t have to be the only choice.  With a little creative thinking and flexibility you will find an occupation that fulfills you. Good luck!

Are you a #SocialGoodBlogger?

social good blog

I recently was referred to by a potential client as “One of those mommy bloggers”.  It made me take pause for more than a moment before I replied,”What!?”  (It also crossed my mind that perhaps in this person’s opinion “mommy bloggers” were less credible than any other type of blogger and not worthy of doing business.)

When our conversation was over I started to wonder about all the women I know who are great mom bloggers. They are dynamic, smart women and many are amazing entrepreneurs, as well.  However, unlike many of my friends and colleagues who are mom bloggers, my blog doesn’t seem to fit in to this “traditional”  category.

So, now I need to figure out if I am not a “mom blogger” then what kind of blogger am I?

Education blogger?  Lifestyle blogger?  Random thoughts blogger? Other?

Then it dawned on me that perhaps, I am a  “Social good blogger”.  I would like to think that I am someone who dedicates much of her time writing about causes and events that help others. My intent has been to make connections and create a safe virtual environment where people can share, learn and laugh.  Most of all, I hope that my blog inspires others to help within their own communities.

I am not sure if “social good blogger” is a real blogging category. What do you think? And, let me know if you consider yourself also to be a “social good blogger” by commenting below or simply tweeting me (@LouiseASL) with the hashtag #SocialGoodBlogger. This way we can connect!

~Have a groovy week and may our virtual paths cross soon!

#WorldMSDay is May 27, 2015


Tomorrow is a day to focus on Multiple Sclerosis– the disease most commonly known as “MS”.  It will be a day for us to applaud researchers, doctors, and organizations who dedicated themselves to helping those with the disease by seeking cures and advancements with treatments.  Moreover, we will honor those with MS who fight the disease daily, their families and friends.

Please go to this blog for resources about MS.

Thank you.

Just wait 15 minutes

After a very busy week, Hubby and I  decided to have a relaxing dinner with a friend.  Little did we know that our meal would come with a spectacular “show” –  compliments of “Mother Nature”.  Enjoy the beauty of Southern California where the slightest change in weather is considered a huge “event”.  These photos were taken over a time span of 45 minutes. A new “scene” every 15 minutes!




We adopted a teen mom – of eight puppies! #DogAdoption

Meet Bayla Scout Sattler

Meet Bayla Scout Sattler

Each year thousands and thousands of dogs are placed in shelters for a variety of reasons.  Some owners cite allergies while others indicate their dogs have behavioral problems – regardless the  number of canines that are “given up” is astounding.  Over the past few months I have visited a number of shelters in the Southern California region.  It had been years since I walked in to a shelter as we had stopped fostering and adopting dogs once we had welcomed Bingo and Tess in to our home.  Now that Tess is a senior and Bingo has passed, it seemed the right time to add to our family and save the life of a furry friend.  First stop the Devore Shelter in San Bernardino County.  I had heard about this shelter as having a “high kill rate”.  I have been following the Friends of Freddie Facebook group dedicated to broadcasting the shelter’s daily list of available dogs. They also posted those with sadder outcomes with captions reading “RIP”.

This pup was already amassing a lot of interest by the time we arrived.  Adopted out asap!

This pup was already amassing a lot of interest by the time we arrived. Adopted out asap!

One day I spotted on their Friends of Freddie Facebook wall a photo post of a little black and tan shepherd puppy.  The Facebook followers were certain that the puppy would be a “goner” so off I drove with hubby for nearly two hours to come upon one of the saddest shelters I have ever seen.  After walking up and down I decided the puppy wasn’t a good fit for a variety of reasons. It  obviously was a dog that had a lot of interest – and indeed was adopted out the very day it was able to be released from the shelter.  As for the other dogs sitting in the over two dozen kennels- many who were pit bulls or seniors of mixed breed – it would be hard to say if they all found homes or were at least had their care sponsored. Unable to handle a dog as strong as a pit bull, mastiff or doberman – we drove home sans a dog. But, we made sure that we left a donation – to help sponsor care for those who didn’t have a list of potential adopters – like the little shepherd we came to see.

Next stop was a much nicer, cleaner, and amiable shelter in San Pedro via the LA County system.  There I spotted an adorable dachshund mix.   But again- a lot of interest and it seemed he wanted to be an “only dog”.

Third time is the charm…

Cute little dachshund who preferred to be an only dog in the home.

Cute little dachshund mix who preferred to be an only dog in the home.

For many years I have seen comfort dogs that help children and adults post- disaster work magic! I have longed to adopt a dog that could become a comfort dog to those who need to feel safe and emotionally more stable when their world is topsy – turvy. Hence the reason I started to search direct my search for breeds that would be people friendly and could deal with a little “stress”.  Via PetFinder I spotted Sparky and the Gang / West Coast Animal Rescue from Long Beach, California. They had a dog that was purportedly a retriever mix, but had survived one of the worst cases of malnutrition I had ever seen.  Off I went (again) to visit this survivor only to spot in a nearby kennel a young rhodesian ridgeback- shepherd mix that had just weaned eight puppies. Yes, I said eight.

All the pups were quickly adopted and little “Annie” was left alone in a kennel that once housed nine.  When I passed her she rolled over – did a little wiggle and seemed to be quite the energetic little gal.  After a nice time playing and snuggling in the yard I was in love.

It was love at first sight!

It was love at first sight!

“Annie” was to become Bayla (Hebrew for beautiful) and with not much issue settled in to our home. Quiet as a mouse not a peep for five days.  She was fine in a crate, walked well on a leash and seemed to be getting along fairly well with Tess. Then all hell broke out on Day 6!  OMG – she became a teen-age dog overnight! Chewing shoes, bouncing like a kangaroo, barking like a crazy dog and gulping her food as if there was no tomorrow. Plus, she went from docile Bayla to a prize fighter in a blink! What on earth happened!?!

Quickly I searched “what to do with dog aggressive and food aggressive teen/ young adult dogs”. So much advice so I took a step back and decided to “see life her way”. First, she was a stray in Mexico and a young mom.  Then was an empty nester before she even was an adult! Finally she lands in a home where she has everything she would want except for a lot of limits. Unsure of herself – she is testing her boundaries and trying to be the one in charge.  Our mission – to make sure she understands that this home has a hierarchy and she is not the Queen! Secondly, she needed to feel safe, secure and that we weren’t going to “dump her” – as we suspect had been the case before.

Daily walks, quiet voices and lots of rewards at intermittent times (yes I used people psychology on her!) – she seems to be going in the right direction.

Always watchful and that toy in the photo didn't last the day this photo was taken!

Always watchful and that toy in the photo didn’t last the day this photo was taken!

So, while we are now in “Operation Bayla” in order to seek some peace in our home – I would like to open up this blog for any helpful hints, discussion or words of encouragement.

In the meantime – we are sure progress will continue to be made as she already has come so far in such a short amount of time.  Thanks to social media I have found some wonderful resources and even plan on taking her to a group doggie trot where guidance for dogs and their humans is given!

And please remember – adopt, don’t shop – there are too many shelters full of dogs (and other animals)  that need homes.

Here are some of the scores of dogs that are available for adoption via the West Coast Animal Rescue.  Please note that they are available the date of this post and you should check out this link for updates and to obtain information about adoption or fostering.

Thanks for reading!



The  Campaign continues – Imagining a Better World please check out this amazing story of human survival


Who is Nelly Toll and why is her story important?


There are many paths to becoming an art therapist or counselor.  As a School Psychologist I have heard many accounts about why people have chosen these fields of study and practice. So, when I learned  about Nelly Toll – an art therapist AND a counselor who works with victims of violence –  I was a bit taken aback. You see her biography reads like a book of fiction as  Nelly was a  counselor who as a child had survived the most harrowing of times.  An artist who used her limitless imagination while forced in to isolation.  A survivor of one of the worst atrocities to befall the human race – the Nazi era and WWII.  A child who was with her mother was forced in to hiding for two years until she was able to safely get passage to the United States.  And now the newest addition to my list of heroes.

I have raised two creative kids – and I could not fathom either or both of them in seclusion – quietly – for two years.  But, that is what Nelly Toll purportedly did.  She used the deep burrows of her imagination to create a world of wonderment and normalcy in a world that made absolutely no sense to any adult – let alone an eight year old. She painted with watercolors on bits of paper and now her creations are telling a story that gives hope and inspiration to many.

While I have known for decades about the story of Anne Frank, I am embarrassed to say this month is the first I have heard of Nelly Toll.  So to get up to speed I did a bit of research and found this awesome website with learning tools for teachers. For Judaica teachers this would be a treasure trove full of information that gives balance to the story of the Holocaust – Shoah.

Also, there are efforts to bring Nelly’s story as a documentary.  IMAGINING A BETTER WORLD, The Nelly Toll Story is a film that will be made shortly about how this young girl was able to be so resilient. Now this young lady holds a doctorate, campaigns for anti – bullying programs and is a sought after speaker.

Here is how the filmmakers describe their project:

In this exclusive one-hour documentary, the viewer will travel with Nelly through her two worlds, as she leaps into her bright future, escaping her present living hell. Vérité cinematography and rare archival footage will be combined with visually stunning 2D & 3D animation of Nelly’s watercolor paintings.  Virtual reality recreations will amplify the telling of Nelly’s time in hiding and her inspirational career as a teacher, counselor and art therapist after the War.

Follow the ongoing news about the Nelly Toll Story – Imagining a Better World via TWITTER @NellyTollStory

The Race is ON! Time to #EraseMS

invicta image

FACT: Multiple Sclerosis aka MS is a serious neurological disorder.  A disease that has impacted hundreds of thousands, if not millions – worldwide.  For many the first symptoms seem akin to a case of the flu – for others much more severe and acute. Visual problems, difficulty with motoric skills- including walking, vertigo, muscle spasms, tingling of  the extremities, depressive thoughts, headaches all can be “first signs”.  Often striking those in the prime of their lives – 20- 30- 40 years of age and both males and females alike. A friend of mine recently reminded me that nearly everyone is touched by this disease. Whether a family member, school teacher or perhaps a social media acquaintance- this disease knows no limits, demographic boundaries or socio-economic parameters.

How to is the diagnosis made?

Note no single test can be definitive with diagnosing MS.  Many MS informational websites indicate that commonly an MRI, intensive physical exam, lab chemistries, and a “spinal tap” (lumbar puncture to evaluate the cerebral spinal fluid) are ordered to see if the brain has altered severely and is now demonstrating evidence of  the tell – tale signs of MS -damage / changes of the myelin in the brain. (Google search)

Current efforts being made

I know several people who have MS.  I have seen up close and personal their bravery and how they fight the disease while still trying to have a semblance of normalcy in their lives. This week I will honor my friends by dedicating my time as a social media correspondent for the Race to Erase MS fundraiser gala.  It will be my privliege to support the efforts of Nancy Davis, founder of the Race to Erase MS and so many others associated with this organization.  It is all of our hopes that someday soon we will erase multiple sclerosis from the present and put it where it belongs- in the medical history books.

Watch Jack Osborne, who has been impacted by MS in this PSA via EraseMS.org

One of the most interesting pieces of the information I found in my preparation for this article is that the Race to Erase MS organization is focused on research, treatment and medical advancements via their  Center Without Walls.  Monies donated to Race to Erase MS have allowed physicians from all across the United States to be able to work in cooperation in order to understand better this disease. In addition, they have achieved break- throughs which have resulted in advanced treatments for MS patients.

From the EraseMS.org website this quote seemed to be one of hope and demonstrate the “why” behind this organization:

The landscape of MS…There are now nine drugs with FDA approval to help stop the progression of MS and three more coming out in the very near future. The future is bright for the person being diagnosed today with multiple sclerosis.

How to support Race to Erase MS or learn more about current research efforts?

 See the watch on the top of this article?  This can be YOURS (or other groovy items) from their store. Shopping not your style?  Then check out the other ways you can help or simply share their information to educate others about MS.

Or… simply dedicate a second to TWEET support for the Race to Erase MS efforts! Please use the hashtag #EraseMS in your tweet!

Thank you!


#TXTGen – when one single text…


I have added an update inviting people interested in having real conversations about #Sexting and #Teens #Tweens to join in the #TXTGenChat via TWITTER – April 8, 2015 8p Eastern

Originally posted on Where Learning MEETS Laughter...:


For those of you who are interested in a serious conversation about sexting and teens/ tweens- please join us on TWITTER APRIL 8, 2015 at 8p Eastern Time and 5p Pacific Time.  Use the HASHTAG #TXTGenCHAT


Looking to have the movie shown at your site?  Comment below

Thank you ….


Imagine finding out that a text was received by your daughter from one of her male schoolmates – of his penis.

She is horrified.  Embarrassed.  Bewildered.

And eleven years old.

Now imagine being the parents of this 11 year old who find out about this incident several months later.  What do you do to help your daughter? What should the school do since it happened on their campus?  How do you transform your anger and negative feelings about this incident in to something positive?


View original 226 more words

#TXTGen – when one single text…


For those of you who are interested in a serious conversation about sexting and teens/ tweens- please join us on TWITTER APRIL 8, 2015 at 8p Eastern Time and 5p Pacific Time.  Use the HASHTAG #TXTGenCHAT


Looking to have the movie shown at your site?  Comment below

Thank you ….


Imagine finding out that a text was received by your daughter from one of her male schoolmates – of his penis.

She is horrified.  Embarrassed.  Bewildered.

And eleven years old.

Now imagine being the parents of this 11 year old who find out about this incident several months later.  What do you do to help your daughter? What should the school do since it happened on their campus?  How do you transform your anger and negative feelings about this incident in to something positive?

Meet the Setla Family – who decided that the serious matters of cyber – bullying and sexting was a discussion that needed to go much farther than their kitchen table and in  fact, in to the homes of tweens and teens – globally.

 The “mission” for this family was clear- create a film and a series of educational materials  that  would address these topics and could be available for school and home viewing.  I applaud the efforts of the Setla family and Ted’s media colleagues, all who have come together to create – #TXTGen

I have known Ted Setla for many years and agreed to help him with this film on many different levels.  Starting with this invitation to all of you …  Please accept this invite to  join the filmmakers, including Ted Setla – the dad of this true story, to a TWEETCHAT   thisWednesday – April 8th  – #TXTGen 

 Hosted by 411 Voices Influential Network and Setla Films

Beginning this Wednesday at 8pET,  5p PT

Please follow the hashtag on TWITTER for  #TXTGen


@Setla for Setla Films (host)

@411Voices (co – host)

@Teeco71 (moderator)

and me @LouiseASL  (moderator)

Learn more about #TXTGen- the film via their
Learn how to support this film via this website

and please let others now… about this very important topic that faces many families today. Thank you!  Louise

Coming soon – ASL videos to learn signs for travel!

Travel Sign Language - coming soon

Each year Signing Families, the company I founded nearly a decade ago, adds new videos to our free online catalog available on YouTube.   This year we are creating more sign language videos dedicated to the topic of travel!  Learn signs for countries, ways to travel and more! 

This series of videos will be focused on helping novice and intermediate sign language learners acquire basic vocabulary. Also, intended for those in hospitality management who may wish to learn how to communicate with Deaf patrons.

In addition, we will add information about Deaf travel opportunities. (Did you know that there are specific tour companies dedicated to travel with Deaf clientele?)

If you have a Deaf owned travel company or any other suggestions about this series- please comment below!




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