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Philadelphia Therapist Advises You To Listen To What People Aren't Saying

Dr. Novak is co-founder of the MELLIVORA GROUP, a team of mental health, gerontology and education counselors that offer their proficiency to psychotherapists, educators and administrators in a variety of institutions seeking advanced training, consulting services and guidance.

Dr. Novak received her Doctorate of Philosophy in human services and gerontology from the School of Public Service Leadership at Capella University. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a degree in international relations from the University of Denver.

What continuing education is required for your role?

"For my role, an individual would need at least a master's degree, but depending what direction they want to go (academic or professional) a Ph.D. is helpful, but not absolutely necessary."

Can you describe your duties as a psychologist?

"I think the most important duties are to listen to people, to hear what they aren't saying and help them figure that out, taking yourself and your own bias out of the picture and being a "mirror" for others. Then using my education to provide and suggest appropriate tools to help people make their lives better.

With more and more regulatory requirements, it is also an important duty that records are kept and stored in an approved way. One duty that is often forgotten is the responsibility to communicate with other health providers when necessary or requested. Communication isn't only between the psychologist and patient but sometimes with those the patient may feel it's necessary or is medically necessary to keep abreast of the patient's concerns."

How has education prepared you for your career in psychology and social sciences?

"Education has provided the tools that are necessary  to give good, time-tested and validated tools to people who are looking for assistance. It has also provided the ability to not only think critically about problems but also how to communicate effectively to different people in different ways. As for the social sciences as a whole, a good understanding of basic psychological principles is a key foundation to the social sciences; after all, most are based on "society" which is made up of people...understanding people is the basis of psychology. A good education is key in any industry, but it is critical in psychology because there is so much to explore about how human behaviors change and the environments, both internal and external, that are a catalyst to these changes."

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in psychology?

"Be tenacious. It is not always easy...not just academically but also emotionally and mentally. But it is worth it. Seeing people make strides toward a healthier life is rewarding. Setbacks can be heartbreaking too, but use them to make your patients stronger...they will make you stronger as well. Psychology is a marvelous cross between academia, education and human services...welcome to the adventure!"

Christina Thompson is a freelance writer living in Philadelphia. She reports on various topics such as: Social Media, Local Events, Entertainment, Food and Drink and more. Her work can be found at

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