Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Don't forget your Freudian Slip!

There is definitely an Official Psychology Student Outfit. At least, there's an offical outfit for female students of clinical or counseling psychology. No one talks about it, but somehow everyone gets the proverbial memo every day and puts on synthetic-blend pants (black, grey, tan, or dark brown) and a little sweater or button-down shirt.

We also have an Official Interview Outfit. In 2001, we all interviewed in our solid black or navy suits and red or pink shells. This year the trend is a black or navy suit with red, pink, or white pinstripes. Last year I parted with my navy suit from 2001 because it had become far too big (or rather, I'd become far too small). I proudly replaced it with a black suit with pink pinstripes.

Someday soon I hope to stop wearing the Student Outfit and start wearing Licensed Professional Wear. Can I wear anything I want, or do the fashion police have a say in licensure? Maybe they ask questions like these on the licensure exam:

Please explain, in one or two sentences, why the following items of clothing should not be worn by professional psychologists.

1. Loud patterns.
Correct answer: Clients with poor reality testing will hear your sweater, tie, pants, etc.

2. Low-cut blouses or other suggestive items.
Correct answer: Clients with poor interpersonal boundaries will either try to pick you up or outdo you the following week.

3. High heels.
Correct answer: This is counterproductive for clients presenting with shoe fetishes.

4. All black.
Correct answer: Clients with severe depression may experience increased hopelessness.

5. Fuzzy sweaters or brushed flannel pants.
Correct answer: Therapeutic touch should never be initiated by the client.

6. Form-fitting items.
Correct answer: Clients with body-image concerns may be tempted to compare themselves to you, no matter what your build.

7. Anything with words on it.
Correct answer: This may upset clients with reading difficulties, and it may confuse those clients who are already looking for subliminal messages in your Jerry Garcia tie.

8. Argyle and paisley together.
Correct answer: General principle.

What should professional psychologists wear? Please answer in one or two sentences.
Correct answer: Psychologists should take their sartorial cue from nuns. After all, not all habits are maladaptive.

...Then again, perhaps what not to wear when seeing clients is less important than what not to do when seeing clients.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Number five made me giggle like a little girl.