Random Sample

• Member since: 2008

• Hometown: Pembroke, N.H.

•  Occupation: Assistant psychology professor at Hesser College in Manchester, N.H., independent practitioner and consultant.

• Forging ahead in a recession: Doppler-Bourassa earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Suffolk University in Boston in 2006, and her license to practice psychology last year. To pay the bills while getting her licensure application together, Doppler-Bourassa joined the staff of Hesser College, where she teaches undergraduate classes on clinical interviewing, child development and counseling theory. She's now looking to start a small family therapy practice and do consulting.

"That is one of the things that's exciting but overwhelming about being an early career psychologist," says Doppler-Bourassa. "There are so many options and ways to apply my degree."

• Play therapy: Doppler-Bourassa is searching for space to start her practice. While it will be a challenge to find time away from her full teaching schedule, Doppler-Bourassa says she is looking forward to working with children again.

"I like to play, so I like play therapy and storytelling," she says.

Doppler-Bourassa honed her play therapy skills through a predoctoral internship at a New Jersey agency that provides mental health services to young children, including those who have been abused or neglected. "The children are so resilient, and I feel like I had a real opportunity to make a difference," she says.

• Conflict resolution: Doppler-Bourassa also hopes to help children by consulting with school systems. She recently joined "Leading Change," a Massachusetts firm that offers leadership coaching and organizational consulting. In that new role, Doppler-Bourassa will build on her dissertation research, where she helped teachers in a low-income school develop conflict resolution techniques and communication skills. That work resulted in better-behaved students and emboldened teachers to bring their concerns to administrators, says Doppler-Bourassa. "One of my favorite comments from an administrator was, 'You have armed the angry mob. Now teachers are telling us what they think and feel. Now what are we supposed to do?'" she says.

• Goal!: On weekends, Doppler-Bourassa plays for an indoor soccer league. Her team, "The Green Horizon," won the New Hampshire Soccer Conference championship last summer. The opportunity to play, says Doppler-Bourassa, is almost as important for her as it is for her clients. "I think I am still a kid at heart," she says.

—S. Dingfelder


Each month, "Random Sample" profiles a randomly selected APA member. You might be next.