On Wednesday, 28 September, the Psychology Club welcomed their first guest speaker, Dr. Daun Kihslinger. Dr. Kihslinger spent the meeting discussing her personal experience in the field, all the while answering questions from the eager crowd over free pizza and sodas.
While Dr. Kihslinger works as a Psychology professor at UW-Parkside, she stated that she has the best of both worlds, as she also works as a cognitive behavioral therapist. Dr. Kihslinger shared her personal story about how she decided to pursue psychology. As a single mother of four, Dr. Kihslinger worked as a firefighter. After many of her fellow firefighters and police offers experienced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and high anxiety, she became curious about psychological distress and its treatments. Thereafter, she sought out and earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She continued on to graduate school, where her master’s thesis and PhD dissertation on hypnosis and diabetes became published psychological literature.
As a cognitive behavioral therapist, she still uses hypnosis on willing patients as part of her treatment. This triggered many responses from Psychology club members, who understood the use for hypnosis. For those who are not familiar with hypnosis, it is not the magic trick or the staged performance that mainstream media and entertainment have made it out to be; rather, it serves as a highly beneficial tool for psychologists and it has been linked to helping glucose levels in the blood, according to Dr. Kihslinger. She also discussed the way she uses relaxation, guided imagery, and hypnosis as techniques within therapy, rather than using them as a forms of therapy in themselves. She demonstrated examples of direct and indirect suggestions while using hypnosis, as well.
In addition to sharing her autobiography and uses for hypnosis, Dr. Kihslinger disclosed tips for college students and prospective graduate school students. She advised students of all majors to talk to their departments and get involved within their majors. Dr. Kihslinger suggests that Psychology majors find projects and research within their realms of interest during their undergrad years, as it can be helpful for graduate school. She emphasized the importance of investigating and engaging in respective fields, as making proactive choices in one’s future can be very fulfilling and enriching.
“I prefer making my own choices in life, rather than letting life happen to me,” said Dr. Kihslinger.
One of the ways to harness opportunity and enrich any degree seeking experience is through campus involvement. While not all students are Psychology majors, the club is open to students of all majors, minors, and interests. They are currently seeking ambitious students who would be willing to attend meetings and events. They are hoping to schedule more guest speakers in the future, as it allows the students to have more intimate lectures and feedback from professionals in the field. The Psychology Club holds bi-weekly meetings on the first and third Wednesday of each month and the meetings are open to all.
“The Psychology Club is a great asset for those interested in careers in psychology as well as how to prepare for graduate school,” said Psychology Club President Jessica Beltron. “We arrange to have several guest speakers present different topics throughout the year and every May we attend the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference in Chicago, which allows students to get a closer look at the most current psychological research. The Psychology Club lets students get information on subjects with they would otherwise have little access to, which is why I recommend joining the Psychology Club to majors and non-majors alike.”