Reflecting on my professional pathway
Gloria Balague, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA
Theme: Consulting/private practice
Program ID: SYM-27
Presentation: October 5, 2013 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Looking back on one’s professional pathway helps increase the awareness of crucial influences that shape our interventions. Having grown up in Spain and moving to the USA strengthened my belief that social psychology and social phenomena were an essential piece when trying to understand individuals and teams. I sought a dual Ph.D. in Clinical and Social Psychology and that framework has accompanied me all along. Working at the burn unit of a major hospital taught me more about how to use and how not to use Imagery and Visualization than all of the textbooks. In the same manner, traveling with a national team to major competitions, like Worlds or Olympic Games, put under a magnifying glass the pressures, distractions and demands experienced by the athletes, as well as the need for concrete, brief interventions in the moment. It also shaped my belief that sport psychology skills should be taught earlier, not at the elite level, but that major competitions were often times of crisis intervention. Finally, working long term with a college team has helped me see the need for specific ways to address emotion in our field. My perspective on the main psychological elements of successful performance and performance breakdowns will also be summarized in the presentation.