Psy.D. Program Graduate Profiles: Laurie Ferguson

Laurie Ferguson

Psy.D. Wright Institute (Dissertation Title: Trickster Shows the Way: Humor, Resiliency and Growth in Modern Native American Literature)
B.S. Business Administration and French Literature, California State University at Chico

Laurie was born and raised in Northern California. Her father is a retired Marine and her mother is a nurse. She enjoys writing fiction, photography and travel.

Laurie just completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver. Her work in pediatric behavioral health included evaluations and family and individual psychotherapy for hospitalized children with respiratory conditions. Her professional goal is to open a private practice specializing in psychological and neuropsychological testing.

APA Internship:
At the Children’s Hospital (Denver), Laurie completed rotations in neuropsychology, consultation and liaison, inpatient and day treatment psychotherapy, as well as ongoing outpatient therapy and emergency room crisis evaluations.

She says,

the breadth of training at the Wright was very helpful in preparing for my internship. The internship provided me with a very wide base of knowledge including abnormal psychology, psychological testing and evaluations and a range of theoretical frameworks. My internship was challenging and enabled me to understand a patient’s background and childhood quickly, while dealing with current issues they were confronting such as health, psychiatric, or family concerns. I came away with a particular understanding of how health conditions impact psychopathology.

About the Wright:

Far and away, the Wright had the best sense of community of any of the four schools where I interviewed. I am still close with many of the students from the Wright – I met incredible people who were sincere and thoughtful - people you’d want to have as your sisters and brothers.

The Case Conference was so valuable to me…it really challenged everyone to understand their own psychology and how it impacts their clinical work. The Conference truly advanced my clinical skills by helping me to understand myself better. Our supervisors were incredibly supportive and genuinely wanted to do all they could to help you succeed. They saw me as a whole person, and they were down-to-earth and warm without being intrusive. The consistent guidance they provided was genuine. One supervisor helped me to apply for internships and became my dissertation advisor; he guided me in every step of every process I needed.

Wright really valued students with a variety of experiences before they entered the program - not just students who lived and breathed psychology their whole lives. I was a business and French major who had lived and traveled all around the world and volunteered in rural Guatemala building infrastructure in a community without electricity or running water. The Wright valued what I learned in my firsthand experiences with people who had been marginalized.