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Psychologist talks career options with MCHS students

Dr. Lauren Potthoff told McHenry High School - West Campus psychology students that her work as a clinical psychologist isn’t always easy. But she takes heart in being able to help in any way she can.

Potthoff, who holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, spoke to students in Introduction to Psychology and AP Psychology classes Thursday about her journey. She also outlined different career paths for those who pursue a bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as those who go on to attain graduate degrees.

The daughter of West Campus Principal Marsha Potthoff, Lauren Potthoff made the stop in McHenry during her transition from working at Boston Children’s Hospital to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

McHenry students wanted to know how she handles the hard cases when working with children who have serious illnesses. Potthoff told them it is a constant effort to leave work at work.

“There are just so many cases that are just sad situations,” she said. “I focus a lot on self-care,” 

She encouraged students to explore psychology classes, and to learn more about different career pathways, such as counseling, human resources and more.

When she started out pursuing her doctorate, she thought she’d go into private practice. Potthoff discovered along the way that she enjoys working in a hospital setting.

“There are a lot of different ways you can go with it,” she said.