This book is about using deliberate practice to improve your clinical effectiveness, across your entire career span. In this chapter I will discuss some challenges and opportunities that pertain specifically to the beginning stage of your career. This chapter presents advice for trainees: therapists who are in graduate school, not yet licensed for independent practice, and still under formal supervision. (Chapter 15 is for clinicians at later stages of their career.)

However, before we get to my advice, I’d like to start this chapter by recognizing a major problem with the whole idea of using deliberate practice in graduate school. If you are a graduate student, this problem has undoubtedly already occurred to you so far while reading this book.

Deliberate practice takes time, energy, and focus. Here’s the problem: we all know that in graduate school, these are three things you don’t have a surplus of.