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Reaching Your Career and Academic Potential - Psychologist Alpharetta | Sports Psychologist Atlanta Rick Van HaverenPsychologist Alpharetta | Sports Psychologist Atlanta Rick Van Haveren
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Why Academic and Career Counseling?

Students spend the majority of their waking hours in school, and adults spend most of their waking hours at work.  Therefore, having the right mindset and skills to be successful at work and school is extremely important.  Struggles with school can cause social difficulties and problems at home.  An unhappy work life can also make your relationships suffer, and your health can be negatively impacted.

Many students find themselves saying “What will I do after high school or college?, ” “What do I want to do with my life?, ” or “What will make me happy?” Deciding what to do for a job or college major can be a difficult process. A recent study found that over 53% of students identified career uncertainty as a moderate, high, or very high need. In addition, students identified finding a satisfying career the most prevalent fear about the future.

If you find yourself saying “My job doesn’t interest me, ” “I don’t know what I want to do with my career, ” “Should I go back to school?” “Can I start my own business?” or “I’ve been downsized; now what?” you are not alone. Most working individuals will go through a “career crisis” at some point during their life. A career counselor or coach can help you set and achieve career goals. Through this process you can better deal with the stress of today’s workforce and maximize your potential.

Who Seeks Career Services?  Why Academic and Career Coaching?

I provide services to adolescents, adults, and corporations. Most students who seek career services are looking for some direction, to better understand themselves and their options, and for a process to help them make career decisions.

What Happens in Career Counseling?

The first step is to know yourself. This can include your personality, interests, skills, and values. Clients are typically given career-based assessments during this phase. Second, career options are generated based on these characteristics. This includes specific jobs as well as job categories. The next step is to identify ways for clients to gather information about jobs and job categories that are of interest. Once you know yourself and your options, decisions can be made. As a licensed clinician, I am also able to help with personal barriers that might come into play such as self-doubt, anxiety, depression, or burnout.


There are many benefits to be gained from career counseling. There are many benefits to be gained from career counseling including increased satisfaction and productivity, finding meaning and purpose from your work, starting your own business, or establishing balance between work role and other life roles.

One of the most significant can be HOPE scholarship. Most college freshmen do not earn a 3.5 GPA or higher, and most do not earn a 2.5 or lower. Most are near the 3.0 range. However, students with a 3.1 can retain the HOPE scholarship while those with a 2.9 will not. Research demonstrates that students who have a better understanding of themselves and their career goals earn better grades and have better retention rates. Career counseling can provide students with the knowledge and guidance they need to earn better grades, stay in school, and keep the HOPE scholarship.

In addition to the HOPE scholarship, career counseling can simply help students make better decisions. Sometimes students make career decisions, such as choosing a college major, based on the wrong reasons. This can include choosing a major because a friend chose it, because it seems “easy, ” or because “you can make $100, 000 a year at job X.” Often times these decisions backfire and lead to career problems down the road.


All counseling services are confidential. For clients 18 and over, information will not be released to others such as an employer, school, doctor or family member without consent (except under certain circumstances such as a clinical emergency).


Typical clients—A student about to enter college, a college student who is struggling to pick a major, 20-somethings who are in the workforce, but lacking a direction; mid-career workers who are considering a career change; a parent who has been at home and is now looking to re-enter the workforce.

Here is a scenario I frequently encounter.  It’s not uncommon for me to get an email or a phone call from a parent describing the situation of his/her son:  “I have a son who is in his late teens.  He’s a good kid, but he needs some help.  He was never a strong student and might have had some learning problems.  He floated through high school and started attending community college.  However, he’s flunking out and he’s living at home.  He is unmotivated although he keeps a part-time job making minimum wage.  He plays a lot of video games, drinks some, and I think he might sometimes smoke pot.  His friends are on a similar path and I’m very worried about my son.”

Does this sound like your son?  Matthew McConaughey starred in the movie “Failure to Launch.”  In the movie, McConaughey is an adult male living at home as he has “failed to launch.”  While the movie is comedic, when your son has not “launched, ” it’s not a funny situation.  The principles of performance psychology can be especially beneficial to these young men to help improve their self-esteem, motivation, and career decision making.

Explorer Program

Designed for those who want to assess interests, skills, personality, and values. Administration and interpretation of 3 assessments: 1) interest/skills, 2) personality, and 3) work values. (Approximate time: 2 hours)

Cost: $375


Explorer Plus Program

Designed for those who want to assess interests, skills, personality, and values, plus follow-up sessions. Administration and interpretation of 3 assessments (1) interest/skills, 2) personality, and 3) work values) and 2, 1-hour individual sessions. (Approximate time: 4 hours)

Group interpretations are also available for the Explorer and Explorer Plus programs. Schedule a group of 2 or more and you will each receive a 15% discount of the cost.


Cost: $575

Premier Program

This program incorporates the testing of the Explorer Plus Program.  However, this program also includes 5 1-hour individual sessions.  Specific session activities including an imagery exercise, goal setting, and follow-up coaching sessions.

Cost:  $775

Individual Career Development Programs and Workshops

For some clients, an individually tailored program is the best choice. This process typically begins with an intake session where we gather background information such as your work, educational, and family history. At the end of the first session I will share my thoughts regarding your situation and discuss career counseling options. We then collaboratively work to set goals and make decisions.

This service is based on an hourly rate of $175. If testing is a part of the process, this same rate applies to the interpretation of assessments along with a per test fee ($15-45). For example, an interest and skill survey takes about 1 hour to interpret, so the total charge would be $200.

Career Development Workshops

I also offer group-based career development workshops:


Can your organization benefit from applying the principles of performance psychology?  Do you want to identify and develop your top talent?  Dr. Van Haveren offers consultation to services for organizations looking to maximize their potential.

Want to learn more?  Click on these links to find out more about specific client populations:

High School Students

College Students

Young Adults/New Professionals


General Career Services Information

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