What the Globe didn't tell you about the psychologist the new head of the T met with

UPDATE: File this under: Hello, Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite. The headline on the online version of the story, which is what set me off, is "New T manager underwent professional counseling in Atlanta," which has a much different tenor than the print headline: "T's pick for chief faced scrutiny."

Read the lead story in the Globe today and you're left with the impression that the Globe is like: OMG, we just hired a crazy lady to run the T!

What the Globe only sort of explains, though, is just what sort of counseling the Business Psychology Company LLC does. Fortunately, even on a Sunday morning, any joker with an Internet connection can use the Googles for research. And here's what one joker found:

The Business Psychology Company does not help people with psychological problems (although why that would be a problem even if it did is another matter). No, what Dr. Terry "Doc" Dockery, who is the Business Psychology Company, does is to help companies improve their processes (those TPM cover sheets don't write themselves, people):

Terry works with Top Decision Makers (CEOs, Presidents, and Unit Managers) to improve the individual and team performance of their leaders, which inevitably results in improved organizational performance and profitability. Essentially, Individual performance x Team performance = Financial Performance.

His client list includes the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Coca-Cola, the US Chamber of Commerce and the YMCA of Cobb County. One of his testimonials reads:

Terry's evaluation of our key management personnel gave us insight into the strengths and weaknesses of our organization and allowed us to make critical changes that, in retrospect, saved us considerable money and internal conflict.

In other words, while Doc may have a degree in psychology, how he really makes his money is as a management consultant. But "New T manager met with management consultant" probably wouldn't cut it as a front-page story in the Globe.



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Different field

I know someone who got a PhD in Industrial Psychology. When they graduated they had interviews with the CIA, NSA, FAA, Army, Navy, NASA, etc. Industrial psychologists often study decision making and how humans interact with mechanical interfaces.

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Organizational pyschology

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Doc lists himself as "a licensed Organizational Psychologist."

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology says:

Members work in several fields within I-O psychology, such as testing/assessment, leadership development, staffing, management, teams, compensation, workplace safety, diversity, and work-life balance.

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What Adam said

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Why WOULD it be a problem if someone was getting help with mental illness? It's only a problem if they're not getting the help.

But yeah, most psychology professionals don't work with people with major mental illness. My professional organizations often put out things showing what type of work people are doing and what types of populations are served, and of course they use nifty pie-chart-thingies, and major mental illness is a really small slice. A lot more do wellness-type work, like the corporate stuff mentioned here, educational and aptitude testing, learning support in schools, counseling for regular people going through a particular situation, etc.

It's a frequent misconception though; people do tend to equate the field with "treats mental illness" rather than "understands what brains do" and I've had parents be really confused that we do things like developmental testing and learning support.

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New T chairman

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One question why didn't she reveal this information at her interviews if this is just a company to do Management Processing?

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Whether it was an organizational

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psychologist or a therapist, her tenure seems to provide cause for concern.

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This concerns me a bit

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From the article

The results of the full, yearlong evaluation and counseling of Scott and her staff did not become public as the consultations were underway. As the consultations wound down, Scott first told the board of directors in Atlanta in December 2011 that she would not seek renewal of her contract.

So after the consultations ended, she decided to leave her position? The first thing that comes to mind when I read that is that she doesn't play well with others in her organization.

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