When a book is 410 pages long, calling it The Portable Mentor is a tad misleading. Edited by Mitchell J. Prinstein, this comprehensive second edition reminds me very much of a textbook. I can’t see many students porting it around unless they had to. That aside, Mentor lacks nothing.
Psychologists, psychiatrists, psychology professors, research scientists, and many more professionals from the field of psychology came together to make this a great guide for students like myself and others just beginning in the field.
Because the book was created with students and young professionals in mind, it reads like a how-to guide for building a career. Each section is written by an expert in that area, which really gives the reader a sense that he or she is learning from the best.
Initially, I thought the book would go into detail about how to conduct a therapy practice. I was very wrong. There are a lot of other options available to those of us interested in psychology, aside from traditional therapy. The book covers other career paths, including research, working in a lab, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and workplace psychology.
Contributors also give tips on applying to graduate school, how to find a job or an internship in between college and grad school, and how to get your research published. There are helpful references at the end of every section.
Mentor is an excellent resource for anyone who is serious about pursuing a career in psychology. It’s easy to read, straightforward, and gathers expertise from disparate subfields. I’m sure I’ll be using it as I continue my education.
The only real drawback is its breadth. At times, the sheer amount of information was overwhelming. If you know what you want to do in psychology, some of the chapters may be totally irrelevant to you. For readers who are already sure of their path, I’d recommend finding the book at a library and looking only at the pertinent sections. Otherwise, you may be paying for information you don’t need.
The Portable Mentor: An Expert Guide to a Successful Career in Psychology, Second Edition
Springer, September, 2012
Paperback, 410 pages