The Thriving School Psychologist

4 Steps to Better Time Management, Lower Stress, and More Impact in Your School Community - Beyond Testing

by Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D.

Dr. Rebecca Branstetter and The Thriving School Psychologist Collective have been featured in:

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Dr. Rebecca Branstetter and The Thriving School Psychologist Collective have been featured online in Inc., NPR, Happier, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report,,,,, and the Greater Good Magazine.

Do you love your students but find yourself not loving parts of your job as a school psychologist?

Do you want to make a big impact with your students but feel like a "testing machine"?

The truth is, you can't make a big impact in your schools and enjoy your career to the fullest if you've fallen into one of the four most common school psychologist burnout traps. 


Here's the 4 most common Burnout Traps that hold school psychologists back from fully enjoying their careers and having maximum impact with their students.


Burnout Trap #1

Falling in the paperwork and report writing pit.


Burnout Trap #2

Feeling trapped in a testing-only role.


Burnout Trap #3

Being alone on an island of suffering.


Burnout Trap #4

Drowning in the quicksand of overworking and negativity.

In this book, I'll walk you through how to get out of the trap you've fallen into...or avoid the trap in the future.

Are You Ready to Make a Big Impact in the World as a School Psychologist?

  • Do you want to spend more time with students, rather than with their paperwork?
  • Are you interested in expanding your role beyond testing to do passion projects?
  • Do you want to cultivate a community of support with others who share your vision for student success?
  • Do you want to hit the professional happiness "reset button" on your career so that you are energized to go to work each day?

You can do it. You have the power to be more than a testing machine. You can be a champion for students.

Inside Look #1: Learn how to build out an organizational system that works so you don't bring reports home on weekends.

In the first section, you will learn how to create an organizational system for caseload management and writing legally defensible reports with efficiency. No more weekend report writing!

You will also learn the mindsets that can send you right into the paperwork and report-writing pit...and the critical mindset shifts you need to avoid the pit altogether.



Inside Look #2: Learn how to be a prevention specialist for all students, rather than a gatekeeper to special education services.

This section will teach you how to avoid getting trapped in the "Test-IEP-Repeat" burnout cycle.

You'll learn how the right messaging about an expanded role beyond just testing can transform your day-to-day activities. You will learn how to think strategically about how to use your full skillset so you can be a "prevention and intervention specialist" as well as an assessor for special education.



Inside Look #3: Learn how to cultivate a professional learning community so you feel supported and inspired at your schools.

All school psychologists need collaboration and consultation with other school psychologists...the problem is, we barely get a chance to connect with  other school psychologists in our day!

In this section, you will learn how to cultivate a professional learning community with other school psychologists and support staff at your school, so you can prevent professional isolation.



Inside Look #4: Learn how to build self-care into your day and cultivate healthy work/life boundaries.

School psychologists are particularly at risk for overworking and putting their self-care needs on the back burner, as they want to make a good impression and help their students in any way they can. The problem is, this is a recipe for burnout.

Give yourself the gift of learning how to build self-care and self-compassion in your busy days. Learn the art of healthy boundaries and how to find balance in your work and life.



Inside Look #5: Read how REAL school psychologists got out of their burnout traps to reinvigorate their love of the profession.

Sometimes, we need a cup of inspiration from other school psychologists to believe that real change is possible. In each chapter, you will hear from school psychologists who were stuck in one of the four burnout traps--and how they used the 4 Pillars philosophy and process to get out of them.

In the "Real Talk, Real School Psychologists" sections of the book, you'll see that we do have the power to change our careers--from within.



You can thrive as a school psychologist. I'll show you how.

The Thriving School Psychologist books walks you through the four most common burnout traps, how to avoid them, and gives you practical tools you can use TODAY to transform your career into the one you've always imagined.


What School Psychologists Love about The Thriving School Psychologist Book

If only I had this book back when I started practicing as a school psychologist! This book reminded me that I can do more than merely survive in my profession - it showed me that I can thrive in my profession! Dr. Branstetter provides truth bomb after truth bomb to help cultivate a mindset shift. The personal stories from practitioners and real school psychologists in the field were powerful. This is a timely book that will help any school psychologist learn how to thrive!

- Dr. Byron McClure, School Psychologist and Founder of Lessons for SEL

Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, author of the renowned The School Psychologists Survival Guide, returns with this timely gem, the Thriving School Psychologist. Infused with her trademark relatable, practical, and humorous writing style, Dr. Branstetter is at the top of her game! If you feel that you are just surviving and not thriving in your setting, THIS is the resource you need to get back on track!

- Christopher Van Houten, MA/CAS, School Psychologist and NYASP President-Elect

With The Thriving School Psychologist, Rebecca Branstetter provides practical guidance for busy school psychology practitioners and interns. Using humor and stories from her own experiences as well as from others in the profession, this book provides many suggestions for improving work-life balance, decreasing stress, and increasing happiness and job satisfaction.

When I was an early career practitioner, I would have benefitted from a book such as this, particularly the time saving tips for report writing and how to expand our role in the schools!

- Leslie Z. Paige, EdS, NCSP, NASP Past-President

This book should be required reading for not only all school psychology graduate students, but for all school psychologists! The Thriving School Psychologist teaches you the “unwritten rules” of being a school psychologist that no grad school textbook will ever teach you.

- Kristin Baisden, School Psychologist and Adjunct Professor of School Psychology

About the Author

Rebecca Branstetter, Ph.D., is a school psychologist, author, and speaker on a mission to help school psychologists thrive so our school communities can thrive. She is the author of the popular "Notes from the School Psychologist Blog" and The School Psychologist's Survival Guide. Her expertise and advocacy for school psychologists has been featured in national media outlets such as CBS, CNN, and NPR.

Copyright 2020 Rebecca Branstetter