Dr. Deborah Day was recognized as the CoPLA Outstanding Alumna for 2018 at the 60th Anniversary Homecoming Awards Gala in October. Dr. Day is a graduate of the Clinical Psy.D program and has made distinguished contributions in the field of forensic psychology. She is a licensed psychologist, licensed mental health counselor, certified family mediator, and qualified parenting coordinator. She is in private practice with Psychological Affiliates, Inc., of Winter Park. Her practice specialties include forensic psychology, forensic case consultations, collaborative process practice, child abuse and criminal matters. She has provided commentary for Court TV, CNN and the major network news broadcasts, and was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court Parenting Coordination Disciplinary Committee and the Mediation Ethics Advisory Commission. She has written several articles that appear in the Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice and co-edited a book titled Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome: Misunderstood Child Abuse.
Dr. Day acknowledges many challenges in her line of work that are related to nature of forensic practice. She noted, “You are typically on someone else’s time table and meeting deadlines can be stressful. There is always the pressure of writing a thorough and accurate report in a timely manner.” Work in this area is often “put under a microscope” through cross examinations, which can also be quite challenging. Dr. Day, however, views these challenges as important aspects for her personal growth in the field.
Dr. Day also finds many rewarding aspects of her work that include receiving encouraging feedback from the individuals and families she has evaluated or treated, reminding her of the positive impact she has made on their lives. She finds tremendous meaning in coaching and mentoring students and employees in forensic psychology. “It is rewarding to be a role model for the next generation of psychologists”, Dr. Day noted. Despite her outstanding successes and prominence in her field, Dr. Day continues to reflect on her roots as a graduate student in the clinical psychology program at Florida Tech. Surprisingly, Dr. Day did not leave Florida Tech with clear intentions of practicing in the field of forensic psychology. She explained that she was able to take courses in this area during her training that sparked her interest and later impacted her decision to obtain further training in the area. “Florida Tech gave me the foundation I rely on today.” She explained that being a student in the clinical psychology program at Florida Tech and the relationships she formed with faculty members played a large role in the development of her strong work ethic and setting high expectations for herself. “I adored so many of my professors and hear from some of them today”, said Dr. Day. She also reflects on the treasured connections she made with her peers. “I made friends and developed colleagues that continue to this day.”