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Dr. Emily Bashah and Her Road to Success

Introduction: In a recent podcast interview with Host Bradley Schumacher on the Master's in Psychology podcast, Dr. Emily Bashah took us on an incredible journey through her life. Growing up with Jewish parents from Iraq, Emily's experiences with their persecution sparked her profound interest in psychology and human behavior. Today, she is not only a successful psychologist but also an author and entrepreneur, sharing her insights in her new book "Addictive Ideologies." Let's delve into her extraordinary life journey and discover how her path can motivate us to make a positive impact on the world.

Early Interest in Psychology:

Emily's early exposure to the struggles faced by her parents in Iraq led her to question how ordinary individuals could become embroiled in violence and oppression. As she pursued an education in art school in Canada, she realized that she yearned to understand the intricacies of the human mind and human behavior. Setting aside convention, she took a bold step and dropped out of art school to travel extensively through the Middle East and Africa. These immersive experiences exposed her to diverse cultures, reinforcing her determination to make a difference through humanitarian work and the field of psychology.

Key Career Choices:

Driven by her passion, Emily made strategic career decisions to forge her path as a psychologist. Pursuing her master's degree in Australia allowed her to gain essential licensure and embark on her professional journey. However, she recognized that she still had much to learn, prompting her decision to return to the U.S. for a PsyD.

When selecting a graduate program, Emily chose to prioritize finding mentors who resonated with her values and aspirations over the prestige of institutions. This personalized approach led her to fulfilling mentorships, which became invaluable to her growth. She emphasizes the significance of seeking out mentors in our desired fields and being open to volunteering with them. Emily gained invaluable training by offering her services for free under the guidance of supervisors she admired.

Opening a Private Practice:

The prospect of starting her own practice initially intimidated Emily, but she mustered the courage to embrace entrepreneurship. Guided by her mentor, Paul Johnson, who also became her co-author, Emily adopted a growth mindset, nurturing her professional development. Her practice allowed her to serve diverse clients while creating a sustainable business model that blended her passion for clinical work and forensics.

Emily emphasizes the importance of mastering essential business skills, such as budgeting and navigating obstacles like insurance panels. With unwavering persistence, she built a successful practice that aligned with her passions and values.

"Addictive Ideologies":

Emily and Paul's latest book, "Addictive Ideologies," is a result of their collaborative effort to explore the gradual psychological process through which ordinary people can become entangled in extremist ideologies. They offer in-depth case studies that shed light on the erosion of individual agency, driven by radicalization.

Combining their expertise in psychology and politics, Emily and Paul present a hopeful framework for overcoming polarization, building strong communities, and driving meaningful change. Their work inspires us to examine our beliefs critically and fosters a sense of responsibility for promoting a positive and inclusive society.


Dr. Emily Bashah's journey from her parents' persecution to her present-day success as a psychologist, author, and entrepreneur is truly inspiring. Her unyielding determination to understand human behavior and make a difference has led her to achieve remarkable milestones. By following Emily's example of seeking mentors, embracing challenges, and promoting meaningful change, we, too, can create a positive impact on the world around us. Let's take inspiration from her resilience and passion and endeavor to build a better, more empathetic, and compassionate world for all.

Watch The Full Podcast


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