Beyond the Imposter Meme: Unmasking the Imposter Phenomenon as a Pathway to Internalizing Your Success

  • Tuesday, April 27, 2021
  • 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Live Online via Zoom


  • Professionals that are not SVPA members or students
  • Students regardless of SVPA membership. No CE credit given for this category.
  • For Full and Associate members



In the past ten years, the Imposter Phenomenon (IP) has become widely popularized, a topic of TED talks, celebrity speeches, and roundtable discussions at global educational forums.  While this widespread use of the term has increased our general understanding of IP, we need to go deeper if we are to fully understand the consequences of IP as well as the pathway to overcoming IP.  As Clance and Imes (1978) established and as nearly all subsequent IP research has confirmed, IP is most likely to be experienced when individuals transfer into new positions or into new fields or industries.  As our ever expanding technology-driven economy creates new jobs, job categories, and entirely new industries at an unprecedented rate and as organizations adopt ever flatter hierarchical structures to keep up with the pace of change, an increasing number of individuals are finding themselves thrust into situations where they have levels of responsibility beyond what they may feel prepared to handle.  A growing economic imperative, then, for the U.S. and the world economy is that individuals successfully adapt to ever more potentially intimidating professional challenges. Professionally successful women from all backgrounds, who may be more inclined to experience IP, will then need to learn how to successfully navigate through these challenges while maintaining their psychological health. Moreover, understanding the phenomenon more intimately will allow clinicians to experience the parallel process of finding our pathway to internalize our success while simultaneously providing meaningful remedies and strategies to allow our patients to do the same. This presentation will provide an overview of the Imposter Phenomenon and delineate how IP is experienced among different genders, ethnic and racial groups. Case studies will be utilized to provide examples and specific strategies for navigating through IP, including a 4-R Model that will be introduced and discussed. The participants will have an opportunity to participate in at least one breakthrough exercise.


This workshop is designed to help you:

1.  What is the Imposter Phenomenon (IP)?

2.  What impact does IP have on an individual personally and professionally?

3.  Who is susceptible to IP?

4.  Are there gender and/or racial/ethnic/cultural differences in how IP is experienced?

5.  What are some examples and case studies of people with IP?

6.  What are some concrete strategies to overcome IP?

7.  What are the clinical implications for practitioners who desire to serve individuals who experience IP?

This 1.5 CE credit presentation is co-sponsored by SVPA and CPA. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

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