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Blog posts : "Autobiographical Forensic I/O Internship Masters Clinical Masters Counseling Masters Social MS Applied PHD Clinical PHD Social Postbaccalaureate PsyD Clinical Social Work"

Internship Clinical, Geropsychology, Russian, Jewish

I am a young Jewish woman originally from Russia. My family immigrated and settled in Pennsylvania. I will be completing my PHD this year in Psychology at Yeshiva University and I feel that I am a strong candidate for your internship program. I look forward to a long and distinguished career as a clinical psychologist working in the areas of rehabilitation and neuropsychology.  I hope to work with immigrant and ethnic minority populations, especially the geriatric members of our Russian immigrant societies. This is how I feel I can provide the greatest service to my community as someone who is fluent in Russian. I can also read and write in both Hebrew and Spanish and I look forward to using these languages as well as a professional psychologist.

 My research interests stem from my ethnic background and personal experiences, coupled with my clinical interest in geropsychology. I look forward to life-long study in the area of cultural diversity, acculturation, and cultural factors as they apply to psychological and neuropsychological assessment, particularly with regard to elderly immigrants from the Former Soviet Union, one of the oldest immigrant groups in the United States.  Russian culture is notorious for attaching a stigma to mental health problems. Moreover, available literature indicates that Russian immigrants may be more likely to manifest somatic symptoms of psychological distress and seek mental health treatment from their primary care physician. Thus, this segment of our population has great potential for under-recognition or misidentification of psychological distress. 

 I have conducted extensive critical literature reviews on the prevalence and presentation of depression in older Russian immigrants.  In order to understand how this population group differs from the general elderly population, my analysis included an overview of the current understanding of depression among community dwelling older adults compared to older adults in primary care settings.  I have also examined our current understandings of the manifestations of depression among older Asian and Hispanic groups.

 My dissertation research continues to emphasize the potential under-detection of depression among elderly immigrants from the former Soviet Union.  My study reports findings from a subset of data collected as part of a larger study of physical and mood symptoms among Russian immigrant older adults. My central research goal is to contribute to a determination of the factors that influence accurate detection and diagnosis of depression among older, immigrant patients in primary care.  Preliminary analyses indicate a high rate of depression reported in our sample that appears to go undetected in many cases. There was a tendency to report more severe levels of somatic symptoms than syndromal symptoms and physical functioning was thought to be more impaired than emotional functioning.  These findings indicate that the central keys to understanding how to improve the care of elderly Russians in primary care facilities would be to increase our sensitivity to the presence of psychological distress, thus facilitating a more accurate assessment of mood symptoms.

 I have a solid foundation for culturally competent therapeutic work.  I look forward to giving my all to this internship so as to further broaden my knowledge and experience with diverse patient populations.

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Masters I/O, Workplace Injury & Recovery

I have a passionate commitment to my work as a psychologist, out of concern for the well-being of my clients and the community at large. As a result of my professional experience, I now have a great deal of confidence in my abilities to plan and organize professionally, to set priorities, to meet deadlines and to handle simultaneous demands and conflicting priorities.

 I have chosen to apply to XXX University because of their impressive array of course offerings that appear to me to be optimally geared towards the fullest development of my professional capabilities. I have become an exceptional student and I crave further professional study in my field, especially following the additional post-graduate coursework that earned me the Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology from XXXX University, in addition to my BS. Another strong point of my application is my employment experience as a Job Capacity Assessor and more recently as a Vocational Consultant. These experiences have convinced me that building a career in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the correct career path for me. I also have experience working with children diagnosed with developmental disabilities, especially Autism. And this experience may also prove to be directly relevant to my future studies and professional endeavors since I feel very strongly that our special citizens with developmental disabilities can also benefit greatly from employment that makes their lives richer and more productive.

 My employment record demonstrates my professionalism and team spirit, to achieve goals and to meet standards and client requirements. I am praised by my colleagues for how quick I am able to establish a rapport with clients and gain their trust, even in difficult circumstances. I am currently developing a much greater understanding of the barriers that clients experience when seeking employment and I very much enjoy assisting them to overcome these hurdles.

 I continue to exceed my company’s expectations in assisting clients to return to gainful employment and I have been nominated by my peers for the Best New Starter Award. This is also why I was selected to attend professional development seminars funded by my employer. My clients have sustained an injury at work and have made a Work Cover Claim. So they are unable to return to their pre-injury duties and have to look for a new job. I provide assistance to them to look for a new job by helping them to write a resume and cover letter, as well as practicing mock interviews, etc.  I find my work very fulfilling and it has motivated me to pursue a career as an I/O psychologist, especially because my clients generally present symptoms of psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, low self esteem, lack of confidence, in addition to or as part of basic ever day problems that prevent them from returning to work.

 Attaining the Masters Degree in I/O Psychology will allow me to make increasingly important contributions to our ability as a community to help those who are challenged in so many ways to return to the workforce as productive citizens. 

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Counseling Masters, Mental Health, Hispanic Mom

A Hispanic woman who is very cosmopolitan in her outlook, my greatest strengths include my open mind, receptiveness, and especially profound respect for multi-cultural experiences and diversity. I was born and raised in Mexico until I turned 18 and moved to the USA.  My experiences since that time have come together to leave me very engaged with the subject of mental health and the value of counseling. As with many Latinas, we have suffered in special ways as a result of the stridently machista character of our sub-cultures, thus we have special needs to be met by the mental health community. And I hope to contribute to greater awareness of Latina issues as a graduate student in your program.

 I began studying as soon as I arrived in the US. Eager to improve me English, I studied ESL for adults for about 3 months, when Mrs. Florence, my favorite teacher, strongly suggested that I should transfer to a junior college in town. My husband at the time, however, did not think that I needed further education. Although my dreams were temporarily cut short at that point in time, they only grew inside me. I had two beautiful children which kept me quite for a while. By the time they were in school, however, I was yearning more than ever before to find and then loose myself in my studies.

  I made my way into community college only to be forced to drop out mid semester because we moved and my going to school was causing too much friction in my marriage. I was forced to compromise with a trade school and I became a hairstylist. In this position, I was able to extensively interview dozens of women from a variety of cultural backgrounds who were to greater or lesser degrees clearly trapped in what I like to refer to as “broken traditions” unable to be all that they could be because there was someone—or some unwritten rule—dictating what they could or could not do.

 I became the unofficial counselor and adviser not only for many of my customers, but for fellow hairstylists mostly forced into the trade as I was, by a lack of better options. The fact that so many other women out there felt like I did, reassured me that I was not alone, and I was certainly not the exception; I was right! The clarity that came to me concerning how we had been discriminated against by our societies and our families finally gave me that fire in the belly that I needed to make a success of myself the next time that I tried to get an education, and I focused my sights on a degree in business administration. 

 The stakes were high, a divorced woman with children to care for; a business to run, school and home responsibilities, my grades suffered. And by the time that I finished my business degree, I had realized that my real calling in life was psychology.

 The children are now gone and have had sufficient time to develop a profound passion for social justice issues insofar as they related to Latinas. I see social justice issues as an importance facet of graduate education and look forward to learning so many things concerning culture and economic issues.  I want very much to devote the rest of my life to the defense of the human rights of Latina women and children, both here and in Latin America. I have begun networking in this regard and look forward to making enormous investments of my time in this area as a graduate student and beyond. I have made my living in the business world and I am a pragmatist who only wants to contribute to a softening of the face of industry so as to make the workplace more dignified and a safe place for women, with an emphasis on creative development. Having the privilege of earning my Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology will undoubtedly also be of service to me as a business woman, learning how to make my own business endeavors more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

 I want to study for an advanced degree in Counseling Psychology because I am convinced that your program is in the optimal area for preparing me for a lifetime of fulfilling service, especially for women and minorities. I see special business initiatives that are targeted to inner city women and especially mothers as especially hopeful for shield the next generation as much as possible from the abysmal social problems and injustices in this one. I am very enthused about new forms of community that are emerging that are dedicated to counseling, especially in the work environment. Being accepted to your program will prepare me for giving something back to my community and prepare me for a lifetime of service to the community of mental health professionals. I am convinced that the XXXX University’s Master of Counseling Program is best tailored to my interests and long term aspirations in Counseling Psychology.

XXU’s MC Program will provide me with the optimal tools for helping suppressed woman overcome barriers and liberate themselves from old beliefs and perceived limitations that prevent them from defining their true personalities, making the right decisions and choices for themselves and their children. I want to contribute to the way that greater awareness of the big picture helps conflicted women to overcome obstacles and empowers them to greater levels of education. I am most interested in the kind of women’s therapy that debunks misconceived idealisms that continue to do damage to woman, one generation after another, living lives that were not consciously chosen by them but inadvertently instilled trough culture entrapment and patriarchal traditions.

 I am a firm believer in lifelong education and I want to constantly grow professionally, emotionally, and spiritually in celebration of our multicultural work environment. I want to help people learn to choose how to live their lives. This is why I want to become a professional counseling psychologist, working at hospitals as well as women’s centers, or in the private sector.

My research interests intersect at the overlap of minority concerns and gender issues in the workplace. I hope to develop training programs that empower workers and supervisors to develop heightened understandings of and appreciation and respect for each other.  At the same time that I assist woman with long term histories of low self steam and  mistreatment—I also want to help companies develop more humane faces, with more satisfied and more loyal employees. I want to assist in the creation of more healthy work environments that are conducive to higher productivity and higher employee self stem. I am convinced that the XXXX MC Program is the key to the realization of my professional aspirations

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Masters Counseling Psychology, Korean Woman

As a girl growing up in Korea, I had little choice but to embrace the ideals of my family and accept the destiny that they had set for me: to become a doctor. As I have had a chance to mature, however, especially here in America, as a woman, I have chosen to excel in psychology and counseling is the field that I have chosen to pursue, because I am now following my heart.

I feel strongly that my diverse undergraduate studies have provided me with an excellent foundation for graduate study in counseling psychology. I now live in XXXX, Canada, and I am fascinated by the way that my own identity has been transformed as a result of leaving the little town where I grew up in South Korea and immigrating here, becoming part of a vast, multicultural society. My own immigrant experience has caused me to identify with other people of color, and I wish to devote my professional life to studying the psychology of the immigrant experience. I want to become a recognized expert with respect to the mental health of those Canadians who were born somewhere else; and, thus, face critically important and often difficult adjustments to their new society.

 By the time that I had started college, I had begun to realize that the dream of being a doctor was not my own, but, rather a dream that was embedded in my family. Ever since I can remember I was always told that I needed to become a doctor in order to be successful in life, and after several years of being away from my family, the last thing I wanted to do was disappoint them. Nevertheless, by my 3rd year at the University of XXXX, I had found my area of greatest interest and intrigue: psychology. Thus, I switched my major from Health Sciences to Psychology. I want to always advise others to follow their heart and chase their dream.

I am especially interested in doing research on a graduate level into the ways that culture and social context affect body image and eating disorders. In fact, I am certain that I want to make the complete range of and bodily dysmorphic disorders part of my area of specialization. I also yearn for an in depth exploration of the impact of culture on stress; most of all, I want to master the literature concerning the role of counseling psychology in helping immigrants to develop and implement successful coping strategies for the stress associated with cultural assimilation, especially with respect to one’s career, education, and health. The third and complimentary area which I want to study in depth is the literature concerning counseling and minority groups in general, learning how to maximize that delicate balance of mental wellness and physical wellness for people of color. Of course, as a Korean woman, I will also be especially pleased to incorporate Eastern philosophies into my research, perhaps striving for creative syntheses between Western and Eastern paradigms in theoretical analyses dealing with the challenges faced by the counseling profession in various cultural milieu.

My undergraduate courses in psychology, particularly doing research, changed my understanding of education, and, subsequently, the course of my life. My foremost professional role model is Dr. XXXX. I so thoroughly enjoyed her class in advanced psychology that ever since then I have searched for ways to become involved in research, as well as working as a research assistant for Dr. XXXX at the Culture and the Workplace Lab. By conducting both lab and field studies, I have gained extensive knowledge in research methods, design, data analysis and interpretation. These experiences helped immensely to prepare me for my writing my honours thesis, a project on which I am currently engaged.

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Counseling Psychology Masters, China, Canada

I am currently a fourth year undergraduate student majoring in psychology. Since I am a dedicated and hard working student, volunteer, and professional I believe that I possess the perceptual, interpersonal and problem-solving skills that are fundamental to work in applied psychology and in successful counseling, together with a capacity for empathy with others which has been deepened by volunteer work with homeless people. It is my intention, through post-graduate study, to develop and extend the theoretical knowledge that I have already acquired with intention eventually to help others in its practical application.

I was born and raised in China, and moved to Canada about five years ago. My ethnic background and subsequent life experiences in Toronto have broadened my mind.  I have developed a respect and appreciation of people of many cultures and the views and traditions arising from these different cultural backgrounds. I feel sure that New York City’s great cultural diversity would provide experience that could assist me in the cultural aspects of the study of psychology which I can usefully apply in my intended career in psychological counseling.

My enthusiasm for the study of psychology was fired at the very first lecture I attended on the subject four years ago and has increased over that time. Studying psychology and applying the lessons learnt has been of great assistance in the maturing of my own personality and in the adoption of disciplined and rational thinking and I am therefore very aware of its potential, when properly applied, to assist others.

I consider that my diverse undergraduate studies and experiences have provided me with a solid theoretical foundation to enable me to profitably pursue further study in this subject. As stated, I am especially enthusiastic about the areas of clinical and counseling psychology. I am aware that counseling psychology is one of the fastest growing areas in applied psychology and can be expected to become increasingly important. I am eager to contribute to its development. My strong desire to pursue a future career as a professional counselor carries with it the long-term goal of helping people by enhancing their emotional well-being. I consider the Counseling for Mental Health and Wellness graduate program at New York University is the educational opportunity that best fits my interests and goals.

Through my studies to date, I have become familiar with the complexity of the factors contributing to human motivation and resulting behavior. I have also developed some understanding of the many different psychological approaches such as: human cognitions, perceptions, social and cultural contexts, developmental life paths and psychodynamics of the unconscious. I am aware of the need to integrate these approaches to achieve as complete a picture as possible of an individual’s behavior and their motivation. It is also clear to me that the knowledge and skills arising from the study of this subject is almost universally applicable since the great majority of people will, at some stage of their lives, suffer at least mild symptoms of emotional or psychological ill-health.

Thank you for considering my application.

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Dual PHD Degrees, Psychology & Social Work, PTSD

In our community they are usually referred to as ¨neglected¨ or ¨invisible¨ African elders, aging African refugees and immigrants who have resettled in the USA, many of whom are the survivors of the trauma of war. While working at the Center for Victims of Torture, I was assigned to a project named, New Neighbors Hidden Scars (NNHS), the purpose of which is to assist torture and war trauma survivors by promoting their overall health, working to restore and strengthen their leadership capabilities, and to create networks of support that are responsive to their unique needs. Through this process, we have been able to study and disseminate successful models of community-based care. Working with this program has helped to provide me with the confidence and determination to pursue advanced study in Social Work.

When I conducted a needs assessment for the NNHS, I was struck by the numerous barriers faced by immigrant African seniors with respect to accessing services. My efforts led to the design of a model for under-resourced areas with especially high numbers of African immigrants. In these strategic areas, it has been an enormous struggle to meet the mental health needs of the rapid influxes of refugees. Over time, however, we were able to develop multidisciplinary networks of providers to improve the coordination of care for trauma survivors. What we found to be particularly effective was the development of immigrant-led support groups in housing complexes and churches, including treatment groups for refugee students, and the development of an XXXX Food Distribution Center (AFDC), providing health and social service information along with culturally appropriate food assistance. I currently have the privilege of volunteering my service as the Executive Director of the XXXX.

African seniors have immigrated to the US under vastly different circumstances; some have been brought here by their children, others were forced out of their countries due to political violence, some came as young adults. Most, however, experience acute adjustment stressors. As part of my doctoral studies, I hope to explore how migration trauma affects the wellbeing of African seniors, especially in the area of cultural bereavement and adjustment to a new society. A related direction for my research would involve the development of new analytical models for working with African senior communities in the context of existing aging programs. These new models would be designed in accordance with the culturally relevant perspectives of many African communities and apply a holistic approach to recovery strategies for post-traumatic-stress disorder (PTSD) as well as more general forms of trauma. It is hoped that this research would fill a gap in the literature since there are virtually no African-specific models in the literature on aging and there is an enormous need for additional theoretical studies concerning the implementation of aging programs in immigrant African communities. It is also hoped that this research would contribute to the development of culturally appropriate, empirically validated interventions that could serve to reduce the adverse consequences of war trauma, PTSD, and resettlement shock, thereby improving the well being of seniors who have immigrated from Africa.

 The needs assessment that I have conducted suggests that a large percentage of African seniors are struggling with mental health symptoms related to war and PTSD, often combined with other mental health issues related to aging, especially Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Furthermore, these mental health conditions are typically exacerbated by environmental factors such as isolation, language barriers, unemployment, poverty, dependence on children, the loss of status and lack of transportation. In broader terms, I am very much interested in researching the entire gambit of issues involving the mental health of immigrants, especially seniors, and Africans in particular. I hope to publish in the future concerning the development of empirically validated interventions that reduce the adverse consequences of resettlement stressors, especially as combined with mental health issues—particularly, torture, forced migration, and PTSD. I am concerned with the paucity of existing research not only concerning African refugees in particular, but immigrant senior populations in general. Thus, I also hope to make important contributions to the systematic study of migration trauma, generally speaking, and the hurdles that must often be overcome in the accessing of services upon resettlement.

 It is my intention to design studies in which African refugees and other immigrants are given the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to the design and implementation, as well as the evaluation, of the research project. This supports the University of Michigan’s mission of promoting social justice through the empowerment of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society; and in this way I also hope to contribute to the amelioration of oppressive conditions to which they are subject. One especially salient variable in my research will be the way in which ethnographic differences between African immigrant communities are characterized by specific words or terms used to refer to specific illnesses or mental health challenges This is especially important given the vast need for culturally specific treatment models for dealing with culturally specific practices, metaphors, spiritualities, etc., thereby leading to more accurate understandings of the specific mental health and wellness challenges faced by immigrant seniors. I see this type of research is of critical importance for the development of new training models, therapeutic initiatives, and even pharmacological investigations that would be of benefit to the broader body of social work research concerned with immigrant seniors.

Growing up in Kenya, we followed a family tradition of children being sent to live with their grandparents between the ages of 7 and 11.  My parents lived in a city while my grandparents lived in the rural area. Thus, my siblings and I were sent to my grandparents to be educated in the ways of the community: culture, norms, values, customs, rituals, folklore, etc. Each story we were told had a moral lesson illustrating a societal norm. We greatly respected my grandparents, and by extension the elderly in the community for the wisdom they embodied. When the need for conflict resolution arose, we were told to take it to the “Jorieko” meaning, ¨the wise ones.¨ I date my interest in the elderly to this period, and I have been fascinated by seniors ever since. My grandmother did not like going to the city because it represented a loss of authority for her, feeling much more at home with the practice of rural customs and lifestyles. And I have often pondered my grandmother’s sentiments when reflecting upon how still very much more traumatic it would be to be forced out of one’s country and culture entirely, for political reasons.

 My central career objective is to spend the balance of my professional life developing culturally sensitive mental health delivery models for African immigrants and refugees, especially older residents, always linking research to practice. I hope to serve as a teacher, consultant, researcher, and clinician in my area of expertise. Your doctoral program will help me to become a well rounded intellectual and scholar concerning the mental health and public policy issues faced by or affecting our senior populations, especially first-generation immigrants. Since I am myself an immigrant from Africa to the US, and now embarking on middle age at 44, I feel uniquely qualified for the development of a research interest in this area since I have a well refined capacity to empathize with the stresses that immigrant families and individuals from Africa must bear, the difficulties of cultural adjustment, migration trauma, etc.  I look forward to shouldering increasing professional responsibility in my work with African immigrants and refugees, institutions of higher learning, and social work professionals: conducting research and designing culturally appropriate, integrative mental health service models. It is painfully clear to me that social service agencies lack the necessary expertise in the development and implementation of culturally specific and appropriate mental health services for immigrants and refugees from Africa, as well as other regions of the world, and I ask for the opportunity and profound privilege of devoting my life to this cause.

I am also interested in the opportunity afforded by your program to attain a dual degree in social work and psychology, since I am concerned with the mental health issues of immigrant populations and this would help to refine my capacity to perform creative, cutting-edge research in this area. As a social worker, I am interested in promoting greater levels of social inclusion for immigrants from Africa and the study of psychology would help me to understand the mental health aspects of that inclusion. I am particularly excited about the possibility of studying under Professor XXXX whose research interest is in the area of clinical gerontology and racial and ethnic variations of service delivery to the elderly. I thank you for considering my application to your program.

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Clinical Forensic, Psychology & Law, Expert Witness

I hope to be accepted to your program because my long term goal is to work as a clinical forensic psychologist performing psychological evaluations of competency to stand trial and assessments of diminished capacity. My paralegal education and experience working as a family and criminal law paralegal have provided me with the opportunity to gain great familiarity with legal jargon and issues in this area, as well as the opportunity to interact with legal professionals. I have a firm grasp of the rules and regulations of the American judicial system, especially hearsay evidence. Thus, once I attain the PsyD Degree from your esteemed program, then I would be qualified to serve as a highly credible, expert witness. With a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, I would not qualify for court designation as an expert witness, since this requires a doctoral degree. Without a doctorate degree in Psychology, I would also be unable to solely administer and interpret diagnostic testing to be used in court. Thus, it is my profound hope to be admitted as a doctoral student to your program.

 I want very much to study in XXXX because of the location, as well as the exceptional quality of your program. I want to remain close to my family who fully support my decision to pursue the doctorate degree. This would also facilitate my being able to give my all to my studies. I was raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and currently live in XXXX, IL. I earned by BA in Psychology at Aurora in 2007 with a specialization in biopsychology and a minor in physiological science, later, my paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University’s post-bachelorette American Bar Approved institution for paralegal studies. I have also completed 38 credits of graduate course work that are transferable towards a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. I am also an accomplished world traveler and have an extensive record of commitment to volunteerism in my community.

 Another reason why I wish to pursue a doctoral degree in Psychology is because of the extremely positive personal experience that I had in counseling. My therapist renewed my confidence and self-esteem, encouraging me that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to. The impact of this experience and my passion and commitment for making a positive difference in people’s lives has given me determination to succeed in your program program, since it represents the fulfillment of my purpose in my life.

 I especially look forward to studying in the areas of psychology and law; psychological assessment; and psychological interventions in forensic settings. Your faculty consists of highly distinguished professors who have made invaluable contributions to the literature. Thus, I have no doubt that your program will offer me the highest possible quality of instruction in the fundamental theories and knowledge of forensic psychology and also provide me with state-of-the-art training in planning, conducting, and evaluating research. My interests match closely with Dr. XXXX’s work on juvenile violence. I particularly enjoyed his child & adolescent development course, where I wrote a literature review entitled, “Neurological Development:  A Review of Adolescent Development, Brain Imaging, and Juvenile Justice” which explored the issues of juvenile delinquency in the context of brain, cognitive, psychosocial, and especially adolescent development, including brain development, cognitive development.

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PHD Clinical, Domestic Violence, Islamic Patriarchy

As a 34-year old woman from Iran, I believe that my life experience and pronounced ability to overcome hardships make an excellent candidate for the doctoral program in Clinical Psychology at XXXX. I am extremely determined to contribute to constructive change in people’s lives. I am very highly motivated to succeed in your program because this will enable me to fulfill my calling, my duty to help abused women, like myself, that have been victimized by brutal forms of Islamic patriarchy. XXXX’s emphasis on producing and applying scientific knowledge to the assessment, understanding, and amelioration of human problems and its commitment to excellence in scientific training, using clinical science as the foundation for designing, implementing, and evaluating assessment and intervention procedures, will give me the tools that I need to establish an effective practice as a licensed clinical psychologist.

 As long as I remember, I have always had the desire to study psychology and was very curious about human behavior and characteristics. My mother was a university professor of Psychology in Iran and I remember—from the time that I learned to read well at about 7—digging into her research papers and her students’ reports on the behavior of mental patients. My mother also used to take me with her on regular visits to mental health institutes while working on her research projects, because she saw so much enthusiasm in me. Those regular visitations with of mental patients had a great impact on my entire life. Despite my very young age, I sensed a great deal of pain in the eyes of her patients and I wished that I could cheer them up. My mother would tell me: “wait till you grow up and then you can help all the sad people in the world.” In time, this would become my motto and my mission.

By the time I was ready for college, Iran´s need for computer software engineers and my enthusiasm for math and new technologies led me to study computer science at Azad University. By the second year of my studies, however, I fell in love, got married, and gave birth to my son a year later. Soon after that, however, my husband became mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive and before I knew it I was suffering from a profoundly low sense of self-esteem. I lost interest in my studies and began to suffer chronic depression; I became suicidal.

After two years, my mother finally convinced me to see a counselor. He saved my life, renewed my existence, and helped me to reconstruct my lost confidence and self-esteem. He encouraged me to believe that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to and that I could arise from my dark hole. Soon, I had recovered to such an extent that I was able to divorce my husband—no small feat in Iran. Yet, my victory was tragic, since I lost custody of my 2-year-old son. Based on Islamic law as it is practiced in Iran, at the time of divorce, the man has the option of retaining the custody of the children—irrespective of domestic abuse. Yet, my counselor helped me to see once again that life goes on. I decided to flee from my grief by going back to school and studying psychology program, now I had a mission, helping women who had endured what I had gone through, helping them to survive as well.

This is how I became devoted to the cause of helping women who have been victimized by Islamic law. Naturally, to do so, I needed a geographical cure as well. So, I said my farewell to my homeland and immigrated to Canada. I worked hard for a few years to save up enough money to go back to school full time student; soon, I became a store manager. Several years later, I met a wonderful husband, from America, and I moved to California in 2007 and returned to full time study the following year. My plan was to master my communication skills first so that I could communicate effectively on a professional level; with this in mind I enrolled at California State University as a Communications major, and later added Psychology as my minor. I will graduate following the next quarter; my GPA is 3.8. XXXX is my first choice for graduate school.

My near-death experience in Iran and my survival as a result of therapy resulted in a profound, total resurrection to life and a completely new beginning. Not only am I alive and have built life completely anew, but I see the world differently; I am now a woman with sublime self determination and strength.  And I now want to use my strength and extremely high level of motivation to pursue a graduate degree in counseling psychology so that I can help others to learn how to cope with the kinds of hardships in their lives that I have survived and, in fact, turned into assets. Naturally, I want to focus my attention in the area in which I am especially knowledgeable, the psychological agony of women that have been subjected to the brutality of Islamic law: the fear, agony, sense of defeat, worthlessness, all too often leading to suicide, even self-immolation.

I ask for admission to your program so that I can learn how to help other women survive. I plan on writing my research papers on the psychological struggles of Islamic women and, after graduation, to build a practice devoted to the needs of women in the Iranian Diaspora, and, in fact, all women who suffer as a result of the brutality of Islamic patriarchy. I think of myself as an eligible candidate to support the individual’s healthy mind. I wish to work exclusively with victims of abuse and misfortune, especially women and children.

I have learned to be sharp, brave, and determined in the worst of situations; therefore I am certain that I will be able to excel in the PHD Program at XXXX and that I will be in a position to make important contributions to the diversity of your program and your academic community. There are many thousand Iranian women living in the XXXX area; thus your program is uniquely suited to producing a doctoral candidate that would be capable of writing a watershed dissertation in this area.

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PHD Clinical, Child, Pediatric Neuropsychology

The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to improve the quality of life of children who have suffered brain damage. To this end I want to devote my professional life to research in the area of pediatric neuropsychology.  I knew immediately that neurophysiology was the right career path for me when I saw how it could be combined with pediatrics. And I have been fortunate to work with one of the most distinguished professors and authorities in the field, Dr. XXXX, from whom I have learned a great deal. As a pediatric neuropsychologist, I hope to make scientific advances in the field that will help to increase the quality of life of brain damaged children and their families, helping them to better understand and cope with neuropsychological disorders.  

 I find research to be tremendously exciting. As I stood in the operating room that day not long ago, for example, observing a Wada test, I felt the overwhelming urge to pinch myself to make sure that this was really happening. I observed a variety of important neuropsychological tests at the University of XXXX and this has set me on a professional course for the rest of my life, solidifying my desire to pursue a lifelong career in pediatric neuropsychology. Dr. XXXX helped me to gain broad exposure to the practice of neuropsychology in the hospital setting. And I especially enjoyed working on a research project with graduate student XXXX on the test-retest reliability and validity of various neuropsychological tests.

 This past summer, I was 1 of 25 students chosen from around the country to attend the XXXX Summer Neuroscience Institute at the University of XXXX. This opportunity enabled me to attend dozens of lectures by experts in related areas and to learn my way around the  many labs associated with neuroscience, especially the brain lab. I have also been heavily involved with the National Symposium on Child Abuse where I was honored for a paper that I wrote and was able to participate in various roundtable discussions.

 I have worked under the supervision of Dr. XXXX, at psychology professor at XXXX University who studies the Impact of Childhood Factors on Various Aspects of Neurological development. She serves me as a role model as I also want very much to specialize in the area of affects of parenting styles, abuse, etc.  Last year, in 2009, I had the opportunity to learn a great deal from XXXX, a physiotherapist with whom I performed an observership of multiple sessions lasting between 60 and 90 minutes and was exposed to the practice of pediatrics in the community setting assessment and discussion regarding normal development, neuro-developmental handling techniques, treatment planning, and goal setting. The University of XXXX is my first choice for graduate school since I hope to study under Dr. XXXX because I am also very much interested in pediatrics, learning, and leukemia are closely related to my own. I believe that my GPA suggest that I am capable of excelling in your program, despite my low GRE scores, since I am on track to graduate with honors in May with a B.S. in Counseling Psychology. My profound love for children is my perennial and most critical source of inspiration.

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Counseling Masters, LGBT, Community Mental Health

As a psychology professional, I wish to specialize in both the short and long terms in the area of community mental health. I look forward to a long and highly productive career  helping a wide range of individuals in my community to realize their fullest potential, finding happiness in life through the development of healthy relationships with both family and society.

I am especially interested in the sub-fields of spirituality, men’s mental health and LGBT mental health. I want to focus on spirituality, in particular, because I am convinced that, at least for most people, a deep-seated sense of meaning and purpose in life, together with a sense of belonging, is of foundational importance to psychological well being, achieving a sense of acceptance, integration and wholeness. With respect to men’s mental health, I am keenly interested in the directions being advanced by national men's health organizations in the United States, Australia, and Europe that call for a needs-driven rather than a gender-based approach to health care. With respect to LGBT mental health, my primary concern is with the way that mental health system continue to discriminate against LGBT individuals and the way in which they often continue to  be labeled as ‘mentally ill’ on the basis of their sexual orientation. In particular, I look forward to doing further research into the way in which being discriminated against can contribute to mental distress. I am applying for training in Counseling Psychology because I am concerned with the individual’s overall health. I believe that I have the intellectual and emotional maturity required to become an excellent counselor, helping people who suffer from mental health issues to become happier and better integrated individuals, especially by learning how to deal with dysfunctional relationships. 

 Attending your program will challenge my intellectual and emotional growth and greatly sharpen my professional skills in helping people to lead happier and more fulfilling lives through the development of positive and sustainable relationships. I am applying in response to what I see as a great need in our society for mental health practitioners. Your  program will also prepare me for further study towards a doctoral degree. I feel strongly that I have many strengths to offer as a candidate to your program. I am an energetic and enthusiastic individual who has always had an insatiable curiosity about the ever-changing kaleidoscope of human behavior.  I enjoyed helping people and I have professional experience in a variety of counseling-related fields, teaching, educational counseling, and career counseling.  I have a profound insight into understanding the minority points and the importance of a sense of belonging since I was a foster-child and later came to realize that I was gay. This is the right time for me to go to graduate school because I now have a lot to offer due to my extensive professional experience.

 I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a wide and extensive network of support which would be available throughout the course of my studies. I have a long term spouse who is fully supportive of my professional aspirations. In fact, this relationship has had a lot to do with my decision, especially with respect to my focus on counseling for members of the LGBT community. Over the course of many years living in XXXX, I have also developed many nurturing friends who also work in the helping professions psychologists, mental health counselors as well as members of my local church community. And they all support my decision to apply to your program.

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Romanian Woman, Immigrant, Domestic Violence

I would very much like to study towards the Master’ Degree in your program because I have my heart set on becoming a psychologist and I have profound respect and admiration for XXXX University. I also have enormous passion for the field of psychology and I am very determined to excel in your program. I am highly dedicated to my career goals, a strong woman, empathetic, compassionate, and a very good listener. I ask for admission to your program because I feel that the greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to provide guidance to others who are in need of support, a hearing ear, and sound advice at dealing with the myriad problems that arise in our increasingly complex world, especially problems related to sexuality as well as immigrant identity. I am especially interested in doing research in the areas of hypnosis, sexual behavior, and family psychology and I especially look forward to helping immigrant women like myself to overcome the many psychological challenges that they face.

 I am a cosmopolitan young woman from Romania who greatly appreciates diversity. I have spent several months each in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Seoul and this has provided me with an opportunity to study multicultural societies and to become wiser concerning the challenges faced by immigrants in a broad variety of settings. I come from one of the most underdeveloped countries of what was once the USSR and is now perhaps the least developed European country. I have overcome enormous personal obstacles in arriving where I have so far, this has given me great psychological and emotional strength, which I now wish to use to help others.

 Romania, my country, my cradle, the land where I made my first steps and I first said “mother.” In that world where I was born, “we were all equals”, just that “some of us were more equal than others.” As a result of government repression that strikes to the heart of all Romanians, I have learned to deal with conflict. Having long been fond of Sun Tzu’s  “The Art of War,” I dream of someday using my accumulated wisdom to write something that I would like to entitle: “The Art of Survival.” It is here that I would like to make my mark on society, helping other immigrant women to survive in a hostile world.

 I have always been a very strong, determined woman, no matter what walls life would raise in front of me; I managed to overcome each and every one of them. Each time life would push me over and make me fall down, there was a strange inner force within me that gave me the power to get up every single time, shake off the dust and start all over again. By the age of 20, I was facing the decision of choosing a career and that is when it hit me. Looking back at my life up until that point, I realized that I was born to be a psychologist. The many women that were depressed, beaten, in life situations that seemed without escape, struggling to find the will, the strength to move on, to pull themselves up, women that listened to me (even though I was still a child) and in doing so they managed to find the force to go on, to fight for their lives: this helped me to realize that I have a calling in life.

 I was always a pillar for my own family, two lonely women, my grandmother a widow and my mother divorced: I suffered greatly because of my so called “father,” seeing him beat my mother so bad the doctor asked her if she had been in a traffic accident. I entered two years of therapy myself at only 5 years old, to be able to sleep and eat. Thus, ever since I was a child, I have wanted to be able to do something with my life, something that would help women who have been victimized by men and patriarchal societies, women like  my mother and grandmother. When I was in high school I volunteered to work in an orphanage. I was still almost a child and I didn’t have the strength to cope with all that was going on there. Each Saturday we would take a few kids home with us to give them a little feeling of being loved, of home. We would cook them dinner and spoil them the best way we could. One Saturday, one of the kids told me that he would be a perfect child, he would never upset me if I would adopt him, that he would do anything ... That’s when I understood how powerless I was, that I needed to do something if I were to be able to help others.

 Under Romania’s communist regime we were oppressed, starved, not allowed to think for ourselves. When the revolution took place everything we knew was turned upside down and we had little knowledge of all the things that were coming our way. We had no idea what to do with our new found freedom and power. We were tricked into voting for people who had no intention of helping the masses .. they were only after their personal goals. Within a few years the country deteriorated beyond recognition, nothing good was done for the people and we were faced with little alternative but to abandon our homes in order to survive. I escaped and came to the West. But ever since I arrived, I have been working through the baggage of a brutal past. I have done well and have found peace. I now ask for your help so that I might be able to help other women to do so as well.

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MA Clinical, Scholarship, Saudi Arabian

 

I am on a fully paid scholarship program from my government, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to study Psychology abroad. I want to earn my masters degree in clinical psychology so that I can then return to  my country and being working in my field. First I will work for a hospital for at least a couple of years so as to gain invaluable experience working with a broad variety of mental health issues.

 My long term goal is to someday open my own psychiatrist clinic and to treat all of those suffering people who seek out my services, irrespective of their ability to pay. I thrive on my service to others and feel very strongly that mental health services should be made available to all those who need those services even if they are poor and cannot pay the fee. I believe that after attaining a world class education in my field from a highly distinguished program such as yours, that I will indeed be successfully in my endeavors because I am a very hard worker, very highly motivated, and I want very much to serve my people.

 For me, becoming successful is all about helping people, not generating profits. My central goal for my professional future is to help people to be become better human beings and more productive members of society, one individual at a time. In this way, I also seek to contribute to the well being and ongoing development of my society, helping the society to overcome its problems and issues and contributing to the way that this will result in better quality of life for everyone. I am looking forward to learning a great deal concerning the broad range of human behavior, ways of thinking and reacting to one another. Your program will provide me with the appropriate academic background, methodology, and enable my understanding of theoretical frameworks to prepare me for success in my field.

 My greatest dream would be to someday open or at least administer a state-of-the art  psychiatric hospital that would serve the specific psychological needs of women. As a woman, I am concerned with the ways that Saudi women suffer in silence, oppressed by the men of my country generally speaking, they often find it difficult to find someone to talk to about their psychological pain. I would like to dedicate my professional life to changing this and to recognize and respond to the way in which the male dominated character of Saudi society often results in hardship for many women and causes them to undergo profound psychological suffering.

 I dream of someday giving public lectures all over my country on the subject of women’s mental health, so that all of us together might have the opportunity to brainstorm concerning strategies as to how women can be better appreciated, especially professionally, and brought into greater levels of participation in society. Finally, I would like to capitalize on the way that my nation is often seen as a leader of the Muslim world by encouraging discussions beyond our borders, and throughout the Muslim world, discussions that would place greater importance on the psychological needs of women in the Muslim world and the challenges that exist for our societies in helping to find specific ways to identify and respond to the psychological problems of women that are unique to the social and religious structures of our societies.

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Taiwanese Eyes, Masters Social, Organizational

 

I am a Taiwan-American woman who is very in touch with her cultural roots. Countless times over the years, I have encountered situations where my Asian-American friends and colleagues have struggled with cultural and social issues in the workplace, very often having an adverse effect on their performance and level of motivation. While I have also had to struggle to overcome cultural barriers, having focused on these hurdles as my own point of intellectual departure (and arrival), and having dedicated my professional identity to these issues, has contributed to my own capacity for their successful resolution, turning challenge into victory, a potential handicap into a resource, a debilitating experience for many into my own taste of victory. My fascination with the experience of immigrant adjustment in America has led me to apply to your distinguished program so as to continue to prepare myself to study our melting pot; for it is in the area of social-organizational psychology where I hope to make my mark in life.

 I am most interested in behavior as a function of the interaction between employees, on the one hand, and the social or industrial organization to which they belong, on the other. I identify myself as a Taiwanese woman, first and foremost, despite the fact that I came to America at the age of 2, because of the fact that I was raised by immigrant Taiwanese parents. In fact, I had little to no exposure to English until the age of 5, when most of my cognitive, analytical, and even social categories were already largely formed. Thus, I am fascinated by the complex ways in which I came to understand our social structures here in New York, having been raised in Queens, through Taiwanese eyes.

 My interests in sociology, psychology, and the role of the media in framing our perceptions led me to complete my undergraduate studies at NYU with a double major in psychology and journalism. I hope very much to be accepted to your program because I am convinced that the greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to help people reach their potential  - whether that means making a lot of money, maximizing their potential to serve humanity, learning how to communicate as successfully as possible, or simply to get a better job doing something that they enjoy. My own greatest love is helping people to succeed at what most matters to them. To this end I have dedicated myself to multiculturalism. While Taiwan will always be my second home, I am not only well read but also well traveled, having visited China twice, as well as Tokyo, Japan; Paris, France; London, Istanbul, Cairo and Alexandria in Egypt, Venice, Verona, and Rome in Italy. Everywhere I go I study, how people think, feel, and what matters most at every place in time.

 For the past half decade, I have worked in human resources/training and development in both the fields of both financial services and education, especially diversity and inclusion initiatives. I am now convinced that XXXX’s Social-Organizational Psychology Program is the ideal program for the optimization of my own acumen and expertise. My Taiwanese roots have encouraged me to give back to the community, especially minority groups. Your program will train me to think outside the box, radically improving my vision of an improved workplace where everyone can reach their potential, learning to make the most of our ride on the wave of increasing diversity, creative reform and human acceptance.

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PsyD, Doctoral Degree, Obesity, Eating Disorders

At 26, I am a mature woman who is extremely dedicated to my studies. A very hard worker, my first love for many years has been my study of Psychology. I cannot, in fact, conceive of living for even a single day, much less a week, without indulging my addiction for psychological literature, self reflection, my quest for human growth, openness, and transformation of negative into positive energy, irrespective of the circumstance in which I find myself.

 I was born in XXXX and raised in XXXX, Florida where I attended private schools. My dedication to my interior life is mirrored by a similar high level of motivation for social excellence; for me, introversion and extroversion are two sides of the same coin. Throughout elementary and then junior high school I was always busy: creating new clubs and activities for my friends to join. Since childhood, I have had a passion for helping others—animals as well as humans—with my second love after psychology being nature, wildlife, all things outdoors. It was in high school, when my friends really started to turn to me for help with their everyday struggles, thereby sparking what would gradually come to be my recognition of my calling. Since early adolescence, I have thrived on talking with my friends about their personal problems. I have always found it especially rewarding to know that my friends find it very easy, natural, to confide in me and seek my feedback. 

 I graduated from the University of XXXX in 2006 with my B.S. in Psychology and a certificate in Behavioral Forensics. In 2007, I enrolled in the Masters program at XXXX in XXXX, Florida and graduated with my M.A. in Counseling in May 2010. Even before attending college, I have been engaged in questions of identity, image, the multiple complex relationships between self-perception, on the one hand, and mental health issues on the other. I am concerned with the way that our culture, the media, forms our tastes and dreams; the way that we have become a society that is nourished more by movies than literature, how this turns upon us in vicious ways, all too often resulting more in our enslavement than our liberation. I am especially troubled by obesity, the damage done by excess food, especially to children, the anxiety and stress that accompanies our economic achievement. And as a woman, I am especially concerned with the way that stereotypes of beauty tend to harness female creativity, mitigating against the healthy individuation of girls and women, often serving to stifle the greatest potential within us for social contribution, as wives and mothers as well as citizens.

 For these reasons, I especially look forward to doing research in the areas of adolescent development and eating disorders—most particularly, the intersection between the two.  I also have a profound interest in and a keen desire to work with a variety of populations that face mental health challenges. My interest in forensics has fueled this curiosity. My extensive background working with adolescents, in particular, has furthered my desire to conduct further research within this particular age range. At this time, if I were try and imagine writing a doctoral dissertation, it would be on the long term effects of eating disorders among adolescent girls. My long term goal is to teach psychology, always maintaining a side interest in forensics. I may choose to work in the area of competency assessment for individuals awaiting trial. It is also easy to imagine myself working for a corporation, testing employees.

 I completed my practicum with the Center For Drug Free Living, working with at-risk youths, conducting psycho-educational groups as well as providing individual therapy. During my internship, I work at an adolescent residential facility with teen girls, primarily diagnosing oppositional defiant disorder; I received extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I have volunteered for a suicide prevention event hosted on the campus of XXXX College, providing support to families who have lost a loved one related to suicide. Finally, I have also volunteered with Upward Bound, a program that gives high school students a chance to study on college campuses. I now have over 8 years  relevant professional and volunteer experience in the field of psychology and I feel strongly that this will help me to excel in your program.

 I love to take on new challenges and will work as hard as I can to overcome any obstacle. I am committed to lifelong education, multicultural exploration,  and the achievement of an open mind. I have explored Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Wales, and Scotland, the East and West coasts of Canada and made several trips to the Bahamian Islands. Throughout all the traveling I've done, the one thing I've learned is how fortunate I am to be an American. I am proud of my country and the educational opportunities that it provides to its citizens. Traveling has made me a more tolerant, accepting individual and increased my sense of empathy. These days, I am especially excited about the prospect of embarking on the rigors of doctoral study.

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PHD, Clinical, Community Counseling, Hispanic

It is said that education and learning opens new doors to progress; my life to date bears witness to this truth. Born and raised in Ecuador, my journey towards the goal of becoming a clinical psychologist in private practice in the United States has been anchored by life experiences and the steps I took in my academic career toward that goal. Currently enrolled in a Masters program in Community Counseling at XXXX University, having completed my core courses and awaiting internship, my decision to enroll in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology is motivated by a desire to build on my existing academic framework of psychological concepts to explore the link between neuropsychology, trauma and behavior. Ultimately, my aim is to establish a successful clinical psychology practice that specializes in the neuropsychological assessment and management of children and adolescents exposed to trauma.  

 During the Masters program, working in the classroom with colleagues who share the same passion I have and having access to academic staff that inspired us to strive for academic excellence has been a growth experience for me at both a personal and professional level. Despite the core knowledge base I have acquired in psychology applicable to community psychology and my years of practical experience in the field as a counselor, it is the complex facets of clinical psychology that I desire to develop competencies in, especially the latest advances in research in neurobiology that offer insight into the link between organic changes in the neurological make-up of the brain following traumatic insult and the alteration in behavior and personality that occurs, especially in the developmental years.

 Understanding the psychology of human behavior has been critical to my growth as an individual and as a counselor. The awareness of the internal and external factors that determine coping mechanisms and responses to life stressors have been a valuable learning curve for me. I have had the opportunity to view firsthand the impact of this knowledge acquired in my work as a counselor at Underdue Social Services in Atlanta, Georgia, a position I have held since November 2009. The skills I have been equipped with have allowed me to successfully integrate the theoretical knowledge with practical application in the cases of the families I have been entrusted with. I believe that these skills will be optimized during my internship.

 When I first embarked on this career path, I had come from Ecuador where the shifting socioeconomic and political landscape had significantly interfered with my ability to plan a future that held a positive outlook for me and my family. Psychological problems affecting children and adolescents generally have consequences for families and ultimately communities. My own experience as a parent in raising two beautiful, strong children has left me with an empathy for families that are overwhelmed by crises that affect their children. Leaving the known of my country of birth for the unknown of a foreign country was a leap of faith in my ability. I managed to overcome any odds to achieve the dream I had of being a professional counselor who would enable and empower people to cope with life’s challenges, especially children and families affected by complex trauma.

 Being Hispanic by birth, I had to prove this journey myself. Persevering past the language limitations, cultural differences and environmental challenges I faced when I first came to the United States, I managed to embrace my new country’s worldview. The yearning I had to pursue a career in clinical psychology did not abate even though I initially had to work in different sectors of the economy before working as a counselor. Being well travelled and bilingual allows me a unique opportunity to relate to people as a counselor without a language barrier and with a shared worldview, especially those families with children and adolescents who have had difficulty adjusting to the different cultural and linguistic environment in their new country.

 As a counselor, I have seen the impact of neglect and abuse on the development of children and the deep scars left in adolescents at a critical stage in their personality development by a traumatic event. As levels of stress caused by economic challenges and natural disasters escalate, there exists a growing need for clinical psychologists who are experts in their field to assess and manage trauma-related neuropsychological problems. The earlier these problems can be identified in children and adolescents, the better the life-time prognosis for them especially when they enter adulthood. Research in neurobiological changes following trauma have advanced to the point where it is now possible to visualize changes in the brain at a microscopic level that impact on human behavior.

 As a community counselor, I have had opportunity to explore the environmental influences that create chronic stressors in families and identify families with children and adolescents at risk. Rehabilitative efforts through counseling programs have been effective to a certain degree in resolving the consequences of trauma; the exciting prospect that I am desirous of exploring is the effectiveness of the clinical psychological approach to managing children and adolescents in these situations. Developing skills that will objectively document through neuropsychological assessment microscopic changes in areas in the brain affected by trauma that gross morphological imaging assessments fail to capture, would be an exciting research project to explore in child and adolescent psychology.

 The effectiveness of therapeutic options based on evidence–based research will enhance the place of clinical psychology in the management of children and adolescents impacted by complex trauma. The pervasive nature of the deficits sustained during complex trauma is well documented in the literature. Children and adolescents are referred at present for various behavioral and psychological interventions that are based on psychological techniques developed mainly in the adult population. Given the potential consequences for the developmental process in children and adolescents, it is imperative that research focuses on this subpopulation to collate data that is both reliable and valid. At this point in my career, I am motivated to pursue this interesting and innovative area as a research focus point.

 At a personal life stage now where I am comfortable with my home and family, I am committed to pursuing the Doctoral Program; I believe that my personal attributes that include critical thinking, excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication skills and a research focus in the neuropsychology of children and adolescents make me an excellent candidate for the course. The unique life experiences I have had from my background of cultural diversity are an added strength. I acknowledge that learning is a process and insight does not always result in change unless there is commitment to the duration of the journey.

 I believe that the Masters program was one leg on this journey towards self-awareness; it has helped me grow in understanding about myself and others; the Doctoral program will offer deeper insight, heighten my clinical acumen, expand my psychotherapeutic skill and provide an opportunity for me to explore adolescent and developmental psychology. This time would be invaluable: it would allow the academic staff to continue to offer their supervisory perspective which would be critical to both the discipline and psychotherapeutic growth I would need to ethically and successfully function in clinical practice in the community. Thank you for affording me this opportunity.

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PHD Clinical, Forensics Psychology, PTSD

XXXX’s Ph.D. Psychology program is more than a logical progression for my academic and professional career, it is a truly natural choice, stemming from a lifelong desire to put action behind my passion for the inner workings of the human mind.  Moreover, I feel I have exhausted every path of challenge and opportunity at my current academic level.  While I have given all that I am to my work, my energy, creativity, I have been left wanting to give more and on a greater scale.

 Through my educational and professional experiences in law enforcement and as a mental health pool therapist in a mental health hospital, I have seen a distinct and growing need for qualified and quality Clinical Psychologists in the field and am eager to fill this need.  By increasing my depth of understanding in Criminal Psychology, I envision building my exposure in the field, helping law enforcement officials their families or victims of crime, PTSD sufferers, on their journey to sustainable, productive and meaningful lives.  At this time, I have not ruled out the possibility of research into the area of Forensic Psychology, building on my academic introduction and understanding of Criminology.

 Your Ph.D. Psychology program has the specific strength of allowing students to concentrate their studies in Forensic Psychology, and has stood out to me from the background noise of other universities.  No other school could offer me the same level of curricular autonomy or exposure to experts in their field, nor the focus and chance for intensive exposure outside of the classroom.  I feel that my academic and professional goals of working with Law Enforcement, understanding the criminal mind, social deviance, trauma and work as a professional witness will be served well for these reasons.  Furthermore, while I am no stranger to research work, I embrace the fact that there is ample room for improvement in my own set of skills.  I am confident that my research skills and analytic abilities would be heightened by the XXXX experience.

 XXXX’s accomplished student body and benchmark-setting faculty will aid in my determining which setting(s) my sensibilities, strengths and clinical acumen will serve my future clients or patients best.  Irrespective of the setting in which I focus my career, I am particularly sensitive to the needs of the socio-economically challenged, indigent and or those struggling with the assorted difficulties of acculturation.  Given the increasing influx of culturally diverse individuals into America’s healthcare system, the need to serve the unique needs of at-risk populations is only going to grow.  As with any preventative medical process, caring for the mental health of our communities is incredible important to help minimize complications that can come from undiagnosed, or under-treated conditions.

Growing up poor and in a community equally socio-economically depressed taught me at an early age the value of doing for yourself, that only through our own efforts can we ever hope to rise above, not just financially, but psychologically and emotionally.  To this end, ever since high school, I have excelled in every academic venture I have undertaken, never giving in to naysayers, consistently focused on bringing my dreams to reality.  The results speak for themselves, graduating Summa Cum Laude, Dean’s List, Psi Chi Honor Society membership, Mortar Board Vice President, and stellar GPAs. 

 Even in my extra curricular activities, I have given every ounce of who I am, earning at one point the coveted MVP soccer position for my College.  The seriousness with which I have approached my academics is reflected outside the classroom as well, and I hold professional memberships with the SEPA and ACA.  In all honesty, I cannot envision my future without including continuous education.

 From the time I was in high school, I have been intrigued by the complexities of human behavior, and excelled in the sciences.  My passion for Clinical Psychology though was not truly sparked until my own therapy experience.  Later, in college, I gained my first exposure in the field, volunteering for an after-school program that served underprivileged youth.  The experience was phenomenal, eye-opening, incredibly rewarding and solidified my certainty that my future must be in direct-client contact, aiding them through such issues as acculturation, helping prevent the underserved from falling through societal cracks.  Their situations are truly fragile, easily leading to substance abuse, deeper levels of indigence, homelessness, abusive relationships, and crime.  Their stories of struggling to fit in, to gain some sense of belonging and to bring their own personal dreams to life will stay with me forever. 

 Currently, in my position as a pool mental health therapist at a mental health hospital, I have been convinced that where we cannot help those from falling into self-destructive spirals, we, as Clinical Psychologists can do a great deal to bring healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices and strategies for living to those who need it most.  My exposure to diverse individuals and families has increased through this work, and I feel confident in my abilities to serve them well.  The realities of the underserved, the socio-economically challenged, at-risk populations and the marginalized have ignited a fire within me, a passion for helping them at all costs.

 Furthermore, my experiences working within law enforcement have exposed me to the imperative needs of law enforcement officials and their families.  Quality Clinical Psychologists are needed for not just a curative role, but also in a preventative capacity, helping families identify warning signs and develop proper coping skills for such issues as PTSD.  Oftentimes, it is the spouse or children of officers that are on the front lines themselves of problems that they are simply not equipped to deal with.  Upon building my exposure, post-graduation, I want to be instrumental in these situations, bringing the reality of a happier, healthier home life that I know can be attained to fruition, as well as sustained through effective relapse prevention plans, trigger identification and warning sign awareness.  In the most practical terms, my work in law enforcement and fire dispatch have developed my ability to work well under pressure, to think clearly in emergency situations.

My strengths are not just in my practical experiences, but academics as well.  The field of Forensic Psychology is truly transsystemic, and I feel that my own background in the pure sciences of biology, physics, chemistry as well as the social sciences of psychology, sociology, criminology and graduate mental health education are an excellent reflection and preparation for my future in the field.  Having conducted and presented research, I am confident in my abilities, my own skin, and in the validity of my work.

 Clinical Psychologists oftentimes work in conjunction with other mental health professionals, teams, even occupational therapists.  Having worked in sports situations as a sports coordinator, head soccer and trainer for XXXX Soccer Association, as well as my own sporting activities, I have taken and applied lessons learned on the field, a sense of cooperation, goal-minded orientation and camaraderie to professional situations, to great effect.

 No activity, no field has nor ever could bring me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction than when I have aided others in rebuilding their lives, or developing strategies for being.  I look forward to my time serving my community, the poor, the needy, the marginalized, or those that feel they can no longer cope with life’s assorted difficulties get back on the path of living, and contributing to their lives and the lives of others.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

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