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Blog posts : "PsyD Clinical"

PsyD Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis

My mother is Japanese and my father is Jewish. Both me and my father were born and raised in Chicago and the city is very much part of our social identities. I have spent most of the last few years in Washington DC., New York City, and Boston, however, and I am now in the process of moving back home to Chicago. I have been working very hard this summer to prepare myself for graduate school in Psychology by studying at the University of XXXX in XXXX, completing an Introduction to Psychology intensive course and currently enrolled in “Research Methods in Psychology.”

I hope to earn the PsyD Degree in Clinical Psychology and develop a central focus on psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. XXXX is my first choice because I see your program as the most innovative and thoroughgoing among programs in Chicago and the best fit for my intellectual and professional interests. In particular, I appreciate your emphasis on the “practitioner-scholar” model of training.

I seek a total immersion as a doctoral student in the study of primary social forces and subject positioning. What does it mean to say that we have inner lives? Is this fantasy, metaphor, or allegory? Drawing critically on the traditions of post-structuralism and post-modernism, I want to engage with these questions. I am intrigued by the pervasiveness of complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding meaning making endeavors, especially for people struggling through difficult situations – particularly in light of the psychological, social and cultural applications of psychoanalytic theory.

I am especially interested in issues of gender and identity and their relationship to the development of one’s social life, and to questions of otherness, marginalization, and oppression. Looking forward to an in-depth study of how identities, beliefs, intimacies and hatreds are transmitted across generations as well as between contemporaries, I am especially interested in secrets that are passed down from one generation to the next, the pull of the past. Processes of change occurring at personal, microsocial and macrosocial levels will be my central focus as I examine the psychological investments made in both change and resistance to change. Looking in broad strokes at strategies of empowerment and liberation, I want to think with increasing creativity about what opposes the march towards freedom and realization.

I plan to devote my professional life to the study of why so many people tend to remain in love with their chains. This entails raising many conventional and fundamental questions with respect to both psychotherapy and social action. The psychosocial project is complicated by the fact that psychotherapeutic practices are by no means uniformly progressive in their politics or in their effects. Indeed, much commentary on psychotherapy - from feminism to critical theory - has been directed at the conformism embedded in its assumptions and practices: adaptational, elitist, ideological, controlling, patriarchal, bourgeois, etc. Clearly, psychotherapy is embedded within some form of modernist epistemology which assumes the possibility of expertise, integration and individual self-development, and which often brackets out the “social” aspect of the psychosocial subject. I have no commitment to any particular way of doing psychotherapy--or even to psychotherapy as a basic good, which it might or might not be; rather, I am interested in questions of social and personal change, independently of the extent to which that change has occurred as a result of therapy. As a practitioner-scholar, I am fascinated by historical and area studies that shed light on the social psychological aspects of social change, the examination of shifts in action and experience over time and place so as to learn as much as possible about the mechanisms that inhibit or facilitate progressive adaptation to one’s social environment.

My intention in undertaking research at the doctoral level is to further my personal understanding of the dissonance between my own inter-subjective experience of reality and the objective one in which I struggle daily. I do this with the hope that in doing so I may discover something which will help to further the self-understanding of others as well. I want to contribute to the actualization of one potential over another and in this way promote a social order characterized by greater levels of freedom and more equitable relationships among people. I do not believe that we should try and create such relationships by force, or, its correlate, control, but through empowerment and participation grounded in principles of justice and human dignity. I hope to become a “good-enough” (to use Winnicott’s term) psychotherapist to be able to provide someone with the opportunity to seize hold of lost or hidden meanings and re-own them, recover them; empowered to tell their own stories and reflect back in a way that enables these life-stories to be owned, understood, and put to the service of one’s liberation.

I am committed to psychoanalysis on both professional and personal levels, seeing my own analyst for the past 4 years, completing courses in psychoanalysis and reading a lot of the major texts, Freud and Jung, object relational theorists such as Winnicott, Klein, Segal, Fairbain, Bion, Kohut, etc. To be committed to psychoanalysis, for me, implies putting the insights and forms of attention learned in the clinic (or elsewhere) to the test in everyday life.

I measure success in life by its level of passionate fullness; by one’s ability to bear tension, frustration, and anxiety; by felicitous reflection on and the ability to work towards the attainment of various and varied desires; by the well-cultivated capacity to receive and respond to our desires and meanings as well as those of others. I also see this as the ultimate measure and meaning of one’s commitment to psychoanalysis.

I would like to eventually have my own private practice providing psychoanalytic psychotherapy to clients from diverse backgrounds and helping as many people as I can. I also hope to secure a position teaching, continuing my research and writing/publishing in my areas of interest. I have worked hard to enhance my capacities to tolerate, reflect, and work within the space of ambiguity and tension through self-observation and integration of overwhelming affects, fears, desires, anxieties, and sensations. My research interests and the work that I want to pursue provide me a sense of personal vitality and authenticity and for this reason I will work as hard as I can to fulfill my passion. I feel especially attracted to the research undertaken by Dr. XXXX at XXXX and I believe my research interests are such that he would be a good fit for me as a mentor to guide me with respect to directions in my research.

I earned college credit from Columbia University and New York University in the summers of 2003 and 2004. I graduated cum laude from the XXXX University in 2006 and was on the Dean's List at GWU for two semesters (fall 2004, fall 2005). I was also awarded a place in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars at GWU (fall 2003). I also completed a Graduate-Student-at-Large program at the University of XXXX and took courses from the Committee on Social Thought and Philosophy (2007-2008). I have traveled much of the world, spending a full year traveling through India and Asia (Tibet, Burma, Bhutan) after I graduated from college. I have been to China several times (Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taishan), Tokyo, Taipei, Bali, Indonesia, Western Europe (I lived in Paris for 6 months). My parents moved to Milan, Italy for one year when I was 12 for their work as fashion designers. Thus, I was able to see much of Italy. I have also been to Cape Town, South Africa as well as Kenya and Tanzania. In Latin America I have visited Argentina, Chile, Peru, Cuba, and in the Middle East Dubai.  I read and speak French at an intermediate level and I Spanish as a beginner.

Very much influenced by humanism, critical theory, Gramsci, Foucault, and a variety of feminist perspectives, I have drawn from these individuals and theories because they struck a cord that resonated through the whole of my personal and intellectual search for self-understanding and direction. They gave voice to and expanded the personal knowledge that I brought to my efforts to reflect on and make sense out of my own experience.

Schultz's concept of phenomenology, for example, speaks to my belief that all knowledge is relative and normative; that empirical facts and data are meaningful only when they are placed in a normative and value-laden context; and, that "into every act of knowing there enters a passionate construction of the person knowing what is being known and…this coefficient is no mere imperfection but a vital component of [her] knowledge" (Polanyi, 1958). The Freirean philosophy of consciousness and empowerment, as well as humanism, speaks to my need to believe that collectively and individually we can freely choose the values and assumptions from which we name reality.

Gramsci and Foucault, in different ways, give voice to my understanding of the intensity of the struggle in which we must engage, both collectively and individually, in order to be able to make the choices that lead to our fullest self-realization. Finally feminism addresses most directly my own experience of oppression as a woman.

I thank you for considering my application to XXXX.

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PsyD, Husband, Father, Cancer Survivor

The PsyD Program at XXXX University is my first choice for study at the doctoral level because of your location and the fact that I see my interests as the best fit for your program. A husband of 28 years and a father of a 23-year-old daughter, I am also a cancer survivor and a recovering alcoholic for more than a decade; thus, I feel that I have developed wisdom that will be useful for helping others. In particular, I look forward to continuing to help young men caught up in the juvenile justice system to avoid some of the pitfalls that snare so many young substance abusers, especially teenage alcoholics. I also look forward to helping others to face up to the battle against cancer.

A graduate student in a Clinical Mental Health Program specializing in Reality Therapy, I am a responsible self-starter who communicates well and is dedicated to caring for the mental health of my clients.  Team-oriented with a strong record of establishing solid relationships with clients, co-workers and administration, I pay great attention to detail and documentation and I am well read in the area of professional ethics and public policy.

The internship of more than 700 hours that I completed at XXXX Department of Corrections (DOC) has been formative in my career direction and I have simply become addicted to the challenge presented to our society by teenage substance abusers. I am especially enthused after this experience with the power of group counseling to change the way that young people think, helping them to achieve greater levels of control over their behavior.

I spent most of my adult life in the restaurant business in which I was highly successful; now financially independent at 53 years old, I have turned my full attention to what I love most: the study of psychology, healing, therapy, and most of all counseling. My special passion for counseling which drives my application to the PsyD Degree Program at XXXX University is born in part from my own highly positive experiences over the last couple of decades with counseling for myself, an alcoholic in recovery currently celebrating very close to one full decade of sobriety. Thus, it is easy to see why I am so dedicated to helping others. I have been actively engaged with AA and NA for many years now and have went to our local hospital’s detox and dual diagnosis units to help out as a volunteer on frequent occasions. I am fully focused on salvation and redemption and enjoy nothing more than talking the talk and walking the walk of sobriety. I feel that I can make my strongest contribution to my community in the therapy and rehabilitation of young offenders in the juvenile justice system. I am experienced in this area and I have found that when I share with these young men about my own struggle years ago and the problems that alcohol caused in my life, they listen to me much more intently than they would do so otherwise. From my experience, counseling that comes from the heart and stays close to the bone is the most effective.

As a young business man, earning my BS in Business Marketing back in 1985 was a natural choice. My interest in psychology and mental health - my calling and vocation - was something that developed over time. This coming year, however, in 2017, I will earn my Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health from XXXX University. Alcoholism and substance abuse are only part of the issues in the psychology of healing in which I look forward to continuing to immerse myself for the balance of my professional a lifetime.  The way I have dealt and continue to deal with my own addiction is to look at myself attentively in the mirror every morning and saying to myself everyday that I'm an alcoholic, mindful of my condition at every moment. I keep my Disease in front of me at all times. This clearly works; otherwise, I would not be maintaining my 4.0 GPA at UXX.

My long term goal is to make a positive change in human lives through the DOC, especially with young offenders. These teenage offenders come from a broad variety of backgrounds with all different types of obstacles in their path that they must overcome. I feel very strongly that juvenile offenders are in a separate moral category than their adult counterparts and that they deserve special consideration and investment. Everything that applies to the adult offender in terms of deserving another chance, a shot at rehabilitation and re-insertion into society: much more so does it apply to the offender who is a legal minor. They deserve a special chance; an education and the assistance that they need to overcome the obstacles that stand in their way to becoming a productive member of society. I firmly believe that some will be very successful if they follow a well put together program that has guidelines and parameters that effectively prepare them for re-entry into society. I firmly believe that many if not most juvenile offenders could become very successful members of the community if they were to follow a program that had well designed guidelines and parameters that effectively prepared them for re-entry.

Several of the clients that I have worked with stand out in my mind and I continue to reflect upon them and their situation. I had very intense conversations with AH, for example, who was in a sexual offender group at the age of 19.   According to him, his victim was 13 years old and he was 18 and he was set up because she never told him her real age and he never asked.  Throughout all of our long sessions he went into great detail on what actually transpired.  For the first few sessions, I could not put my finger on it.  But then, after reviewing my notes, by the third session I could see that things just didn’t add up and I realized that AH was a chronic liar.  Almost every single thing that he told me was contradicted by something else that he said in a group or in a subsequent session. I reflected on the possibility that AH has Extreme Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I have heard that one cannot change a narcissist, that they must change themselves. In the fourth session with AH I began to expose his discrepancies.  I thought that he might either shut completely down and/or feel rage at being exposed; most likely continuing in his narcissistic way of thinking and interacting. AH was one of my first clients in the DOC and he was not my greatest success. Nevertheless, with AH I became aware of the fact that my age was an asset, and that I was shown at least a minimal amount of respect because of my real life experiences. He left me with the impression that I had resources that a younger counselor may not have, at least with AH. 

Another inmate I will never forget is MJ, a 17 year old inmate sentenced to life.  During my fifth week in the DOC I learned that MJ’s mother had passed away unexpectedly.  Since I had already met with him on several occasions in regard to behavior incidents, I was selected to tell him that his mother had passed away.  I was a nervous wreck because there is no easy way or text book example on how to handle a situation such as this.  When MJ walked into the meeting room in cuffs and shackles, he asked why he was meeting with me.  I said to him: “I have some bad news for you.” MJ screamed “what happened to my mom?”  I looked at him and said nothing, only staring into his eyes.  At that point, MJ fell on the floor and began sobbing.  I went over to him and sat down next to him to show support.  MJ never knew his father, his mother was a crack addict and he grew up on the streets of Philadelphia.  As I sat with him on the floor for nearly the entire session he finally asked me what had happened to his mother.  I told him that it was a tragic accident involving a tractor trailer and that she passed instantly.  MJ looked at me and said: “That’s a relief to know that she wasn’t shot and she didn’t suffer.  She died with some dignity.”  I was assigned to counsel MJ for an hour every week and I tried to see him about three times a week and it usually worked out.  After about a month of grief counseling, I saw MJ in the general population and he came up to me and said, “Mr C I just want to thank you for the way you told me of my mother’s passing.  I knew it was hard for you but I’m glad it was you.  Thank you.”  That was the most rewarding experience I’ve had in counseling so far and I want more. 

I believe that many of the problems our society faces today are a direct result of negative behavior that is learned from parents as well as society as a whole. The reason that I want to earn my Psyd is to learn by experience with a hands-on clinical approach. I firmly believe that the best way to learn is through experience, being there, putting what one preaches into practice.

I thank you for your consideration of my application to XXXX University.

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PsyD Clinical Psychology, Children of Color, Mom

A new mom, I could not be more enthused with new directions in my study of Psychology, especially my focus on becoming a Clinical Child Psychologist. As a young black woman born and raised until the age of 15 in our native Guyana, I relate especially well with children of color, particularly those that are at risk and from disadvantaged, marginalized, or recent immigrant backgrounds. While completing my MA in Developmental Psychology (2014), I had the chance to do my practicum in a child life setting where I would perform medical play with children arriving for pre-hospitalization. Most of these children were from lower-class families and had developmental delays. This experience inspired me with great passion and inner drive to work with children and their families in these circumstances.

I dream of becoming a Clinical Child Psychologist so that I can continue to help children and their families every day of my professional life and to have a very positive impact on their future. I look forward to decades to come reaching out a helping hand to underprivileged children and their families both here in the USA and in the Developing World, probably Guyana later on in my career when I get homesick and want to come full circle. My birth country has a very high suicide rate, especially among adolescent females, suggesting the need for well trained –and especially female – child psychologists. I want to advocate for children and teach by example, inspiring new generations of leaders in the care of our most vulnerable members of society.

XXXX University is my first choice among doctoral programs in Psychology for a variety of reasons. I appreciate your history as the longest running PsyD program in the USA and the way that you so artfully balance classroom instruction and practical applied experience. I am especially looking forward to the latter since I am practice oriented and anxious for more hands on experience. Perhaps most of all, I appreciate your especially thoroughgoing focus on child, adolescent, and family psychotherapy.

If selected, I will be the first member of my family to attend graduate school. It would make me very happy to give my life to working with the types of children that I now have experience, autistic and Downs Syndrome with developmental delays (speech etc.) What amazes me with some of these clients is how they use medical play to express their emotions. I see enormous value and potential in play therapy, based on my experience, where most of the children that I worked with who had a hard time expressing themselves were able to express themselves better through structured play activities. With great frequency, I reflect upon some of the children who came especially close to my heart; such as a 6 year-old Hispanic girl with autism and a lot of tooth decay. She would grunt all the time when trying to talk but also smile all the time. A Caribbean-American girl, 8 years old, with Down syndrome: I colored with her as she kept looking at me and making baby noises. Her mother was very laid back, texting on her phone and barely glancing over at her child. A 9 year old boy, also with Down syndrome, was very smart and excelled at medical play, signaling to his mother and grandmother from across the room. Very gentle and polite, this child was a sheer delight to care for and educate.

I have also worked at daycares and after schools programs with children who live in deprived areas and I am currently working at a psychiatric hospital for young children and adolescents with behavioral and mental issues. These experiences have given me the opportunity to learn how to better address the mental health needs of special populations and I look forward in particular to learning about the impact of economic factors on children's mental health.

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PsyD Clinical, ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome

XXXX University is my first choice to earn the PsyD for a variety of reasons in addition to my profound admiration of your advanced curriculum and the streamlined character of your program. My drive to earn the PsyD at XXXX is a direct result of my extensive experience with special needs children—beginning with my own 2 children. My daughter Ingrid will turn 15 in May; intellectually gifted, she has done outstandingly well given the fact that she was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in pre-school. My son Lars, who just turned 12, still struggles with learning disabilities and has many characteristics of ADHD.

As I continued to reflect on and learn from our experience, I became increasingly engaged with the subject of psychological assessment and the pivotal role that it plays in diagnosis and subsequently treatment. I think in terms of windows of opportunity, especially in the case of my daughter. I hope to publish in this area and give it my all for the balance of my professional life. Thus, it would be a great honor for me to have the privilege of studying under Dr. XXXX whose work on assessment I deeply admire, along with Dr. XXXX in the area of school-based consultation and Dr. XXXX in the areas of risk, resiliency, transition and diversity issues.

My goal of earning a Doctorate of Psychology at XXXX University is informed by my passion for helping others, a passion that grew out of my experiences with my own childhood medical trauma, teenage learning difficulties, raising children with special education needs and my struggle as a single parent as well—on top of two decades of professional experience as a school psychologist. I first became aware of the benefits of psychological intervention and counseling when I was a teenager. Following a childhood illness that required extended hospitalization, I struggled throughout my teens with my own learning challenges and behavioral concerns. These issues were greatly intensified by the economic problems my family faced and the fallout from moving no less than ten times by the time I turned seventeen. Recognizing the lack of structure in our life, and wanting me to acquire positive study habits and motivation, my mother enrolled me in Catholic School. As part of my high school journey, I was fortunate enough to receive psychological counseling.  The benefits of this experience helped me enormously to succeed socially and emotionally as well as academically. The feeling of hope and gratitude that I took with me from my counseling experience helped to empower me to establish a peer counseling organization at my high school, where none had existed before.

In my 20s and 30’s, the challenges of raising children, a divorce when they were still little, and the pressures of my continuing education and reintegration into the workforce led me to further psychological treatment as well as other modes of therapy, including trauma workshops which were something still quite novel at the time. I am convinced that the emotional growth and pragmatic skill set that I have nourished over the years will empower me to excel in your PsyD program and make creative contributions to your academic community. I profoundly enjoy gardening, long-distance running, and I am in the process of becoming a yoga instructor. These activities have further enhanced my sense of psychological wholeness along with my fervent determination to help others.

After earning my MA and beginning my practice as a school psychologist, I began working with students diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome, since, as a result of my daughter Ingrid’s struggle, by this time I was recognized by my many of my peers as a specialist in the area of autism. My Master’s studies had only touched on Asperger’s Syndrome, however, as this diagnosis was still new at this time; thus, I found myself devoting countless hours to independent research, educating myself about the symptoms and behaviors related to ASD and the implications for school based interventions. In the years that followed, I continued my personal research in Autism along with ASD, ADHD, and a multitude of other learning disabilities, with the goal of helping individuals in a school setting.

I have been faced with the challenge of balancing my duty and loyalty to the school system on the one hand, and serving as an advocate for the student and their family on the other hand, which has probably been the most difficult aspect of my work so far. Dealing with this tension on a case-by-case basis for the last 20 years has left me fascinated by issues of professional ethics in child and school psychology, especially in the case of special needs children and this is one of the areas in which I would also like very much to publish in the future as I continue to cultivate my professional sensitivity and leadership abilities.

At this stage in my career, I have a well-developed understanding of the growing demands put on school systems due to governmental requirements and complex, ever-changing societal issues.  This has and will continue to increase the need for school psychologists with exceptional capacity to deal with numerous complex issues simultaneously. I have always had a strong sense of motivation and responsibility to stay current in my field and I believe that XXXX’s PsyD Program represents the ideal platform on which to continue to grow in every way, particularly as a professional psychologist. I feel strongly that, after earning the PsyD, I will be able to realize my fullest potential as a school psychologist based on my experience of almost 2 decades of discovery of my old children's need for involvement in special education, on top of my professional responsibilities and advocating for friends and family members on how to navigate their children's needs. I have developed great empathy for and an understanding of the day-to-day issues faced by special needs students and their families and I look forward to sharing some of my most memorable experiences in class discussions at XXXX.

My current job is an excellent fit for me while my children complete high school and I earn my PsyD. After we complete these hurdles, however, I hope to transition to a position of greater responsibility that will enable me to put my leadership skills to fuller use in the area of program development; and I hope to teach at some point in an institution of higher learning. In the same way that attending college is now a natural next step for many of the students with whom I work, becoming a professor of psychology on a college campus will be my natural next step forward, all of us snatching victory together from the jaws of defeat.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished 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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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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