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PHD Social Psychology, Gender, Stereotypes, Brazil

I was born in Brazil but raised mostly in Boston from the age of 8 years old. I graduated from the University of XXXX with a Degree in Psychology and a minor in Chemistry in the Fall of 2006. This year, 2010, I completed my MS Degree in Psychology from XXXX State University.

I now want very much to study towards PHD Degree in Social Psychology at the University of XXXX since I am especially interested in doing research in the areas of persuasion, gender, and stereotypical threats and prejudice. In fact, I am keenly looking forward to a rigorous immersion in the study of the broad gambit of social influence theory and group behavior as well as research methodologies. I am especially looking forward to having Drs. XXXX and XXXX as faculty mentors. 10 years from now I would like to be a university professor myself who is especially adept at publication. In addition to English and Portuguese, I am also proficient in Italian and have basic skills in French. I hope to take advantage of my language skills at some point in my research endeavors.

 I am cutting back my professional work load to a minimum so that I will be able to focus full time on my studies. My volunteer work has shown me how gratifying it is to help others in the community and I strive to make a positive impact in society.  I am a hard worker who is eager for knowledge. I am endowed with a great ability to understand experimental designs and improve them; I am a sensitive man who is especially adept at the identification of possible confounding variables and design flaws in the studies. I have done extensive work in the design and management of experiment involving stereotypical threats with respect to gender as well as classical conditioning with various reinforcement schedules (FR, FI, VR, VI, etc) and extinction with proxy subjects (i.e. pigeons). I have also conducted conditioning experiments involving the pairing of an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus. I very much look forward to continuing to enhance my understanding of the the underlying mechanisms and intricacies of human behavior.

As a member of a family that has been blessed with economic resources, I am highly sensitive to the difficult realities of members of the working social classes for whom life is very much an economic struggle. I have friends from different economical backgrounds and neither side is alien to me. In Brazil, for example, I was long struck by the fact that, due to their low income, police officers are forced to live in the slums with the drug dealers and other criminals. They have to hide their identity in order to preserve their lives. They can't even leave their houses with their uniforms on. And this is just one of the social questions that I look forward to investigating as a social psychologist with a special interest in Brazil.

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MA Family Therapy, MFT, Community Counseling

I am an Egyptian, born and raised in Kuwait until the age of sixteen. I now live in California. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of XXXX. I speak Arabic and English. My goal is to become a counselor specializing in the problems suffered by immigrant families especially as a result of being from a particular ethnic and/or religious background.

 I possess a naturally sympathetic personality together with a particular and strong interest in the education and welfare of children.  I have long sought voluntary and career outlets in which I can apply these aspects of my personality. My substantial volunteer work has included teaching and currently involves work with disabled pre-school infants, and their parents, to enable them to make the best possible start in life. I have also been a professional teacher for four years. I have found my work and voluntary activity extremely satisfying and I have learned much about children especially those subject to the added pressures of making difficult cultural adjustments.

 I undertook my Bachelor’s degree studies in psychology while working and raising my children but I found that the love of my subject enabled me to overcome all the barriers and problems involved, not only to succeed but to excel in the program. I now seek to advance my knowledge and skills through your program in order to assist families who struggle to adjust to a new and very different culture.

 My first experience of the application of psychology to family problems came when I undertook an internship with a child psychologist for six months. During this time I administered tests and questionnaires to children suffering various behavioral, learning and emotional problems and to their parents. This gave me an insight into the variety of problems involved in this work and the manner in which relevant information is collected and how therapy is designed and applied.

 As a teacher, I have been employed in both the public and private sectors teaching children at the crucial period early in their school careers. I have worked with children of all types including immigrant, gifted and disabled children. I have significant experience in liaising with parents to achieve the best educational outcomes for their children and have acquired some insights into family dynamics and the ways in which parents can help their children fulfill their educational and emotional potential.

 I believe that my volunteer and teaching experience, together with my bachelor degree studies have provided me with a firm base from which to pursue my ultimate goal of becoming a professional psychologist and counselor. My own experiences of being an Arab and Muslim immigrant, together with my voluntary and professional work, have provided me with a special awareness of the problems faced by immigrant families. The adjustment to a new culture is usually traumatic but can be especially so when there is a marked contrast in cultures and values.  I am aware of a great need for counseling and family therapy within my community and I wish to be involved in providing it.

 I have carefully considered this choice and regard it as less a choice of career than the pursuit of a vocation. I also believe that the skills acquired while learning to be a good wife and mother are also highly relevant to the program. I regard these skills to be significant additions to the other base of skills and knowledge that I shall be able to apply in the program. 

 Whilst I am particularly interested in assisting immigrants and especially those from my own cultural background, I should add that I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people from many cultural and social backgrounds. I am aware that course work will relate to problems met by people of a variety of cultures and social positions and look forward to these aspects of the program. I also look forward to exchanging cultural experiences and knowledge with my fellow students.

 I undertake to work diligently and to participate enthusiastically in the program, if my application is successful. I am aware that the program will attract many, well qualified applicants. However I consider myself to be an exceptional candidate by reason of my significant and relevant volunteer and professional experience, the success attained in my undergraduate studies, the relevance of those studies and, not least, because of my passionate desire to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to help families through counseling. I believe that I shall be able to bring much that will ‘add value’ to the academic community and look forward eagerly to doing so.

 Thank you for considering my application.

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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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Autobiographical Statement, Masters MFT, Asian


I was hooked by my very first college class in psychology, most of all, learning how psychology related to me personally. As I learned more about myself, I came to better understand others as well, their emotions, sadness, anger, happiness, etc. I began to understand that human suffering is a universal problem and that those who suffer are far from alone. And I became keenly interested in continuing to explore the ways in which we are all alike, with similar sorts of problems, challenges, and responses to significant life events. Psychology led me to an interest in counseling, and counseling led me to an interest in marriage and family therapy.

I was brought up by Chinese parents who settled in America to escape poverty and to chase the American Dream. Growing up in California has been a constant journey of adaptation to the culture of my family and the numerous cultures that surround me. I relish analyzing my own saga, my predispositions in interaction with environmental challenges and resources, my strengths and weaknesses, and how all of this has resulted in my unique temperament and intellectuality. I think critically about how, as I grew up, I modeled the behavior of my peers, mimicking the role models that I admired.  As we all do, I became what I saw, heard, and felt; synchronizing salient facets of a group consciousness that I did not even recognize, much less knew how to break free from. I had my struggle with low self-esteem, a negative sense of self, times that I did not feel loved or understood. Slowly, however, I learned the value of determination, self-confidence, love and compassion.

During grade school, I was the quiet one, perhaps in part as a result of the brutal adjustment that my parents had to make to find their niche in the American rat race. My mother worked from home, making clothes for a local clothing factory and struggled to be a homemaker. My father was preoccupied with his education and building a business.  This led to a lot of quiet time alone for me, introspection.  By the time that I arrived at XXXX College, however, I was fortunate enough to meet people who saw potential in me.  I surrounded myself with positive people who showed genuine interest in my ideas.  I began to take my studies seriously and my grades improved. I discovered the great Greek aphorism, “Know Thyself,” and launching upon a quest of self discovery provided me with greatly rejuvenated meaning. Studying psychology gave me inspiration: hope, allowed me to overcome my introversion and to become more assertive.  It was like staring into my own reflection when I was introduced to some of the most salient psychological concepts, “Fear of Failure,” “Need for Achievement.” I was able to re-channel formerly negative ways of thinking into creative new paths.  When I transferred to XXXX to finish the remaining coursework for my BA in Psychology, a professor told me: “Be careful what you focus on because what you focus on becomes your reality!” 


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MS, MFT, Asian Immigrant Issues, Chinese-American

Growing up as a Chinese American in California, I am a natural for the study of family therapy in the light of multi-cultural issues. I have long been immersed in and working through—on a personal level—the way in which immigrant family culture often faces important hurdles in its adaptation to Western culture, or the broader, mainstream culture of the United States, California in particular. Inevitably, the immigrant or immigrant child from a Latino, Asian, or other culture, feels, at least at times, that they must choose sides.

Inevitably, over time, both first generation immigrants and their children must move towards a fusion of the multiple worlds, thereby forming unique sub-cultural identities, on both family and individual levels. As a result of my own passage through these periods of multi-cultural adaptation, I feel that I have a unique perspective for understanding immigrant family issues especially those of Asian immigrant families. 

I seek admission to your program because what I most want to do is develop a high degree of professional expertise helping people cultivate greater levels of self-esteem and to become successful at managing their relationship issues. My short term goal is to gain the necessary training and skill to become an excellent family therapist. My long term goal is to provide decades of high quality professional service, laboring every day to help people to live fuller, more satisfying lives by finding and maintaining greater levels of harmony in their social relationships. I wish to study in your program because I am convinced that promoting love and service to humanity brings unbounded joy to one´s life.  For me, counseling people serves to liberate them, lead them out of darkness and into the light of social harmony. I want to help people to uncover and realize the multitudinous ways that life is beautiful.  I hope to someday have my own practice in a multi-ethnic community to California and to struggle every day to be as inspirational as I can, helping my clients overcome their pain and find intense joy and satisfaction in their lives.

I see counseling as of fundamental importance to our highly complex day and age; because so many people suffer from the lack of an outlet: a professional to whom they can spill their anxieties and frustrations in confidence, speaking exactly what is on their mind, sharing their perceptions of the world. For me, counseling is an invaluable tool for healing, helping people to better cope with their frustrations and discontents is work to which I wish to devote my life. I feel strongly that the nature of my personal character is what has led me to the choice of counseling as my career: my compassion, genuine eagerness to help people, my high level of maturity for my age, and my ability to empathize with the emotional pain of others. I am attentive and a great listener.

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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, 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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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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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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