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MA Mental Health Counseling, Nigerian

I am writing on behalf of my application to earn the Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling at XXXX because I see your program as the optimal institution in the world to help me learn to make my optimal contribution to the practice of Mental Health Counseling in my country, Nigeria. I feel comfortable at your historically black institution, and confident that your distinguished faculty, with a special interest in black issues, will guide me in the right directions so as to make sustainable intellectual progress through sharpened intra- and intercultural sensitivities. I hope to contribute to our discussions as someone who is also a medical doctor, underscoring the importance role of physiological factors in most mental health illnesses, especially in a developing country such as Nigeria with widespread, abject poverty, and high levels of civil unrest and violence.

Nigeria faces enormous economic, political, and social challenges that are complicated by both poverty and violence, threatening a downward spiral into social chaos, with human rights abuses rising dramatically primarily as a result of the Boko Harem insurgency and a brutal state response, especially in the countryside, most particularly broad swaths of the north. Since the insurgency’s principal weapons of choice is planting bombs in marketplaces, however, this most indiscriminate form of terrorist violence in now beginning to claim victims in almost every corner of the country, speaking to the way in which we need new mental health care initiatives at the national level, especially for victims of terrorist violence, most particularly, the children.

I like to think of myself as a feeling and compassionate young woman who happens to be a doctor as well. Still only 29, I have the maturity that comes with struggle and the hope that comes with compassion. Deeply touched and moved by the enormous suffering in my country that occurs as a result of little-to-no access to mental health counseling. I feel strongly that much of the psychological suffering of Nigerians could be at least mitigated to the extent to which adequate mental health counseling support services were to be made available. It is also my opinion that the presence of adequate mental health counseling services would radically raise the standards of living of most Nigerians, especially those who are members of underserved communities.

During my training in medical school, I was exposed to a lot of mental health related problems and I also did a mental health posting which further exposed me to many of the challenges confronted by mental health professional in Nigeria. After graduation and working as a physician, I also came into contact with a lot of patients who had mental health issues, many of them chronic. In fact, it is most of all my patients who have inspired and motivated me to pursue graduate study in the area of mental health counseling. Thus this has greatly influenced my interest to study masters in clinical mental health counseling as i really want to improve the health care services in both my country and worldwide most especially in the area of mental health. I hope to build a lifelong specialization in several areas in particular, bipolar disorders, mania, anxiety, and depression, especially among women and particularly those that have been victims of physical and/or sexual violence. I personally attended to many women and girls who had been raped, since the number of rape victims in Nigeria is already staggering and now rapidly growing as political violence spreads. There are more and more victims of indiscriminant bomb blast victims that result in amputations of one or more limbs. Schizophrenia was widespread even in the absence of the violence which it exacerbates, drug addiction, bulimia nervosa in young girls, psychosis, etc., among child as well as adult victims.

I look forward to a lifetime of organizing advocacy programs, interactive sessions and educative forums which will target the underserved for therapeutic as well as preventive measures. I intend to at least manage if not create one or more non-governmental organizations for this purpose.  I seek to raise awareness concerning risk factors involved for various mental health related issues such as substance abuse, and better educated young people about the adverse and hazardous effects of drug abuse, as well as providing sex education to boys as well as girls. The NGO that I have in mind would begin working with children as elementary students and progress through high school. I hope to engage the state as well as the federal government bureaucracy and make it work to the extent to which this is possible in Nigeria, in a never-ending search for creative ways to move our governments in progressive directions. I also look forward to working closely with UNICEF and the International Labor Organization ILO. I also want to work to increase asses to libraries, equipping them with mental health resources. Serving as a group leader of research projects throughout my medical training has helped me to cultivate my leadership skills which I will continue to do as a student in your program since we are in desperate need in Nigeria of leaders in this field.

The bomb blasts now going off in Nigeria with increasing frequency leave entire families in a state of confusion with lasting consequences for the community. I personally treated a girl who lost her entire family at once in a bomb blast at one of the markets in a northern state of Nigeria. She started having symptoms of bipolar disorder and I made a diagnosis of neurotic depression admitted her, and did what little I could. I look forward to studying trauma and the psychological problems that it generates, even for those who are not physically injured themselves but only exposed to or caught up in the violence.

These days, most unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of Nigerian families find themselves caught up in crises generated by the cross-fire between the Boko Harem terrorists on one side and the extrajudicial execution of detainees by the military on the other, with people left terrified by both sides. Fear of the unknown has also resulted in millions of internal refugees, especially from the northern states of Nigeria. Many homes are destroyed in the conflict, adding homelessness to the burden of terror.

I have always had a special fondness for and interest in children, the future of tomorrow. Most cases of violence end up affecting them directly or indirectly. Orphans, rape victims, ex-combatants, those infected with AIDS, the indigent, especially the girls, I seek to help them all in one way or another. They confront challenges that will always be with them, with us all, as a society and as humanity as we pull together to help those who have the greatest need. I thank you for considering my application.

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PsyD Counseling Psychology, Mindfulness

I am applying to your competitive PsyD Program at the XXXX because I am convinced that my drive and determination will enable me to excel. I have a great passion for research in psychology, particularly in the areas of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now 36, psychology is a career change for me, a new professional beginning. Married and divorced, I spent 10 years in the mortgage business with my family in the small California town of Visalia where I grew up. After my marriage failed, I completed my bachelor’s degree in 2 ½ years and then sold my home and moved to the city of XXXX.

I like to think of myself as a compassionate woman; and that my concern for the suffering of others is what has propelled me towards the study of psychology and the completion of both my Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in this field. I have found my calling in life helping those who suffer from mental health issues and challenges. Now, I keenly look forward to continuing on in my studies, completing the terminal degree in my field at the XXXX, and attaining a cutting-edge foundation upon which I will be able to make my maximum contribution to our discipline. I am especially passionate about therapeutic initiatives centered on the concept of mindfulness, most of all with respect to its potential for evoking positive changes in brain chemistry.

I am passionately engaged with the issue of how psychology professionals might best go about helping to erase the stigma that is all too often associated with mental health services, particularly among certain ethnic groups; most notably Latinos who figure quite prominently into mental health assessments and services here in California. I am working with my Rosetta Stone for Spanish and I hope to continue to make rapid improvement in my Spanish skills so that I might eventually be able to use this language to some extent in the professional arena as well.

I became a member of the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology because I am a thinker who loves to ask questions and a firm believer in the importance of balance between mind, body and soul for optimal health, studying our own past in order to prepare ourselves for the future, at the same time that we learn to savor each moment of the present. I am most fascinated with the human mind, its capabilities and limitations, and the debate between dualism and monism. At the center of my focus is the mind's ability to heal the body and the role played by spirituality.

A sense of debt that I feel to my community and nation has also helped to propel my interest in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially but not exclusively among our soldiers returning from combat in places like Afghanistan. The fact that I personally have no military experience or any military family members only reinforces the sense that I have of wanting to give something back to those who have sacrificed so much. For years now, I have invested a great deal of time, energy, and heartfelt reflection in the area of PTSD and I want to build a lifetime focus in this area of psychology, to practice and publish about the great challenges that PTSD represents for our society and to do everything that I personally can to respond to this challenge.

I will be finishing my Master’s Degree in December of 2014 and hope to begin studying in your program right away, in January of 2015. The focus of my Master’s Program has been in the area of Marriage and Family Therapy and I also want to remain engaged with this area as a lifetime focus. I feel strongly that mental health issues are best dealt with when one is not alone, and I feel special empathy for those who have to wrestle with mental health issues in the context of a failing marriage often aggravated by the stigma associate with mental health issues. I want to devote my life to helping each individual that comes to me for support to feel less alone in their struggle. If I could help them to save their marriage, this would be ideal.

Several years back I was struck by an image of the “Marlboro Man,” a US soldier in sustained combat in Fallujah, Iraq. He had been firing his canon for about 24 hours when the photo was taken, mud, blood spattered all over his face, a Marlboro cigarette dangling from his lips. A young man from our state of Kentucky who volunteered to go to Iraq to defend our freedoms as our government saw fit; although he sustained no major physical injuries, he would never be the same. Most importantly, his case is not at all unique; there are tens of thousands of similar cases in America. He came into the spotlight and attracted press attention to his story only because of the award winning photo. The Marlboro Man returned to Kentucky to marry his high-school sweetheart. Within a couple of years she would leave him because of his nightmares where he would sometimes half strangle her in his sleep. Alone now, he keeps smoking and suffering on full disability. The costs of PTSD to our society are staggering.

After earning my PsyD and beginning my practice, I intend to put the Marlboro Man photo on the wall in my office. I also plan to pay very close attention to the issues surrounding PTSD and substance abuse/addictions. My central, long term goal is to create my own non-profit organization to help our veterans. I have several ideas and I am confident that they will mature as I make progress under your expert guidance towards completion of the PsyD Degree at the XXXX. I have been profoundly inspired by the example set by the organization Puppies Behind Bars in New York, which rescues dogs from shelters to be trained by inmates, and then given to veterans with PTSD. I find this model to be especially inspiring because of the broad scope of those who benefit, the inmates, the animals, and especially the veterans and their families. No organization such as Puppies Behind Bars yet exists in California. In fact, here in California there is a long waiting list of veterans who need trained dogs. In addition to providing company, these dogs are trained to do things that specifically respond to the needs of the veterans who suffer from acute PTSD, such as checking the perimeters.

I am particularly passionate about the use of animals in therapy because I believe they reach places that people sometimes are just unable to go, especially when the individual is otherwise all alone. This avenue of research and practice dovetails nicely with my volunteer work with the Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals. Volunteer work is in fact central to my identity and mission. I also serve as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and participate in numerous events related to the care of children.

Finally, I hope to engage professionally at some point with virtual reality tanks as a compliment to therapy. I see exposure therapy as a most promising resource, allowing the PTSD sufferer to go back and confront their trauma in a safe environment. Sometimes we need to face the monster under our bed in order to make it go away.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program at the XXXX.

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All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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