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PHD Clinical, Forensics Psychology, PTSD

April 1, 2013

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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I need some serious help in writing my statement of purpose to apply to graduate school for psychology. I am not the traditional campus student. I am finishing my bachelor's online so I need to highlight other areas of my current work and knowledge. 818.634.6725



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