Autobiographical Statements of Excellence

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The Autobiographical Statement for Admission to Graduate School in Psychology

Autobiographical Essay for Graduate School Admission in Psychology, Sample First 2 Paragraphs

I seek a career as a professional psychologist specializing in the areas of trauma and spirituality. As with many sensitive and compassionate people who find themselves driven to pursue a career in this field, my life has been in many ways a response to my own psychological challenges and trauma, often beginning very early on, as is my case. Growing up in a small town in Illinois, I was largely raised by my maternal grandmother as a result of the fact that my mother suffered from untreated borderline personality disorder—coupled to a largely absent, alcoholic father. The trauma that I endured was so intense and sustained throughout my childhood that I feel as if I only became whole, a man, an integral being, when I entered rigorous therapy myself three years ago at the age of 38, on horseback. Since that time, I have invested a great deal of time and energy exploring the benefits of both equine and dolphin therapy.

Living in the shadow of an absent and alcoholic father, I struggled to navigate the world without a male role model.  I attended catholic grade school.  Based on my social experience, I decided it would be in my best interest to apply to a nearby private catholic high school, and was accepted.  A monk in the Abbey attached to the school and teacher of one of my religious classes once commented to me, based on a paper I had written, that he thought I had a rich inner life.  I believe he was seeing my spirit expressed in my writing.  I found a talent for music expressed through singing and landed the lead in the school musical my junior year.  Following graduation, I enrolled in a state college and explored various majors and activities, including a collegiate circus.  After two years in the state school I decided I wanted to pursue more serious academic study and transferred to a private catholic university in Chicago.

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

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There are a lot of humanitarian autobiographies. Some say that this emerging genre is not around to stay, but there are many who feel inspired to share their experiences in the field through blogs, books, and social media or write their tales and feelings in a journal.

Before becoming a humanitarian psychologist, here are ten books you might enjoy and learn a great deal from.

Warrior Without Weapons by Dr. Marcel Junod

This is an account of Dr. Junod's experiences between 1935 and 1945. He went on missions that took him first to Abyssinia and air raids with mustard gas bombs, then to Spain, Poland, Germany and lastly to Japan, where he was one of the first foreign doctors to observe the horrific effects of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

The reader discovers the difficult and sometimes dangerous, but always fascinating, work of an ICRC delegate, the role of the Geneva Conventions and what it was like being a humanitarian back in the early days, through Dr Junod's narrative. It was published in 1982.