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Blog posts : "MFT"

MS Counseling, MFT, Military Issues

I am extremely highly motivated to become a licensed mental health counselor specializing in Marriage and Family therapy primarily as a result of having spent 18 years as a member of our Armed Forces and having learned all too well how military life generally adds great strain to a marriage. I have also learned first-hand through trial and error how certain strategies are more helpful than others for saving marriages and families from the frequently painful consequence of divorce. Now 42 years old, I seek career advancement in new directions by earning the MS Degree in Counseling at XXXX University and becoming a certified mental health counselor, so that I might put what I have learned to work helping so save some marriages and helping those that are beyond repair to navigate a divorce process that is as amicable as possible.

I see my professional future as a marriage and family counselor working primarily with military members or veterans and their families. I look forward to many decades to come giving my all to the education and support of my clients in their personal development and family relationships. I will give my all as a highly trained and licensed professional providing treatment to families, individuals, and groups – especially couples - promoting optimal mental health, wellbeing, and family harmony. I look forward to engaging in marriage counseling in particular but also look forward to building a research base in this area and publishing in the future concerning the special strains and pitfalls that accrue to marriage when one or both spouses are in the military. I plan to become an expert in the whole gambit of issues that are central to the complexity of this stress on marriage, stress management, substance abuse, addictions, parenting problems, family problems, suicidal ideation, and self-esteem issues, to cite a few. I also plan to pay particularly close attention to the way in which soldiers and veterans are able to benefit from drug and alcohol abuse therapy in groups as well as on an individual basis.

Nothing excites or attracts me professionally as much as the way that mental health counselors make observations that help them determine a treatment plan that will accomplish their client’s goals, often using personality, aptitude, and psychological tests to determine more precisely the needs of a particular patient.  I also very much look forward to the close collaboration of the mental health counselor with other licensed professionals, especially psychologists, other family and marriage professionals, psychiatric nurses, school counselors, psychiatrists, and social workers. I would feel very much at home working as a mental health counselor in a hospital or another type of medical facility, with psychiatric patients or with mentally ill adults in out-patient day treatment programs.

I see my central long-term goal as providing not only group and individual therapy to soldiers, veterans, and their families but also providing educational lecture presentations – especially in the area of substance use disorders. I am particularly concerned with issues of violence and spousal abuse. In most of these cases, perhaps even the vast majority, substance abuse is a factor. I fully intend to follow the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) for making diagnoses, formulating treatment goals, and applying appropriate clinical intervention. I will also be very much devoted to and engaged in the development and maintenance of community resources for veterans with substance use disorders, providing safe, effective, and cost-effective service delivery in a variety of situations.

I look forward to distinguishing myself at XXXX University in fulfillment of all of the requirements to achieve a license and become officially certified as a mental health counselor, learning everything that I can about human growth and development, psychopathology, career and lifestyle development, group dynamics and group psychotherapy, individual appraisal, and professional orientation. I look forward with keen anticipation to the completion of an internship as part of your program learning everything that I can from my supervisor as part of the licensure process as a professional counselor.  Finally, I intend to surpass the 35 hours of ongoing education every two years that is required to maintain a license since I am most devoted to lifelong education and anticipate being enrolled in at least one course at any given time, so that I will constantly improve in my professional capacity.

I first contemplated earning a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in counseling psychology, but after comparing curriculums, I decided that I was a much better fit with the a Masters in Mental Health Program at XXXX University because it dovetails nicely with my central ideals and professional plans – especially insofar as I will receive cutting-edge training in providing my clients with state-of-the-art treatment.

While I do intend to work with families, I am focused primarily on helping adults, including the elderly who suffer from some mental disorder or some cognitive impairment.  I spend a lot of time reading about anxiety and depression since they are so widespread and represent such a critical and complex public health issue.  I will bring to your program at XXXX University 18 years of experience in the health care field. I aspire to learn everything that I can in your program concerning the improvement of social and psychological well-being by learning how to cope with social and academic challenges, especially with our American war veterans.   I also want to work towards the prevention of mental illness, especially when working with families of civilians as well as soldiers or veterans, focusing on education, relationship building, emotional self- care, and social action.

For eighteen years I have served in the armed forces, 15 years of active duty in the US Army and currently an Army reservist.  In the active duty phase of my army career, I worked in health care as a radiology technologist. Working in the medical field and being a soldier was a most enjoyable experience and I learned a great deal, especially about medicine. I fulfilled a need that I had to do what I saw as my duty as an able bodied young man with a patriotic mindset and I am proud of the fact that I provided quality care to other soldiers and their families.

I also volunteered my time for years with Big Brothers and Big Sisters, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 2008 through 2009 and El Paso, Texas from 2010 through 2011.  After leaving active duty military in 2012, I had the opportunity to work as a Medical Support Assistant at a Veterans Affairs Medical Clinic and also as a Residential Specialist at La Frontera, a health facility that provides housing and support to drug addicted teens. My success in both of these positions provided me with additional confidence and determination to earn my Bachelors Degree in Psychology and reinforced my desire to continue on to earn a graduate degree in mental health counseling.

A white man who celebrates diversity, I am passionate about multicultural experience and seldom miss an opportunity to explore America’s subcultures and enclaves. One of the things that I loved most about the military was the opportunity to travel to many different parts of the world serving to greatly enhance my understanding of cultural, ethnic, and even psychological diversity. This has equipped me to be sensitive to the cultural factors that come into play with each client that I will work with in the future, always doing my utmost to provide culturally sensitive care and advise that in many cases leads to successful interventions. I will always treat all people in a highly respectful manner irrespective of their gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, or any other factor.

It was not always easy for me growing up.  I did not grow up with both parents.  My mother worked 2 or sometimes 3 jobs to support us.  If my mother was unable to find work or we were moving to a different location, I would live with my aunt who was in the US Air Force, which did result in my travelling almost everywhere in the US.  I personally had to deal with numerous stressful situations, being divorced was very traumatizing, even to the point that I needed to acquire my own took kit to ward off depression for a time. Having gone through these experiences, I can easily empathize with how my clients feel in similar situations. I can relate to their circumstances well because I have the ability to reflect inwardly on the complexities of the situations that are confronted by my clients. I faced/confronted many of my problems through therapy and reading the counseling and self-help literature, an experience that strengthened me and gave me the courage to face my difficult circumstances as well as help other people facing up to similar problems. Reading widely on psychology in my spare time and going to school for my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at the same helped me to cultivate patience, discipline, consideration, diligence and flexibility, qualities that have helped me to more fully understand the complexities of individual predicaments and gave me the will to look past problems by seeking logical and responsible solutions to all kinds of issues. My own process of maintaining and enhancing my own mental and emotional well-being was another inspiration for my determination to pursue graduate school in Mental Health Counseling.

Once after returning home from an overseas tour, my superiors assigned me to a VA Hospital that was connected to a US Army medical facility.  Every day, as I walked to work, I would see the many veterans standing in line waiting to be attended to for medical and/or mental health treatment.  Since that time, I have read widely the rapidly augmenting literature on PTSD and other emotional disorders, especially depression and anxiety as a result of combat experience. Families of veterans, as well, may be struggling with domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse or suicide.  I feel called to serve as a resource for soldiers and veterans that have experiencing traumatic events - including homelessness, substance/domestic abuse and PTSD.

I have grown enormously on a personal level because I have a wonderful therapist who is marvelous at helping me with self -exploration. This experience helped me to realize that I have a calling myself in this area with the intuitive and intellectual capacity to excel at counseling.  Nothing brings me as much joy as touching someone’s life by helping them to achieve greater clarity in self-understanding. I always feel compassion for those who are suffering.

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

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MS MFT, Marriage and Family Therapy

Now 27, I came to America from my native Bangladesh at the age of 12, just in time to learn to speak English really well, with an accent that is barely noticeable. Still, I was old enough when I made this journey to remember well my land of origin with its culture, language, and feelings.

Most of all, I not only successfully survived the immigrant experience at a delicate age, but I did so in inner-city America. Thus, my application to your program is strengthened by the wisdom that I have gained from a lifetime of experience so far dealing directly with the challenges faced by minority groups in our urban setting, including recent immigrants. My familiarity of the general social context and resources (or lack thereof) of those individuals that I seek to help will help me to excel as a student in your MFT Program at XXXX College. I look forward to contributing to the diversity of your program as a Bangladeshi woman with extensive experience working in New York City and learning about the many challenges faced by people of color and their families in our inner cities.

I hope to spend my professional lifetime caring for children, protecting them, and doing so by keeping their family together if at all possible by becoming a very hard working MFT professional. Your distinguished MFT program at XXXX College is my first choice for graduate school for a number of reasons principal of which is the opportunities that you offer for students to gain “real world” experience and participate in an internship program.

I am most essentially an introvert who is much more interested in the lives of others than I am my own. I simply love to listen to people and their stories. Every person I encounter intrigues me and I become curious about their backgrounds, their likes and dislikes, and the mundane details that shape their daily lives. Even though I am often told that I am shy and quiet, I exude a certain warmth that makes people feel comfortable in my presence and opens them up so that they feel comfortable sharing with me.

When I graduated from High School, I didn't know what I wanted to do but I knew that I wanted to work with people. I did know that I did not want to sit behind a desk and stare at a computer all day. I knew that I wanted face-to-face human interaction and emotional engagement. That is the reason I majored in Family and Consumer Sciences, so as to build a special focus on the family. While in college, I decided that I wanted to pursue my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy but unfortunately my father died and I had to put my professional goals on the back burner for the time being. Now 27, my dad died a few months shy of my 25th birthday. He literally dropped dead in front of us of a massive stroke, leaving me behind along with my bereaving mother, who barely speaks English, and my two younger siblings, aged 9 and 11 at the time. Growing up we didn't have much but my dad provided enough so that we never felt like we were missing out on anything. After his death, I realized how much he did for us. As the oldest of the family, I had to steer the ship, however, and despite the fact that dad was a hard worker, he left us with a lot of debt.

Not only did I have to face my own emotional challenges and financial hardships, and help my mom and younger siblings, but I also had to deal with the pressures of our community. In our Bangladeshi community, girls are supposed to be married by a certain age and people were starting to shame my mother and started calling me a spinster. People would tell me that I should find a suitable husband for myself so he could take care of me and my family. I always had rebuttals for these statements but they would make my mother very upset.

I also dated men outside of my culture and this caused a great stir in our community. And in the midst of all this, I also learned that my younger sister was being severely bullied at school. She lost 40 pounds in one school year along with racking up 30 absences. I had to go through hell and high water to change her school. I also found a good therapist for her who addressed her issues. The death of my father took a great toll on my family and life was not easy; but facing up to these difficulties was excellent experience and it strengthened me, making me into the kind of person who can be a highly effective counselor, well versed with respect to the challenges faced by typical families and sincerely concerned and engaged.

My family and I eventually overcame these challenges and we are all in a better place now. My personal challenges helped me realize that I want to help families that are vulnerable, marginalized, with few resources, and all too often on top of that beset by most unfortunate circumstances, such as in my case with an entirely unexpected death in the family. I want to help them to find better ways to communicate more effectively so that the family is able to pull together to overcome day-to-day challenges and strengthen relationships.

My professional experience so far has been as an Administrative Assistant in the area of office management and staff support, this past year with XXXX Inc. in Jamaica, New York. Prior to this position I indulged my special love for children which I intend to continue to develop for a long lifetime of research and practice in the psychological care of children in our community. As a Study Plan Teacher of XXXX World Early Learning Center in Springfield Gardens, New York from November of 2013 through June of 2014, I enormously enjoyed working with assigned groups of infants and toddlers applying best practices for infant/toddler care. I made a special effort in each case to facilitate and nurture the development of each child’s self-esteem, trust, and sense of autonomy, planning and implementing lesson plan activities and experiences that were developmentally appropriate, accurately documenting initial and ongoing development using screening and assessment tools at established intervals.

I want to build a career as a marriage and family therapist because MFT helps individuals within the context of their relationships with others; and I believe strongly that effective therapy needs to be focused on the set of relationships in which the person is imbedded. Your program at XXXX College with prepare me for a professional lifetime of excellence, meeting with families, listening to specific concerns, and offering strategies for communication, affection, and compromise. I hope to repair cracks in family foundations for many decades to come.

I thank you for considering my application.

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Masters Counseling, MFT, Immigrant Romania

Why have you chosen the profession of Counseling for graduate study?A recent immigrant from Romania, I have now been living in the US for two years working very hard at bringing my English skills up to a professional level. I worked as a practicing psychologist for 1 year in Romania before I immigrated to the USA at a nursing home, studying and working with patients with Alzheimer’s who came to adore and still miss very much to this day. I also volunteered in my country as a group facilitator and counselor at a shelter for domestic violence victims. I currently volunteer at Southwest Hospital in City, State, where I help discharge patients. I pay special attention to the counselors that I work with in the hospital and I am learning a great deal by befriending them. They have also encouraged me to apply to graduate school in counseling.

Now 35, my studies have led me to the firm conclusion that mental health challenges are best addressed in the context of the family. For this reason, I have decided to focus my Master’s Studies in the area of Marriage and Family Therapy and your competitive program at Akron University is my first choice for graduate study primarily because of your strength in this area of Counseling Psychology.

I hope to contribute to the celebration of diversity in your program as a woman, an immigrant, and someone with a lifetime of experience as an ethnic minority. Since I was born into a Russian community in Romania, my first language was Russian. Only when I went to school did I learn the Romanian language along with Romanian cultural values, attitudes, and biases as well, including negative stereotypes of Russians. 30 years later I have been living through the struggle of integration once again, and, I like to think, with equal success.

Why have you chosen the specific master’s program you selected? Becoming a professional counselor here in my adopted land means fulfilling my heart's desire, quenching my intellectual curiosity and reconstructing my profession on a new level all at the same time. My determination to pursue the study of counseling on a professional level dates from an early curiosity that I had to learn about brain function. Another prominent factor that helped to set me on a course towards further professional study in psychology was the fact that my mother was misdiagnosed with a personality disorder and administered a treatment that turned her into a withdrawn lethargic before my eyes. The desire to help my mother was a great spark that ignited my passion for mental health issues. It is for these reasons that I switched my major of study as an undergraduate from linguistics to psychology. My have instructors have served me as role models and inspired me to embrace psychology as a career because of my enthusiasm for our field. Last but certainly not least, I have benefitted personal from counseling, all of which makes me especially eager to study psychology on a graduate level at Akron.

It is my intention to focus on the Marriage & Family Counseling track as a student in your program at XXXX for a number of reasons. First, my own experience as an immigrant together with my observations of other immigrants have provided me with both an awareness and a passion for addressing the special mental health challenges faced by immigrant families. I am also aware of and seek to respond to the especially great need that exists for counseling and family therapy within my own immigrant community as well as other immigrant communities generally speaking. Becoming a professional psychologist in the USA and re-creating my profession in a new language and a new system, represent a very special triumph for me as both a professional and a recent immigrant.

I am also concerned with the fact that 50% of marriages in the USA will end in divorce at current levels. I believe that this fact alone highlights well the need for more marriage counseling. I would consider it to be a great privilege to assist people to overcome stressful situations and to fend off challenges to a successful, functional family life. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why the professional prospects for family therapists are very good.

Comment on the extent that you are acquainted with the counseling master’s degree programs offered by The University of XXXX. After thoroughly reviewing a substantial number of programs in counseling I have chosen to apply to the Marriage & Family Counseling track in your program at the University of Akron. The University of Akron offers a diversity of master's degree programs which constantly produce stellar graduates, a fact reflected by the high pass rates for your graduates on the licensure examination. I am also drawn towards your particular program due to its dual COAMFTE and CACREP accreditations which offer a dual licensure track. Your students also have high levels of success in internship placement and excellent post-graduate employment opportunities. Most of all, however, is my dream of participating in clinical training through the Clinic for Individual & Family Counseling since this would allow me to work with the populations of my interest. I feel strongly that I am a good fit with your program at Akron University because of the diversity of students that you help to become multiculturally competent counselors helping their respective communities.

Describe any professional or volunteer work experiences which you have had related to your career goals. I am very pleased to have had the experience of working as a psychologist in Romania before coming to America, spending one year at a nursing home as a psychologist. My principal responsibilities were to conduct clinical interviews, to assess and record daily functioning status, to guided therapeutically interventions, and organize recreational activities. This experience gave me an insight into the broad variety of family dynamics that are an integral part of facing up to mental health challenges. Prior to my year in the nursing home, I completed an internship at a local domestic violence shelter as a victim counselor, facilitated group counseling and providing community education and problem solving assistance. Since moving to the US I have stayed busy working at Southwest Hospital and I have also learned a lot as a result of my work helping to discharge patients, which has also improved my communication skills in English enormously.

Describe your personal characteristics/strengths that will contribute to your being an effective counselor. I consider myself a solid candidate due to the relevance of my volunteer and professional experiences, on the one hand, and my education on the other. I am highly motivated and persistent. Mature, calm and very emotionally stable, I am most often praised for my listening and observation skills along with my empathy. I have consistently pursued my dream. My career switch happened early on, since I was 26 years old when I decided that working in an office does not fulfill me and a degree in languages is not what I want. It wasn't like a moment of epiphany but, rather, the result of a persistent and growing passion to be able to make sense of my social world in psychological terms. It was a persistent attention and inclination to find and explain  things around me in a psychological way. Early on I came to the conclusion that that if I want to know the ultimate cause for everything I have to understand the human mind.

In adolescence I remember myself having a lot of friends that shared their secrets because they knew that they could trust me. Then, when I heard that my older friends were reading Freud and Jung, I started to read these authors, although I did not understand them very well at the time, clearly, they stayed with me. In my Romanian culture many girls became teachers because this was a safe option that my parents wanted. Thus, I became a teacher and went on to study Russian and French languages. After graduation I found employment in an international pharmaceutical company. Psychology was seen as a rather extravagant option, a fancy choice with nebulous outcomes and I was not really permitted such fanciful choice early on. I studied hard and with pleasure. After earning my masters degree in clinical psychology I was lucky to find a job in this field. I was thrilled to land the position at the nursing home. It was the most fulfilling period of my life. But I got married to an American citizen and here I am. It was a difficult decision to make because I knew that I would have to put my career in psychology on hold for the time being. But now I have been here in the USA for two years and I am completely free to fully immerse myself in graduate studies.

What is your computer competence and literacy and how will you become more competent?   I have completed 50 hours of training in Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques and Clinical Hypnosis at AHPCC, Bucharest Romania. I consider myself to be very computer literate but also entirely self-educated in this area. I thank you for considering my application to your program.

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Masters Counseling Psychology MFT, Saudi Arabia

I am a young woman from Saudi Arabia and I have come to the USA primarily to pursue my graduate studies. I am very dedicated to the field of Counseling Psychology and seek to give it my undivided attention. I am especially attracted by the prospect of studying at XXXX College because of the vast cultural resources on campus and in the surrounding area. I am especially impressed by the possibility of becoming involved with Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture, especially insofar as Saudi Arabia is rapidly becoming a multiracial society. I also hope to learn from lectures and association with the Center for Child, Family, and Community Partnerships, since children are central to my professional aspirations.

 There is often a great deal of tension in Saudi Arabia created by and surrounding divorce. I have watched now for many years as couples disintegrate and both continue to suffer for many years as a result of the broken home, in addition to the innocent children. I have come to the conclusion that divorce is often a result of a simple misunderstanding or failure to communicate. Your program will help me to develop increasingly sophisticated perspectives and tools of analysis to prepare me for life-long learning and research in the area of marital counseling in Saudi Arabia. While my long term goal is to earn a doctoral degree in my field at some point, I plan to return to the KSA to gain additional professional experience after completing your program. My central interest is in the area of divorce prevention, learning to explore the alternatives, options through enhanced communication, dialogue. Of course, while saving a marriage is often a noble goal, especially in my culture, there are some cases where divorce proves to be inevitable. In these cases, I look forward to developing creative strategies to minimize the pain and suffering of the children. And I also want to help women who have lost their children as a result of divorce.

Furthermore, I believe firmly that psychological counseling and support in a civilized society needs to be performed on a sliding scale so that help can be provided to everyone on the basis of their need, rather than just their ability to pay. At the same time that I plan to practice as a marriage counselor, I also intend to teach as an adjunct professor at a college or university, at least one or two classes in my area of specialization. I am also quite knowledgeable about the media and the Internet, and hope to move in this direction as well. I speak Uzbek as well as Turkish and for this reason I find myself very drawn to those cultures as well and stay close to them through the Internet.

 In 2007, I worked as tutor at an orphanage for 1 year.  Prior to that, from 2003-2006, I served as a volunteer translator for Turkish and Uzbek pilgrims coming to Mecca. I also taught High School English for 3 months in 2009. For so long that I have lost track, I have tutored elementary aged children. Especially in a culture like mine, where the mobility of women is restricted, one has little choice but to learn many things from one’s family and extended family; and I took advantage of the divorces of two of my siblings, in order to learn all that I could about the dynamics involved. I seek a rigorous education in counseling psychology that will provide me with both a theoretical and practical foundation for launching a career in marital counseling. I hope to e able to focus much of the research that I do in your program on the psychology of divorce, and the comparative effects of divorce on single parent vs. and two-parent households.

As a woman from Saudi Arabia, I look forward to contributing to the diversity of your program and learning from my peers from all over the world. I especially look forward to learning from other women about the experiences of love, romance, and childbearing in their cultures: and of course, divorce. Completing your program will inspire me with the confidence that I will need when I return to Saudi Arabia as an activist for the rights of women. In my culture, this takes a great deal of courage which I hope to accumulate over the course of your program. You will provide me with a tool kit so that I will be able to set reasonable goals that can be realized. I have a great deal of hope for progressive change and greater recognition of women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, at least in time. As a therapist and a scholar, I hope to be an avid participant in this change.

Saudi Arabia is a very family oriented society. Like most Saudis, women in particular, I place an extremely high value on the family. This is why it would be a great honor for me to attend your program and learn how to be a first rate family/marital therapist. My very presence in this field is itself making me a participant in social change, since most Saudi professionals in the area of psychology are still men. With your help, I will be able to become a participant in the shattering of barriers to women in my country. I will be able to struggle to protect them and to do so in efficacious ways. I want to change stereotypes. I want to help make a path for woman to become career oriented despite being young mothers. I want to teach others how to communicate more effectively. Most of all, I want to inspire the women of my country to defend their rights as wives and mothers, to fight for the custody of their children, and for those who fail, to recover from the loss and go on.

I thank you for your consideration of my application to your program.

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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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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 Masters MFT, Diversity, Japanese Woman

It is perhaps ironic that I wish to devote my life to marriage and family therapy, since I have been living alone for the past 10 years, my most formative period, with all of my family back in my native Japan. But I know exactly why it is. It comes from my reflection upon where I have come from, my own struggle and that of my family.

I have traveled to many places, such as Hong Kong, Singapore, New Caledonia, and England, developing a profound respect for cultural diversity, traveling, maturing, and learning so many things, most importantly the way that family life differs according to cultural context. What I find most fascinating of all is the study of the core similarities that indeed exist within all families irrespective of culture, separating out those factors from other factors which clearly are a product of culture. What I most like about America is precisely its cultural diversity. And I hope to build a family therapy practice that caters precisely to the needs of those families that make up this rich cultural heritage. Of course, I will always be a woman and I will always be Asian, and in terms of writing, research, and publishing in the future, it will probably be the Asian woman and family that will be the subject where I most distinguish myself. The Joy Luck Club is, of course, one of my favorite movies.

 I chose to complete my B.S. Degree in Human Services with a special focus on mental health because psychology has always been my favorite subject in school. And I am convinced that it is a good idea to specialize in what you are most interested in. In addition to cultural diversity, the sub-areas that I most enjoy learning about are immigrant issues and adolescent development, especially communication issues between immigrant parents and their second generation children. This is probably because, as a first generation immigrant who is very much looking forward to being a mother, these issues will be prominent in my own life. And I have many Asian friends who face profound challenges in this area. In terms of one particular research topic, I think I would most like to become an expert in the area of why it is that Asian parents are typically so obsessed with their children's education and the way that this has an impact on the children's emotional and mental conditions. In my country, Japan, young people who are rejected from the college of their choice sometimes commit suicide. This is not at all uncommon, and is suggestive of the issues with which I look forward to wrestling.

 My long-term goal, after gaining valuable years of experience as a therapist, will be to attain my PsyD Degree. This is not so much because I want to teach in America, but, rather, that I want to go back to Japan some day to devote the balance of my life to the development and improvement of marriage and family counseling programs in Japanese Universities. In particular, I am concerned with the high levels of child abuse in Japan and the failure of the government to address the issue.

 Perhaps one way to encapsulate all of this is to say that my central goal in life is know myself. Thus, I constantly ponder my own sojourn, being bullied by other girls in elementary and junior high school schools, the bitter quarrels between my parents over my father’s business. We didn’t have a school counselor in those days. I spent much of my time daydreaming in my room to escape from the real world.  I reflect upon my parents’ divorce while I was in High School, his leaving us. I wonder why I handled this better than my mother—at least initially—why her and my grandparents devoted so much time to complaining about him after he was gone, rather than just moving on.

 Since I was very little, I was told that I really look a lot like my father. Perhaps this added to my sense of guilt, that his problems where mine as well, his defects, etc.  We Japanese are not big criers. So when I found myself weeping in front of my High School friends I was not at all comfortable; I became depressed, pessimistic. One day, I read in a book that studying psychology was very popular in the USA and that going to see a psychologist and getting treatment is very common. I wanted to escape from my family at the same time that I wanted to continue to think about them and learn more about our dysfunction. So, after graduating from high school, I worked full time to save money so I could move to the USA and start studying psychology. When I transferred to XXXX University, I made a Japanese friend who was a graduate student in the Counseling/MFT Program. She taught me a lot. And I decided to change my major from Psychology to Human Services so I could study more about mental health and counseling, more about mentally ill people in society and less about rats in the laboratory.

I also began working with children at counseling centers. One little Asian baby made a particular impression, his eyes so big, round, clear, unknowing. He was 4 months old and had been abused by his parents. Craving the nurture of a mother, he grabbed my arms and buried his little head in my chest. My fate was sealed. I thank you for considering my application to your program.

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