PHD Clinical Psychology Personal Statement Sample, PTSD, Military, African-American

A young woman of part African-American and part German ancestry, most of all I am American; and this is why I felt called and still feel called to serve my country; now, especially, the veterans that have served, risked all, and came home to live and fight their wars over again in their mind, day by day. I served in the military for nine years so it is my world, my mindset, my frame of reference. I was diagnosed with PTSD aggravated by the fact that I am also a victim of military sexual trauma (MST). Nothing excites me as much as my own recovery and I have made such profound progress that I could not be more inspired to give my all to graduate school in Psychology so as to prepare myself for making my ultimate contribution to my fellow soldiers who are in need of our support at learning to live with PTSD in particular. I am concerned about the staggering rates of suicide among returning Veterans and I want to do all that I can to help.

Sample 1st Paragraph PHD Clinical Psychology, Middle Eastern

At the center of my intellectual world stand issues surrounding the intersection of clinical psychology and mental health counseling, on the one hand, and ethnic and cultural diversity on the other – especially family dynamics. I now feel that I am at my optimal moment to begin studying towards my PHD Degree in Clinical Psychology at XXXX University and I hope to make my maximum contribution to our profession by addressing the stigma that is associated with mental health counseling among Middle Eastern families in particular. I look forward to a long professional lifetime focused on mental health counseling and ethnic-minority-family dynamics from a variety of cultural perspective both within and beyond the Middle East and among Middle Eastern immigrants to America.

Sample 1st Paragraph PHD Clinical, Preventing Sexual Violence

Now 33 with my Master’s Degree in Psychology complete and invaluable professional and volunteer experience under my belt, I feel strongly that I now have sufficient maturity and that it is the optimal time for me to undertake further graduate study towards the PHD Degree in Clinical Psychology. I want very much to build a career around the cause of preventing sexual violence, protecting victims and would be victims, and helping victims to heal. The fact that I was physically abused by my own father, and sexually abused by a minister who was also my mother’s boyfriend, put my own life in jeopardy as an adolescent—until I called a suicide hotline and later got some help. For the most part, my own healing process did not begin in earnest until 2007, at the age of 25, when I volunteered to staff a Rape Crisis Hotline and spent the summer as a Camp Counselor for at-risk children.

Sample 1st Paragraph for the PHD in Clinical Psychology

A Senior at Florida State University, my first choice for graduate school is XXXX University. I hope very much to earn the PHD in Clinical Psychology in your particularly distinguished program because I feel that I am the best fit with the emphasis of your curriculum. Throughout my studies here in Florida, earning my BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminology, I have gravitated towards the study of youth behavior. I could not be more engaged, in particular, with the study of the mechanisms or causal factors that result in mental illness among troubled youth from at-risk homes, or those caught up in the foster-care of juvenile justice systems.

PHD Admission: Clinical Psychology

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Trends in incarceration in the USA point to the need for well-trained PHDs and PsyDs in the area of Clinical Psychology.

Since 2002, the USA has had the highest incarceration rate in the world. In 2010, the rate of prisoners per 100,000 residents was 500 according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. In 2015, levels rose to 2.2 million. There is a stark difference between this figure and the 1.3 million of 1998, and the 400,000 of 1982. There has been a 500% population increase in the nation’s prisons and jails in the last forty years, due to changes in sentencing law and policy, resulting in prison overcrowding. One in three black men and one in sex Latino men will now go to prison during their lifetime

Many of these inmates are seen to have active suicidal or homicidal ideation, intent or plans and/or do not make use of the food, clothing, shelter or other activities offered to them because of a mental disorder. Mental health screening to identify disorders such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder and mental developmental delays are mandatory. Psychologist and psychiatrists are needed for emergency duty to deal with the increasing numbers of incidents of rape, mania, panic attacks, deaths and victimization.

The rising need for therapy, court-ordered assessments, and other tasks in this challenging environment must be tackled with a high level of professionalism, and this demanding job needs experienced individuals who are very highly trained, like PHDs and PsyDs, to treat the mental illness and disability of the inmates in these special circumstances, which are growing in complexity.

Sample 1st Paragraph PHD Degree in Clinical Psychology, Homelessness

In addition to having completed my undergraduate studies in psychology with honors, I feel that I am a strong candidate for your distinguished program leading to the doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology because of my professional experiences, first with a woman’s center and now with a homeless shelter. From September of 2012 through September of 2013 I served as a certified youth advocate after completing an intensive 8 week course. I had the profound privilege of leading community outreach projects in XXXX County that included raising teen dating awareness, mentoring at risk youth, and laboring to cultivate higher levels of self esteem for my clients. Since this past August, I have been deeply immersed in the day to day affairs of our homeless shelter in XXXX, and I am now serving as a case manager while building a special emphasis and knowledge bank in the area of crises intervention. It is a profound honor for me to serve this highly diverse and vulnerable sector of our society. Most importantly, I now have direct experience with precisely the vulnerable groups that I hope to build a specialty studying in graduate school and then serving professionally for the balance of my life. 

The Humanitarian Side of PHD Clinical Psychology

Doing a PhD in Clinical Psychology is no small feat, but it may be one of the most interesting and challenging times of your life. Humanitarian work is similar, in that respect. It’s a challenge, and you may have an unforgettable, mind-expanding experience.

Making the decision to do a PhD in Clinical Psychology may not be very easy for some. It´s a commitment, and it´s expensive. It may take you many years to complete, and it may seem overwhelming at times, when you might wonder why you took on such a big life project to begin with.

It´s during the decision process, and those times of doubt and struggle, that the scholars that have gone before you may be an extremely useful source of inspiration and guidance.

You don´t need to have started your PhD program to seek this inspiration. You can simply read about it, attend conferences or watch videos.  

Andrew Solomon, Ph.D., is a writer and lecturer on politics, culture and psychology that may serve as a beacon of light. He´s Professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University Medical Center, and President of PEN American Center.

Solomon’s most recent book, the best-selling Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner, 2012), tells the stories of families raising exceptional children who learn to deal with their challenges and find profound meaning in doing so. Far from the Tree has received many awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction.

Solomon’s previous best-selling book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Scribner, 2001), won the 2001 National Book Award for Nonfiction and was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize.

Andrew is a native New Yorker and attended the Horace Mann School, graduating in 1981. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University in 1985, and later earned a Master’s degree in English at Jesus College, Cambridge. While at Cambridge, he received the top first-class degree in English in his year, as well as the University writing prize.

In 1988, Solomon began his study of Russian artists, which culminated with the publication of the book The Irony Tower: Soviet Artists in a Time of Glasnost (Knopf, 1991). In 1993, he consulted with members of the U.S. National Security Council on Russian affairs by invitation.

His novel A Stone Boat (Faber, 1994), the story of a man’s shifting identity as he watches his mother battle cancer, was a national bestseller and runner-up for the Los Angeles Times First Fiction prize. Between 1993 and 2001, Solomon was a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; he has also written for The New Yorker, Travel & Leisure, ArtForum, and many other periodicals, and has authored essays for many anthologies and exhibition catalogs.

His journalism has explored varied topics, including Chinese art, the cultural rebirth of Afghanistan, Libyan politics, video art, puppetry, and interior design.

In August 2013, Solomon was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Psychology by Jesus College, Cambridge, Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies, working on maternal identity.

Solomon has read and lectured widely at universities, professional conferences, and literary festivals, including the National Book Festival, the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Jaipur Literature Festival, and the PEN World Voices Festival.

Solomon is also a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical College. He is a member of the boards of directors of the University of Michigan Depression Center and Columbia Psychiatry; and a member of the advisory board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

In recognition of his contributions to the field of mental health, he has been awarded the Society of Biological Psychiatry’s Humanitarian Award; the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation’s Productive Lives Award; Yale University’s Research Advocacy Award; the Fountain House Humanitarian Award; and The Bridge’s Partners in Caring Inspiration Award, among many others.

In March 2015, Solomon was elected President of PEN American Center. He has been a member of the organization since 1994. He also serves on the boards of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the World Monuments Fund; the artists’ community Yaddo; and The Alex Fund, which supports the education of Romani children.