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Clinical Forensic, Psychology & Law, Expert Witness

I hope to be accepted to your program because my long term goal is to work as a clinical forensic psychologist performing psychological evaluations of competency to stand trial and assessments of diminished capacity. My paralegal education and experience working as a family and criminal law paralegal have provided me with the opportunity to gain great familiarity with legal jargon and issues in this area, as well as the opportunity to interact with legal professionals. I have a firm grasp of the rules and regulations of the American judicial system, especially hearsay evidence. Thus, once I attain the PsyD Degree from your esteemed program, then I would be qualified to serve as a highly credible, expert witness. With a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, I would not qualify for court designation as an expert witness, since this requires a doctoral degree. Without a doctorate degree in Psychology, I would also be unable to solely administer and interpret diagnostic testing to be used in court. Thus, it is my profound hope to be admitted as a doctoral student to your program.

 I want very much to study in XXXX because of the location, as well as the exceptional quality of your program. I want to remain close to my family who fully support my decision to pursue the doctorate degree. This would also facilitate my being able to give my all to my studies. I was raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago and currently live in XXXX, IL. I earned by BA in Psychology at Aurora in 2007 with a specialization in biopsychology and a minor in physiological science, later, my paralegal certificate from Roosevelt University’s post-bachelorette American Bar Approved institution for paralegal studies. I have also completed 38 credits of graduate course work that are transferable towards a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology. I am also an accomplished world traveler and have an extensive record of commitment to volunteerism in my community.

 Another reason why I wish to pursue a doctoral degree in Psychology is because of the extremely positive personal experience that I had in counseling. My therapist renewed my confidence and self-esteem, encouraging me that I could achieve anything that I set my mind to. The impact of this experience and my passion and commitment for making a positive difference in people’s lives has given me determination to succeed in your program program, since it represents the fulfillment of my purpose in my life.

 I especially look forward to studying in the areas of psychology and law; psychological assessment; and psychological interventions in forensic settings. Your faculty consists of highly distinguished professors who have made invaluable contributions to the literature. Thus, I have no doubt that your program will offer me the highest possible quality of instruction in the fundamental theories and knowledge of forensic psychology and also provide me with state-of-the-art training in planning, conducting, and evaluating research. My interests match closely with Dr. XXXX’s work on juvenile violence. I particularly enjoyed his child & adolescent development course, where I wrote a literature review entitled, “Neurological Development:  A Review of Adolescent Development, Brain Imaging, and Juvenile Justice” which explored the issues of juvenile delinquency in the context of brain, cognitive, psychosocial, and especially adolescent development, including brain development, cognitive development.

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PsyD, Doctoral Degree, Obesity, Eating Disorders

At 26, I am a mature woman who is extremely dedicated to my studies. A very hard worker, my first love for many years has been my study of Psychology. I cannot, in fact, conceive of living for even a single day, much less a week, without indulging my addiction for psychological literature, self reflection, my quest for human growth, openness, and transformation of negative into positive energy, irrespective of the circumstance in which I find myself.

 I was born in XXXX and raised in XXXX, Florida where I attended private schools. My dedication to my interior life is mirrored by a similar high level of motivation for social excellence; for me, introversion and extroversion are two sides of the same coin. Throughout elementary and then junior high school I was always busy: creating new clubs and activities for my friends to join. Since childhood, I have had a passion for helping others—animals as well as humans—with my second love after psychology being nature, wildlife, all things outdoors. It was in high school, when my friends really started to turn to me for help with their everyday struggles, thereby sparking what would gradually come to be my recognition of my calling. Since early adolescence, I have thrived on talking with my friends about their personal problems. I have always found it especially rewarding to know that my friends find it very easy, natural, to confide in me and seek my feedback. 

 I graduated from the University of XXXX in 2006 with my B.S. in Psychology and a certificate in Behavioral Forensics. In 2007, I enrolled in the Masters program at XXXX in XXXX, Florida and graduated with my M.A. in Counseling in May 2010. Even before attending college, I have been engaged in questions of identity, image, the multiple complex relationships between self-perception, on the one hand, and mental health issues on the other. I am concerned with the way that our culture, the media, forms our tastes and dreams; the way that we have become a society that is nourished more by movies than literature, how this turns upon us in vicious ways, all too often resulting more in our enslavement than our liberation. I am especially troubled by obesity, the damage done by excess food, especially to children, the anxiety and stress that accompanies our economic achievement. And as a woman, I am especially concerned with the way that stereotypes of beauty tend to harness female creativity, mitigating against the healthy individuation of girls and women, often serving to stifle the greatest potential within us for social contribution, as wives and mothers as well as citizens.

 For these reasons, I especially look forward to doing research in the areas of adolescent development and eating disorders—most particularly, the intersection between the two.  I also have a profound interest in and a keen desire to work with a variety of populations that face mental health challenges. My interest in forensics has fueled this curiosity. My extensive background working with adolescents, in particular, has furthered my desire to conduct further research within this particular age range. At this time, if I were try and imagine writing a doctoral dissertation, it would be on the long term effects of eating disorders among adolescent girls. My long term goal is to teach psychology, always maintaining a side interest in forensics. I may choose to work in the area of competency assessment for individuals awaiting trial. It is also easy to imagine myself working for a corporation, testing employees.

 I completed my practicum with the Center For Drug Free Living, working with at-risk youths, conducting psycho-educational groups as well as providing individual therapy. During my internship, I work at an adolescent residential facility with teen girls, primarily diagnosing oppositional defiant disorder; I received extensive training in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I have volunteered for a suicide prevention event hosted on the campus of XXXX College, providing support to families who have lost a loved one related to suicide. Finally, I have also volunteered with Upward Bound, a program that gives high school students a chance to study on college campuses. I now have over 8 years  relevant professional and volunteer experience in the field of psychology and I feel strongly that this will help me to excel in your program.

 I love to take on new challenges and will work as hard as I can to overcome any obstacle. I am committed to lifelong education, multicultural exploration,  and the achievement of an open mind. I have explored Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Wales, and Scotland, the East and West coasts of Canada and made several trips to the Bahamian Islands. Throughout all the traveling I've done, the one thing I've learned is how fortunate I am to be an American. I am proud of my country and the educational opportunities that it provides to its citizens. Traveling has made me a more tolerant, accepting individual and increased my sense of empathy. These days, I am especially excited about the prospect of embarking on the rigors of doctoral study.

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PHD Clinical, Forensics Psychology, PTSD

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

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