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Blog posts : "phd clinical psychology"

PHD Clinical Psychology, Korean, Anxiety Disorder


I decided to apply for the clinical PhD program at XXXX because of the thoroughgoing nature of your curriculum and your dedication to research, helping students to decide on the best avenue of research for their interests and intellectual strengths. I hope to become a professional researcher as well as counselor, and I look forward to being prepared at the XXXX because it appears to be the optimal platform for me to begin a career in psychology here on the West Coast, in California, a lovely place which I am increasingly thinking of as home. Your program is very strong in the area of research into anxiety disorder and I am especially looking forward to studying under Dr. XXXX who is distinguished in this area. Nevertheless, while I do hope to focus on anxiety and depression, I want to study these maladies from every angle, both historically and theoretically. I am confident that your Ph.D. Program will give me an opportunity to explore the bigger picture in a cutting-edge program that will help me to think creatively and prepare me to realize my maximum potential.

Graduate Study at the XXXX will provide me with vast opportunity to explore not only the professional exercise and practice of psychology in the United States, but I am also very much attracted to the diversity of your student body and I look forward to learning from my fellow students from all over the world, exploring the psychological dynamics of international, multicultural and multiethnic issues. In short, I see the XXXX as my best option for training to be of service to multiethnic Asian communities here in California.

I decided to come to America to prepare myself for a career in psychology because I feel that your emphasis on research and publication is much stronger here than it is at home in Korea. I also wanted to continue to advance professional within a multicultural society, like California, since multicultural issues are where I hope to make my mark in the future as a PHD graduate from your especially distinguished program.

Naturally, I think my greatest strength and my principal focus will be on the mental health issues of Koreans, both at home and those who have immigrated at some point to the USA, especially the ‘Korea Towns’ of California. In particular, I want to pay a lot of attention in the future to the way in which Korean people tend to simply ignore, or try to ignore, the reality of mental health issues and needs, because of a stigma that surrounds mental illness in Korean culture.

I also hope to distinguish myself in the exploration of the myriad psychological ramifications of the way in which Korea achieved such rapid economic growth, the psychological aspects of Korean industrialization, transforming South Korea from a highly cooperative to a highly competitive society, with special attention to the fact that we have the highest suicide rate among 30 OECD countries, with our number of suicide deaths doubling over the course of the last decade. This is why I hope to focus my studies towards the PHD at the XXXX in the area of causes and treatments of anxiety and stress related disorders.

 Most specifically, I look forward to researching the way in which anxiety and stress are related to other disorders, particularly depression, panic disorder, agoraphobia, and eating disorder in the context of multicultural communities. I am attracted to the study of these areas, in particular, because of the prevalence of these conditions among Asians. Stress disorders are especially common in Korea which is a very hectic and competitive society with respect to business as well as education. Also, although some progress has been made, many people still are reluctant to see a psychiatrist or psychologist because of the traditional stigma attached to mental illness in our very conservative society. Finally, I learned a great deal about diversity issues from my experience as a multicultural counselor. I want to continue to learn everything that I can about ways in which we might foster more effective communication among members of multicultural communities.

My most specific interests at the XXXX include the biofeedback studies and training programs offered by Dr. XXXX. I keenly look forward to an in-depth engagement with Dr. XXXX's work with a focus on its relevance for anxiety disorders.  Studying under Dr. XXXX, in particular, would be an excellent way for me to enhance my research abilities and learn to be an especially creative thinker in the area of anxiety disorders. My long term goal is make important contributions to the advancement of our study of clinical psychology in the context of international culture and community. The rapid growth of the Asian population in the USA, especially California, combined with the tendency among Asian peoples to neglect or ignore their mental health needs makes me confident that I will be able to make important contributions to our mental health services here in California. I look forward to using my language skills professionally here in America, working and helping people to heal in Korean and Japanese as well as English.

I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program.

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PHD Autobiographical Sketch, Marriage Diversity


I am a young Korean woman educated in Japan who now lives in America and wants very much to excel in the area of psychology. I have fallen in love with California and hope to complete my graduate studies here. Since I majored in “Cultural Properties” or issues in Japan, I particularly enjoy studying the complex relationships, at once psychological and historical, that exist among various different Asian groups here in California. The greatest strength of my application to your program is that I am one of few Korean applicants who are fully fluent in Japanese as well as Korean, helping me to bridge one of the most prominent and historically bitter divides in Asia resulting from Japan’s historic occupation of your country.

I feel strongly that much of what I studied in Japan has immediate and profound relevance to the study of psychology, especially the psychology of cultural differences, barriers, and/or conflicts, particularly those that involve language. The XXXX is my first choice for graduate study because I feel that I am the best fit for your particular program. I deeply respect your commitment to seeing mental health and mental illness in socio-cultural contexts and your hearty endorsement of research and intervention that is relevant to the multiple cultures in which they are conducted. 

My application is further strengthened by my service as a Volunteer Peer Mentor at the XXXX, in XXXX , Japan (July 2008 - October 2009). I helped newly arrived international students to adjust to their new environment helping them to meet people and to learn to interact with people from many different countries all at the same time. In fact, I advised resident students on a broad range of issues, personal as well as academic, as well as helping to organize and implement international cultural exchange and recreation programs and events. I believe that this experience will help me to think creatively about the many multicultural issues facing Asian residents of California as well.

My passionate interest in psychology began during my high school days as a result of my own mental health challenges. Even though I had good grades in my classes, I began to suffer from chronic depression. It is very common in Korea for adolescents to suffer from mental illnesses due to the great amount of academic pressure that is piled upon them in a very competitive educational system. Students in Korea are often made to attend classes from 7am to 10pm, as I did, going to private schools at night. Surveys have shown that most Korean high school students sleep only 4 to 5 hours a night.

I went through a very difficult period in high school where I felt that I had lost my goals in  life and I suffered from low self-esteem. At times, I even felt that life was meaningless since we would all just die anyway. I even had thoughts about suicide. (As in Japan, our suicide rate for adolescents under pressure is alarmingly high.) Thankfully my mother convinced me to see a psychiatrist and soon I was undergoing treatment, counseling and art therapy, for my depressive disorder. At that time, I began to learn to look inside myself, observing my feelings and behavior with new, more critical eyes. Soon, I recovered from my depression as a result of intensive and highly successful treatment. My extremely positive experience in recovery set me on a road to pursuing a career in psychology.

I had a wonderful psychologist by the name of Dr. XXXX who changed my life completely for the better, helping me to see things in a much more positive light and to learn to monitor and control my feelings. I was able to see things much differently. Dr. XXXX helped me to control my feelings through reflection, critical thinking, and discipline. I began reading extensively in the area of psychology in my free time and by the time I was ready to begin college I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in the area of mental health and dedicate my life to the cultivation of new ways to see the world in a more positive light through psychological discovery.

About the same time that my interest in psychology took off, my mother also began to study psychology, coinciding with her volunteer work as a counselor at a high school guiding juvenile delinquents. She told me many stories about her work that also served to deepen my interest in the power of counseling. I became immediately apparent to my mother and I both that many of these troubled juveniles were suffering from mental illnesses as a result of some type of trauma or abuse, often at the hands of their parents.

I chose to major in Cultural Properties in Japan because of my fascination with culture and the impact that it has on our psychology. I spent four years on this intriguingIsland taking courses mostly concerning ‘Cultural Heritage Conservation Science’ at XXXX University, located in Kyushu.  I learned a great deal about cultural restoration, in particular, and componential analyses of heritage. Studying culture was especially useful to me since I also served as a Counselor at the XXXX House as well, facing so many cultural issues in a fully international context.

.After my graduation, I returned to Korea and began working for a trading company. Soon, I faced another serious challenge to my mental health as I was shocked to experience a panic attack in a subway station which left me with the after effect of feeling scared when using overcrowded subways or buses, which are unavoidable in Korea. I plunged into a full immersion in the literature about panic disorders and this has helped me to become much stronger. Now, here in America, I feel I am at the optimal moment in my intellectual and emotional maturity to study in your distinguished program.

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