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Following the path to a doctor of psychology and a life serving the psychological needs of others has not been an easy one, the omnipresent question of listening to my parents or to listening to my heart. In a high school introduction to psychology class, my teacher played a movie for us, as a treat, the true story of an abused girl with a childhood so traumatic, she developed multiple personalities, a story admittedly extreme but so compelling and fascinating, illustrating the power of the mind over the body. And my parents, so concerned, convinced me to pursue all of the pre-med courses as a part of my undergraduate studies while I wanted to pursue psychology. Their traditional Indian thinking, a culture and generation apart from mine, was very closed to my plans of attending to patients minds rather than their bodies.
I do not feel that my undergraduate grades accurately reflect the seriousness with which I approached my major. In truth, while I take full responsibility for my performance in pre-med courses, my passion for psychology was unwavering. Volunteering my time at temple, counseling teens who had recently emigrated to America, I was able to share my own immigrant experiences, helping the teens adjust to the new school system, all the while, every minute more, I gained immense personal satisfaction, increasingly certain of my future as a psychologist. The interaction was exhilarating, and I found myself returning to these experiences in the future as my theoretical psychology base widened, rethinking paths I took, and how I would address them better in the future.
Indeed, my experiences counseling teens at my temple laid the seeds for the direction of my graduate studies, researching the effects of immigration on attachment styles, domestic violence in minority populations, and intergenerational parenting issues in multicultural immigrant families. In order to address these unique and varied circumstances, I am intent upon studying strategic methods of therapeutic interventions. XXX College's systems approach to clinical psychology is an ideal fit for my graduate direction.
There are many factors to consider, and many situations to be prepared for in the clinical setting. Psychologists encounter many patients that are from differing backgrounds and cultures and need to be prepared for this. Culture is a very important factor to consider as it affects human psychology and behavior, particularly trust. Coming from an Indian family, I was raised with one view of the world, but have also immersed myself in American culture, and am an amalgam of my dual experiences, having observed, and appreciated the myriad cultures that abound in this incredibly diverse nation.
I am not a stranger to research work, either. In fact, for the last 14 months, I have been involved in a pilot survey with Dr. William Crain, assessing a random sampling of people and their attitudes toward factory farms. More specifically, the surveying addresses the relationship between preconceived notions of factory farms, and the person's decision to actively consider or act upon that knowledge. My role has been somewhat autonomous, collecting in-person surveys, analyzing data and scripting a research paper. While the content of the study is not within my own scholarly research interest, I have gained invaluable experience in the fundamentals of conducting a clinical research project, experience that will aid me tremendously in my doctoral dissertation.
Time management skills are rarely acquired reading a book. Since last year I have either had two part-time internships and a full course load, or a full-time job and a full course load. In either situation, I have maintained a near-perfect GPA. My commitment to my academics is clear from my transcript and resume, but my XXX Scholarship is indicative of my concern and the energy I give to community service, a two-year scholarship given by the XXX Center for Policy Studies at City College of New York, given to those committed to public service. Working at the XXX of Children and Family Services, XXX Psychoanalytical Society, and Northside Child Development in XXX have given me exposure to many minority and immigrant children, while attending to a variety of special ed, developmental delays, behavioral, communicational, socialization issues, increasing my personal and professional satisfaction and joy. Additionally, I gained invaluable experience working with the relationship dynamics between children and their mothers, aiding in the development of their healthy, fulfilling, communicative relationships.
For the future, I anticipate a long career as an effective psychologist. Ideally, I would like to work for, or consult with, a non-profit group or community agency, assisting the socio-economically challenged. The ideal would be to aid in the development of a non-profit organization that serves and encourages at-risk, minority or immigrant communities, particularly women and children, to better their lives through healthier life choices; strategies of being. Overall, though, my greatest contribution to my patients will always be the amelioration of their lives by improving their emotional, mental and psychological well-being.
XXX College stood out from the background noise of large-scale arena-type educational facilities. I feel that I will flourish in small classes, gaining one-on-one type attention from professors and overall, a more intimate educational experience. More importantly, CHC emphasizes not just the mind of their students, but their spirits as well, an atmosphere that is truly healthy, not to mention a breathtaking pastoral campus.
It is my enthusiasm, dedication and critical thinking skills that have gotten me this far, and have led me to this moment, eager to succeed in your doctoral program. Together, through this relationship, I hope to enrich both of our experiences.