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My country, Saudi Arabia or Saudia as we call it, bans women from participating on its Olympic team, as well as public schools and universities. And it is illegal for us to even drive a car, and this is perhaps Saudi Arabian women's greatest claim to fame worldwide. In this climate of acute repression many women have sought solace in intellectual pursuits and spirituality. I have gravitated to psychology, a search for inner strength and peace of mind freedom. Born in Mecca and raised in Jeddah, I embarked on a traditional life that ultimately I rejected. Divorced, soon to be remarried here in America, I have cast off the chains of my upbringing but I still yearn for home. In fact, I want the PsyD. Degree, most of all, to help to promote change in our Saudia, helping to understand deviance and mental illness better so that we can treat those of our people that are ill, rather than stigmatize them; so that we can better learn how to appreciate our women, helping them to become productive leaders among us rather than forcing them to stay at home living as bitter, repressed souls.
For me, Psychology has been the way that I have been able to best connect my religion and spirituality to my humanity, and how I have been able to cope, first with Saudi oppressiveness, then with America's permissiveness. I have two precious daughters ages 10 and 13 who follow in their mom's footsteps. It is my greatest hope of all, that studying psychology will allow me to provide them with a better education, future, peace of mind and heart, providing them with constructive direction. Since I will soon be completing my Masters program at Valdosta State University, I have now had the opportunity to prove myself, and for someone still struggling with English, I am pleased to have earned a 3.5 GPA. I am convinced that I made the right choice by choosing Psychology, because I like to help people; I am a giving person and I find special joy in relieving people's sorrow by listening and empathizing with them. Recently, I have become even more aware of this as a result of my experiences in cognitive, behavioral, and humanistic approaches in my Practicum work at XXX State University Masters program. I have included several recommendation letters from my VSU Professors.
I respectfully request admission to the PsyD. program of clinical psychology, because I am confident that XXX College is the right place for me to continue my studies.
I seek more advanced knowledge of cultural diversity issues in psychology, integral therapy, and family theory, especially system theory. And I want to learn so much more about the ethical and legal issues that psychologists face on a daily basis. As a 32-year old woman with previous graduate experience in the field of psychology, I believe that my maturity and life experiences have prepared me as a highly motivated candidate for the Doctor of Psychology Program at XXX. My passion and commitment for making a positive difference in people's lives has given me the determination to succeed in this program. The complexities of human behavior have always motivated me and inspired me to learn more about psychology, especially the ethical issues associated with questions of cultural diversity and their impact on psychotherapy. After earning a doctorate at XXX, I will either stay and practice in America helping people here, especially American Arabs (Allah willing), or go back to Saudi Arabia as a Doctor of Psychology to help my country evolve, and improve women's rights and stature within the family and in society.
My background and life experiences energize me to learn more about family therapy. Graduating from XXX University with a major in Psychology, in 20XX, the youngest of nine children, I learned early on the value of hard work and perseverance since my mother died when I was only 16 years old. My father, a diplomat, soon married again and began a new life. My oldest brother helped to raise and care for me, for which I am eternally grateful.
My family is devoutly religious and while they sometimes lack tolerance of multi-cultural issues and differences, this served for me as an inspiration, since I wanted more, understanding, peace, reconciliation, and learning how and why some people succeed in life while others fail, the psychological as well as the economic or faith-based interpretations. My fianc, and American Muslim, is also open minded and fully supports my struggle for professional advancement. At some point, he may even accompany me to Saudia since he knows that much of my heart remains at home and that I long to help bring constructive change to Saudi society as a professional psychologist.
I am now a fully cosmopolitan woman who has traveled much of the world and seen much of the USA as well as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. I now thrive on multi-cultural challenges and find myself full of intellectual energy and curiosity to unlock more and more keys to understanding Muslim women, both in Muslim countries and here in America. I seek a professional foundation upon which to build in our increasingly global society. I am most fond of how our globe is shrinking and this profoundly reinforces by constant thirst to better understand other languages, customs, geography, and cultural habits of so many of our neighbors.
Like most Muslim women, I followed the tradition of my culture and married a man selected for me by my family and had two daughters with him. My husband's drug addiction and its consequences, however, led me far from him and increasingly closer to my study of Psychology; in time, I pursued and obtained my Bachelor degree in Saudi Arabia. It was Psychology that delivered me from a bad marriage, giving me hope for a better future. Upon graduating in 20XX, I was able to gained additional valuable knowledge by joining a mental health hospital team as a trainee in psychometrical testing and this helped to further confirmed my love for this career path, I was searching for an opportunity to continue my education in order to enhance my capacity to fulfill my ambition to help people who suffered. In 20XX I was accepted by the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Jeddah to study towards a high diploma in clinical psychology and received a certificate from The Saudi Council of Health Specialties, placing second place in my class. After receiving my clinical certificate, I worked as counseling psychologist for three months at Al Rashed Center for Personal and Social development.
I will feel enormously proud to be selected by Chestnut Hill as a contributor to the enormous, beautiful diversity of your program and to have the opportunity to study the whole range of important issues for the psychological professional, perhaps especially the ethical issues that accompany the study and practice of psychology, and, diversity itself. As a woman from a culture where diversity is not celebrated and women take a back seat in almost all fields, it will indeed be a liberating celebration of life, and a great privilege to participate in your program and be part of your community of learners.