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MS Applied Psychology: American Woman

November 7, 2015


XXXX University is my first choice for graduate school in applied psychology for a variety of reasons, most of which have to do with the fact that I live nearby and I love my home, being near my family. I have an 8 year old son who lost his father not long ago. His grandfather will be watching him while I attend your program. Fortunately, I am economically independent and I do not need to work; thus, I am in a position to give my all to your program. Furthermore, I very much appreciate Lynn’s singular emphasis on the importance of international education, getting a feel for another culture and its history. I also see this as an integral part of a well rounded education and I am most enthused about the prospect of studying psychological issues among the ex-patriot community of Costa Rica, a delightful nation that I am adopting as a second home.

Most of all, however, my desire to attend Lynn University springs from my experience serving as a volunteer facilitator at the XXXX Center for Group Counseling, since October of 2012; I began shortly after finishing my undergraduate studies in psychology. This experience has opened my eyes to the great power of group counseling and the extremely positive impact that it can have on those who suffer as a result of mental health issues. Here at the XXXX Center, I have had the privilege to be surrounded by several XXXX students and I have heard nothing but the highest praise from graduates of your program in Applied Psychology. I appreciate the way in which your program has rigorous standards and I feel confident that I now have the time, space and energy to excel in graduate school, as a result of my unique life circumstances.

32 years old, a widow, a mother, I have only loved one man, who committed suicide several years ago. My husband was bipolar; most of the time we laughed, sang, and danced. Unbearably handsome, witty, very successful professionally, I was not aware when I married my man how desperately ill he was. Especially after our son was born 8 years ago, and very much in love, I did everything that I could to save him, as I gradually become aware of his predicament. I began studying psychology in college, spending my free time reading about mental health challenges, treatments, strategies, etc. I feel strongly that, based on my research as well as professional experience, many if not most bipolar individuals are especially brilliant and that their unique creative energy needs to find positive outlets to serve as alternatives to negative behavior, especially addictions. I want to devote my life to the study and practice of group therapy because I see it as having such great potential for saving lives and preserving and protecting families, providing day-to-day and week-to-week survival strategies, coping tools, and emotional support.

I myself have been healing now for some time, channeling tragedy into rebirth, sorrow into fascination, and grief into determination to succeed. I look forward to working in the future with bipolar clients who are unique, just as my husband was, many of them will also be brilliant and creative. In fact, what most fascinates and concerns me is precisely the way in which that brilliance entails great risk. I was an undergraduate student majoring in psychology at the time that my husband committed suicide, and I went on to finish my degree. Both before and after, however, my grades suffered; first the stress of trying to save his life, followed by the utter sadness of it all. Watching my little son grieve the loss of his dad was especially debilitating. This is why I ask for special consideration with respect to the evaluation of my GPA.

From each passing springs new life, each tragedy includes the seeds of its own redemption, compensation, triumph. In my case, for example, I had the privilege of getting to know amazing psychologists over the years that treated my husband, including Dr. XXXX who once worked with Ted Bundy on death row. The greatest lesson that I have learned throughout my personal storm is the importance of being ‘mindful’ in everything I do. I would be especially honored to do research as a student at XXXX University in the area of "mindfulness." I look forward to learning many things at Lynn but I particularly hope to have the privilege of becoming a student of Dr. XXXX, whose work in the area of drug abuse prevention I especially admire. I have a deep intellectual passion for this subject and this how I want to make my mark on the world; and make my own life worth living.

My professor for an undergraduate course, Mind and Brain, was an avid investigator and specialist on America’s penal systems and all of the attendant issues that it generates in psychology. This sparked my enduring interest in the complex issue of mental health services in our penal system. A doctor that resides at the XXXX Center where I volunteer worked in prisons for 7 years. His explanation of how and why prisoners in America’s jails receive little to no mental health services further aroused my passion for study in this area.

I also feel strongly that XXXX U will serve as the optimal springboard for me to build a distinguished career helping my clients to mange stress. I want to study in depth the relationship between bipolar disorder and stress management. I have seen how stress literally kills people, as it did my husband. The stress of running his company controlled his life; consistently, for years, I pleaded with him to let it all go and move away from everything and everyone. I truly believe that if he could have found some positive ways to de-stress he would have survived, leaned how to manage. We both had counselors, together and apart, but we never tried group counseling.  I beat myself up for quite a long time thinking of ways I maybe could have saved him. Through this process, I have developed a great passion for group therapy, managing stress, preventing and surviving suicide, protecting children, learning to let go and heal by sharing similar experiences and strategies with others who suffer as well. I thank you for considering my application to your very special program.

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