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Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

My central professional goal is to first earn my Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health at XXXX University, and then the PsyD Degree; in preparation for a lifetime of service as a mental health counselor.  I am motivated primarily by a deep sense of responsibility for my community, especially its vulnerable members who suffer from mental health issues. I have a deep sense of having roots here as a 3rd generation immigrant to of our diverse community, Pueblo Colorado. My children and grandchildren also live in Pueblo. My own ethnic background is Scotch-Irish; and I come from a family of very modest resources. But I learned to read, write, and speak Spanish so as to be able to communicate with many of those who I seek to help who often speak little-to-no English.

I have come to internalize the well-being of my community as my own; and also come to the firm conclusion that I will be able to best contribute to the community as a psychologist since we have a very high incidence of mental health issues in Pueblo that require the assistance of bilingual, well-trained psychologists who are also comfortable communicating in Spanish.  I will begin by earning my Master’s Degree and proving my excellence as a graduate student in Clinical Mental Health at Adams State with hopes of continuing to the doctoral level.

I am especially interested in the complex relationships that exist between trauma, anxiety, and depression, on the one hand, and addiction on the other.  Most of the mental health issues that we have in Pueblo are at least related in some way to. substance abuse and/or alcoholism. Particularly with respect to its public face, the problem appears to clearly be concentrated in the non-white population, Hispanics and Native-Americans, as well as African-Americans and the lower economic strata of society generally speaking. Many local victims of substance abuse are also undocumented, further exacerbating the challenges that they face. I want to help them, especially those who end up seeking assistance for one reason or another at Colorado State Mental Hospital where I look forward to being employed once I acquire the requisite credentials.

My long term plan, based on my graduate education in Clinical Mental Health and professional work experience would be to open a non-profit harm reduction facility in which my team and I will facilitate therapy, group therapy, and therapeutic activities that provide our clients with healthy activities in which to engage socially that builds their self-esteem and provides them with tools to help deal with their mental health issues - coming to a better understanding of why they suffer and what they can do to stop or minimize suffering in their lives.

I am very excited about continuing my intensive focus on the way that relationships develop and thrive as a result of non-judgmental, positive regard. It is important to create a safe space that is sensitive to each client’s lifestyle, culture and religious beliefs.  An excellent communicator, I always seek to build trust and authenticity into relationships and I look forward to taking full advantage of this talent on a professional basis for decades to come. Along with establishing clear boundaries, being 100% professional, and staying focused on the therapeutic goals that we set, I see my outgoing, friendly disposition to also be an asset as a mental health counselor. By communicating a clearly defined set of objectives, with milestones along the way, I can help the individual to feel hopeful that their issues can be resolved with time, patience, and hard work.  In order for my counseling relationship to be effective, it is essential to empower and not coddle the individual.  Feedback from clients as well as colleagues and supervisors, along with rigorous practice of my own self -care, will enable me to always be at my best at the counseling relationship.

Central to establishing a rapport with multicultural clients is expressing an interest in their culture and a willingness if not eagerness to learn more about that sub-society and its unique characteristics, always demonstrating a profound respect for the client’s culture and worldview, belief systems, and means of problem-solving.  Learning about and addressing the client’s realities will allow me to create culturally-sensitive interventions and grow as a human being and professional.  Self-reflection is vital to becoming a culturally-competent counselor.  I have begun by clearly identifying my own worldview and personal beliefs about those who are different than I am.  This enables me to uncover my own prejudices, feelings, and stereotypical ideas about people from other cultures.  Being open-minded and willing to educate myself about culturally diverse groups has been productive for me and advanced my own personal growth.  Mankind’s existence depends upon our ability to diversify, it is imperative that diversity be accepted and in fact celebrated on every level of society, from local to international.

I will earn my undergraduate degree in Psychology along with a minor in Biology this coming May, 2019, from Colorado State University Pueblo. At Adams State, I am very excited about the prospect of full immersion in the study of trauma, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, especially in the context of addiction and substance abuse. Now 44, I have the maturity, wisdom, and experience to excel as a graduate student of Psychology and Mental Health in the MA Program at Adams State. Married, divorced, and married again, I know what it is like to be a single mother. My father and grandfather were alcoholics, although highly functioning and able to support the family (barely). On my mother's side, grandma was a drug addict who had survived polio as a child. Her father was also a drug addict who eventually died homeless on the streets. I see my own background as helpful, inspiring, keeping me humble and advancing at every turn my power to empathize with the gravity of all-too-common problems that people have to live with day-to-day in my community.

I have successfully raised 4 girls; 2 are in college studying Ecology and Physics; 2 are married moms – we are also raising an 8-year-old boy as our own, another experience which I regard as a professional asset. I do not need to work as my husband earns a good living and is very supportive of my career, sharing my great joy at being able to serve as a volunteer, and excited that I am going to graduate school.

Another factor which inspires me greatly is fact that several of my friends as a teenager committed suicide. As I reflect upon their short-lived lives and how they ended, I feel close to them still, somehow, and their stories continue to inspire me and drive me forward. I foster a working relationship with our neighbor who is diagnosed with schizophrenia, employing him to take care of the yard, helping to provide him a sense of purpose and community relatedness. I have an Aunt who works toward wellness as she suffers from anorexia due to trauma. The are many experiences that drive my career direction. I currently volunteer at Fountain Elementary School in Pueblo CO. District 60, assistiing with reading groups. In the past, I provided literacy support to kindergartners, administered assessments of skills, and provided emotional support. I adore children and will miss them terribly soon when my career directions result in my turning my volunteer efforts and attention to adults.

I love Yoga, my dogs, the outdoors (fishing, hiking, climbing, bike riding). All help me to stay mentally fit, especially the Yoga.

I thank you for considering my application to Clinical Mental Health at XXXX.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in Counseling Psychology

Sample 1st Paragraph for the MA in Mental Health Counseling, Saudi Arabian Applicant

While I am a licensed pharmacist in my country, Saudi Arabia, and still only 23 years old, my closest friends and family members have all encouraged me to pursue the dream that I have in my heart, a career in counseling as I am a good listener and I find it easy to invest myself fully in helping someone meet the challenge at hand. I live to serve and to help people and being a really good listener has helped me as both a student and a volunteer. I think I would have something valuable to contribute to your program as a student, in particular, as a result of my experience as a volunteer in a number of health awareness campaigns, helping to raise awareness of the many challenges facing pharmacy and public health in my country.  As an experienced and highly professional pharmacist, I have learned to engage successfully with people from all walks of life and to always do so in a compassionate way.

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

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Psychology graduate programs like to see some independent research experience, an ability to think like a scientist, someone who can generate hypotheses, who is familiar with research literature, who can understand the limits to prior research, someone who demonstrates ability for scientific thinking and writing. Some applicants indicate a lot of enthusiasm for an area of research, but not knowledge of how to conduct good research. For example, they might indicate that they're very excited about working with children or adolescents, and that they think it's important to study internalizing symptoms. This is fairly broad. That type of essay will not stand out as much as an applicant who expresses such enthusiasm, but also is knowledgeable about some of the current theories and methodological approaches that are used to study specific developmental psychopathology symptoms.

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