Personal Statement As My Family Research Proposal

Excerpt from Research Proposal :

My work as a research assistant in a cognitive psychology lab added to my theoretical knowledge by giving me practical experience in encoding and analyzing data. This experience provided me with the opportunity to use analytical tests and interpret statistical data. Bookkeeping of participants' demographic information also further developed my organizational skills. Having been a research assistant, I have gained a reasonable understanding of research design and the statistics needed to conduct research. For my senior major project, I wrote a research paper on an empirical study that investigated the role of change detection in studies of visual attention in the field of cognitive psychology. This paper was awarded the Sharon Borine award for the best major project in Psychology because of its successful presentation of research and adherence to American Psychology Association guidelines. I strongly believe my research experience will help me attain success in conducting graduate research as I continue to grow in my knowledge at St. Mary's. The success of my research paper further demonstrates my strong written skills, which will ensure me success in writing graduate research papers.

Outside of my family relations and academic pursuits, my volunteer experience has led to a deeper understanding of my world, something that I believe the marriage and family counselor must have in order to effectively help others. My volunteer work involved packaging meals at the Feed My Starving Children Organization, which allowed me to develop a keen sense of awareness and understanding regarding life's fragility and a renewed appreciation of my simple comforts. My volunteer work at senior centers, convalescent homes, and assisted living centers enabled me to entertain seniors and assist them in their daily living activities. Interacting with elderly residents in these facilities provided me a chance to communicate with individuals who were not in my age group, invoking a type of sensitivity towards individuals who are different from me and who are faced with challenging circumstances. Keeping in mind these lessons from volunteering, I plan to be a more capable marriage and family counselor.

In fact, I am interested in pursuing this career path because I want to enrich the lives of families by helping them to resolve relationship difficulties and adjust to the changing dynamics of the family as they face challenging situations. I also want to draw on my own experience to help children from multicultural families resolve family issues by promoting understanding and providing ways to cope with family conflicts and difficult challenges in a peaceful manner. Thus, at Saint Mary's, I hope to focus on families who are facing severe mental illnesses and emotional disorders, couples facing crises, and parent-child conflict, with an emphasis on how relationships change between parents and children as children approach adolescence. My long-term goal is to become a licensed marriage and family therapist and work in either a community mental health center or a social and human services agency. I feel that the accredited Marriage and Family Therapy Master's Program at Saint Mary's University will prepare me to become not only a licensed marriage and family therapist, but also an excellent, helpful therapist. Because it offers a clinical practicum featuring direct clinical service contact with couples and families, this program will provide me with the practical experience necessary to diagnose and treat individuals, couples, and families with clinical problems. The specifically designed coursework, however, will provide me with a greater understanding of the application of proper interventions to help resolve relationship problems between family members. Finally, this program will also allow me the opportunity to utilize my psychology background so I can learn more about the mental, emotional, and behavioral aspects of individuals within the context of the family. Thus, pursuing a master's degree at St. Mary's will benefit me immensely, as it will prepare me for the future of service to…

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