My Decision to Pursue Psychology: A Journey of Understanding and Compassion

July 17, 2023
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When I first chose to major in psychology, it was because I believed it would allow me to make a positive impact on people's lives. We all face challenges at some point, and the opportunity to help others overcome them felt incredibly rewarding. Additionally, psychology provided something unique that other subjects didn't: a deeper understanding of the human mind and behavior. After completing high school, I joined the Bachelor of Arts program with the intent of exploring different subjects, including Geography, Political Science, Psychology, English, Economics, and French. However, as I progressed through my first year, I found myself drawn to psychology and decided to delve deeper into the subject.

During my second and third years, I delved into Social Psychology, Abnormal Behavior, and Statistics. The intricacies of the human mind and how it influences thoughts, emotions, and actions fascinated me. I enjoyed learning about various psychological disorders and the models used to understand them. As my college didn't offer an honors degree in psychology, I decided to pursue a Master's degree in Applied Psychology. The two-year program provided extensive knowledge across different psychology fields.

In my first semester, I explored courses on educational psychology, cognitive psychology, research methodology, and statistics. Research methodology particularly intrigued me, as it offered insights into how scientific research contributes to new perspectives, theories, and mental health factors in psychology. Alongside my studies, I had the opportunity to intern at Agnes Special School, where I worked as a special educator for children facing challenges like Learning Disability, Cerebral Palsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, and Mental Retardation. This internship provided valuable insights into childhood disorders and the obstacles these children encounter daily, making it a truly challenging experience.

The second semester introduced me to physiological psychology, personality theories, psychological testing, and positive psychology. I found personality theories, especially Alfred Adler's Individual psychology, intriguing as they explored concepts like inferiority and superiority complexes and the influence of birth order on one's style of life. By understanding these theories, I gained valuable insights into how personality shapes human behavior. I also engaged in practical work, assessing personalities through various tests such as the Draw-a-Person test, Eysenck personality questionnaire, locus of control, Neo Five-Factor Inventory, and more.

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In the third semester, I explored counseling psychology, psychological intervention, and psychopathology. Psychopathology was particularly captivating as it taught me about different psychological disorders, their causes, diagnosis, signs, symptoms, and treatment methods. I became interested in understanding the complex relationships between biological and environmental factors contributing to these disorders.

By the end of the third semester, I undertook internships at two hospitals. The first one was at All India Institute of Speech and Hearing (AIISH), where I worked under Dr. S. Venkatesan. There, I learned to collect case histories and conduct Mental Status Examinations (MSE). I also conducted various psychometric tests and observed different behavior therapies and counseling sessions for children with special needs. The second internship was at Dr. Panjabrao Alias Bhausaheb Deshmukh Memorial Medical College, where I worked at the Psychiatric Department under the supervision of Dr. Shradha Harkanche. I gained insights into various psychological disorders and the roles of clinical psychologists. Additionally, I attended therapies such as Group Therapy, Stress Management, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and conducted psychometric tests like the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and Rorschach inkblot test.

In the fourth semester, I studied behavior modification and counseling techniques for children, adolescents, and adults. I received training in various psychotherapy techniques, including Jacobson's Progressive Muscle Relaxation, Autogenic Training, Systematic Desensitization, and Yoga. I also presented several case studies collected during my internships. I had the opportunity for two more internships, one at LINK Integrated Rehabilitation Centre for Addicts, where I worked on substance abuse prevention and management, and another at Ave Maria Palliative Care, where I provided counseling and support to terminally ill patients and their caregivers. Additionally, I completed a dissertation on "Marital Adjustment in relation to Life Satisfaction and Gender among Young Adult Married Couples," motivated by the rising divorce rates among young adults in India and the importance of understanding the factors influencing marital satisfaction.

After completing my Master's in psychology, I am currently interning at a psychiatric clinic, working as an assistant counseling psychologist under Dr. Prakash Chandran's guidance. During this time, I have encountered various mental health issues, including depression, psychosis, personality disorders, trauma, and relationship problems. Assisting clients and their families through counseling sessions has been incredibly rewarding. As an assistant counseling psychologist, I've learned diverse counseling techniques and the importance of empathy and unconditional positive regard in guiding patients.

Moving forward, my aspiration is to pursue a Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsy) and become a clinical psychologist, making a positive impact on the lives of those struggling with psychiatric disorders. My personal characteristics align well with this profession, and my academic achievements demonstrate my capability to achieve this goal. Research work fascinates me, and I'm eager to explore various mental illnesses, their treatments, and their effectiveness further. My previous experiences have shown me that there is still much to learn before becoming an accomplished clinical psychologist.

I am keen to join Goldsmith's University of London for the Masters course in Foundation in Clinical Psychology and Health Services due to its strong emphasis on clinical practice and research methodology. The program aligns perfectly with my aspirations and interests, and I am excited about the possibility of joining the upcoming class for 2018. I believe I am well-prepared for graduate study, and my motivation and career goals are in sync with what the University has to offer.

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