“Why do I want to be a psychologist?” that is a question I constantly ask myself despite having a knowledge of the answer, maybe I just don’t find the genuine answer convenient. Most of my peers whom I pursued undergraduate with were interested in psychology because they found personal fulfillment from helping others overcome daily life challenges, for some connecting with other people gave their lives a sense of meaning.
At times I would coat my interest in psychology to appear similar to those of my peers, however not even I would convince myself that the reasons were genuine. Bringing me back to the question “Why do I want to be a psychologist?” the response lies in my curiosity to discover why people think they way they do and what motivates certain behaviors and actions.
As a child and an adolescent, I have always been a curious person, my curiosity ended up in a lot of experiences and valuable life lessons that have shaped the person I am today. Joining undergraduate school was accompanied by substantial growth in maturity and being a psychology student I learned about different counseling and psychotherapist theories and interventions. The more I learned about psychology, the more my curiosity to discover about intrapsychic and interpersonal dynamics grew.
My “intellectual radar” is pointing towards graduate school, it seems like the next logical and viable step in my personal development and career progression. Attending graduate school will enable me to satisfy my intellectual curiosity by giving me the opportunity to immerse myself academically into psychology; I...
will have the space to be reflective and time to wade through the information regarding psychology and opportunity which is limited in practice.
I have the desire to be a licensed counselor and even though state laws on licensing vary, having an advanced degree in psychology guarantees me the ability to qualify for licensing to practice in any state. Being an advanced degree holder also enables me to be recognized as professional by professions in related fields and the clients I will handle and interact with in the field.
An advanced graduate degree opens up opportunities for future career advancement, the new skill, and knowledge I will gain from the program will enable me to better position myself for more opportunities for career advancement. Although a Master degree is not a guarantee for career growth and advancement it will give me enough personal satisfaction that will justify the resources and time dedicated to achieving it.
Attending graduate school will enable me to develop my professional network from the interactions with the professors and peers in similar and different professions. I will have a better understanding of not only my profession but what it takes to excel in other professions and how to integrate my expertise with other professions to come up with better solutions and open up more opportunities that have not been or are under-exploited.
I realize it will not be strategic to pursue a graduate program without conducting a personal assessment of myself as a student so as to better understand my strengths in order to maximize on them. I will also acknowledge my weakness and
come up with strategies to counter them. From my personal evaluation I realize that I have more strengths than weaknesses. However that does not mean that my weaknesses are negligible.
As a student, I realize that I have the desire to learn, and I am naturally inquisitive, hence, I always question norms in order to come up with different perspectives and a better understanding of concepts and theories. To my advantage, a good psychologist always tries to understand different perspectives and never overlooks norms.
My biggest strength also boils down to be my biggest weakness, my curiosity at times shifts my attention from productive academic work towards finding answers to questions that have no academic or professional value. To counter this weakness, I will abide by the course syllabus and curriculum to ensure that my personal quests are aligned with my learning objectives.
My other strength as a student is that I am a fast learner and enjoy interacting with fellow students. This will enable me to have a fast grasp of academic content and share it with fellow students to developing a deeper understanding of these concepts from peer discussion which will not only benefit me but also my peers.
There is no such thing as a perfect therapist or counselor, and every therapist has his or her strength and limitations, and as a potential therapist, I am not an exception. One of my biggest strength would be my ability to maintain composure in stressful or awkward moments. For a counselor, patients will come to you or at times at you with raging emotions and moving ordeals. Some patients maybe are aggressive in one minute then friendly in the next. Therefore, a counselor needs to be able to stay composed and analyze the patient to better understand their perspective and make the patient feel secure interacting with them.
My other strength is that I will be a flexible therapist due to my flexible personality, there is a broad spectrum of psychological issues and the approaches to tackling these psychological issues is not structured since what works for one patient may not necessarily work for the other patient. An effective counselor will analyze the symptoms that the patient exhibits and select a treatment program that is viable according to the symptoms presented.
It is also important to recognize that as a potential therapist I will be limited by not being able to have all the answers to my client’s questions or be able to understand their psychological issues. To counter this limitation, I will constantly be consulting with a more experienced counselor for instances when am not able to answer all the questions, by consulting another therapist I am able to see things from a different perspective and unearth elements that I missed during my diagnosis and interaction with patients.
I am aware that graduate school will not be a walk in the park, and I will have to learn to overcome my frustrations and the barriers I face in pursuing my graduate degree. I will have to learn how to pick myself up when I fall and consistently attempt until I achieve the results desired. This