Having earned bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology, I am now a highly experienced psychology and mental health professional, and a Saudi Arabian woman who is fully convinced that this is the right time for her to complete her education by earning the PsyD Degree. I seek preparation for the fullest contribution possible to my profession and my community. In addition to earning the requisite degrees, I also have completed extensive specialized coursework, internships, and certifications, along with my ongoing professional experience. All have affirmed that Psychology truly is my inner calling. Talking to patients, helping them process their emotions, problems, and trauma, teaching them how to set boundaries - and seeing that luminous, shining face by the end of the session: every aspect of Psychology fulfills me personally and professionally.
I have especially enjoyed opportunities to enhance my leadership abilities serving at the helm of multiple student organizations and initiatives. My communication, interpersonal, and research skills have all been enhanced by academic advancement. I have especially enjoying helping young people, children, teens, and young adults; and I hope to focus on the issues that pertain to these age groups as a doctoral student fully immersed in the study of Neurology, assessment, therapy models, research applications, etc. There is very little diversity appreciation training that goes on in Saudi Arabia, and I hope to be part of a new generation of psychologists in my country that introduce programs in this area into the academy as well as the workplace. I aspire to study the Saudi population professionally and to engage in empirical research that is valid and reliable, mastering the fundamentals as a doctoral student in my PsyD program in Clinical Psychology. I plan to develop a special focus on cognitive behavior therapy, an area in which I have read widely in my free time, since studying towards my bachelor's degree from Nova Southeastern University. It was love at first sight for me when I took my first Psychology class, from that time forward I was smitten.
I was captivated early on by the explanatory power of classical and operant conditioning theories, opening my eyes to the many ways that our environment influences our behavior. My parents always emphasized the importance of the physical sciences and little attention was paid to Psychology in my home because it was seen as something literary, rather than scientific. I learned, however, that Psychology is key to understanding ourselves and our societies, from scientific as well as humanistic perspectives, and to heal those who suffer from psychological and behavioral challenges that are grounded in physical realities and conditions. My first Psychology class and the subsequent devotion that I developed to the field fully affirmed my personal determination - and capacity - to succeed.
Completing an internship at Destination Hope, Inc. was a watershed experience in the development of my professional horizons in Psychology, arousing my passionate interest in clinical and psychosocial assessment and intervention, along with the development of treatment plans. In this position I was able to lead therapy groups as well as providing individual counseling. I learned a great deal about mental health in general, psychotherapy, and the important role of emotional regulation, especially when treating patients with a dual diagnosis. Immediately after earning my BA, I began my master's program in Clinical Psychology at ____ University where I found the coursework most intellectually stimulating. Soon, I found myself fully immersed in dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), DBT skills training, and suicide risk assessment and management, helping with research funded by a grant from Marsha Linehan. Merging my interests in emotional regulation and DBT, I presented the poster for my master's thesis at the Western Psychological Association Conference in 2018. My thesis study attempted to replicate and extend the work of Whiteside et al. (2007) by examining the association between participants’ emotional experiences, coping skills, and close relationships – as these factors were related to binge eating.
Although DBT remains in its infancy in the Middle East, I aim to become a pioneer who makes DBT more familiar and accessible to patients and practitioners, including those in need of mental health services who are unable to afford it. I greatly enjoy research as I think it brings out the best in me and I thrive on the long hours and the unwavering diligence required. An active member of the American Psychological Association and The British Psychological Society, I always stay busy advancing my career, especially through the completion of certification courses including Suicide Prevention Online Training: “Counseling and Access to Lethal Means” and “Locating and Understanding Data for Suicide Prevention”. I am also certified in Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), and Good Clinical Practice for Clinical Trials Involving Drugs.
I see the doctoral program in Psychology at ____ as tailored to my principal professional interests in terms of both research and clinical training. I am especially keen to learn all that I can about neuropsychology and health psychology, to be of maximum service to the hospital where I am currently employed, KFSH-D, which is sponsoring my study towards the doctoral degree in America. KFSH-D has the largest research center in Eastern Saudi Arabia. With the advanced training in research that I will acquire in my doctoral program at _____, I also hope to go on to make important contributions to our research center. I am presently involved in an ongoing grant-funded study examining the psychological impact of quarantine measures: distress, post-traumatic stress symptoms, and stigma associated with quarantined individuals in Saudi Arabia. We translated four psychometrics into Arabic, as well as validating and standardizing the Arabic versions of psychometrics. I am also involved in an ongoing multiple sclerosis (MS) study as a rater for the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT). KFSH-D and VeraSci are conducting the study to determine the effects of a medication on cognition, emotional reaction, and memory in patients with MS. I am further adding to my repository of learning by translating the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality into Arabic. The PsyD Program at N____ will provide me with enormous capacity to be of assistance to a wide range of patients treated at our hospital, especially with respect to those dealing with neurological issues. Earning the terminal degree in my field will set me on course for lifetime advancement as a clinical psychologist, fully engaged in practice as well as research, as and always busy promoting the advancement of our profession in the KSA, considering our unique cultural challenges., strengths, and resources.
I serve as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist primarily responsible for patients with personality disorders and providing support and counseling to those who are judged to be at risk for suicide. I also provide assessments on the psychological well-being of transplant patients as part of a multidisciplinary team. My special efforts in the psychological evaluation of liver and kidney donors, as well as my work on the Oncology ward resulted in my being awarded the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission Academic Scholarship, covering expenses for my master's as well as bachelor's degrees. I also feel honored to have received the Graduate Student Travel Award and the Early Undergraduate Graduation Award. In addition to the financial support, these awards inspire me and drive me forward. They are a testimony to my tenacity and perseverance over the years, helping me along the way so that I never gave up, despite the obstacles that I found placed in my path.
Born and raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I came to the United States in 2011 to begin my undergraduate studies. I adapted quickly to this new atmosphere and began building friendships and networks with classmates and professors. My diverse experiences have molded me into a mature, empathetic person with an open mind. I take special pride in the celebration of diversity and my own cultivation of empathy and compassion, which I see as especially critical to excel as a psychotherapist.
When I returned to the KSA after finishing my Master’s, I kicked off my career at our hospital in Damman where I remain to this day. Increasingly, I have become a better listener and conversationalist, and an extremely observant professional, with a cultivated appreciation for diversity. Being raised in a nontraditional, liberal Saudi family shaped my personality, complimented by studying and living in the US, I am now an open-minded feminist, and something of a maverick. I try to promote liberal and modern learnings in my rather traditional community in Saudi Arabia, and one of my focal points is to help sensitize people concerning the great problems that plaque vast parts of the world. Upon my return to the KSA, I was disappointed to find that men and women still had separate offices and dining facilities. After enlisting the support of several female colleagues who also wanted to change this deeply rooted bias, we began educating our colleagues through presentations, articles, and open discussions on the topic. We covered areas such as the effects of gender norms, women’s rights in the workplace, ways to establish healthy working relationship with a male/female colleague with respect to Islamic rules. Some of our colleagues accepted these ideas, acknowledged the gender bias, and gradually worked to embrace change. We were pleased to be able to engineer a paradigm shift in the minds of at least some of our male colleagues, and for that, I will always be proud.
Earning the PsyD Degree at ____ is essential to my larger goal of giving back to the community, and I believe that psychologists must take part in helping the community through the promotion and provision of mental health services. I have dedicated more than eight hundred hours to community service during my bachelor's and master's degree programs, and in my current position at KFSH-D. This program will allow me to further work towards community development, especially for the people who require but possibly cannot afford support for their mental health issues I close this statement with confidence and optimism and look forward to a positive response.
Thank you for considering my application to the PsyD Program at ____.
PsyD Personal Statement Clinical Psychology Examples