Personal Statement In 2002, I lost my twin sister to an act of violence. She had been married to a man who abused her mercilessly for twenty years. She finally gathered the courage to leave him and eventually met another man. Within 6 months, she was gone. After what seemed like an interminable year of grief, I applied for a job at a domestic violence shelter, where I have worked as a Legal/Victim Advocate ever since. I began to appreciate that many of my clients need more than just advocacy services. Many of them need psychological help. As an advocate, I can listen and empathize, but I realized I lacked the skills to give responsible suggestions for emotional and psychological healing. I knew I would only gain this knowledge through education. The desire to be a counselor for people who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault prompted me to pick up the education that I began 30 years ago. It will not end until I have completed my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling and licensed to practice in the state of Ohio. Even then I imagine it will continue.
Curriculum Vitae ACADEMICS Argosy University Online Degree: BA in Psychology with a concentration in Substance Abuse Expected graduation date: Sept 10 Present GPA: 3.9 Primary Studies in Psychology, Counseling Theories, Research, Statistics, Substance Abuse Lake Erie College (Painesville, Ohio) Sept 80 - June 81 Studies in Arts, Psychology, Religion, Language, History Cuyahoga Community College (Parma, Ohio) Degree: Associate of Arts Sept 78 - May 83 Major: General Studies with a concentration in art and photography
Curriculum Vitae cont. EMPLOYMENT Homesafe, Inc. (Ashtabula, Ohio) Position: Senior Legal/Victim Advocate Aug 04 - present Jan 09 - present Registered Advocate with Advanced Standing June 09 Certificate of Recognition from Ashtabula County Legal Aid Society May 08 Certificate of Recognition from Ashtabula County Victim Assistance Position details: Civil and Criminal Court Competencies, Advocacy Services; Crisis Management; Crisis Hotline Competencies; Established Group at Turning Point Inpatient Treatment Facility, Lake Area Recovery Center, and Ashtabula County Jail, Women’s Wing; Developed and implemented law enforcement domestic violence training programs for Ashtabula County Agencies; Developed a client filing system using Windows Office and Excel Fine Points, Inc. (Cleveland Heights, Ohio) 1990 - 2001 Position: Hand-knitter Position details: Reading and adlibbing intricate knitting patterns for a designer
Reflection Argosy University has helped to conceptualize a foundation of understanding in psychology, counseling theories, research, statistics, and substance abuse. Because of the education I have received through Argosy, I have been able to apply what I have learned, to a limited degree, in my present position as a domestic violence advocate For instance, various classes required research into a topic of my choosing. I chose Battered Woman Syndrome. Through my research, I came to appreciate the nature of this disorder as well as possible effective methods of treatment. This research allowed me the opportunity to understand my clients better.
Cognitive Abilities and Communication Skills My education has enabled me to improve my cognitive abilities and my communication skills with each assignment. These skills are demonstrated in two research papers in particular: A Closer Look at Battered Woman Syndrome and Effectiveness and Relevancy of Treatment for Battered Woman Syndrome. Through a presentation of empirical evidence, these research papers established the effect that abuse has an on biological, emotional, and psychological functioning, specifically the development of battered woman syndrome. These assignments also demonstrate an understanding of psychological concepts and a number of counseling theories that are effective for the treatment of this syndrome.
Research Skills In addition to the two previously mentioned research papers, my research skills were further developed in an assignment entitled; Mandatory Scheduled Immunizations Should Be Discontinued. Writing this paper helped me to appreciate the need to provide evidence from scholarly sources in order to make a compelling argument on which to base a hypothesis.
Ethical Awareness During this process, I became aware of the importance of ethical responsibilities in counseling. I completed a paper that stressed the importance of understanding ACA and APA codes of ethics. An assignment written on counseling practices demonstrates an understanding not only of the ethical responsibilities necessary for counseling credentials, but a moral appreciation on which to establish counseling competencies.
Diversity Throughout my educational process, I came to appreciate the need to acknowledge the diversity that exists not only within society in general, but my own corner of the world. It became apparent that an importance is placed on not only thinking of people as individuals who have their own personal ways about them, but that most people choose to stand as part of a group in which the group also has its own distinct, yet collective identity. An assignment that demonstrates this diversity is entitled, Domestic Violence and the LGBTQ Community. This paper demonstrates a measure of understanding of those experiencing domestic violence within the LGBTQ community.
Critical Thinking Examples of Cognitive Abilities and Communication Skills http://www.box.net/shared/kaqhjro4i0 http://www.box.net/shared/kaqhjro4i0 Example of Research Abilities http://www.box.net/shared/h0b3zl4hpv Example of Ethics and Diversity http://www.box.net/shared/1ixmr5gnvd http://www.box.net/shared/n92g8hu2yj
My Future in Learning However thorough I believe my education with Argosy to be I realize I still lack the detailed knowledge that only a Master’s program can provide. Pursuing a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling will provide me with the education to perform responsible and ethical counseling practices. I am also of the belief that we can never learn too much. Counseling theories are constantly changing and evolving. Through research and application, our understanding into the nature and treatment of disorders such as battered woman syndrome becomes clearer. I intend to remain part of the process for these discoveries.
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