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Au Psy492 M8 A3 Colon A

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Au Psy492 M8 A3 Colon A

  1. 1. 1<br />Undergraduate Studies ePortfolio<br />Alexandra Colon<br />Psychology, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Personal Statement<br /> My desire to become a psychologist began in high school when I took a psychology class with an instructor who was enthusiastic inspiring, and passionate in his teaching. In turn, this brought about a natural desire to find meaning and to understand myself and others. After graduating high school, I attended college part time to pursue a degree in psychology. However, my choice of major shifted due to family pressures and was encouraged to go into an animal field, as this was a childhood dream of mine. Therefore, I obtained a degree as a veterinarian technician and began to work in this field. Working as a veterinary technician did provide the fulfillment I was looking for, yet my passion for psychology still remained strong. At this point, I knew it was time to return to psychology and enrolled in an evening program to obtain my Bachelor’s degree. <br /> I realized clinical psychology would be a good fit, as I longed for a more in-depth understanding of theories, abnormalities, and clinical assessment. My interest in clinical psychology grew even stronger as those close to me joined the military. I wanted to find a way to give back to those who serve our country. Pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology would provide this opportunity. As a Military Psychologist I would be able to offer psychological services to aid in the adjustment and well-being of the troops. My ultimate career goal is to address issues pertaining to military personnel and their family members. <br />
  3. 3. I am particularly interested in the psychological consequences of combat exposure and the impact of long deployments. I want to be able to provide psychological assessments, pre/post deployment assessments, and marital counseling with active military families. An accurate diagnosis within the military can be difficult due to the need for “healthy” military personnel; however, I hope to assist those who remain undiagnosed and in need of services. Furthermore, the spouses of those deployed need support and services to cope with the deployment and understand the changes that may take place after their spouse has returned. I have taken a step towards gaining experience working with veterans at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. I volunteer in the psychology department’s day program working with veterans with severe chronic mental illness. Volunteering within this environment has allowed me to gain insight to the lives that many veterans are faced with after completing deployments during time of war. The psychological rehabilitation program consists of classes for the patients where they are able to work on their socialization skills so that they gain the confidence and understanding needed to go back into society. For many this environment may be intimidating due to the exposure of a number of veterans with mental disorders. I have found this environment to be encouraging and constantly reminds me of why I have chosen this field of study for my career. <br />
  4. 4. A clinical psychology program will permit me to achieve my professional goals through the solid training and curriculum that is offered, allowing me to hone my clinical aptitude to develop into a skilled clinical psychologist. Completing a clinical psychology program will also promote personal growth and self-awareness. I believe I will be encouraged to step outside of my comfort zone, challenge myself in new ways, and gain better insight of myself. I possess several personal qualities that will be advantageous as a clinical psychologist. I believe that my tendency/ability to observe others is a quality that is necessary to be a successful clinical psychology. My openness to constructive criticism will allow me to receive recommendations and improve in needed areas so I may become a successful psychologist. I hope my willingness to hear the opinions and recommendations from those with more experience in my field of interest will build the characteristics needed to become an important person within my field of interest. <br />
  5. 5. Resume<br /> Alexandra F. Colon<br /> <br />Education<br />September 2010 Argosy University, Chicago <br />Dallas, Texas <br /> In progress MA in Clinical Psychology<br />September 2008 Argosy University, Chicago <br />to August 2010 Chicago, Illinois <br /> Bachelors of Arts in Psychology<br /> <br /> October 2006 Fox College<br />to February 2008 Tinley Park, Illinois<br /> Associates in Veterinary Technology: <br /> <br />Outreach experience<br />December 2009 Jesse Brown VA Medical Hospital <br />to present Chicago, Illinois<br />Assist with daily activities in the Psychology Departments day program.<br />Assist veterans with gaining social skills in classroom setting.<br /> <br /> <br />November 2009 Chicago Cares<br />to present Chicago, Illinois<br />Inspect food that is distributed to more than 600 pantries.<br />Organize and arranged the food storage area.<br />Assist clients shop the food pantry for items needed.<br /> <br />April 2009 Sarah’s Circle<br /> Chicago, Illinois <br />Served meals to the woman lodging at Sarah’s Circle.<br />Assembled hygiene bags for the women at shelter.<br />Organized and arranged the clothing room.<br /> <br /> <br /> <br />CERTIFICATION<br />January 2010 Center on Halsted <br />to February Chicago, Illinois<br />Mental Health First Aid Course<br />Certification course that provides the knowledge needed to provide first response help to those in need.<br /> <br /> <br />Professional afflILATIONS and Honors<br />American Psychological Association, Student Affiliate<br />***I have deleted a majority of my resume as a personal preference to the information I want to share.<br />
  6. 6. Reflection<br /> My education throughout my experience at Argosy University I have been given the opportunity to strengthen the foundation I need in-order to become a successful psychologist. This education has also provided me with the ability to understand as well as consider the opinions of others though they are not the same as my own. I am thus able to view different theories from a new perspective. This new found ability has provided I with a strength that I will be able to continue to build on as well gain a solid foundation that is essential to become a therapist that contributes to the healthy development of others. My ability to find supportive information to support my topics is proficient as I am able to properly organize and display my reasoning. <br /> I view my weakness in research methods as strength. The reason for this is viewing my weakness as a window of opportunity to build on. My limited exposure on understanding research methods is due to the lack of effort and distraction of other classmates. While one may view as a chance to give up and refer to it as an excuse I view it as reason to work harder when furthering my education. On top of the lack of commitment from both my classmates and instructor a subject that involves math is not my strongpoint. I get easily confused with It will take time and effort to catch up to my future classmates it is a challenge that I welcome. <br />
  7. 7. Another area that I view as a weakness is my ability to communicate efficiently. This is due to allowing my nerves to overtake the knowledge I have obtained. Though I am confident of what I am due to speak of and thoroughly know the topic it all slips away the moment I am put in the spotlight. This weakness can only be overcome with practice as well as remembering my strengths and thus gaining the confidence needed to present to my classmates. <br />
  8. 8. Table of Contents<br />Cognitive Abilities: Critical Thinking and Information Literacy<br />Research Skills<br />Communication Skills: Oral and Written<br />Ethics and Diversity Awareness<br />Foundations of Psychology<br />Applied Psychology<br />Interpersonal Effectiveness<br />**Include work samples and projects with a Title Page and organized accordingly to demonstrate each of the Program Outcomes above<br />
  9. 9. Critical Thinking<br />Cognitive abilities:<br />“Ten percent of clients seeking psychological help suffer primarily from unipolar depression. Additionally, many other people in therapy report depressive symptoms and feelings. The variety of widespread treatment approaches are divided into psychological, sociocultural, and biological.” (Argosy University, 2010) In this instance it may also be best to explore the use of medication to improve Katherine’s mental health. “Biological treatment can bring great relief to people with depression. Biological treatment uses antidepressant drugs.” (Argosy University, 2010)<br /> In addition to the drugs continuing intensive therapy to correct her unhealthy thinking as well as her behavior should be discussed. Therapy should also continue to uncover suppressed emotions about her sexual abuse as well as any ill feelings that may she may have towards her mother. To prevent Katherine from taking her own life it is crucial to first learn if a plan to commit suicide has been created or if she has ever thought further than the feeling of wanting to die. At time people may use the expression of ‘wanting to die’ to express how low they feel and do not actually intend on dying; clarifying her meaning is of the utmost importance. Creating a plan for when Katherine is struggling with any intense feelings of suicide during non-worker hours should be addressed. Informing her of different suicide prevention lines, emergency contact information, as well as information of the nearest hospital may be very beneficial in preventing the taking of her own life. A combination of these things may lead to the beginning of well balanced life that she would otherwise lose out on if she decided to take her own life.<br />
  10. 10. Research skills:<br />Depression in Military Wives during Spousal Deployments<br />  The current demand of our military troops has caused many to serve multiple deployments. These deployments not only affect our military personnel but have a strong impact on their spouses. The wives of these men are expected to keep the home together, keep the spirits of their spouses up, appear composed at all times etc. A certain persona is expected from the spouses of deployed military personnel. I am interested in learning the percentage of military wives that experience depression and/or anxiety disorders while their husbands/spouses are deployed. <br />Communication skills (written and oral): <br /> Many people do not agree that we should negotiate with our children. Many wonder what the true meaning of negotiation is. Negotiation is the joint decision making between individuals or groups with perceived divergent interests. Within a family, to escape conflict, the members involved in the conflicted situation resort to negotiation to reach to a solution. Parents say that they are the parents and that no negotiation should be done over chores, grades and other family values. It has been proven that parents who try to negotiate with their children, who had a negative attitude, concede to their child’s negative attitude and demands, than parents who deal with children who approach a conflict with a positive attitude. Those parents that concede less with their children usually tend to reach to a successful solution to their conflict and give in less to their children’s demands and needs.<br />
  11. 11. Over the years the style of raising children has changed. Years ago the parents ran the household and a child did as they were told. As our society has changed the way of parenting has also change and adapted to current styles as well as traditions. Long gone are the days when a parent told a child to do something and it was done. Our current society involves a parent telling a child what to do and a child attempting to negotiate the occurrence to their benefit. Within most households in today’s society “negotiation has become the dominant principle.” (Vanobbergen, 2006) Older generations in families may feel this way of raising children is unheard of but many believe this style of parenting is beneficial to the child later in life. <br /> To some, a child having the knowledge to negotiate makes the job of a parent more challenging than it may need to be. “During the last one hundred years and especially in recent decades, women and children have gained more power to shape their lives and to have a say in personal and social matter.” (Vanobbergen, 2006) Though some families may feel negotiating with children is unheard of; it is an opportunity to opens the lines of communication between children and their parents. This provides the child with the feeling of importance within the household; that their voice is heard and listened to. “From the 1960’s onward, parental educational values and behavior have shifted from the traditional authoritarian approach to more liberal and tolerant attitudes because of the general social trends toward secularization and cultural and moral modernization of the West.” (Vanobbergen, 2006) The change in parenting styles may be beneficial as long as the parents know rules need to be enforced. <br />
  12. 12. “Negotiation is an effective tool for managing conflict with your children in most realms, but others may be nonnegotiable:<br />■ Safety, health, and hygiene (wearing bike helmets, taking baths)<br />■ Matters of law (wearing seatbelts, respecting the town curfew)<br />■ Physical abuse (hitting, biting, kicking)<br />■ Manners and behavior (swearing or yelling in the house)<br />When a unilateral rule is needed, explain why: “I don’t want you to eat candy before dinner because it will ruin your appetite.”<br />Parents have different ideas about what can be negotiated, writes Brown.<br />Although all parents would agree that safety is paramount, for instance, they’ll disagree about when children are old enough to be home alone. In addition, the number of “nonstarters” shrinks as your children grow and become more capable of making safe decisions.” (n.a, 2008)<br />Ethics & Diversity awareness: <br /> “See, then, to your sympathies in this matter! Are they in harmony with the sympathies of Christ? or are they swayed and perverted by the sophistries of worldly policy?<br />Christian men and women of the north! still further,—you have another power; you can pray! Do you believe in prayer? or has it become an indistinct apostolic tradition? You pray for the heathen abroad; pray also for the heathen at home. And pray for those distressed Christians whose whole chance of religious improvement is an accident of trade and sale: from whom any adherence to the morals of Christianity is, in many cases, an impossibility, unless they have given them, from above the courage and grace of martyrdom.<br />
  13. 13. But, still more. On the shores of our free states are emerging the poor, shattered, broken remnants of families,—men and women, escaped, by miraculous providences, from the surges of slavery,—feeble in knowledge, and, in many cases, infirm in moral constitution, from a system which confounds and confuses every principle of Christianity and morality. They come to seek a refuge among you; they come to seek education, knowledge, Christianity. . . .” (Gorn, 2008) It is important through her writing that her yearning for education for her race is acknowledged. Through it all she is crying for those who share her Christian beliefs to put aside the racial issues the country was faced that educating to improve society was priority. <br /> Reading this excerpt allowed me to gain insight to a women’s positivity throughout a time that was so harsh. Harriet was able to look past the hardships she, as well as her race, faced as a part of their daily lives. The strength, hopefulness, and positivity she demonstrated are characteristics that are inspiring to the people of her time as well as our current society. This type of strength is one that is rarely found in people that have lived through hardships let alone slavery. It is inspiring her outlook expressed for improvements for herself as well as the children of her race. Her outlook inspires others to look for the light at the end of the road. That regardless of what obstacles when encounters it is better to hope for improvement and speak out on it than sit back and allow the world to continue the way it is and wonder why things are remaining the same. <br />
  14. 14. Knowledge of foundations of the field: <br />The theory I chose to apply to the character is REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy). “This theory proposes that therapists can best understand clients by the way they talk and the way the things they say influence their emotions. Humans have a tendency to be rational with thoughts that help create contentment and survival or irrational with thoughts that curtail contentment and survival. In order to prevent dysfunctional behavior in clients, it is important to understand the interrelationship between thinking, feeling, and behavior and the fact that thoughts affect behavior. Most people operate under "should," "ought," and "must" - for example, "Everybody should like me" or "I must get that job." Often, irrational thoughts are translated into self-defeating statements - for example, a self-damnation statement such as "I am worthless and I do not deserve the good things in life (Argosy University, 2010)."<br /> The theory is to focus on the present rather than issues that have passed. It is to help those stop blaming them self so they may accept what they are currently experiences and focus on what is to come. These main ideas of the theory clarify the purpose of the theory. “Although REBT views behaviors, emotions, and thoughts as having a reciprocal relationship, thoughts are the primary route to change. Changing thoughts and accompanying self-statements lead to changes in both actions and emotion (Seligman, 2006).”<br />
  15. 15. I chose this theory because Elizabeth has the tendency to react to situations based on her emotions. It allows insight into a behavior that would be written off to some as unruly behavior. This behavior is evident during the proposal between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. She allowed the words of others to surpass her feeling for him. The words of others cause her to become angry, lash out, and distance herself despite the attraction she felt. Thus causing a period of loneliness and self conflict in regards to her feelings for him. Elizabeth acts in such a strong manner to give the impression that her emotions are just as strong and cold. She displayed that her thoughts, emotions and behaviors reflect one another. “REBT emphasizes thoughts, but views emotions, behaviors, and thoughts as intertwined and inseparable (Seligman, 2006).”<br /> The clinician will have to work with Elizabeth to learn “bout rational and irrational thinking; help people identify, dispute, and modify their irrational beliefs; and facilitate their efforts to develop a more rational philosophy of life. Although problem solving is part of treatment, REBT clinicians go beyond problem solving and enable people to establish more balanced, logical, and rewarding lives (Seligman, 2006).” Elizabeth will need to acknowledge her responsibility for her treatment plan. “Clinicians in REBT do not hesitate to use persuasion, praise, exaggeration, instruction, humorous songs, and anecdotes from their own lives to help people think more rationally and make positive changes. According to Ellis (1992), clinicians should not be blank screens; they should be highly active, genuine, and directive, revealing their own thoughts and experiences, but always maintaining a professional relationship with clients (Seligman, 2006).”<br />
  16. 16. Knowledge of applied psychology: <br /> A professional role I have interest in is the job of firefighters. I decided to choose this profession because many people are unaware that firefighters do more than simply put out fires and seal off the area. I wanted to look into the possible obstacles firefighter may encounter when interviewing. I believe from the moment firefighter’s step on the scene they use interviewing skills. The career of a firefighter is one that entails courage and dedication. They put their lives at risk everyday to save those trapped inside the fire, and are ready to act at a moment’s notice. To confirm the techniques that would be used, when interviewing fire victims or suspects, I would interview a chief of a fire house. I would also interview each member of the fire house to get information about their personal experiences and the types of questions they found effective. <br /> The firefighters may incorporate two types of interviewing when investigating the cause of a fire. The two types are probing interviews and investigative interviews. “Probing interviews follow the well-known journalistic formula of who, what, when, where, how, and why: Who was involved? What happened? When did it happen? Where did it happen? How did it happen? Why did it happen?”(Argosy, 2009) “Investigative interviews typically used to determine how and why something happened…” (Argosy, 2009) The firefighters that conduct the investigative interview need to “stress the ability to remain neutral and nonjudgmental by using nonleading and appropriate questions. In addition, interviewers conducting investigative interviews must be aware of their own responses, both verbal and nonverbal.” (Argosy, 2009) <br />
  17. 17. When arriving to the scene of a house or building fire the firefighters must decide which questions are appropriate to quickly discover if anyone is in the building, and where they should look. A problem they may run into when trying to question those who have safely exited the building is that they may be too frantic to answer, or unable to if they have to be sent to a hospital. Once the people are to safety, the fire is put out, and the area is secure the team must investigate if the fire was accidental or arson. The firefighter(s) must interview the people, if any, that were inside the building in-order to learn if it was an accident or if it was intentional.<br />Interpersonal Effectiveness:<br /> The interview I decided to conduct was with my mother in regards to her recent diagnosis of diabetes type 2. I chose to interview her in regards to this because it was an issue we did not openly discuss. I decided in-order to obtain the information on a subject that was not familiar I needed to conduct a probing interview. “Probing interviews are used when additional, usually specific information is required.” (Argosy University, 2009) I asked a large number of questions that ranged from why she originally went to the doctor, how does/ did she feel in regards to the diagnosis, what has she had to change to questions regarding how it has affected her life, what side effects do the oral medications cause and how much sugar if any is she allowed to eat.<br />
  18. 18. When the questions first started my mother seemed hesitant to answer. It appeared she thought about each question in depth, no matter how simple it was, before she answered. This way of answering first led me to believe that it was not something she was comfortable talking about let alone sharing how she felt for a school assignment. I quickly realized after asking the question “How did you feel when you found out?” that she was hesitant because she was associating the diagnosis with no longer being young. Throughout the interview when questions arose about who it affected and why she felt responsible due to eating and exercise habits it always led back to an issue she had with the diagnosis meaning she is old and not as she once was. Since the topic of associating age with the diagnosis was addressed on a few occasions I asked why she associated diabetes with age since there are children and young adults diagnosed. My mother stated the reason for the association was due to the diagnosis of many of her family members once they hit a certain age. While I was trying to experience a probing interview it gave me an opportunity to go beyond that and actually have an open in depth conversation about the topic of interest. <br />
  19. 19. My Future in Learning<br /> In-order to be a lifelong learner one must have the ambition and desire to continuously gain new knowledge and expand them within our society. At a young age I was under the impression I would be satisfied making an income for the rest on my life. Once placed in this environment I felt a burning desire inside of me that was not being fulfilled through obtaining a job. I decided to obtain my associates in veterinary Technology so that I was able to state I had a degree. This education provided me with a career but not one that satisfied my needs to obtain as much knowledge in my field as possible. However it awakened the drive to continue with the field that had always had my eye. This drive allowed excitement to display when attending classes, working on group projects, and planning my future in school. <br /> This desire to continue to learn was not understood well my many in my cohort. Many have the desire to simply obtain a degree for the ability to state they have a degree but not wish to become known in the field and constantly gain knowledge. With this present it only encouraged me to further my education to the highest degree possible. Since my realization of wanting more out of life my learning experiences no longer come solely from an educational environment. I have also expanded my desire to learn within our society and from those surrounding me. Seeking out those with the same desires of my own allows personal growth that is hard to gain from those that are content with settling with the hand life has dealt them. I especially enjoy learning in normal social situations when it is unexpected. These situations give the opportunity for people to expand their horizons and come to the realization that learning is a constant ongoing process. Knowing this brings excitement to my life though I may be challenged by learning things I am not familiar with. Allowing my desire to learn to be fueled by the thought of what knowledge the next day may bring.<br />
  20. 20. Contact Me<br />Thank you for viewing my ePortfolio.<br />For further information, please contact me at the e-mail address below. <br />a.faith_colon@yahoo.com<br />

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