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Family Disclosure in S.O.P.

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Hi all,


One of the psych programs I'm applying to emphasizes children's behavioral health in rural settings. I have many poignant personal examples of how a rural family can be adversely affected by distrust of, and lack of access to, behavioral/mental health services.


My question is this: is it okay to disclose familial situations that speak to my understanding of, and dedication to, the program's mission? I know disclosure of personal mental health issues is a no-no for doctoral admissions, but what about disclosure of my experiences as a member of a family affected by these dynamics between parents and a sibling of mine? Pro, con, or neutral?



Edited by HospitalDiversionist
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I'm not in your field, but I was forwarded this article in regards to SoP content - http://psychology.unl.edu/psichi/Graduate_School_Application_Kisses_of_Death.pdf. Since it specifically talks about psychology applicants, it may be worth a read. In short, it does dissuade from talking about personal or family mental health;


"The discussion of a personal mental health problem is likely to decrease an applicant’s chances of acceptance into a program. Examples of this particular KOD in a personal statement included comments such as “showing evidence of untreated mental illness,” “emotional instability,” and seeking graduate training “to better understand one’s own problems or problems in one’s family.” More specifically, one respondent stated that a KOD may occur “when students highlight how they were drawn to graduate study because of significant personal problems or trauma. Graduate school is an academic/career path, not a personal treatment or intervention for problems.”"


I'd probably avoid mentioning it, or phrase it vaguely that you have it experience with systems and diagnoses, but its not private matters. 

Edited by missmend
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