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On January 30, 2016 at 3:41 PM, dancedementia said:

MA Mental Health Counseling at BU, actually do research with 3 of the Counseling Psych professors. What's up?

Hey,

Can you give any advice on the statement of purpose/the interview process for mental health counseling programs? I'm considering BU but overall am struggling with being able to coherently express answers to questions such as why I chose the particular program, what I would like least about it, or my major strengths and weaknesses in relation to being a prospective counsellor.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I simply feel like no answer I can come up with is good enough. Thanks!

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On 10/3/2016 at 2:26 PM, gradapps said:

Can you give any advice on the statement of purpose/the interview process for mental health counseling programs? I'm considering BU but overall am struggling with being able to coherently express answers to questions such as why I chose the particular program, what I would like least about it, or my major strengths and weaknesses in relation to being a prospective counsellor.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I simply feel like no answer I can come up with is good enough. Thanks!

There's not really much to say except - speak from the heart. It's very obvious when someone is just trying to tell the interviewer what they think sounds like the correct answer, versus someone who really believes in a cause. If you want to send me your SOP I can look over it too, or send you mine for reference. In terms of strengths and weaknesses, I think BU's program really respects and admires someone who can be introspective about their flaws on a deeper level.

Example (a question actually asked in interview): What challenges and struggles do you anticipate facing as a therapist?

Okay answer: I haven't experienced true hardship in my life. While I have stood beside friends who have struggled, I myself have not experienced the death of a loved one, a major loss, health problems, etc. In that way, I am very fortunate and grateful, but I do worry that sometimes it may impact my ability to be an effective and empathetic counselor.
Not so good answer: I focus too much on solving problems. I'm very Type A, so I'm worried that when an individual comes in for therapy, I'll immediately jump to wanting to diagnose and "solve" their issue instead of taking the time to listen to them [note: while this is a genuine answer, it's one I hear a lot and it sounds absolutely canned]
Good answer: I realize that we're all coloured by biases and experiences, be it from systemic racism, or cultural differences, or simply in the hardships that we faced growing up. I fear that, when I am given the responsibility of treating another individual, I may subconsciously make remarks or actions that are insensitive. For example, I grew up with parents who were depressed, anxious, and fielded a number of addictions. I myself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age. When I see clients with these exact same symptoms, despite my best efforts, I know that I will view them through a different lens than full objectivity. I want to learn how to be okay with those lenses and utilize them advantageously, not detrimentally.

While BU's program is hosted in the school of medicine, they actually take a very holistic, wellness, and systems-based approach to counseling, and they seem to select their class based on this. (For example, it's always the "client", not the "patient").

Edited by dancedementia
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On October 11, 2016 at 3:06 PM, dancedementia said:

There's not really much to say except - speak from the heart. It's very obvious when someone is just trying to tell the interviewer what they think sounds like the correct answer, versus someone who really believes in a cause. If you want to send me your SOP I can look over it too, or send you mine for reference. In terms of strengths and weaknesses, I think BU's program really respects and admires someone who can be introspective about their flaws on a deeper level.

Example (a question actually asked in interview): What challenges and struggles do you anticipate facing as a therapist?

Okay answer: I haven't experienced true hardship in my life. While I have stood beside friends who have struggled, I myself have not experienced the death of a loved one, a major loss, health problems, etc. In that way, I am very fortunate and grateful, but I do worry that sometimes it may impact my ability to be an effective and empathetic counselor.
Not so good answer: I focus too much on solving problems. I'm very Type A, so I'm worried that when an individual comes in for therapy, I'll immediately jump to wanting to diagnose and "solve" their issue instead of taking the time to listen to them [note: while this is a genuine answer, it's one I hear a lot and it sounds absolutely canned]
Good answer: I realize that we're all coloured by biases and experiences, be it from systemic racism, or cultural differences, or simply in the hardships that we faced growing up. I fear that, when I am given the responsibility of treating another individual, I may subconsciously make remarks or actions that are insensitive. For example, I grew up with parents who were depressed, anxious, and fielded a number of addictions. I myself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at a young age. When I see clients with these exact same symptoms, despite my best efforts, I know that I will view them through a different lens than full objectivity. I want to learn how to be okay with those lenses and utilize them advantageously, not detrimentally.

While BU's program is hosted in the school of medicine, they actually take a very holistic, wellness, and systems-based approach to counseling, and they seem to select their class based on this. (For example, it's always the "client", not the "patient").

Thanks so much for taking the time to explain! That really helps me get a clearer picture of what is expected. My SOP is currently a bunch of rough drafts that I have tossed aside feeling as though they are highly inadequate. It's unbelievably nice of you to offer to help. If you wouldn't mind sending me yours, I'm hoping it will get me to stop second guessing myself and gage whether I am on the right track. I will gladly send you mine to look over once I have something concrete written down. 

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