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clincial psychology


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I've applied to:

Washington University in St. Louis (rejected)

University of Denver (rejected)

University of Southern California

UMass Boston (interviewed)

UMass Amherst

Penn State (haven't heard from them so I'm probably not in since they already had interviews)

Univ North Carolina Greensboro (interview in 2 weeks)

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Alright, I have some questions. I am struggling with the idea of whether or not to apply for a doctorate program in the Chicago area. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to post this in, but what the heck!? I have several reservations and I was hoping to get some feedback and advice. Anything would be tremendously appreciated!!

First of all, it is my DREAM to get my doctorate (either Ph.D. or Psy.D. I don't care!) in clinical psychology. This field is my passion and I want to learn as much as I can about it! I am most interested in the therapeutic process and relationship as well as family roles and birth order in substance abusing families. I have yet to do any formal research on these topics, but I would love to! Which leads me to my first reservation: I don't know where to begin with the research process. I am too timid and self-conscious to ask my professors for advice or to have them sponsor me in my research endeavors...I know that's my issue to deal with but I just want to be 100% confident in myself that I can do it (or if I should).

Allow me give some background information...I am currently in a Masters program in counseling psychology. I expect to graduate December 2009. I have a 4.0 GPA at the moment. I am at the same institution where I did my undergraduate work. I did not apply to doctoral level graduate programs as an undergrad because I was always just a day late and dollar short of figuring out what I wanted to do and I felt that I didn't have the grades or the credentials necessary to get in. I earned a 3.4 cumulative GPA (i had one absolutely lousy semester that screwed it up). I was on the Dean's List every semester (except the one, obviously), I'm a member of Psi Chi (and was secretary for 1 year), was a part of the psychology club, along with many other clubs and activities. I have only done research projects for class in groups and have never presented at a conference or been published. Can I even apply to graduate programs without any of this under my belt? Do I have any chance of getting into a competetive program?

My second reservation is that I am terrified to take the GRE. I am awful at standardized testing and really have a lot of anxiety and I put so much pressure on myself to do well. I took the ACT 3 times and BARELY even got into college because of my scores. (I was accepted on a conditional basis and was required to see academic counselors and take the "academic success skills" and "study skills" classes-hmph!) After my first sememster I got a 3.3 GPA and my counselor was like, "What are you doing in this program?" I didn't even score in the normal range for the ACT-I got an 18, 19, and 16 out of 36. I was MORTIFIED! And I'm afraid that the same thing will happen again on the GRE.

If I decide to go for this 'gung ho' then I already have a plethora of study materials and plan to take a prep class before the actual test. But I just wanted to lay all of this out there in mystery-internet-land in the hopes that someone who knows about graduate school admission could give me the thumbs-up or thumbs-down or any pointers or words of wisdom.

If you haven't already noticed, I lack the self-confidence and courage to ask for advice from professors and counselors etc. I have a terrible fear that they already think I can't do it, don't have the time to talk to me, or expect me to already know what I need to do. Time is running out for me (since I graduate in less than a year and only have until about October to ask for recommendations--build up the courage to even ask for them! and it takes a lot of time to prepare and plan and save money for everything.) and if I decide to do this, I want to do it right.

Can anybody help?

Thanks a million!

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