My Journey to MSPP

In my last post I wrote about some of the reasons why I chose to attend MSPP.  I thought it might also be helpful to share my journey before deciding to apply to counseling programs, as I can recall the days when I was contemplating what to do with my life and I found it incredibly helpful to read about current students’ experiences.  So, without further adieu, here goes my story of becoming a student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP…

Once upon a time, in a far away land, I was on the premed track and I had hopes of attending medical school after college.  For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with medicine and I always envisioned myself becoming a doctor.  I think this was in large part due to my personal experience with illness, as I endured a very traumatic hospitalization at the age of twelve as a result of a perforated appendix.  Ever since then, I was dead set on becoming a doctor to help sick children like I had been helped by the wonderful staff of doctors and nurses at UMASS Memorial Medical Center.

However, once I got to college and started on the premed track with all of the science and math requirements, I VERY quickly learned that this curriculum was not my cup of tea.  After battling through biology, chemistry, and calculus, with a sub-par performance, I made the decision to explore other areas of study and I registered for Introduction to Psychology for my second semester.  I immediately found myself fascinated with the field of psychology and soon discovered that not only was I much more interested in the course material but I was pleasantly surprised with how much easier it came to me than my previously taken premed classes.  I soon thereafter declared myself as a Psychology major and I haven’t looked back since.

I have always been interested in working with children and upon finishing my undergrad degree I knew I eventually wanted to pursue graduate studies in some sort of child psychology related field, but I wasn’t sure exactly what type of program I wanted so I decided to take a couple of years off to figure that out.  Soon after moving back to Boston I found myself employed at Children’s Hospital Boston as an Administrative Assistant for one of the physicians, and while this was not what I planned to do forever it was a great experience that afforded me the opportunity of exploring my interest in child psychology and medicine.  Soon after I began to work at Children’s, I started volunteering through the Child Life program on the organ transplant unit, which was an absolutely incredible experience.  Once a week after work I would spend time on the unit playing games, doing arts and crafts, and visiting kids who were hospitalized on the unit.  I was astounded with the strength, resiliency, and positive attitudes of the kids and families that I met and I couldn’t help but wonder what it must be like for them to be hospitalized for weeks and sometimes months at a time.  I found myself struck with wanting to understand what sort of psychological effect such hospitalizations and medical experiences had on children and their families.  As a result of my volunteer experiences I was able to learn that I wished to pursue a graduate education in the field of health psychology.

However, by the time I figured all of this out I had missed the deadline to apply to the Psy.D program, but the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program was still accepting applications so I decided to apply.  I couldn’t be happier with my decision and I am excited to continue on my journey.

About agareaumspp

Hi! My name is Ashley Gareau and I am a first year student in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at MSPP. I graduated from Lafayette College in May of 2009 with a B.A. in Psychology and moved to the Boston area shortly thereafter. Following my undergrad years I assumed a position at Children’s Hospital Boston working as an Administrative Assistant for one of the physicians. While working at Children’s I spent a lot of time volunteering with patients on the organ transplant unit and discovered a passion for health psychology. Alas, I decided to attend graduate school for counseling and I have hopes of applying to Psy.D programs when I am done with my master’s. When I’m not studying or doing work (which is rare these days!) I can be found doing yoga, knitting, playing with my dog, or spending time with my family and friends. Also, I absolutely love the outdoors and try to ski, hike, and bike as much as I can! Welcome to my blog and I look forward to sharing my journey through graduate school with you all!
This entry was posted in Applying to MSPP, Counseling Psychology. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to My Journey to MSPP

  1. Hey, This is valuable info. I found your site accidentally, and I am surprised why this accident did not took place earlier! I bookmarked it. Thanks.

    Webmaster of Gold Line International.

  2. Cynthia says:

    PsyD programs are great, but so is the Masters in Counseling Psych! Both are great for applied work while still getting a higher degree.

    top Pysd programs

  3. agareaumspp says:

    Thanks for all the comments! I appreciate all of your support :)

  4. Very good job you are doing Ashley! ;D I TOO find myself VERY interested in Psy. D. It’s very awesome, and makes you really wonder how the human mind works. :)
    Mesothelial Cells

  5. Hi Asley…
    Nice post
    Agree with this
    I hope you’ll be applying to the Psy.D. program? Best of luck with your studies.

    Secrets to Dog Training

  6. All on Four says:

    Hello Asley, I loved the post and it was interesting to read as well. Psychology is an interesting subject and also interesting to work in the field. I hope you will join the Psy.D program and continue your journey successfully. I wish you all the best for your successful career but don’t fail to share some amazing information with us like this one.

  7. agareaumspp says:

    Thanks TJ! I do indeed plan on applying to the Psy.D program :)

  8. tj says:

    Nice post, thanks. I hope you’ll be applying to the Psy.D. program? Best of luck with your studies.

Comments are closed.