Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

There are so many motivating factors to continue my education but I think that the family’s that I can potentially serve are the most motivating. I hope to develop a therapeutic program that will support the entire family system when a child is diagnosed with special needs. We have done a good job of addressing the individual child’s needs but we often forget the family system. Parents grieve the loss of the child they thought they were having and their dreams. Eventually they move towards a new set of dreams and goals for their child with special needs but along the way there are so many moving pieces. The incidence of divorce and separation of parents who have a child with special needs is incredibly high. The siblings of the child while loved are often seen to take a back seat as parents desperately try to just survive the day. The impact on the family is devastating. If you are trying to save a child while everything around them is up in flames you are just avoiding a direct burn and not living to true potential. I want to see the family live to their true potential by supporting the whole family system therapeutically. I believe that with a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and an Marriage Family Therapy license I will be able to support family's that have children with special needs at a new level and hopefully create a new standard in how we treat the children.

Marija from California
Pepperdine University