Written by: Shayna Scarpino
Prior to even entering the Applied Emphasis Program, I was at a loss whether I should even apply. I was hesitant because I did not want to get rejected nor did I want to fail at any experience or activity that is required within the program. Little did I know that my mindset was holding me back from a truly tremendous experience that I will forever be grateful for.
The Applied Emphasis Program provides accepted students the opportunity to gain involvement and skills by working within a community agency. As students, we are able to learn extensive knowledge in the psychology field and enhance our skills to be able to work in the human services field and advance our preparation for graduate school. Graduate school is a goal of mine in the process of becoming a Registered Psychologist, therefore, this program became an essential opportunity that I had to partake in.
In my third year at Concordia, I finally diminished my negative mindset about failing in the Program and decided to apply and accept the result, whether it was good or bad. I had taken that year to increase my volunteer experience, focus on my academics, and to really find myself and focus on my future goals. When I got the acceptance email, I was overjoyed and could not wait to dive into the opportunities about to come.
Starting the Applied Emphasis Program in my fourth and final year at Concordia, I had been placed at Dreamcatcher Nature-Assisted Therapy. Dreamcatcher is a psychological practice that includes many unique therapeutic techniques for individuals to find healing, joy, and balance in their personal growth. Being at Dreamcatcher has not only helped me to improve my knowledge and skills within the field, but it has also aided in my development as a person. My aspirations in becoming a psychologist have only gotten stronger and has motivated me to begin applying for graduate school.
The Applied Emphasis Program has been an excellent opportunity that Concordia provides to assist students in gaining experience and aiding in their professional development. I also have met some outstanding individuals that share my strong interest in psychology and are just all-around amazing people. It has truthfully changed my life for the better, and I encourage students to partake in this experience if they want to advance in the field of psychology.