forgetthebox
Source: forgetthebox

The first time I applied to a PhD program in clinical psychology, I was rejected by 16 of 17 schools (the only offer arrived with no stipend and required me to pay half my tuition). Before stepping into my car for a third attempt at the GRE exam, I witnessed a regurgitated banana eject from my lips into the key hole, ending in a gelatinous pool on the street - a neighborhood reminder of the pressure. I tell you this because I know about the strains of trying to get into a PhD program. This blog post is an attempt to give you inside information that I wish I had when I applied...

This is prime time season for applications. I receive dozens of emails from people interested in applying to work with me. Because my advice is the same for everyone who contacts me, I decided to share my canned response.

Thanks for your interest. Yes, I will be taking at least one graduate student next year. I am looking for people that love science and are interested in new approaches to understanding well-being, data analysis, writing up papers, and being a researcher. If you are interested in being a clinician or treatment outcome research, this is the wrong lab and you will be wasting your valuable time as a student.

If you think this is the right lab, apply, and don't be humble. Sell your writing skills, research skills, and any statistical or computer skills. Looking forward to receiving your application.

You can learn more about what I am doing by reading my cv and recent publications (pay careful attention to recent manuscripts and presentations that have yet to be transformed into publications): http://toddkashdan.com/

I wrote a blog post about how to get in:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/curious/201501/7-tips-applying-psychology-phd-program

and what it's like to work in my lab:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/curious/201503/how-do-you-run-successful-research-lab

Good luck. I will be able to talk more after the interview selection process. I only wish I had time to meet with everybody who contacted me. But let me tell you something important - the reason that I can't is the reason that my mentorship style might work. I will ensure that you focus on friends and family and hack out time for what you love while in graduate school. I do my best to live the work and will train you to do the same.

Dr. Todd B. Kashdan is a public speaker, psychologist, and professor of psychology and senior scientist at the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University. His new book, The upside of your dark side: Why being your whole self - not just your “good” self - drives success and fulfillment is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Powell's or Indie Bound. If you're interested in speaking engagements or workshops, go to: toddkashdan.com

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