I will spend my Royal Psychology Experience as a summer research assistant (RA) at McLean Hospital’s OCDI Jr. in Middleborough, Massachusetts. A Harvard Medical School Affiliate, McLean Hospital established OCDI Jr. in 2015 as a residential and partial hospitalization program for children and adolescents with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). As an RA, I will spend my summer coauthoring a book chapter on mindfulness in schools, designing a study on the relationship between perfectionism and OCD severity, observing clinical interventions, and attending presentations on other research projects underway at McLean.
I hope that my tenure at OCDI Jr. will help to clarify my post-graduation plans. Though I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, I lack research experience and am therefore unsure whether my passion for research compares to my passion for clinical work. Clinical psychology Ph.D. programs require graduates to complete independent research projects, and I would therefore like to learn whether I enjoy research before committing to such a program. If research proves less exciting than clinical work for me, then I will likely apply to practice-oriented Psy.D. programs next semester.
Whether my tenure at OCDI Jr. strengthens my resolve to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology or points me in a new direction, I am truly excited to begin my Royal Psychology Experience. I am confident that each of my on and off site experiences this summer will further contribute to both my personal and professional development.
Philosophy & Psychology