MSPP Student Ambassador
University of Massachusetts
Advanced Standing Clinical Psychology PsyD
Forensic Psychology, Class of 2011
Hello Entering Students!
I am pleased to serve on the ambassador team; ready to answer any questions you may have about MSPP. My name is Rebecca (Becca) Wolstencroft and I am currently studying in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program. In June 2011, I graduated from the Forensic Psychology program at MSPP.
MSPP was an easy choice for me. I went to undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and was involved in a research lab for two years. After collecting infinite data, I decided I actually wanted to work with clients rather than examine subjects. Through the Psi Chi chapter at UMASS, I attended the Eastern Psychological Association conference and MSPP had a booth there. I was introduced to the PsyD and learned about the MSPP mantra: integrate clinical experience and theory. I applied within the next few months.
I first chose the Master’s Program because I was unsure of my ultimate career goals and how much longer I wanted to continue my pattern of consecutive higher education. I knew I wanted to be involved in Forensics, but I wasn’t exactly sure how. During my senior year at UMASS, I was an intern at the Hampshire County Jail. Here, I learned how to communicate therapeutically with an adult male inmate and knew I wanted to continue to work in forensic settings. During my Master’s at MSPP, I completed internships at the Henry Lee Willis Community Center in Worcester, MA and at Massachusetts Correctional Institute (MCI) at Shirley. During the Master’s program, I provided individual substance abuse therapy for adult males, using motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy, and I also learned to effectively handle crisis situations.
Based on my experiences at the Masters level, I wanted to continue my education in forensics, but first wanted to broaden my knowledge of additional areas of study. During my first year as an advanced standing PsyD student, I completed an internship at Seven Hills Behavioral Health in Chelmsford, MA. Throughout my time there, I was granted the opportunity to fine-tune my ability to successfully build and maintain strong therapeutic relationships with clients of all ages as well as complete full intake assessments in an outpatient setting.
In my third year as a PsyD student I completed an internship at the Doctor Solomon Carter Fuller Mental Health Center in Boston, MA. Patient’s come to this site due to involvement with the law in addition to having mental illness. I completed full assessment batteries, which influence forensic psychologist reports such as competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility. In addition, I ran groups, held an individual therapy caseload, completed intakes, and collaborated with the other disciplines such as psychiatry, social work, and nursing. Solomon Carter Fuller is a strong training site and is incredibly interesting if you are looking to work within forensics.
I have taken a pledge to serve the Latino population to the best of my ability through the Latino Mental Health Program. Joining LMHP has encouraged me to always recognize the importance of cultural factors within the therapy setting. It has also provided me with language skills and real-life experience, having recently completed a 4-week immersion trip in Costa Rica. LMHP has also been a great place to foster new friendships and enjoy others with similar goals and aspirations.
MSPP is a great place to make connections and life-long friendships. From January 2010-the present, I have worked as an assistant to the field placement, registrar, financial aid, and admissions offices. I have been able to build relationships with the “helpers” of MSPP. Further, because the Clinical PsyD and Forensic and Counseling programs are so selective, I have been able to develop incredible friendships with peers.
Advice for first years? Be prepared to write. A lot. Be organized. Know your limits. Set aside time for yourself. Above all, make this experience worth it.