Story

Tara Gralnick
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PhD Student, Counselling & Clinical Psychology

I have always been moved by the complexity, struggle, and resilience of the human experience. I completed my master's degree in U of T's Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science, where I examined the role of differential changes in personality across various treatments for major depressive disorder. As part of my graduate training, I completed therapy and assessment psychology practicum placements at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health's (CAMH's) Psychological Trauma Program, where I worked primarily with clients who had experienced a workplace trauma.

Broadly, I am interested in researching the role of personality, cognitive styles, and gender in the treatment and recurrence of major depressive disorder. My current research is focused on examining the efficacy of a pre-treatment intervention designed to alter personality traits. I hope that my findings can ultimately inform the development of more powerful and precise treatment techniques that target critical components of long-term symptom improvement.

My goal is to become a practicing psychologist with strong skillsets as both a clinician and researcher. The Graduate Department of Psychological Clinical Science is designed specifically to train scientist/practitioners with expertise in conducting rigorous clinical research. The department is distinguished by faculty members with records of research excellence. It also provides opportunities to receive high-quality clinical training within the university counselling centre and in hospitals and clinics in the Greater Toronto Area. Not to be underestimated, an additional appeal for me in selecting U of T was the city's vibrancy and diversity.

What has been truly remarkable about my experience at U of T is the sense of community within my program. It is clear that the faculty members and students are driven by a passion for psychology, and a shared interest in effecting change through research and clinical intervention. My colleagues are not only talented researchers and prospective clinicians but also my treasured confidants. I am humbled to be amongst them, and proud of the supportive and learning-rich environment that we have helped cultivate. The faculty members in my program demonstrate a consistent dedication to the growth of their students, to research, and to client care. Working under their mentorship has been empowering. In addition, the administration staff in the Department of Psychological Clinical Science have been critical in developing the program and in fostering opportunities for graduate students.

My advice to prospective students: identify what genuinely appeals to you. Authentic interest is a powerful source of motivation. Also, remember that success is rarely linear.

 

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