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Rebecca Barowsky ’18

Bachelor of Science in Child Psychology, minor in Sociology

One thing is for sure—it’s never too early or too late to follow your dreams.

I’m not your typical college student—it’s been 13 years since I graduated from high school. But here I am at 31 years old, a single mom to a seven-year-old son, preparing for the completion of an important milestone: earning my bachelor’s degree from Bay Path University.

I learned about Bay Path after accepting a temporary position at the American Women’s College. Dr. Leary’s vision and dedication to the mission of the University inspired me to return to college and complete my degree. Although other people might wonder how it’s possible for me to take this step now, being a little older than others with life experience behind me motivates me to achieve my dreams, and I won’t stop until I’ve earned my doctorate. 

Initially, I enrolled without a major declared. I never thought psychology would be my “thing.” But, I’ve always enjoyed working with children. I took a child development course with Dr. Carol Winters-Smith, and since the first moment she began to teach the class, I knew that I wanted to pursue it as my own career goal. 

Last semester, I was working on a clinical psychology group project about treatment options, and we decided to focus our research on compassion-focused therapy. This therapy teaches patients to become aware of the way they interact with themselves and to develop compassion for themselves and others. I’ll admit that we thought it would be easy to study, but personally, I became fascinated with it and wanted to explore the topic further. My advisor encouraged me to apply to Bay Path’s Summer Scholars program, an opportunity that will also help me stand out on my applications to graduate programs. 

Compassion-focused therapy is a relatively new intervention therapy, so there’s a lot to learn and great opportunities to get involved in the field. My research is focused on how this therapy pertains to individuals who have trauma, such as PTSD. I chose to wrap up my research in October, with my project culminating in an international conference in the UK on the subject. At this conference, I’ll have the opportunity to learn from the founder of this therapy type as well as top clinicians, deepen my knowledge, and network with others. 

This experience has taught me so much about myself and pushed me further than I ever thought possible. Now, I’m applying to obtain my PsyD in clinical psychology, and plan to become a counselor with my own practice while also teaching at a university. 

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