Jared Boot: What MSP Means to Me

Jared Boot (MA ’19, PsyD 3) shares what his experience at MSP has meant to him. 

Photo of Jared Boot (PsyD III)When I think of the Michigan School of Psychology (MSP), I think of the words of the school’s founder, Clark Moustakas, “The teacher offers resources, makes available opportunities, suggests options, points to possibilities, and provides information when this holds attraction and meaning for learners…the teacher encourages learners to be who they are, recognizes, and values their choices, feelings, and directions, affirms their integrity, and supports their inherent tendencies toward self-actualization” (Moustakas, 1995, p. 129). The faculty at MSP invited me to begin doing research related to LGBTQ psychology before even starting the MA program. Also, as a student, I was enthusiastically encouraged to engage in research, advocacy, and clinical work related to the LGBTQ community. I cultivated a desire for self-directed learning and personal growth, thanks to the humanistic learning environment of MSP. The school’s learning environment helped me actualize and become confident as a psychologist who can make a difference in the lives of others through work I am engaged in related to research, advocacy, and clinical practice.

I take an integrative approach to psychological treatment with the clients I see; however, I believe I best serve my clients being a psychologist anchored by the principles of humanistic psychology. The importance of humanistic psychology as a bedrock became clear to me during my experiences in MSP’s clinical training opportunities due to my work with clients from marginalized communities. I have felt deeply connected to rectifying social inequities throughout my life because of their negative consequences on mental health. Abraham Maslow, one of the founders of humanistic psychology, believed in universal values that were morally right and that individuals were instinctually driven to be good in their quests toward self-actualization (Goble, 1970). I recognize that MSP aligns with my values, passions, interests, and identity as a clinical psychologist. MSP is the place that helped me actualize and become the psychologist I am today.