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I AM TRYING TO RAISE £15,095 TO PAY MY FIRST YEAR OF TUITION FOR THE PHD IN
PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDIES AT THE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF LONDON BY THE END
WHO AM I AND WHAT’S MY PROJECT?
My name is Maté Bako. I work as an assistant clinical psychologist at a psychiatric hospital in Budapest, Hungary. I completed my Master's degree in Psychology at the University of Essex. I was offered a place to do my PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies at the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology at the University College of London (UCL). I was so happy to be offered the opportunity to do my research at one of the greatest universities in the world, but the high cost of the course may prevent me from fulfilling my dream. The programme starts at the end of September. It is well-known that the Psychoanalysis Unit at UCL is an outstanding and internationally renowned research centre among the leading research units in psychology.
Unfortunately, delays in communication caused me to miss the deadlines for the scholarships I was eligible for. And now I am left with very few options: take out a loan from a bank, crowd source and apply for other educational grants offered by independent bodies. As I am already saddled with dept after my graduate degree, obviously I would like to borrow as little money as I can. I have some savings which will go towards living and travelling costs, but nowhere near enough to cover my tuition fee and other expenses that will amount to £15,095 per year.
WHAT IS PSYCHOANALYTIC STUDIES AT UCL?
Psychoanalysis is both a theory of the human mind and a psycho therapeutic practice. It was founded by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and continues to be developed by psychoanalysts all over the world.
The PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies at UCL is a multidisciplinary postgraduate course that combines taught modules and individual research. It is a four-year programme that will allow me to study the psychological, developmental and clinical perspectives of different psychological disorders, including borderline personality disorder. I am confident that studying for the PhD at UCL will provide me with the best possible foundation for working both in academia and within clinical psychology. I spent much of my clinical work, and also my Master’s dissertation, on researching borderline personality disorder. And luckily it seems like it has paid off! However, it worries me that the hard work it took me to get in might all be for nothing if I cannot come up with the funds for the course.
WHAT IS BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER?
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness marked by unstable moods, behaviour and relationships. Borderline patients are known for their impulsive and self-damaging behaviour. They often harm themselves and the may display suicidal tendencies. Furthermore, individuals diagnosed with BPD are struggling to develop or maintain real relationships because they are not capable of building attachment to other people.
BPD is a common condition that is thought to occur globally with a prevalence of approximately 2% in the general population. Research on the possible causes and risk factors for BPD is still at a very early stage. Thus, investigating those factors is in fact highly relevant, and will be the focus of my postgraduate research.
WHAT IS MY RESEARCH ABOUT?
My intended thesis addresses aspects of BPD. It is specific area of research that follows my MSc dissertation in which I focused on the relationship between BPD, sexuality and wellbeing. I quickly found out that I am particularly interested in the possible causes and risk factors of the disorder. My goal is to use my findings to help people improve their wellbeing and mental health. And for me being accepted to the PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies programme at UCL is the biggest step towards this.
Psychoanalytically oriented researchers suggest that patients with BPD show reduced capacities to mentalize, which leads to problems with emotional regulation and difficulties in managing impulsivity, especially in the context of interpersonal relationships. As a possible explanation for this abnormal development, I hypothesise that a disturbance may originally emerge from changes in family dynamics. I assume that an unexpected loss of balance in the family’s security may influence the mother’s security as well, and through her, it is no longer possible to develop mentalizing abilities in an ideal manner. Consequently, patients diagnosed with BPD cannot evolve or maintain real relationships. My plan is to look into destabilising factors that could possibly be responsible for causing BPD, and to locate these factors within individual psychosocial development.
WHERE WILL THE MONEY GO?
All money will go to the University tuition fees, accommodation costs, and related expenses.
Any donation raised in excess will be saved for the second year of tuition.
Year 1 University Tuition Fee: £4,770
Year 1 University Related Expenses (books, research administration, travel, etc): £1,300
Year 1 Accommodation Costs and Living Expenses: £9000
UCL require me to provide that I have this much money by the end of September or else I will have to decline the offer!
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