Alumni Spotlight: Ginny Estupinian, Ph.D.

PAU Alumni Ginny Estupinian, Ph.D.

It’s a great feeling to finish a doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology!  Surprisingly, the past five years have gone by so fast.  Right now, I only feel gratitude for the many clinical experiences I have received. While academics have prepared me to work in this field, my clients have taught me so much more about life.  I learned a great deal about severe mental illness while working at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.  Patients with severe mental illness have many challenges, and I was often amazed at how quickly they could recover.  My experience at the Department of Veteran Affairs helped me realize and appreciate the unique military culture and understand their values of loyalty and commitment.  By far, one of the most rewarding clinical experiences I’ve had has been at the Center for Survivors of Torture (CST) at Asian Americans for Community Involvement.  The clients of CST consist of refugees and asylees who are primary and/or secondary survivors of political torture.  While the stories these clients told were difficult to hear, I was moved by their inner strength, ability to heal, and human potential.  Many clients I encountered learned English in just a few months and had a burning desire to find employment and serve the community.  Coming full circle, I will begin my postdoctoral training at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in September 2010.  With my degree in hand, I look forward to serving and learning from the underserved populations in Santa Clara County, for many years to come.

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