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Ben Weiss

M.S.W. Class of 2010

Before coming to Smith I worked at an elder services agency connecting seniors with much needed services and community based supports. This was meaningful work, but my brief, one-time meetings with clients left me wanting to engage with people in a deeper, more personal way. I knew a strength of mine was working with and relating to people and that the focus on clinical work at Smith would help me build on those skills.

The coursework at Smith has given me an understanding of the major psychodynamic theories and of human beings in their contexts. In my first-year field experience I began to integrate this academic work into clinical practice, doing individual and group therapy at a small mental health agency in western Massachusetts. This past year, I interned with the couples and family therapy unit at Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) in Somerville, Massachusetts. I worked with a stellar team of therapists, had the opportunity to do long-term clinical work, and benefited from the expertise of two excellent supervisors. Additionally, the hospital offered an array of seminars, team meetings, and case conferences to augment student learning. Despite the immense challenge of the work, these program structures helped me to feel fully supported whenever issues arose.

My second-year internship at CHA has led to a great work opportunity. The hospital runs a two-year fellowship for post-graduate training in individual psychotherapy, so I will continue working at the hospital in that capacity. The fellowship offers the same kind of support and learning opportunities that I received in my internship. Although I will be transitioning back into the working world, I look forward to being able to continue the education I've started at Smith.