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Tessa Smith

Student Practicum Intern – Psychotherapy & Psychometry


Who you are (experience in the therapy/helping field, background such as hobbies, what you are or hope to study in school, what makes you)?

Hello, my name is Tessa Smith, and I am a 3rd-year doctoral student at Northwest University. My undergrad studies were completed at the University of Washington, where I graduated with a B.A. in psychology and a minor in American Ethnic Studies. After which I took time off to start a family and take care of my oldest son through treatment of
a brain tumor.

I am currently studying to receive my doctorate in clinical psychology, a dream that I have held since I was nine years old. When I am not busy with schoolwork, I love to read fiction adventure novels, write stories, and travel with my husband and two kids. My teenager and toddler are my motivation in life. I enjoy working hard to show them that all dreams are attainable.

Why you choose STG (what you hope to gain here, and what patients may see you doing if they cross your path)?

I chose STG because of the incredible opportunity there will be to learn assessments as well as psychotherapy. I hope to strengthen my diagnostic capabilities in conjunction with
practicing high-quality psychotherapy. If you cross paths with me, I may be shadowing Dr. DiNoto, doing office work, administering assessments, writing reports, or providing
individual therapy.

What I believe to my strengths and gifts as a person (personally)

One of my strengths is the depth of the empathy I share for all people. I can easily associate with others, utilizing my strong communication skills, and respect for all, while
adding some humor in for fun.

I am organized and have a keen eye for details. This helps me learn quickly and efficiently. I will also never give up on a task or goal, one of my key phrases is “where there is a will
there is a way”!

My philosophy on relationships with people and society and why I feel that this is important (my personal worldview on the helping industry and why that is important to me)

I believe that every person is unique, valuable, and deserving of equal treatment. It is important to learn from each other as individual experiences create a knowledge base that
is specific to the person and can be shared if one is willing to listen. Helping clients realize the power they have within themselves is one of the best aspects of therapy. Guiding
people to overcome obstacles by creating a safe and secure environment of self-exploration is another reason I believe in the work of the therapist. Changing the life of one single
person can help change society forever, which is my greatest motivation.

Why I chose/am choosing a career in therapy

I haven chosen to become a clinical psychologist because helping people discover inner strengths and value is rewarding beyond measure. The positive mental shift that can
occur from setting and accomplishing goals has the potential to change a multitude of
lives not just that of the person attending therapy. I hope to attribute to the societal
change that creates equality and acceptance for all individuals, using positivity and
education around mental health and its importance.