Name: Samantha White
Licensing info: MSW, LCSW, LICSW, licensed in Massachusetts and Florida
Lives in: Florida
Originally from: Massachusetts
Time at Talkspace: 1 year
Time as a Therapist: Over 20 years
Why are you working in therapy/mental health?
I entered the field of mental health in the aftermath of my daughter’s death by homicide. I fell apart. I was no longer able to work in my previous profession of health care administration, and went back to school to train and imbue my life with purpose. I wrote about this experience in my award-winning book, “Someone to Talk To: Finding Peace, Purpose, and Joy After Tragedy and Loss.”
What made you start working at Talkspace?
When I relocated to Florida it was my intention to take an early retirement. But I missed my work too much and really wanted to get back to it. And working online, from home, was an opportunity to join a groundswell at its cutting edge.
It’s innovative, effective and gives me the opportunity to focus on the clinical work and leave the administrative pieces to the administrative staff.
What has made you feel the most pride in your work?
I have been through life-threatening illnesses, a divorce and tragic losses. I grew from them all, which made me feel at my peak of wisdom, ability, skill and understanding. I can empathize with the issues my clients bring. Nothing scares me or makes me want to run away. I know we can not only survive what happens to us, we can bounce back and become deeper, stronger. My greatest rewards are seeing that growth take place in my clients.
Can you think of a specific instance or moment that was inspiring?
My daughter had been a victim of a homicide, and I was in pieces, not able to be much of a mother to my surviving daughter. I needed something, someone, to help me to keep from crumbling to a useless blob. I was lucky to find a support group for people who had lost loved ones to homicide. A wonderful clinical social worker led it, and the work we did in that group turned my life around. I learned what power there is and what healing a well-trained clinician can accomplish, and I wanted to share the healing. Two years later I entered graduate school to train to be a clinical social worker myself.
Why is what you do important?
People bring me their deepest, darkest secrets, their dreams and their pain, and ask me to help them find meaning in it, and peace, purpose, and joy. They entrust me with their lives, like people on a path through a dark place, holding onto me for safety. They trust me, and the outcome of our shared journey is crucial to them. I take this responsibility very seriously and feel lucky to have this important role.
If you had once piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
I favor clinical social work as the best training for therapy, but the most important thing is to find a therapist you like and feel comfortable with, someone who inspires trust. Feel free to ask your therapist what their training is and what methods of treatment they favor. My treatment method is eclectic. I’m trained in many modalities and synthesize them for the comfort and needs of the client.