Smith College Doctoral Social Work Internship


Plan of Study:

  • 14 hours, 2 days a week.
  • 8 hours per week of direct client contact.
  • Cases will represent diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and physical ability.
  • The student will have ongoing clinical cases over the course of the internship.
  • The student will participate in 2 supervisory sessions per week.
  • 80% attendance at all classes and meetings is required.
  • The Director of Clinical Services reviews, evaluates and has oversight over patient care implemented through the WAWI clinic.


First year placement:

During the first year of internship, the student should gain the knowledge, values, and skills to demonstrate:

  • The capacity to utilize the four psychologies and trauma theory in formulating a treatment plan.
  • The use of social and psychological theories in understanding, analyzing, and intervening in the client’s social contextual conditions.
  • The capacity to take a critical, reflective, “meta” theoretical stance, appreciating the contextual nature of theories and the ways in which each theory assigns different meanings to the same material.
  • The capacity to make informed biopsychosocial assessments and to develop treatment plans with specific clinical interventions that follow from those assessments.
  • The ability to reflect upon those social structures that maintain discrimination and inequality and to selectively identify strategies for change.
  • The capacity to establish and maintain clinical relationships with a range of diverse clients.
  • The capacity to set long- and short-term goals including clinical case management.
  • The capacity for self-awareness and for the differential use of self in working with clients.
  • The capacity to understand and evaluate the working alliance, transference, and countertransference.
  • The capacity to show evidence of the effectiveness of practice using process recordings.
  • The capacity to evaluate clinical processes using psychoanalytically informed data as clinical evidence.
  • The capacity to make effective use of clinical supervision.
  • The capacity for ethical practice based on the NASW Code of Ethics.
  • The capacity to critique agency practice and social policies that influence service delivery.

Second year placement:

During the second year of internship, the student should gain the knowledge, values, and skills to demonstrate:

  • The capacity to critique advanced theories and practice based on research findings for their fit with clients’ needs and contexts.
  • The capacity for differential uses of self, including transference/countertransference and intersubjectivity.
  • A more advanced ability to reflect upon those social structures that maintain discrimination and inequality, and to selectively identify strategies for change.
  • An advanced capacity to synthesize social and psychological theories and their application to biopsychosocial assessments and treatment processes.
  • An advancing capacity to select from among biopsychosocial theories and treatment modalities, using time limits and other parameters with a clearly articulated understanding of the gains and losses inherent in any clinical decision.
  • An understanding of the specific and differing meanings of treatment interruptions to clients, especially those whose long-term therapy was interrupted during the summer academic session.
  • The ability to critique social policies that contribute to inequities, conflicts, and barriers to delivery in mental health service models, including the effects on the clinical process.
  • A more advanced capacity to evaluate process and outcomes in practice.

Training modules are conducted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Training Curriculum:


9:00 to 10:00 – Post-Doctoral Fellows Didactic Course
10:00 to 11:30 – Clinic-wide meeting
1:00 to 2:00 – Case Conference
2:00 to 3:00 – Post-Doctoral Fellows Case Seminar


11:00 to 12:00 – Clinical Issues Seminar (including guest lecturers, discussion of books and articles and ongoing clinical feedback)

The student will have the option of attending the following monthly clinical service meetings:

  • Artists Group
  • Eating Disorders, Compulsions and Addictions Service
  • LGBTQ Clinical Service
  • Race & Psychoanalysis Clinical Service
  • Sexual Abuse Service

Clinical Supervision:

The WAWI clinical internship is overseen by Administrative Clinical Supervisor Dr. David Koch, who is responsible for:

  • Providing the student with the caseload and learning opportunities outlined above.
  • Overseeing the clinical supervision that takes place within the agency.
  • Providing a room in which to take the Written Exam, which is given in early April. This would be a room equipped with a computer and email access.
  • The room would be needed for 4 hours.
  • Proctoring the Written Qualifying Exam (receiving and giving the exam questions to the student on the morning of the exam). In cases where it is not possible for the Administrative Supervisor to perform this function, other arrangements can be made with the approval of the Program’s Clinical Do-Director.

Supervisory Guidelines:

  • The student will have 2 hours a week of clinical supervision by psychodynamically oriented supervisors, Dr. David Koch and Susan Fabrick.
  • Supervision should focus largely on individual treatment, utilizing process recordings, audio recordings and discussions of clinical cases.
  • Administrative Clinical Supervisor has the responsibility for coordinating student’s overall learning in the field and for submitting 4 performance evaluations of the student’s clinical work over the course of the fieldwork.
  • Both clinical supervisors will be available to meet 2 times a year with the student’s Faculty Field Advisor when the FFA makes the field visit to the White Institute.

Supervisors will comment 4 times a year on various aspects of the student’s performance in the internship. Students are expected to participate with their supervisors in the evaluation process and to co-sign each report. Fill-in report forms are mailed to supervisors at the start of the clinical internship.


Faculty Field Advisor (FFA)

The Faculty Field Advisor (FFA) is responsible for overseeing the student’s clinical internship. FFAs are members of the School’s resident faculty, and serve as teaching, mentoring, evaluative, and administrative liaisons between the student and the School. They monitor caseloads and supervision, comment on students’ field assignments, and serve as consultants on problems that may arise in the field, or issues that may emerge from case material. Entering students are assigned FFAs at the start of the first summer session. The FFA contacts the student’s supervisor to build an alliance and to prepare her/him for the internship goals. FFAs help 1st-year students organize a study plan to prepare for the clinical qualifying exam that is given in April. They advise 2nd year students on preparation of the comprehensive examination.

Field Visits

FFAs make field visits each fall and spring to evaluate students in their clinical internship settings. They meet with students for a minimum of 2 hours to discuss written assignments, process recordings, and other case materials; to frame areas for further learning; and to help organize preparations for exams. FFAs meet also with the student’s supervisors. Field visits usually require half a day. It is the student’s responsibility to make all meeting arrangements.

Field Visit Reports

Following their fall and spring field visits, FFAs write-up a Field Visit Report. The Program’s Administrative Assistant sends copies of these reports to the student.

Field Assignments

Students are required to submit monthly reports from the field, including case studies and other types of written assignments, as well as a summary account of clients seen and educational activities attended during the previous month.

Reports are to be emailed as attachments to the Program’s Administrative Assistant, who will log them in and then pass them along for review by the student’s FFA and the Program’s Clinical Co-Director.

It should be noted that the Director of Clinical Services of WAWI has the final authority with regard to
Clinic activities. The Director has the final authority over administration and assignment of cases for the student.


The Smith College Intern receives no compensation during the academic year (September – April). During the Summer (May – August) the intern will maintain contact with continuing cases. The intern will receive $25.00 per clinical hour.

William Alanson White Institute of Psychiatry, Psychoanalysis & Psychology 20 West 74th Street, New York, NY 10023 | (212) 873-0725