The Student News Site of Saratoga High School

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

CASSY therapist finds meaning in career

Counseling and Support Services for Youth (CASSY) therapist Erica Smith is a bit apprehensive about her upcoming presentation for her Career Day on March 23.

Smith, one of over 70 presenters expected for Career Day, will be presenting for the “Child/Family & School Social Workers” career for the first time, along with fellow CASSY therapist Jessica Wang.

“I’m a little nervous to talk to people, because I’m more of a quiet person,” Smith said. “[We want to] make it more interesting than just two adults [speaking] at you, which you get all the time.”

Smith, who had never expected to become a therapist, said she was originally an art teacher until the early 2000s when her job was cut.

Smith said she found she was interested in being more than just a teacher, and her interest in the students later spurred her decision to go back to graduate school for ten years.

After first working at Los Gatos High with CASSY in 2009, Smith moved to Seattle the next year with her husband, but returned because she thought CASSY was a “really great [agency]”.

Through her presentation and personal experiences, Smith hopes to relate that the process of finding the right career has no set formula.

 “Sometimes you look in the pamphlet and you look at the amount of schooling but it actually takes a really long time and a lot of sacrifice to also give someone else the rewards,” Smith said. “[I hope to] also give a sense of reality.”

Smith worked hard for 10 years to get to where she is today. After getting her bachelors degree, Smith focused on psychology with her masters at California Institute of Integral Studies. Later, she got a Ph.D at Pacifica Graduate Institute.

Even then, she still had more work to do. “I had to do 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice [in order to become a certified therapist],” Smith said.

Though Smith recognizes the sacrifice and that her career is not for everyone, she believes she has chosen the right path.

“I think sometimes it’s really easy to get caught up in acquiring wealth and success, and my job definitely isn’t that way,” Smith said. “Maybe it’s not the most successful outside career path, but there’s a lot of meaning that you can find in it. I feel satisfied.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Saratoga Falcon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *