Dr. “Jess”, as her clients know her, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, speaker, writer, and community leader. In this podcast interview, she shares how and why she entered the field of psychology and how her choices of graduate schools and degrees helped shape her approach to life and her approach to her clients in her private practice. She discusses her experiences in undergraduate and graduate schools which shed light on how her academic career evolved from majoring in Biology to showing an interest in Neuroscience and studying the brain to changing her major to Psychology. Dr. Smedley attended the University of San Francisco where she received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Marriage and Family Therapy. She received multiple degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary and shares why she received her Psy.D. instead of a Ph.D.
Dr. Smedley provides additional information regarding the jobs she’s held while working on her graduate degrees and reveals the important experiences that helped shaped so much of her career. She also recalls her experiences with the Ohio Psychological Association as well as her leadership roles within the APA and admits that these experiences, along with her seminary training as a clinical psychologist, have influenced her approach to mental health services. Dr. Smedley incorporates faith into her practice as she believes it impacts our value systems, relationship styles, and decision-making. Her private practice “Smedley Psychological Services, LLC” provides therapeutic, educational, and consultative services to the community and other providers. Dr. “Jess” reminisces about when she knew she was going to start her practice and shares some of the crucial questions to consider when opening your own private practice.
Dr. Smedley shares advice for those interested in psychology and offers additional thoughts for those Black students interested in entering the field. She helped to co-launch an initiative with other licensed healers of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and is currently finishing her 3-year term on the APA Membership Board serving in the Diversity Slate. Dr. “Jess” is also a speaker and writer. She has held many talks and trainings on mental health education and wellness, racial trauma, and offers general self-care advice. She recently published “Dear Black Girl: Essential Guided Reflections to Celebrate You!” which is a workbook specifically designed as a guide to journaling for Black Girls throughout their various stages of life and development.
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Interests and Specializations
Dr. Smedley has a passion for diversity and advocacy and prioritizes the mental health for people of color. Much of her clinical training was in community mental health settings (e.g., outpatient, residential, community-based) as well as private practice settings. Dr. Smedley treats adults and children who have experienced trauma, co-morbid diagnoses, chronic and severe mental illness, and various family and environmental issues and disparities.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Psychology (2004); University of California, Riverside.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Counseling Psychology (2007); University of San Francisco.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Clinical Psychology (2011); Fuller Theological Seminary.
Master of Arts (M.A.), Christian Leadership (2012); Fuller Theological Seminary.
Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), Clinical Psychology (2015); Fuller Theological Seminary.
Other Sources and Links of Interest
Dr. Jess on Black StressCoping With COVID-19: Counselors, Educators, Faith Leader Speak Out
00:00:14 BradleyWelcome to the Master’s in Psychology Podcast where psychology students can learn from psychologists, educators, and practitioners to better understand what they do,