Dr. Jared Smendik (PsyD ’21) is an adjunct faculty member teaching a section of Group Processes: Theory & Practice in the MA program this semester.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Middleville, Michigan
What or who influenced you to study psychology?
Psychology has also been an interest of mine, as I always wanted to learn more about myself and to make myself a “better person”. I wanted to help as many people as I could become their best selves. Additionally, I was exposed to several individuals who struggled with mental health concerns, this experience showed me how important effective mental health treatment can be. As I grew, my answer became more nuanced as I was exposed to amazing undergraduate and graduate professors, who each shared with me a great deal and impressed upon me how psychologists can make a difference in clients and within the world at large.
What are your research and/or clinical interests?
During my doctorate at MSP, I conducted research that investigated issues of the LGBTQ+ community as well as burnout/self-care amongst health service psychologists.
What appeals to you most about teaching at MSP?
I loved my time at the Michigan School of Psychology. I found that its teaching practices were effective and found a great deal of support from the community. Being able to work as an Adjunct Faculty member allowed me to help pass on the clinical skills I have developed over the course of my professional journey to students of our field.
What is your favorite non-academic book?
Peace in Every Step by Thích Nhất Hạnh
What advice would you like to share with incoming or current students?
In my opinion, the profession of psychologist is one of the most unique and amazing opportunities that I have been fortunate enough to take part in. Now more than ever, we need individuals that can understand the depth of human experience, listen empathically, and offer support to others. This profession allows us to help others not just through technical skills alone, but from a place of interpersonal connection and compassion. I firmly believe that this program helps students grow as psychologists but as people as well. We are the change we want to see in the world!