Dermott Smith (she/they) MSW is a pre-licensed clinical social worker. She completed her Master’s of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago in 2023. After completing an undergraduate education focused on social science research at Saint Louis University, Dermott started her professional career as a service coordinator at a drop in center for people experiencing homelessness. Her clinical social work training included working with adolescents in school, providing psychotherapy for college students, childhood trauma assessment, brief treatment for mild to moderate substance use, and mindfulness based interventions. Dermott’s areas of focus include working with gender identity development, attachment, religious trauma, drug use harm reduction, anxiety, ADHD, boundaries in relationships, integrating psychedelic experiences, and self-care skill building. Dermott’s work with gender identity is partially informed by her own development as a trans person.
Dermott’s usual goals as a clinician are providing hope for positive change, assisting with emotional catharsis, developing boundary setting skills, and cultivating self-compassion. One of her guiding principles for the healing process is non-judgment, which she believes is critical to lowering distress. Gentleness, humor, and mindfulness based activities are a few tools she uses to model non-judgment in sessions. She recognizes the vital importance of different functioning relationships and how dysfunctional relationships can lead to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and burnout. She will frequently check in with clients about how emotions are experienced in the body, and she will help the client explore how the body can be listened to and cared for to improve mental wellness. She seeks to provide a safe, therapeutic space where direct feedback and therapeutic goals can be discussed honestly.
Dermott feels most grounded when she is biking, dancing around Chicago’s queer nightlife scene, reading music blogs, and connecting with friends. If you have time, ask about what she’s been listening to and she will give you an in-depth analysis of her most recent music finds.