Eileen Dacey '17MSW: The Simmons Program Was Made for Me

December 08, 2017

Eileen Dacey

A recent alumna discusses working full time at her first field placement site.

What does your job entail?

I am a clinical specialist and program manager for the North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering, an affiliate of North Shore Elder Services in Danvers, Massachusetts. In my multi-faceted role, I provide counseling, support groups, and resources to individuals of all ages with chronic disorganization, hoarding behavior, or hoarding disorder. I also conduct consultations and trainings for public health officials, first-responders, and policymakers to increase awareness and education around this frequently misunderstood mental health issue. Hoarding disorder is chronic and progressive and often co-exists with depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and ADHD.

What brought you to Simmons?

Formerly, I was a case manager for an elder services agency, and I wanted to advance to a clinical career and practice psychotherapy. I chose Simmons for its strong clinical focus, its reputation as the nation’s first school of social work, and its commitment to social justice and advocacy for all people.

How did Simmons prepare you?

I feel like the Simmons program was made for me. I completed my first clinical placement at the North Shore Center for Hoarding and Cluttering, leading to my employment after graduation. As the center’s social work intern, I provided in-home and individual counseling and ran a weekly support group. In my second placement at North Shore Physicians’ Group, an integrative primary care practice, I provided “on-the-spot” and ongoing counseling to patients with symptoms of depression, substance use, and other mental health issues, developing my ability to respond to clients in crisis.

Why is your job rewarding?

I’m often the first person in years that individuals with hoarding behavior allow into their homes. It’s an incredible feeling to be able to make that initial connection and to hear that they’re open to meeting again and seeing where the work takes us.