Psychotherapist, South Shore Mental Health & private practice
An undergraduate internship with the Department of Children and Families in New York helped Laura Abrams discovered her calling.
“I knew I wanted to be a therapist,” she explains. “I looked into different options like social work, but decided I really wanted to do clinical work.”
Her work with children who had experienced abuse, trauma, or economic poverty ingrained in her a passion for social justice—and she wanted a program that reflected this. “My value system and what I wanted in the field fell in line with what was important to the Lynch School,” she says. “I spoke with someone in graduate admissions and learned of the opportunities to enhance my skill set—I just had a feeling it felt right.”
This feeling ultimately provided Abrams with the foundation from which she has built a career as a psychotherapist for South Shore Mental Health and for her private practice. “The biggest way the program prepared me was personal growth,” she says.
"The way the professors structured their classes allowed me to not only challenge my own beliefs, but to assess them. It instilled a value of continuing to learn and continuing to grow—it wasn't going to stop when I graduated from Boston College."
Abrams’s professional preparation went beyond the classroom walls. Using Lynch School resources, she secured an internship that aligned with her coursework. “I wanted to work with urban youth doing outpatient therapy with children and parents of children of abuse, depression, PTSD, and ADHD,” she says. Abrams landed a position with the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which was ideal because of the relevant work and close Boston location. “The internship complemented what I was learning in the classroom while blending all of my experiences together,” she recalls.
Abrams relished her classmates’ perspectives during her internship year. “Everyone had different experiences to draw from, so our reflections were richer and more insightful,” she says. Being exposed to different theories and viewpoints allowed Abrams to transition smoothly into her role as a psychotherapist—where she works with people ages five to 91 who have been exposed to different problems.
“The beauty of the program was that I got a little taste of everything,” she says. “Every day, I get to use all the skills I learned from my education and work experience to build my practice.”