Being There for Recovering Teens

Headshot of Stephanie Shoppell
"The Roger Williams community keeps you connected to everyone." - Stephanie Shoppell '16

Stephanie Shoppell, RWU Class of 2016

Forensic & Legal Psychology
Alumni

Stephanie Shoppell works as an outpatient therapist for teens with co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse and anxiety or depression. 

“I try to help them see that there’s more than just their substance use and there are better ways of coping. It is very rewarding for me,” said Shoppell. 

Shoppell’s forensic training gives her the perspective she needs to help teens who have been involved in the legal system. Working with outpatient clients, Shoppell is able to be there throughout each teen’s recovery.

“I get to see them really progress,” said Shoppell. 

Shoppell originally thought she wanted to work with the police in the criminal justice field. As she gained experience with the therapeutic approach, she realized she wanted to make this work her career. 

As part of her Master’s program, Shoppell interned for one year at the Forensics Unity at Eleanor Slater Hospital, working to evaluate patients to see if they were psychologically qualified to stand trial. According to Shoppell, this internship experience helped teach her the ways she enjoys helping people.

Learning in a close cohort of 12-15 people, Shoppell was able to hear stories of her classmates’ internships, expanding her view of the field. 

“Some people in the cohort were more therapeutic driven and some were more research or assessment driven. It was helpful to hear all different perspectives,” said Shoppell. 

Last year, Shoppell was able to pay the benefits she got from her internship experience forward, taking on an intern from the RWU Master’s of Forensic Psychology program. 

“I got to hear the changes that have happened in the program and help out another RWU student. She actually took over my position last year when I left the home-based treatment,” said Shoppell. “The Roger Williams community keeps you connected to everyone.”