Headshot of Samantha Mishne

A day in the life of a social worker

Each year, World Social Work Day—celebrated on the third Tuesday of March—highlights the achievements of social workers, raises the visibility of social services for the future of societies, and defends social justice and human rights. Social workers all over the world will celebrate and promote the contributions of their profession to individuals, families, communities and the wider society today.

At Case Western Reserve University, we’re celebrating the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, and all of its faculty, staff and students. Read on to see what a typical day is like for one adjunct professor/social worker at the Mandel School.

Meet Samantha Mishne 

Photo of Samantha Mishne

As the clinical director of Bellefaire JCB, a child services agency that provides a variety of behavioral health, substance abuse, education and prevention services, Samantha Mishne is working to increase the organization’s adherence to implementing Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), a type of talk therapy for people who experience emotions very intensely. 

Psychodynamically trained, Mishne has spent the last nine years focusing on the implementation of evidence-based treatments for eating disorders and suicidal/self-harming behavior in order to help increase clients’ ability to get back to living life as quickly as possible. It is her goal to make Bellefaire the first certified Dialectical Behavioral Therapy center in Ohio.

Mishne is also the founder/owner of a small private practice, the Center for Behavioral Therapy, where she offers DBT, substance abuse counseling, couples and family counseling, prolonged exposure therapy for trauma, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), among other services.

Furthermore, Mishne is an adjunct professor at the Mandel School, where she has taught classes in mental health policy, cognitive behavioral therapy interventions and adult development over the last 16 years in all of the degree formats. She has also supported the development of new courses, including a trauma course which will soon be offered to online Master of Social Work (MSW) students. 

Mishne says she values education, both in her ability to teach future social workers and also in guiding them in their clinical practices—she has supervised many students during their field education practicums, encouraging them to present at conferences and increase their individual and group therapy skills.

So, what does a typical day look like for Mishne? See her sample schedule below.

6:30 a.m.

I wake up and do morning meditation and self-soothing activities: consuming a cup of coffee mindfully, taking a hot shower and walking my dog Scout.

8 a.m.

I arrive at Bellefaire and walk over to the residential unit to greet our clients.

9:30 a.m.

I attend clinical rounds to support the identification of any behaviors we are trying to increase or decrease in our clients.


I host family therapy with a client, which includes processing how a home pass went and supporting skills generalization to help the client return home.

1:30 p.m.

I supervise our staff to support increasing Bellefaire’s adherence to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. I also take my lunch during this time to ensure I have some midday self-care.

2:30 p.m.

I supervise the Mandel School students doing their field education practicum at Bellefaire whom we have working on our poster presentation around increasing adherence to an evidenced-based treatment model.

3:30 p.m.

I head home to feed and walk Scout again (and use this as another self-soothing time).

4:30 p.m.

I focus on my private practice, the Center for Behavioral Therapy, and work with suicidal and self-harming adolescents and their families.

6:30 p.m.

I have dinner with my kids (who complain about my cooking), prepare to teach class and brush my teeth (because right after class I go to bed).

8:30 p.m.

I teach a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Interventions class to online MSW students at the Mandel School.

10 p.m.

I journal and read and then go to bed to start the day all over again tomorrow!