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Eye on Psi Chi: Spring 2016

Meet D. Susanne Snearly
D. Susanne Snearly, of Cartoceti and Snearly, LLC. (CT)
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Can you describe what you do at your job?
I am a matrimonial and child custody lawyer. My tasks run the gamut from mediation, collaborative law, litigation, negotiation, and child advocacy work as a court-appointed guardian ad litem or child attorney. I also represent parents and spouses.
How do you use your psychology training in that context?
Child developmental training is critical to effective child advocacy and client education. Having the ability to identify and diagnose psychological impairment is critical in obtaining services for clients, parents, and children, as well as creating resolutions people can adopt with confidence.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
A veterinarian.
What sort of student were you?
A dedicated honor student.
When did you first become interested in psychology?
In my freshman year of undergrad. When I started reading the textbook, it all seemed familiar to me. More often than not, I knew what was coming on the next page.
Did you have a mentor who helped you find your career path?
Yes. Drs. Stephen Neuwirth and Mary Nelson. They both expected me to perform beyond the course requirements. I felt as if I was more of a graduate student than an undergraduate. They both set a very high bar.
What sort of jobs did you have before you started your current employment?
I worked for two different multinational architectural and engineering firms in their project management.
What sort of personalities do you think are conducive with your career?
“A” type personalities and those who can be the center of attention with confidence. A court room is much like a theatrical stage.
Can you comment on flexibility and job satisfaction?
I am a partner in my own law firm, so I suppose you would think it is “flexible,” but much of my schedule is dictated by court scheduling. Working with children means catering to their schedules, so weekend and after-school hours are normal working hours for me.
How does your career benefit or improve society?
Helping families heal from a divorce or separation allows former partners to better understand how to effectively co-parent children, which in turn helps those children to approach adulthood in a meaningful and confident way. We want dysfunctional families to heal and become productive members of our society.
What is your favorite memory of being part of your Psi Chi chapter?
There was no Psi Chi chapter at WCSU when I attended in the late 1980s. I found that outrageous! So with the help of Dr. Mary Nelson, a Psi Chi chapter was created, and I was inducted as its first president.
Is there something that you know now that you wish you knew when you were in school?
I wish I had known that having a degree in psychology applies to far more career choices than that of being a psychologist or academic. There was no meaningful “career” training within the discipline during my course of study.
Personality Profile
Favorite psychology-related book: Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s book, On Death and Dying. The stages outlined apply directly to divorcing couples and separating parents. Understanding what stage a person is experiencing when I meet them professionally helps me to guide them to the next level.
Favorite band: This is an unfair question—I love so many. Right now, it’s probably The Foo Fighters. But The Beatles, Sting, and AC/DC are forever.
Favorite quote: Plan your work—then, work your plan.
Hobbies: I’m a Jamberry Independent Consultant, so I spend down time with that hobby, as well as herb gardening.
Early bird or night owl: Night owl, definitely.
Title of future memoir: Not in a million years.

D. Susanne Snearly was born and raised in Texas. Married to her law partner, Robert Cartoceti, she currently resides in Connecticut. Cartoceti and Snearly is a full-service law firm, however Susanne focuses exclusively on family law. She has been named one of the Top 10 Family Lawyers in Connecticut by the National Association of Family Law Attorneys for 2014 and 2015. She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Connecticut and New England Super Lawyer from 2009 to 2015, and has published in the American Journal of Family Law.

Copyright 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 3) by Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology


Eye on Psi Chi is a magazine designed to keep members and alumni up-to-date with all the latest information about Psi Chi’s programs, awards, and chapter activities. It features informative articles about careers, graduate school admission, chapter ideas, personal development, the various fields of psychology, and important issues related to our discipline.

Eye on Psi Chi is published quarterly:
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