hero image
Hannah Thomson - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Hannah Thomson Hannah Thomson

Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice of Social Work Dept. of Adult Mental Health and Wellness | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Hannah Thomson leads clinical supervision and field instruction for teams of interns providing virtual telemental health services.


HANNAH THOMSON joined the USC Telehealth faculty in January 2013, where she leads clinical supervision and field instruction for teams of interns providing virtual telemental health services. She developed and teaches trainings on adult initial assessment and intervention planning as part of a rigorous six-week, 100-plus hours training curriculum. She helps Master of Social Work interns develop skills in bio-psychosocial assessment, diagnostic formulation, treatment planning, documentation, suicide/homicide risk assessment and cultural sensitivity to special populations within a virtual practice setting.

Since 2011, she has taught social work practice courses including the virtual field practicum as well as specialized evidence-based intervention trainings. She has also collaborated with the Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, assisting with the development of its online continuing education course on motivational interviewing with military populations and the Motivational Interviewing Learning Environment and Simulation project.

Prior to joining USC, Thomson worked at a community mental health clinic in the Los Angeles area, providing individual, group and psychosocial rehabilitation services. Her clinical experience has been primarily with adults with severe and persistent mental illness and co-occurring disorders. A licensed clinical social worker, she has completed training in numerous evidence-based interventions, including motivational interviewing, problem-solving therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, seeking safety, crisis oriented recovery services, and illness management and recovery.

Education (2)

University of Southern California: M.S.W. 2008

Utah Valley University: B.S. 2001

Areas of Expertise (6)

Illness Management and Recovery Seeking Safety Problem-Solving Therapy Motivational Interviewing Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Crisis Oriented Recovery Services

Industry Expertise (2)

Health and Wellness Education/Learning


Media Appearances (1)

Student-led conference explores how to accelerate research into practice

NewsBytes  online


Public mental healthcare faces several, often interrelated challenges, from inadequate funding and insurance coverage to paperwork overload and crippling stigma. One of the more remarkable hurdles, however, is simply getting veterans in the field to employ new academic findings in order to be more effective with clients. As it is now, studies show there is a two-decade lag between research and its day-to-day application.

view more

Articles & Publications (2)

Group Therapy for Abused and Neglected Youth: Therapeutic and Child Advocacy Challenges The Journal for Specialists in Group Work

Janine Wanlass, J. Kelly Moreno & Hannah M. Thomson


Although group therapy for abused and neglected youth is a viable and efficacious treatment option, facilitation is challenging. Group leaders must contain intense affect, manage multiple transferences, and advocate for their clients within the larger social welfare system. Using a case study of a group for sexually abused girls, this paper explores some of these issues and discusses ways in which therapists recognize and deal with the dual challenge of advocating for and treating children.

view more

Group Therapy for Eating Disorders: A Retrospective Case Study The Journal for Specialists in Group Work

Janine Wanlass, J. Kelly Moreno & Hannah M. Thomson


An increasing amount of research supports group therapy as an effective treatment option for eating disorders (Moreno, 1994). In an attempt to further delineate therapeutic factors associated with productive group work, this study represents an exploratory, descriptive analysis of client and therapist perspectives on group process and outcome. Specifically, this retrospective study investigated what clients and their therapist considered important, helpful, and problematic in an aftercare group for hospitalized patients with eating disorders. The therapist and client perspectives were considered separately. These data were then classified into four categories: importance, benefits, problems, and critical incidents. A follow-up discussion explores similarities and differences between therapist and client perspectives. Implications for practice and research are presented.

view more