About Therapist Lauren Smith:
The idea of therapy can seem daunting to many. Although, it does not have to be. I believe that anyone and everyone is capable of making positive changes, so long as you have the right tools and support. And in my opinion, the most challenging, and yet also the most impactful step in the treatment process is acknowledging when you are in need of that support. So it has become my mission as a therapist to provide just that! Drawing on your strengths and personal goals, I will support you by uncovering, adding, or strengthening the tools you possess to improve your quality of life.
I create an environment of compassion, trust, and safety while promoting healing and growth. I bring with me a diverse worldview in understanding each individual I work with as the valuable person that they are. And I maintain a balance between being warm, direct, and engaging in sessions.
No two treatment plans are gonna look the same because I take a unique and creative therapeutic process based on who you are and what you bring to the table.
I do love working with teens, so if you are a teenager reading this, I want you to know that YOU are my client and I prioritize YOUR mental health needs first and foremost. And if you are their parent, please know and trust that I am bringing a healthy and trained perspective to your child’s goals. Parenting a teenager is hard! And when your teenager is my client, I cannot teach you how to do that. But I can and will hold you in an empathic light while also honoring your child’s perspective.
Education and Experience
I hold a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University as well as a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Before becoming a licensed therapist, I gained over 4 years of experience as a billing administrator in an outpatient private practice. And in most recent 4 years, I have had the privilege of working with children, adolescents, and young adults in diverse environments. This includes inpatient behavioral hospitals, residential programs, and partial hospitalization (PHP)/intensive outpatient (IOP) programs. These experiences have allowed me to support individuals facing a wide range of symptoms and stressors, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, interpersonal challenges, life transitions, and serious emotional/behavioral issues.
I utilize an integrative approach from various therapeutic modalities. My clinical training includes Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR).
In addition to my clinical training and therapeutic modalities, I also utilize my love for various forms of media (such as movies, tv shows, and music) as a creative and integrative tool in therapy. I believe that media can serve as a powerful catalyst for self-reflection, emotional expression, and connection. Drawing upon my clients’ interests and preferences, I incorporate relevant scenes, characters, or lyrics from these mediums to deepen our therapeutic conversations and enhance the therapeutic process. Alongside expressive modalities like art therapy and sandtray therapy, this integrative approach allows for a more comprehensive and personalized therapeutic experience!
- Teen Therapy
- Group Therapy
- Skills Coaching
- Parent Coaching
- Trauma/Attachment Concerns
- Crisis Stabilization, including support and intervention
- Anxiety and Depression
- ADHD & Autism
Originally from the Montgomery County area, I have spent most of my life here. When the weather warms up, you’ll often find me immersing myself in live music events and engaging in outdoor training sessions with my dog in public spaces. Along with this lovable larger-than-life pup, Malu, my boyfriend and I embark on exciting outdoor adventures. As the colder months settle in (although, let’s be honest, this applies year-round), I find immense joy in playing board games, indulging in video games, refreshing my living space, and immersing myself in captivating books or tv shows. Traveling is another passion of mine, and I recently acquired my passport, opening up exciting opportunities for future adventures.