Dr. Smith’s clinical approach is collaborative, emphasizing reflection and the exploration of thoughts, emotions, and personal values, among many other essential elements. While her approach focuses on addressing present concerns, she understands that our behaviors, relational patterns, and the beliefs we hold, particularly those about ourselves, have their roots in early childhood experiences. She is aware that our biological constitution, gender, sexuality, race, economic, and political factors play a significant role in our development. Dr. Smith will help you recognize the links between your past and present experiences to identify problematic patterns negatively affecting your current relationships and how you cope with the problems you face. She will pay particular attention to traumatic experiences throughout your life that may be silenced in your body, exerting an influence on your psychological and physical well-being. These explorations result in increasing your self-awareness and self-understanding while facilitating your ability to resolve emotional conflicts that are at the core of many problems. The resolution of deeply rooted emotional struggles and the development of adaptive relational patterns promote greater freedom of action, authenticity, and a sense of competence in your ability to address life’s difficult challenges.
Her therapeutic style is non-judgmental, and her degree of interaction during sessions she balances between listening and talking. While she does not usually give advice, she recognizes that there are times when you may need guidance and education. At the start of your work with her, Dr. Smith will spend time helping you familiarize yourself with the therapeutic process and will give you her professional opinion when appropriate. She understands that every person and situation is unique, and will structure your treatment to address your specific needs, personality, and the nature of your concerns.
During the first session, Dr. Smith will conduct a preliminary evaluation and will gather background information to familiarize herself with the main reasons you are seeking help. For her to determine potential contributing factors to your presenting problem, she will inquire about your physical, emotional, and social development and medical and psychiatric family history. This meeting will also allow you and Dr. Smith to get a sense of what it would be like for the two of you to work together.
After completing the evaluation, Dr. Smith will discuss her findings with you and the course of treatment. If she determines that you would benefit from medication, with your consent, she will make an appropriate referral.
If, during the initial phone consultation or first session, you and Dr. Smith discover that you have needs requiring a different treatment approach than she can offer, she will make every effort to refer you to another clinician.