GET TO KNOW YOUR THERAPIST
Meara Smith, M.S., LMFT
I BELIEVE THERAPY HELPS US DISCOVER what we value most AND BEGIN TO BUILD THE LIFE WE WANT TO LIVE.
I CREATE A TRUSTING AND NON-JUDGMENTAL SAFE SPACE WHERE I WILL ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT YOU TO IDENTIFY GOALS THAT GUIDE OUR WORK TOGETHER. AS YOUR THERAPIST, I WILL EMPATHETICALLY LISTEN TO YOUR UNIQUE STORY AND OFFER FEEDBACK AND TOOLS TO SUPPORT YOUR JOURNEY.
WHY I BECAME A THERAPIST
There are so many factors that contribute to who we are. From our relationships with friends, family and significant others, to our early educational experiences and professional performance. What we identify as our strengths or our perceived weaknesses can play a role in shaping how we see ourselves and affect the choices that we make.
I BECAME A THERAPIST TO HELP PEOPLE CONNECT THE DOTS THAT MADE THEM WHO THEY ARE TODAY, AND LET GO OF THINGS THAT NO LONGER SERVE THEM.
As a therapist, I use a relational Approach, which supports insight and awareness of self in daily life, guiding individuals to achieve a greater sense of autonomy and lead to personal growth.
I believe that everyone has the capacity to live a meaningful and joyful life if given the space to reflect and heal in a supportive environment. I also believe it’s important to hold space for things like vulnerability, courage, and shame, and integrate Brene Brown’s research in my work with clients, utilizing techniques and strategies to help individuals integrate it into their personal and professional lives.
When I see clients, we focus on the past, the present, and the future to help us co-create a plan of action for our work together.
Together we will explore your current struggles, past experiences and relationships to see how they may be impacting you today. In our work together, we will spend time identifying your personal values and use those as a guide to discover tangible goals to find peace and be the person you strive to be
WHO I WORK WITH
I work with individuals and couples, and specialize in: people experiencing anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, and difficulty adjusting to major life changes.
My area of expertise is working with adults who are going through significant life transitions such as graduating from college, adjusting to a new career or coping with career difficulties. I can also support individuals who are starting or ending a serious relationship, contemplating other major life decisions or experiencing a Quarter Life Crisis. Finally, I have experience in pet loss, supporting individuals who have aging or sick pets and are coping with unique grief after losing your loved one.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TO WORK ON IN THERAPY?
Therapy is a collaborative process between client and therapist, so you and I will partner together to figure out what changes will best serve you and the life you want to live. I might have some ideas about what could be helpful and offer tools or practical feedback to support you, but you get to make the decision about what your goals for therapy are.
A LITTLE ABOUT ME & MY PROFESSIONAL SKILLS
- I received my Masters in Counseling with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from California State University Northridge.
- I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
- I have a background working with adolescents and adults struggling with alcohol and drug use, which often co-exist with anxiety and depression.
- I understand the unique challenges of cross-country relocation and can support clients in the adjustment period that follows.
- Completed 27.5 hour Living Brave course from Brené Brown focusing on Vulnerability, Courage, Shame, and Empathy based on Daring Greatly and Rising Strong programs.
“If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.”―Brene Brown
Practices mindfulness & gratitude
Loves gentle yoga
Likes to journal
DO YOU WISH YOU WERE BETTER EQUIPPED TO HANDLE CHALLENGING SITUATIONS? DO YOU WANT TO INCREASE YOUR ABILITY TO NAVIGATE LIFE’S UPS AND DOWNS?
I would be honored to partner with you and help you discover the tools that can help make life more manageable. Together, we will find ways for you to meet your goals and increase your happiness and life satisfaction.