Sara Smithson


About Me

It's a weird and wonderful thing to be born onto this crazy chunk of spinning rock, looping through the cosmos. Sometimes life feels clear and straight forward, and other times we begin with figuring out where to even start! I welcome work with individuals who feel stuck, scared, ashamed, or skeptical, as well as those who feel motivated and ready to make changes.

I am a humanistic ("person-centered"), strengths-based counselor. This means I believe it's my job to understand, as fully as I can, who you are, what's important to you, and what you would like to get out of your time in counseling. From there, we work together to help you put your goals into action, identify what works best for you and what gets in your way, and develop skills and supports to maintain your balance amid life's next unexpected turns.

You are encouraged to share honestly about whatever you find helpful (and not so helpful) throughout counseling. The approaches I use are evidence based and chosen in response to your goals, needs, and learning styles. These can include: cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) (understanding connections between our feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors in order to create helpful and healthy changes), motivational interviewing (MI) (clarifying our personal values, goals, and priorities in order to take positive action), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) skills (reducing and coping with difficult emotions and becoming more skilled in our communication and relationships), mindfulness practice (increasing our capacity to be aware and accepting of the full range of life's dynamic experiences), positive psychology (using what we know about the science of happiness to increase our experiences of well-being), narrative therapy (separating our identity from our problems and locating the strengths and relationships that help us to overcome obstacles), psychodynamic or insight-oriented therapy (building our awareness of how our past life experiences can influence our beliefs and defenses in ways that impact our present-day relationships and behavior), systems theory (building resources and resilience through recognition of how our individual experiences and identities interact within our communities, societies, and environment), experiential therapy (using present-moment experiences and self-reflection to identify and practice skills and strengths), solution-focused brief therapy (identifying our abilities and the concrete steps to put our goals into action), and reality therapy (validating our personal needs and choosing healthy and effective ways to meet them).

I've been working with people since my first preteen babysitting job and in clinical counseling practice for over a decade. Many of my clients are seeking support around difficult emotions, communication, relationships, social skills, identity, self-esteem, confidence, insight, school/work, problem-solving, life goals, or healthier habits. These can be related to many factors, including anxiety disorders (GAD, PTSD); mood disorders (depression, dysthymia, bipolar); trauma, abuse, or neglect; process or substance addictions; parent-child, peer, and dating/marital relationships (attachment, adoption); grief and loss; life and role transitions (divorce/breakups, entering young adulthood, empty nest, retirement); neurodevelopmental disorders and executive functioning challenges (ADHD, NLD, Asperger's or High-Functioning Autism); identity-based prejudice and discrimination; and, more generally, dealing with the harder aspects of being human on planet earth.

I believe that most of us are doing the best we can most of the time (even when our best could use serious improvement) AND we all need to keep learning to do better. We are less alone than we tend to believe and we have a wealth of collective knowledge and experience about what is helpful for all sorts of things if we're willing to dig into it. Starting is often one of the hardest parts, especially if things are already not feeling like they're not going so great. If you've made it this far, you're already on your way! Please reach out to explore what could be next.


  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Relationship issues
  • Self esteem
  • Depression
  • Coping with life changes

I also have experience in Addictions, LGBT, Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse, Grief, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Compassion fatigue, ADHD

Years of Experience: 12

Services Offered

  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video


LICSW #LW61014336 (Expires: 2021-01-04)

LCSW #BBH-LCSW-LIC-38122 (Expires: 2020-12-31)