I am excited and grateful you have found this little corner of the Internet.
At Charity Smith Counseling, I believe that everyone is the expert of their own lives and folks have strengths, resources, and resiliencies gained through our lived experiences. Simply by being you and here in the now is a radical act! However, in times when life becomes overwhelming, underwhelming, or just way too much the most simple things can feel like mountains that are impossible to climb. This is exactly why when we decide to climb a mountain we bring along a guide, someone to support us through the rough and difficult terrain. My role as a counselor is to be your guide and support you in gaining insight and solutions from within!
For some folks counseling or therapy may be an uncomfortable or anxiety-provoking experience and I recognize that many have experienced harm at the hands of helping professions or institutions in the past.
This is why the aim of my counseling practice above all is to create a safe(r) sanctuary built on respect, open and honest communication, trust, co-creation, and open-ness that is free of judgement. Charity Smith Counseling is a space for you to express your thoughts and feelings in a safe(r) container where they can be held, seen, and validated. By seeing, holding, and validating thoughts and feelings we can then begin the work of understanding and processing them. Counseling is an act of radical self care!
All of my counseling interventions stem from principles of trauma informed care, harm reduction, and strengths based therapy. In case any of those terms are new to you, here’s how I view them:
Trauma Informed Care recognizes that trauma is a part of life and that everyone will experience trauma at one point or another. Trauma informed care places emphasis on creating a safe(r) place where the trauma can be seen, held, and recognizing how the trauma may be impacting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Harm Reduction at its basic is respect for folks and their capacity to change. Folks use a wide variety of coping mechanisms for emotional pain and the aim of harm reduction is to reduce the harm of the coping mechanisms over time. The analogy I love to use to explain harm reduction is simple; we wear helmets when we ride bicycles so that if we fall and hit our head we experience less harm because the helmet protects our head. This is harm reduction!
Strengths Based Therapy is born from positive psychotherapy which focuses on internal strengths, resilience and resourcefulness.
My interventions also draw from creative therapies, attachment theory, and cognitive behavioural therapy with my worldview grounded in intersectional feminism and queerness.
The following are some examples of issues or concerns I am able to support you with however, this is not an exhaustive list.
If you find your issue or area of concern is not listed but have found something here that resonates please feel free to reach out all the same – I always offer a free initial session. The aim of the initial session is for us to get to know one another, go over the way I work with folks and answer any questions you have. Book an initial session here!
Above all, I offer a warm and empathetic heart and an open mind grounded in a professional and academic background in social work as well as lived experiences in sexuality- and gender-diverse communities.