Dr. Georgina Smith has been working with individuals, families and children since 2001. Her higher education began at the University of Southern California where she studied psychology and neuroscience. She had the fortune of being mentored by Sarnoff Mednick, MD, PhD and was accepted into the honors thesis program. She researched an area of his work where she developed a thesis that look at gender differences in fetal vulnerability related to developmental stressors and the onset of depression. This required her learning the complex and precise process of scoring CT brain scans. These experiences solidified her passion for the brain and interpersonal neurobiology and led her to follow Dr. Dan Siegel’s work that she often incorporates with her clients.
In 1998 Dr. Smith graduated with an honors BA in psychology and a minor in neuroscience, and before heading on to her doctoral program, she took a year off and obtained a position working at for Dr. Mark Chaffin at the Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma for the Physical Abuse Project where she worked with families in crisis and observed, recorded and coded dyadic parent child interaction therapy. In 1999 Dr. Smith then embarked on her postdoctoral education, obtaining an MA then a PhD in clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology, completing a dissertation that focused on attachment, trauma, and emotional dysregulation. She then found her way from working with schizophrenic individuals in crisis housing to working with traumatized families and children, many of whom were in the foster system, then onto working with an amazing team at the Institute for Girls’ Development in Pasadena. Here she had the wonderful opportunity to work with girls and young women in individual, family and group settings. She also conducted psychological assessment testing and facilitated summer workshop programs where her team embraced an approach of empowerment, mindfulness, authenticity and spirituality in helping young girls inhabit and embrace their physical, emotional and social selves. From the Institute, Dr. Smith made the move in 2006 to addiction treatment and worked at a dual diagnosis treatment center as a Program Director for 6 years.
This vast experience created Dr. Smith’s inevitable treatment specialties that now center around trauma, addiction and co-occurring disorders. Her passionate, grounded and integrated approach allows for a connection to her clients where there is a focus on insight and change, discovering and healing the core self, learning to regulate emotion and express needs in healthy ways, adapting internal self-dialogue and narrative, and building a wealth of internal and external coping resources allowing for a successful, evidence-based path to recovery, while creating a renewed sense of self, empowerment and hope. She believes in building a therapeutic relationship based on respect, genuineness, empathy, challenge and change. Much of Dr. Smith’ work and approaches are centered around the theoretical work and practice of Dr. Dan Siegel, Dr. Marsha Linehan, Dr. David Schnarch, Dr. John Gottman, and Dr. Robert Stolorow, just to name a few.
Dr. Smith treats survivors of abuse and trauma, and individuals suffering with eating disorders and addiction. She also treats chronic depression, self-injury, domestic violence related trauma, and mood, personality and anxiety disorders. She provides individual therapy for adults, teens and children, couples and family therapy, as well as group therapy, neurofeedback services, and addiction and al anon based community workshops for families of loved ones needing treatment.
She also serves as Clinical Supervisor to Connections in Recovery (www.connectionsinrecovery.com) and provides supervision to interns whom periodically work with her in her private practice.
In May 2013 Dr. Smith also began presenting her annual APA (American Psychological Association) approved continuing education 3 hour workshop with Illuminated Education on ‘Mindfulness, Vulnerability, and Connection in Treating the Complex Layers of Addiction. Getting Back to Basics: A Relational Approach to Treating a Disease of the Mind Body and Spirit’.
She is also embarking on various speaking workshops and writing projects with the hope to create breakthroughs into the treatment of the devastating disease of addiction, along with greater support for those afflicted and the loved ones affected.
Check back in on this website’s blog or Dr. Smith’s facebook page for updates and registration information.
Dr. Smith’s private practice is located in Santa Monica.