I’m Arianna Smith. I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Colorado.
So, what does that mean? Essentially, I went through a ton of schooling, took some exams (yes, on bubble sheets), did thousands of clinical hours under the watchful eye of someone more experienced with me, until I got the point where DORA (the Board that decides you get to be licensed) felt that I was legit and could practice on my own.
Bottom line: I follow the highest standards of my profession by seeking and maintaining an active license, which includes continuous training and education.
What I Believe
Here are 3 things that I know for sure:
- There is NOTHING wrong with you. (Seriously.)
- You are not “crazy”. (But we can look at why you might feel that way, sometimes.)
- You are SO much more than what has happened to you. (Even if it feels like the past is all you can think about.)
I’m LGBTQ+ affirming and will never tell you that who you love or who you are is wrong.
I’m body/size positive and work from a HAES model. (Learn more about HAES here).
Who I Work With
If you had a toothache, you wouldn’t go to a plastic surgeon, would you?
Seeing a therapist who specializes in your particular issues can help you feel instantly understood AND help you feel better, sooner.
My specialties areas include (click on each link to learn more)
- Highly Sensitive People (HSPs), Empaths, and Deep-Feelers
- LGBTQ survivors of abuse and trauma
- Recovery from Domestic Violence or Toxic Relationships
You may feel like you don’t perfectly ‘fit’ into any of these areas – that’s okay. If you feel drawn to work with me, I’d l love to talk. I’ll be honest if what you’re facing is within my scope, or if I need to refer you to someone who has more knowledge than me.
How I work
Feeling better takes hard work. We have to look at the stuff we do that keeps us stuck.
I will kindly call you out on your BS. But not in a jerky way. Or like a drill sergeant. I know how to balance kindness and humor. And I know how to challenge you when I see you doing behaviors or patterns that keep you unhappy. We can figure out together how to do things differently.
We will only go at a pace you feel comfortable.
You run the show. I will guide you where you want to go.
What I do
Every therapist has certain modalities and approaches they use in the therapy office.
One of the main roadmaps I use in therapy is called Internal Family Systems. I believe people are made up of ‘parts’ and that every part is important to know and welcome into the room. Everything you do has a purpose and a good intention (even if the impact is harmful) and makes sense within the context of your life.
I use EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) which is a memory-based approach that is helpful for getting icky, traumatic, or nagging thoughts or feelings to become less overwhelming and distressing. EMDR uses bilateral stimulation (either tapping, tones, or eye movements) to help unpleasant memories become unstuck.
I lean heavily on Attachment Theory. Attachment theory is great for understanding why you might pick the same (terrible) partner over and over, why you panic when your partner doesn’t text you back in a reasonable time frame, or why you push people away despite feeling lonely.
I’d love to talk to you more about if counseling with me is a good fit for you. We would start with a phone call for me to learn more about you.