Lauren's Take on Treatment
“There is not a one size fits all approach to treatment. My role as a therapist is to work with my patients to develop individualized treatment approaches that are not rigid to accommodate normal changes that are part of life. As a therapist, I firmly believe that it is my sole duty to support you at every single step through praise and reinforcing self-compassion. Therapy is not easy and there will be bumps in the road throughout the journey, but as a team, we can work through those bumps to get you to a place where you feel confident about the ability to regain control of your life.”
Approach to Therapy
Dr. Smith emphasizes a collaborative nature in her treatment approach with patients. She believes that patients bring a degree of expertise to the therapeutic space that should be supported and uplifted throughout their journey of healing. Dr. Smith also believes in taking a strengths-based approach to help patients recognize areas in their lives that are going well and use those examples to identify the potential use of healthy coping skills and build upon them in treatment to encourage a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Smith connects with each patient by identifying their interests and values at the onset of services and incorporating them along with compassion, grace, and psychoeducation into each session.
Experience and Training
Dr. Smith earned her Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. She completed an American Psychological Association (APA) accredited clinical predoctoral internship at UC Davis Medical Center and a clinical trauma postdoctoral fellowship at UChicago Medicine. Prior to joining The OCD & Anxiety Center, she has primarily centered her focus on working children and families in outpatient clinical settings, such as community mental health centers and academic medical institutions. However, she also has experience providing individual and group therapy to young adults and adults. Her primary area of expertise centers on the treatment of trauma and stressor-related disorders (e.g. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; PTSD) using Cognitive Behavioral Therapies. However, she also has experience treating common co-occurring disorders (e.g. anxiety-related disorders) and schizophrenia and psychosis spectrum disorders through the use of cognitive-behavioral therapies. At The OCD & Anxiety Center, Dr. Smith successfully treats OCD, PTSD, all types of anxiety including social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, and school refusal as well as disorders that often co-occur with anxiety (ie., hair pulling, autism, ADHD, depression). She uses evidence-based treatments including exposure-based therapies, and is able to provide treatment both in the office and in real-life situations where patients feel the most anxiety. In addition, she believes in the importance and includes parents heavily in the treatment process as well as other supportive others and providers as needed. Dr. Smith is a member of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), the American Psychological Association (APA), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) International and serves on a task force committee within the organization.
More About Lauren
Dr. Smith is a native Chicagoan, born and raised on the Southside. In her free time, she enjoys traveling (both domestically and internationally), baking, spending time with family and friends, watching thriller movies and shows, and attending community cultural events.