L. Kathryn (Katie) Smith, MSW, LCSW, RPT
Owner / Clinical Director, Arbor Cove Therapy, LLC
Katie's approach to therapy is informed by interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB), integrating attachment, polyvagal, somatic, and cognitive-behavioral theories based on clients' individual needs and readiness. Above all, therapy is relational, individualized, strengths-based, and collaborative.
Katie began her post-graduate career in child welfare. One of the most impactful experiences she had during this time involved facilitating support groups for women who were grieving and seeking support in the aftermath of an adoption plan. These women and families taught her about ambiguous losses and disenfranchised grief, as well as posttraumatic growth. Over the years, more individuals and families shared stories of the impact of loss and trauma on the formation of their individual identities and families, as well as the unique and profound challenges of integrating loss and trauma into a cohesive and life-affirming sense of self, especially when surrounding communities and media messages miss or diminish those complexities. In 2011, Katie transitioned into full-time clinical work, with a primary desire to help individuals and families involved in foster care and adoption navigate these unique aspects of life with a sense of being fully welcomed, seen, and joined in their journey.
What began as a specialization in mental health needs related to adoption, grief, and loss expanded through additional experience and training to include the related but wider fields of working with trauma (shock or single-incident trauma, as well as complex / developmental trauma, spiritual / church-related trauma, and vicarious trauma / secondary traumatic stress), anxiety, depression, chronic stress, life transitions, and attachment injuries. Katie especially enjoys working with children and their parents and with adult women facing these challenges.
Training & Associations
Katie earned a Master of Social Work from The University of Georgia in 2001 and was licensed by the state of Georgia as a clinical social worker in 2005 (#CSW003510). In addition to in-person psychotherapy services with Georgia residents, she provides telemental health services to people in Georgia and Florida (provider registration #179).
Katie is a fully certified EMDR (eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) therapist, which requires an additional 50 hours of sessions using EMDR and 20 hours of consultation with an EMDRIA-approved consultant beyond the basic training standard of 20 hours of instructional material, 20 hours of supervised practicum, and 10 hours of consultation. She is also a registered play therapist (RPT). To obtain the RPT credential, therapists must complete 150 hours of play therapy specific instruction, conduct a minimum of 350 hours of clinical work under the guidance of a play therapy supervisor, and complete 35 hours of direct supervision.
Katie's additional training includes multiple aspects of trauma treatment and trauma-informed care, sandtray and other expressive arts therapies, ambiguous loss & disenfranchised grief, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), several models of play therapy (Theraplay (R), child-centered play therapy, filial play therapy, Adlerian play therapy), frameworks of parent coaching & support (Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) (R), Circle of Security Parenting, and Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions - SPACE), internal family systems (IFS), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), polyvagal theory, ARC (Attachment, Regulation, and Competency), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and exposure & response prevention (ERP). She is a Circle of Security Parenting (TM) facilitator and has completed both the practitioner and camp trainings in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) (R), and the 18 month-long Training for Adoption Competency (TAC) initiative of the Center for Adoption Support and Education (C.A.S.E.).
Active memberships in professional associations:
EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)
Association for Play Therapy (APT)
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