Linda Smith, LMSW

I have had a passion for working with children and teens since I first volunteered at age eighteen at a residential treatment center for emotionally challenged children. Since that time I have continued to work with children and teens in many areas, including public schools, grief support groups, foster care and adoption, residential treatment for juvenile offenders, and individual counseling. 

My experience as a therapist includes helping children and teens with issues including anxiety, depression, self-esteem, family changes, grief & loss and trauma. I use a client-centered, strengths-based approach, along with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness practices, to help promote understanding and awareness of the connection between our thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Using play therapy, expressive arts, and mindfulness practices, I provide a safe and trusting space for children and teens to communicate, manage emotions, build on their strengths, and gain confidence to decrease the stress associated with life’s challenges. I have had extensive training in trauma and hold national certification as a Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. This gives me valuable perspective and skills in working with children & teens who are facing trauma related difficulties. 

As the parent of four children, now all adults, I understand the challenges faced while growing up and the difficulty of watching your children hurt while wondering how to make the hurt go away. Having sought parenting advice on my own at times, I know the value that comes from teaming with a professional when you feel you don’t have all the answers.

Master’s of Social Work, Grand Valley State University
Bachelor of Social Work, Ferris State University
State of Michigan Master's Social Worker Clinical License
Nationally Certified Therapist in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT), CARES Institute, Rowan University
Member National Association of Social Workers, Association for Play Therapy, and Michigan Association for Play Therapy

Advanced specialized training with the following organizations: National Institute for Trauma & Loss in Children; Association for Play Therapy; Child Trauma Academy; Theraplay Institute; Heather Forbes-Beyond Consequences; Center for Deployment Psychology; and Michigan State University School of Social Work
Field Instructor, Michigan State University School of Social Work, Trauma Certification (2013–15)