Linda Smith, LCSW
1701 S. Prospect, Suite 303 Champaign, IL 61820
I look forward to meeting new clients and hearing their unique story. I am interested in the specific life events that have shaped who they are.
Learning about a person's past experience provides both of us with valuable information. When information about the past is linked with a person's current experience, it often provides new insight and that insight often encourages change.
I am especiallly interested in relationships. While I am interested in how people interact with each other, I am particularly focused on how people relate to themselves. I believe the way people feel about themselves strongly influences their psychological well-being and the life choices they make. In particular, it influences who they choose to befriend and/or partner with. Loving, liking, respecting and trusting one self is fundamental to reaching one's full potential and to relating well to others.
"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." Thich Nhat Hanh.
I believe the relationship between therapist and client is essential to therapeutic change. During the 21 years that I have worked as a therapist, I have become aware that I quickly develop therapeutic trust and rapport with most clients. Clients generally respond positively to my open and direct communication.
I incorporate concepts/strategies from several theories including: psychodynamic, cognitive behavioral, developmental, existential and experiential. Much of my work with clients is mindfulness based and includes the following concepts:
"Be still. The quieter you become, the more you can hear." Ram Dass.
I emphasize the importance of knowing and accepting who people are as individuals. Once a person is aware of their identity and becomes accepting of who they are; they often begin to experience more joy in living.
My approach to therapy is holistic therefore; I emphasize the following facets: physical, cognitive, psychological, emotional, social and spiritual functioning. I encourage clients to fully develop these aspects of themselves and strive for balance and harmony within themselves and with others.
I find my work with people who are in unhappy and unhealthy relationships is often effective. I help both couples and individuals identify unhealthy patterns of relating as well as ineffective communication. Of particular interest to me is the dynamic of manipulation. When this dynamic is present, I help couples/individuals identify when it occurs. Alternative ways of relating and communicating are suggested.
I am aware that sometimes therapy is unsettling however; the journey toward growth and change can also be a most rewarding experience. It is my intent to encourage and support my clients through this process.