MARIA SMITH

My goal as a counselor is to walk with others where they are.  I hope to serve as a guide towards resolution of each person’s concerns and problems or healing of their hurts and losses by providing a safe relationship, an objective opinion, and skills to help you move forward without feeling alone.  It is such a privilege to be part of this walk with someone.  I especially enjoy working with adults who are interested in pursuing personal or marital growth and goals, and also with children-whether it’s simple behavioral concerns, addressing school/learning issues, or helping with parenting issues.  I have also worked extensively with trauma populations (child trauma or adult recovery) and those dealing with various aspects of long term illnesses.

Special Interests

  • Children’s Counseling (Play and talk therapy)
  • Adult Individual and Couples Counseling (Personal growth and goals, conflict resolution,
  • Parenting Issues (Transitions, Behavior Concerns, Boundaries, Attentions Problems, Discipline, Emotional Development issues
  • Women’s Issues (Sexual Abuse/Assault, stages, personal growth/self esteem)
  • Divorce Recovery/Coping
  • Help with Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Grief, Anger, OCD
  • Crisis Situations (Abuse, death, family emergencies, trauma)

Education and Credentials

  • M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy, Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS
  • Licensed Professional Counselor
  • M.S. in Biology: Medical Sciences Emphasis, Mississippi College, Clinton, MS
  • BA Art (painting), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS
  • AA Pre-med, Hinds Community College, Jackson, MS

Work Experience

  • Counseling with patients and families and neuro-cognitive testing as Psychometrist/Clinical Researcher:  Children’s Cancer Clinic-University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS
  • Contract Pre-marital/Marital Counselor: First Baptist Church, Jackson
  • Counselor with child and adolescent victims of physical and sexual abuse and their siblings, families, and group counseling.  Clinical Therapist: Mississippi Children’s Advocacy Center, Jackson MS
  • Child/adult/group intern counselor and assistant coordinator of Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic: RTS, Jackson, MS
  • Art teacher, Grades 1-8: Presbyterian Christian School, Hattiesburg, MS

Presentations/Seminars

  • Parenting Adolescents: Choosing Your Battles: Love and Limits
  • Parenting Children at Different Developmental Stages
  • Play Therapy with Sexually Abused Children
  • Poster Presentations on various topics related to concerns of children with long term illnesses.