The Rev. Christopher Smith (LAC,LMFT,LMHC,MDiv,MS,SAP)
Welcome! The fact that you are looking for yourself or for someone else for resources that can help you is an important step that you are taking. It is my belief that it is God's will for each of us to be able to experience wholeness and peace. In my own faith tradition, this is what John wrote about and described as abundant life. Your faith tradition, or your own sense of spirituality, may well have a similar understanding.
When working with you in the office (which I seek to make a safe and comfortable place where your privacy and confidentiality is respected) at Seeking Shalom, I seek to meet you where you are at and help you find the way to get to the place that you want to get to or should be getting to. The focus is on your needs and the skills and strengths that you bring that can be used in addressing them as well as what can be developed that will help you to re-experience wholeness and peace. For many this may be a new experience, so I help you understand what to expect. The journey often involves grappling with difficult topics and addressing parts of yourself that you would sooner ignore, however, as you work through these you are able to experience a new sense of shalom (wholeness and peace). As I work with you, I will use a mixture of counseling approaches (rooted in systems theory but also using other approaches I am trained in when they would be helpful for your situation) allowing the integration of spiritual issues and techniques into regular therapy.
My experience is broad as a counselor and supervisor of counselors. I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church but very used to working with people from a broad range of religious traditions as well as those whose spiritual orientation is outside of formal religion. I am licensed to provide mental health counseling (NY and IN) as well as clinical addiction counseling (IN). I have worked with people in a variety of settings: community mental health, private practice, nonprofit agencies and hospitals. I have worked and continue to work with people (children, adolescents, adults, couples and families) individually, within family units as well as other types of groups. People have come to me and found help for a variety of issues including addiction, loss and extended grieving, couples counseling (including outside of traditional marriage or family settings), depression, relationship issues and life direction. I also provide consultation with professionals (both in the mental health and in the faith communities) who are connected to you as I work with you and others that are simply trying to better understand how the fields can relate to each other.
I remain professionally active. In the past, I have served nationally as the president of the American College of Counselors, as the chair of the Presbyterian Serious Illness Network, and as the chair and/or member of task forces of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) related to mental health. More locally, my service has included the Alfred Adler Institute and within the Presbytery of New York City. My teaching has been at Auburn Theological Seminary, Pace University, Mercy College and Fordham University as well as others not in New York City.
The Reason I Became A Helping Professional
Henri Nowen titled one of his books, The Wounded Healer. In reading it and reflecting on it, I realized that I believe in the Healing Healer. My life journey has not been perfect and I have had to seek wholeness and peace because of things I have encountered. However, I am no longer simply at the wounded stage, but am healing, and as such I have realized that I have been given the gift to be able to walk with others while they also seek to no longer be wounded. This is a privilege that has required that I obtain the training and experience to be able to be allowed to exercise. I look forward to being allowed to work with you at Seeking Shalom.
The Rev. Christopher Smith
The Rev. Christopher Smith
Determined case-by-case, please inquire