Carrie Smolen, AMFT

As a therapist, my aim is first and foremost to be curious and observant. If your life is a jigsaw puzzle, my responsibility is to help you find pieces you might not have spotted on your own. You get to decide if and where they fit.
I hope to create a collaborative environment in which you feel attentively listened to and emotionally held. I always bring my authentic self to sessions and exist as a person in the space with you— I can’t help but infuse our time together with warmth and humor when appropriate, but I also strive to tailor my approach to fit your unique needs and goals. Maybe our time together feels like a cozy couch chat where we both sip a warm beverage. Maybe the vibe is more catching up with a confidant over lunch (and yes… if we meet during your lunch or snack break, you can absolutely nourish yourself while we talk). I intend to make the space feel nonjudgmental and as comfortable as possible, knowing that building trust takes time and that you are the determinant of where and how quickly the work goes. On a session to session basis, I will always do my best to account for your context, your energy, and your needs in that given moment.
My ultimate prerogative is to meet you where you are and to help guide you, in whatever way feels good for you, toward where you want to be. Working from a foundation of Relational Gestalt therapy, I am always seeking to help you increase your awareness— both of yourself and of the systems that impact you and how you experience the world. Our work together could be broad and all-encompassing or primarily focused on a specific issue with which you are dealing. My background has lent itself to a specialty in working with eating orders/disordered eating, body image struggles, sex and relationships, entertainment industry professionals, new parents, challenging family dynamics, and teens. Through prior work as a crisis counselor with The Trevor Project and as a sex educator, I consider the therapeutic space I hold to be LGBTQ+, kink, and non-traditional relationship structure affirming. I especially love working with someone who seeks to increase their capacity for interdependence, dismantle perfectionism, and/or approach any changes they may want to make gently and through a harm-reduction-based lens.
I am currently working exclusively remotely via Zoom. This gives me the opportunity to maximize my availability while working part-time so that I can be my toddler’s primary caregiver during the rest of the week. In my spare time, I love cooking and baking, strolling botanical gardens, and getting way too granular about the nuances of certain competition television shows. If you are curious about working with me, I would love to schedule a 15-minute Zoom or phone consultation to chat about whether we might be a good fit!   
(323) 389-5190