Deborah Smart
Deborah Smart
Personal Statement
It takes commitment to persevere and reach for an expected end. The experience of therapy helps people thrive, restores relationships, and moves people in a forward and positive direction.
In the therapeutic relationship, I strive to be genuine, authentic, and empathetic to provide a safe, non-judgmental space that allows you to truly be heard. I believe everyone has a story; and as a therapist, I desire to create a sacred space for you to tell yours. We will explore your emotional and behavioral patterns and identify specific goals or concerns you want to work on in order to achieve your objectives. Everyone’s experiences and environment shape who they are. This informs the way people live their lives. It takes courage to make the decision to engage in therapy, and my objective is to inspire you to become the person you desire to be. You will be able to access developmental tools to help interrupt unhealthy life patterns that hinder the way you want to live.
I take an active collaborative approach that aligns with an individual’s values with their behavior. I am passionate about supporting couples and individuals who are challenged with life transitions, self-esteem, struggles with relationship betrayal and trauma, conflict resolution, and anxiety, depression, and grief. I consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to journey alongside clients as they move toward hope and healing.

Treatment Areas and Competencies

Relationship and Family Issues

Betrayal Trauma

Grief

Anxiety

Depression

Shame

Addiction

Approach to Therapy

Everyone has their own unique personal strengths and resilience. I employ an
integrative, holistic approach to therapy, blending elements from various therapeutic approaches and tailoring treatment according to each client’s needs and narrative. I will assist you in identifying patterns that may need to change and becoming more aware of the tools you can use toward change. I strive to offer empathetic support, unconditional positive regard. I encourage self-actualization and growth by providing sound clinical advice and validation. My desire is to provide a space where you are free to explore your concerns about relationships, social justice, race, sex, and life transitions and process your responses with minimal your emotional distress.

Treatment Modalities and Theoretical Orientations

I take an integrative approach to therapy, incorporating a variety of methods to create an individualized treatment plan that best suits each client’s needs. Theoretical orientations that I frequently utilize are: 

EFCT (Emotionally Focused Couples-Therapy)

Internal Family Systems (IFS) interventions

The Gottman Method Couples Therapy interventions

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) interventions

Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) interventions

Spiritual Integration

Education, Licenses and Certifications

  • MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Moody Theological Seminary
  • BA in Urban Ethnic Studies from Loyola University

Contact Deborah

Meet

53 W. Jackson, suite 510 Chicago 60604

Call

(312) 600-0876

Email

deborah@pneumachicago.com

What Clients Say About Deborah

I’ve done therapy before and often felt anxiety about “getting solutions” from my therapist, because I felt like my time there was wasted and I needed to guide our sessions to get what I wanted. As someone who has difficulty trusting people, entering therapy with Deborah was no different. But from the first session, she was able to reach me. Whether it was her knowledge of mental health or the way she genuinely tried to know and understand me and my story, I felt cared for which opened me up to her guidance. She never pushes or insists, she speaks with kindness and authority. Deborah has engendered an extreme sense of trust, care, amicability, openness, and peace in our sessions. I would highly recommend her to anyone seeking counseling, and her presence elevates your company in the best way.