Areas of Specialty

Dr. Smith's area of expertise is Clinical Health Psychology. She uses cognitive-behavioral modalities and motivational interviewing to help adults improve chronic disease management, cease tobacco use, and promote healthy lifestyle changes.  

Behavioral Health Interventions for Adults 

  • Chronic disease management
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Stress management
  • Adjustment to serious medical conditions
  • Increase medical treatment adherence
  • Weight management
  • Health promotion/Disease prevention
Chronic Pain Management

Pain is a generalized or localized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that cause mild to severe discomfort and emotional distress. Chronic pain may last for months and even years, and interfere with daily activities, quality of life, and functioning. Medical conditions associated with chronic pain include low back pain, headaches, arthritis, degenerative joint diseases, migraines, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, and past surgeries or injuries. Behavioral health interventions are some of the most effective non-pharmacological treatments for chronic pain. Dr. Smith has specialized training in behavioral health interventions for chronic pain. Please see below to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP) is a structured approach focused on the relationship between cognitions (or thoughts), emotions (or feelings), and behaviors and encourages clients to adopt an active, problem-solving approach to cope with the many challenges associated with chronic pain. CBT-CP improves functioning and quality of life for a variety of chronic pain conditions. CBT-CP is rooted in the development of a strong therapeutic relationship in a non-judgmental environment. The key components of CBT-CP include activity pacing, relaxation (e.g., diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery), behavioral activation, and cognitive restructuring.

Insomnia Treatment

According to the American Sleep Association (ASA), between 50 and 70 million of adults in the United States have a sleep disorder. Insomnia, persistent problems with staying or falling asleep, is one the most common sleep disorders. There are approximately 3 million cases of insomnia in the U.S. per year. According to ASA, approximately 30% of individuals identified insomnia as a short-term problem and 10% identified insomnia as chronic. Some of the most common causes of insomnia include stress, work or travel schedules, poor sleep habits, hyperarousal, mental health disorders, and medical conditions. Dr. Smith has specialized training in behavioral health interventions for insomnia. Please see below to learn more about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I)

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) is a multi-component treatment that addresses patients’ cognitions and behaviors that interfere with sleep. The first and most important component of CBT-I is education regarding the biological and psychological processes that regulate sleep. The behavioral components of CBT-I include two well-developed and empirically supported treatments, Stimulus Control and Sleep Restriction Therapy. The cognitive component of CBT-I is based on the theory that a person’s beliefs and the manner in which they think about, perceive, interpret, or assign judgment to particular situations in their life affects their emotional experiences and sleep. The final component of CBT-I aims to reduce physiological hyperarousal by using training in relaxation techniques, implementing a scheduled worry time, creating a time to unwind before sleep, and employing cognitive therapy strategies to address physiological and cognitive hyperarousal.