Maria Smith, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-C) specializes in treating children and families with
Anxiety (Generalized, Unspecified, Social, and Separation Anxiety)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Depression (Major and Persistent Depressive Disorders)
Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (DMDD)
Trauma & Stressor-related Disorders (Acute and Post-Traumatic Stress, Adjustment Disorders)
Maria utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, TF-CBT, play therapy, mindfulness, client-centered and solution-focused therapies, as well as structural and family systems therapies in treatment. She helps children improve their emotional regulation and executive function and helps parents reconnect with one another and their children in playful, positive ways. Maria is trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy (TF-CBT) and has additional experience helping families navigate challenges that may arise as a result of divorce, death, displacement, domestic violence and systemic injustice.
Maria has over ten years experience working directly with children, youth, adults and families in St. Louis, El Salvador, Baltimore and the Washington, DC area. She strives to meet the individual needs of each family member while giving particular attention to those suffering most. Her approach is tailored to meet the developmental needs of even the youngest family members, so that all can engage fully in the therapy process and experience the benefit.
Maria graduated from Saint Louis University in 2013 with a double major in Social Work and African American Studies. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Maryland, Baltimore in 2014. Maria has facilitated groups for school-aged children focused on anger, anxiety and self-esteem, the transition to middle school, leadership development and self-empowerment. She has also facilitated groups for Spanish-speaking parents in Montgomery County covering topics such as: healthy communication, early childhood development, acculturation, school engagement, stigma and mental health, and childhood trauma.
For the past two years, Maria has worked in the Linkages to Learning school based mental health program as a bilingual Child and Family Therapist at a local elementary school. In 2019 she had the honor of facilitating a five-day intensive group at Project Common Bond, a program for young adults who have experienced the traumatic loss of a loved one due to acts of terrorism, violent extremism or war. She continues to serve as a bilingual Child and Family Therapist at a local middle school while also treating children and families at Better Together Family Therapy. Maria’s playful, positive approach brings hope and healing to the most difficult of situations. We are grateful to have her breadth of knowledge and immense clinical skill on our team!