CassidySmith-13-Edit 2


M.A. in Counseling, The Wright Institute, Berkeley, CA

M.A. in English Literature, Mills College, Oakland, CA

B.A. in Women’s Studies, with an emphasis in English Literature, Smith College, Northampton, MA

Before becoming a therapist, I was a high school English teacher and a college writing instructor.  This background has significantly influenced how I work, mostly in that it trained me in the art of close reading–or close attention to such things as word choice, tone, theme, symbol, etc.—which is directly applicable to the work of therapy.  While I once directed this attention and analysis to a written text, I now direct it to in-the-flesh people! I strive to listen carefully and to help people notice aspects of themselves and their thinking that they may not have noticed alone.

Post-graduate Trainings:

Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Program, San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, San Francisco, CA

East Bay Year-Long Course, San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis, Oakland, CA

Emotion Focused Couple Therapy Level I Training, San Francisco, CA

How Control Mastery Theory Works III, San Francisco, CA

Understanding Control Mastery Theory: A Case Conference, San Francisco, CA

Supervised Private Practice with Dr. Michael Lowenstein, San Francisco, CA

Supervised Private Practice with Jennifer Valera, LCSW, Oakland, CA


“She’s Hysterical: The Not That Funny Sequelae of Sexual Assault & ‘Consent’ to Unwanted Sex.”  San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group, February 2016

“She’s Hysterical: The Not That Funny Sequelae of Sexual Assault & ‘Consent’ to Unwanted Sex.”  Tilden Preparatory School, November 2016

What it’s Like to Work With Me:

Research shows that the most significant factor contributing to successful therapy is not the therapist’s theoretical orientation, their educational background, or the number of years they’ve been practicing. Rather, the most significant factor is the therapeutic relationship.  In other words, “fit” with one’s therapist really, really matters.

Even though this is the case, many therapists still decide to take a distant, intellectual stance with their patients. I am not this kind of therapist. While I will listen to you more attentively and closely, perhaps, than others in your life, I also bring myself into the room—meaning that I am not a distant observer, but someone who moves among a range of responses, from quiet listening to jokey-ness to thoughtful reflection to playfulness.

My clients, as a result, tend to describe me as warm, thoughtful, funny, and kind.  And, I admit it (!), I take pride in the number of times I’ve been told from clients that they’ve “made more progress” with me than with therapists in the past and that they “feel more of a relationship with me.”  They commonly describe these former therapists as good listeners, but as not nearly as engaged.