Leslie Bailey-Smith, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
For many of us, our relationship with our body and nervous system has become unmanageable at best, dysfunctional at worst. Some may live in a heighted state of constant worry, overthinking, and ruminating on future fears. Some may experience the extreme fatigue, exhaustion, numbness, and fog that comes with disconnecting from our bodies. And many of us only swing between these states of panic and shutting down.
Maybe you learned to do this to survive an individual trauma or the collective trauma that comes with experiencing marginalization based of one or more of your identities. Maybe you do this to keep up with a never-ending list of tasks and responsibilities in our fast-paced modern society. Maybe it is a way to manage a major life transition or experiences that leave you feeling overwhelmed and helpless. Or maybe you are a highly sensitive person, empath, or neurodivergent in some way and can easily be overwhelmed with the amount of sensory input you receive. For understandable reasons, many of us have become masters of under or over-responding to our body’s distress signals.
The good news is, if you are reading this, you are already becoming aware of this unsustainable relationship. You know on a deeper level that it is time to increase your self-awareness and make changes. As a therapist, I hope to help you understand yourself, appreciate yourself, and reach your highest potential. Whether we are focusing on present day symptoms of anxiety, depression, and relationships struggles, or we are working to identify root experiences that may have created rigid, impulsive, or unhelpful patterns of responding to life’s challenges, I hope to be a helpful witness, collaborator, sounding board, and/or guide on your path of healing.
In the last 10 years, I have worked in non-profit settings, domestic violence shelters, and the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center. I work with adults dealing with anxiety, depression, PTSD, OCD traits, suicidality, and ASD. I have extensive experience working with young adults, LGBTQIA+ identified folx, and clients from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. As a White identified therapist, I recognize the responsibility I must engage in personal anti-racism work, in addition to exploring how systems of oppression affect individual clients. My approach to therapy is relational, but I draw from several cognitive-behavioral and somatic therapies. I am also EMDR certified.
Specializations: Individual, anxiety, bipolar, depression, trauma/PTSD, EMDR, child abuse, college-aged, phobias/fears, stress management, ADD/ADHD, Autism, LGBTQ, sexuality and gender, women’s issues, caregiver stress, life transitions, relationships, spirituality, non-Christian, chronic illness, career counseling.