Counsellor in Berlin
My counseling practice aims to create a safer space built on respect, honesty, and creativity to express your thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a container where they can be held, seen, validated, and processed.
I am Charity (she/her) my professional background is in clinical and community social work and human rights, with a decade of experience working in hospitals, residential homes, and community outreach. During that time, I worked with addiction treatment and recovery, supporting victims of human trafficking, and at-risk youth. These days, I'm working to improve mental health care and support services for LGBTQIA+ folks, especially for anyone who has felt unrepresented or unseen in traditional mental health services.
Growing up queer and polyamorous in a small, conservative town in rural Canada showed me some of the big gaps that people who are a little different can fall through when it comes to mental health care, and now I'm on a mission to make the world a little more gentle to misfits. I completed my Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in music therapy, then after some time working professionally, I moved to Berlin, Germany to pursue my master's degree in Social Work as a Human Rights Profession at Alice Solomon Hochschule. My master's thesis focused on The Lived Experiences of Polyamorous Families in Canada.
If you're looking for a therapeutic ally who understands (and has lived experience with) the unique needs of queer, polyamorous/ CNM, and kinky folk, I absolutely welcome you to get in touch. I strongly believe in using scientific evidence-based practices and am a registered social worker in the province of Ontario, Canada.
All of my counseling interventions stem from principles of trauma informed care, harm reduction, and strengths based therapy. In case any of those terms are new to you, here's how I view them:
Trauma Informed Care recognizes that trauma is a part of life and that everyone will experience trauma at one point or another and places emphasis on creating a safe(r) place where the trauma can be seen, held, while recognizing how the trauma may be impacting our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Harm Reduction at its basic is respect for folks and their capacity to change. Folks use a wide variety of coping mechanisms for emotional pain and the aim of harm reduction is to reduce the harm of the coping mechanisms over time while gaining new skills.
Strengths Based Therapy is born from positive psychotherapy which focuses on internal strengths, resilience and resourcefulness.
My interventions also draw from creative therapies, attachment theory, and cognitive behavioural therapy with my worldview grounded in intersectional feminism and queerness.
I offer a free initial consultation for anyone interested in beginning a therapeutic journey with me. I like to think of my work as forming therapeutic alliances, and I believe it is important for us to get to know one another before committing to working together.
I am a private-pay clinician and am therefore unable to accept health insurance. However, I believe that counseling and mental health support should be accessible to everyone, so to help keep my practice affordable I offer a sliding/ spectrum payment scale. I know how much of a stressor finances can be, so we can decide together what level of contribution best suits your unique situation.
Qualifications And Experience
Master of Arts (2018) Social Work as a Human Rights Profession from Alice Solomon Hochschule, Berlin Germany
Master thesis: The Lived Experiences of Polyamorous Families in Canada.
Bachelor of Social Work , minor in Music Therapy (2012) from the University of Windsor, Canada.
11.2019- Counselor, Charity Smith Counseling (Berlin, Germany)
02.2016-07.2016 Withdrawal Management at Bluewater Health (Sarnia, Canada)
11.2012-06.2016 Caring Connections Caseworker at House of Sophrosyne (Ontario, Canada)
10.2012-11.2013 Residential Youth Worker at New Beginnings (Windsor, Canada)
09.2011-04.2012 Social Work Intern at Legal Assistance of Windsor (Windsor, Canada)
08.2010-04.2011 Social Work Intern at Community University Partnership (Windsor, Canada)