A first and foremost a follower of Christ, a husband, a father, and friend. These are the roles that most define me and that I cherish the most. I also am known for my work as a therapist, author and speaker…and on some days I like to call myself an ultrarunner (though I probably need some more races at that distance to be able to say that).
That when I live out of the truth that God continually works toward reminding me of, I realize that I am enough, and that I have what it takes for the task at hand. I work as a therapist because I believe that each one of us has important truths that we need to wrestle with and own, so that we may too live courageous lives.
Overcoming fear in my own life that keeps me pursuing safety and security, rather than living life abundantly. One of the biggest things I am working on in my life currently is to be more present and engaged with others, especially those relationships closest to me. Some of the biggest lessons I have learned about being present are when I’m out finding adventure in the outdoors, whether it be a long trail run, fishing, or camping. I am working on spending more adventurous time outdoors with my family and friends.
One of the most influential thinkers in my life is the Dutch philosopher Soren Kierkegaard. I love when he writes: “To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self…and to venture in the highest sense is precisely to become conscious of one’s self.”
Deciding to seek out help in counseling can sometimes provoke all kinds of anxiety. So my hope and prayer is that we can face the anxiety together, and through the process of counseling, you will be transformed and equipped for the adventurous life that you were called to live.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, working primarily with individuals and couples. I specialize working with couples who often describe their relationships as disconnected, and find themselves living as roommates…just co-existing. I desire to come alongside of these couples, and the many others who have suffered in their relationship. I continue to train extensively around the issues that many couples face (affairs, addictions, pornography, poor communication, intimacy issues, etc.), and besides my private practice and community mental health work with couples, I also spent four years on staff at The Hideaway Experience Marriage Intensives, specializing in co-leading four-day, group marriage intensives for couples. That experience had such a profound impact on my understanding and work with couples that I continue to use many of the skills I learned there in my private practice setting. I also personally trained with Marriage and Family Therapy pioneer Terry Hargrave in his Restoration Therapy model and was certified in it. I also have certifications in Prepare and Enrich, Family Wellness, and Marriage Strong.
I also specialize in working with men. Though I do work with a lot of women individually, many men contact me for my work with them, and many wives contact me to ask about the potential of their husband or loved one coming in to see me. I work with a lot of men who struggle with not feeling “good enough”, or the nagging feeling of “not measuring up.” Many men that I work with are very successful and hard workers, but have a hard time knowing how to be present and emotionally engaged in the lives of those around them. I believe that healthy men are those who are thriving physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, therefore I want to help provide them the roadmap to achieve that. Much of my work with men was also the basis for my book, What it Means to be a Man: God’s Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes (Moody Publishers).
I describe my therapy approach as interactive and engaging, in that I try to provide a healthy combination of talk therapy (processing), insight (education), and experience (practicing/homework) to everyone I work with. Because I believe that transformation requires that we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, I will spend time helping you learn how to grow in each of these significant areas. I was born in Texas, but spent my entire life growing up in Phoenix, AZ, and then moved to California when I was 26 for graduate school. In California I completed a Master of Divinity (’03) and Master of Science in Marital and Family Therapy (’07) at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. I was also the college pastor at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles (’01-’08), and have spent about 22 years of my life in a combination of pastoral and clinical counseling in the church, community mental healthy, and private practice. Though I loved California, my wife and I wanted to simplify our life and move closer to family. We currently live in McKinney, Texas with our two kids and our wonderful group of friends, neighbors and community.
I am the author of The Anxious Christian: Can God Use Your Anxiety for Good? (Moody Publishers) and What it Means to be a Man: God’s Design for Us in a World Full of Extremes (Moody Publishers). Besides writing, I also get asked to speak quite a bit at churches, conferences and other organizations. When I’m not doing these things, I love to spend time with my family outdoors, and I love to run. I just completed my first 50 mile trail run (Palo Duro Trail Run) in October of 2015 and am looking forward to more races of this distance and longer.
You can read more about me and my work at www.rhettsmith.com