Dr. Georgina Smith, Ph.D.

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Dr. Georgina Smith, Ph.D.

Program Director

Dr. Georgina Smith has been working with individuals, families and children since 2001. Graduating from the University of Southern California with an Honors BA degree in Psychology and a Minor in Neuroscience, she continued her graduate education at the California School of Professional Psychology where she received her M.A. followed by her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. From her extensive research and completion of a dissertation in the area of childhood abuse, trauma and attachment theory, Dr. Smith began her clinical work with children and families of all socioeconomic and cultural strata, and gradually moved toward specializing her treatment focus with adult survivors of trauma. With a focus on individual, couples’ and group modalities, Dr. Smith found her therapy centering around the treatment of mood disorders, depression, anxiety, impulsivity and in many cases co-occurring eating disorders and addiction, founding groups that provided support for those in many different areas of recovery. With her arrival at Cliffside Malibu in 2006, Dr. Smith found the opportunity to bring her vast areas of expertise into an intensive daily practice with the dual diagnosis population Cliffside serves. As Program Director, she oversees and coordinates all elements of the treatment program, provides intensive psychotherapy to residents, facilitates process groups and collaborates closely with all members of Cliffside’s dynamic clinical team. Dr. Smith utilizes an integrated therapeutic approach in which she brings a depth of knowledge to her clinical formulations and assessments and practices a blend of interventions founded in elements of self-psychology and object relations, CBT, DBT, insight-oriented and client-centered theories. Dr. Smith’s passionate and integrated approach allows for a connection to her clients where there is a focus on insight and change, discovering and healing the core self, learning to regulate emotion and express needs in healthy and adaptive ways, adapting internal self-dialogue and narrative, and building a wealth of internal and external coping resources that allow for a successful, evidence-based path to recovery, and create a renewed sense of self, empowerment and hope. Dr. Smith believes in building a therapeutic relationship based on respect, genuineness, empathy, challenge and change.