Larry Smith, LPC

Larry Smith, LPC (licensed professional counselor)Hello.  The DBT Clinic, PC was launched in January of 2010.  My name is Larry Smith and I’m a licensed professional counselor in the state of Oregon.   I’ve been engaged in the profession of Counseling Psychology since 1992.  I had an internship at Columbia River Mental Health Services (CRMHS) and was hired as a staff on the Outpatient Team prior to my graduation from Lewis & Clark College in June ’93.  I worked at CRMHS for eight years.  I conducted individual and group therapy, supervised interns and conducted trainings in the community.  I started a private practice in ’99.  In ’00, I started working with The Portland DBT Clinic (PDBT), where I worked for nine years.  I continued my private practice while at PDBT.   In November ‘2009 I left PDBT to pursue private practice, focusing on providing DBT.   I love supporting, collaborating with, teaching, listening to and asking questions of my clients in pursuit of their personal growth.

I received my Masters in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR.  In the beginning of my career in counseling, I pursued psychodynamic approaches.  I was mentored in Object Relations and I studied Gestalt Therapy intensively for four years.  However, I’ve always had the ethic to treat clients as effectively as possible.  I want to provide treatments that work best and are most cost effective, just as I want if/when I’m a consumer.  So, I’ve followed what research shows to be the most effective treatments.  Consequently, I’ve changed my emphasis to cognitive-behavioral treatment and have become steeped in DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).  Research on this method of treatment has shown it to me more effective and efficient than standard cognitive behavioral therapy or psychodynamic methods.

When I first meet with prospective clients I conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify what their concerns are, how long the problem(s) have existed and factors affecting them.  Once we are clear on the problem(s), we collaboratively establish goals, then plan an approach to get from “problem” to “solution”.  We create means to monitor progress so as to determine if our approach is working.

The Therapeutic Relationship

In all the research identifying factors that affect outcomes, the most important factor is the quality of relationship between the client and therapist.  The quality of that relationship is a responsibility of both the therapist and the client.  Good “fits” make for good outcomes.  If there are strains in the relationship, the best first approach is to try to work out the problem(s).  If this is successful it is nearly invariably a healing experience. However, if, in spite of best efforts between therapist and client, the relationship just doesn’t work (maybe due to personality differences or the therapy approach doesn’t work for the client), referrals should be made.  I’ve been doing this work for over two decades in this area and have had the good fortune to get acquainted with many very good providers.  I may be able to provide referrals that work well with a client and potential therapist, especially as I come to know and understand people that have come to me for help.   I have great respect for the client-therapist relationship and will work diligently to maintain it’s integrity.  But if we can’t make it work I’m often able to make good referrals.


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The DBT Clinic, PC

2104 SE Morrison Street, Portland, OR 97214

Phone: 971-285-6545         Fax:  503-764-9483