Dr. Avantè Smack
Dr. Avantè Smack is a licensed clinical psychologist who founded Courageous Counseling and Consulting to empower those who seek to live courageously. Her mission is to help others expand their definitions of courage to live more meaningful lives. Acknowledging personal struggles, making a conscious decision to seek treatment, and doing the hard work to change unhelpful patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors takes strength and perseverance. Throughout her career, Dr. Smack has witnessed many people display courage in many areas of their lives and wants to continue to help others on their journey to improve their own lives.
Dr. Smack graduated with a B.A. from Spelman College, an M.A. in Psychology from the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She completed her predoctoral internship at Emory University School of Medicine in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and her postdoctoral residency at Kennedy Krieger Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Smack’s research interests have included personality and value development in children, racial/ethnic differences in rates of psychopathology, bullying and parenting. She has published multiple empirical articles and has presented at several national conferences.
In addition to this practice, Dr. Smack works as a consulting psychologist at Children's National Medical Center in pediatric primary care. Dr. Smack specializes in the treatment of anxiety and depression in addition to other life stressors. She is a member of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Smack is currently licensed in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Approach to Therapy
Dr. Smack has a range of expertise that spans from early childhood through adulthood. She has worked with patients in a wide variety of settings including outpatient mental health clinics, substance abuse treatment facilities, hospital settings (inpatient and outpatient), and private practices. Dr. Smack’s primary theoretical orientation is cognitive-behavioral though she often draws from other evidence-based modalities including family systems, mindfulness-based strategies, and dialectical behavioral therapy. In addition, she strongly prioritizes the therapeutic relationship to help foster meaningful change tailored to the individual. A strong therapeutic alliance built on mutual respect is critical to helping individuals achieve their goals. Dr. Smack practices from a place of empathy and seeks to foster a safe and supportive environment where individuals feel comfortable exploring many aspects of themselves.