Dr. Lauren Smithee: PhD, LMFT

Ph.D. level LMFT. Couples therapist. Q***r affirming.


"Not every growth looks the same"- Lea Androić. Remember to be kind to yourself and stop comparing yourself to others :)


Our emotions offer insight into what we truly value. According to Dr. John Gottman: "If you can’t get beyond the belief that negative emotions are a waste of time and even dangerous, you will not be able to attune your partner enough to succeed.”

Want a twice-weekly dose of relationship resources delivered to your inbox? Our Marriage Minute newsletter gives you research-backed tips to strengthen your bond. Get started: http://bit.ly/2qB8FAc


Conflict isn't a death knell to your relationship. 31% of the problems in a relationship are solvable, and the rest are perpetual problems that need to be managed. That's why we talk about "managing" conflict, rather than "resolving" conflict. Trying to solve unsolvable problems is counterproductive, and no couple will ever completely eliminate them. However, discussing them is constructive and provides a positive opportunity for understanding and growth.

NCFR Recognizes Lauren Smithee for Outstanding Research Proposal | National Council on Family Relations 11/03/2021

NCFR Recognizes Lauren Smithee for Outstanding Research Proposal | National Council on Family Relations

In 2020, I received the honor of being awarded the Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award from the National Council on Family Relations. I am excited to announce that I will be presenting a brief overview of my doctoral research tomorrow at the 2021 NCFR conference on how transgender and cisgender women in romantic relationships in which the trans partner is transitioning emotionally experience the trans partner's transition and communicate about their relationship experiences.

What stood out most to me when engaging with these couples was the tremendous resiliency they demonstrated- both individually and as a couple as they experienced change and growth. Within the sample I studied, the vast majority of women felt that they had greatly strengthened their communication skills and the depth of their emotional connection despite and also because of some of the challenges they worked through together as a team. I witnessed so many tremendous stories of love, dedication, courage, sacrifice, authenticity, commitment, growth, and connection. It was truly an honor to speak with these women and to hear more about their stories.

Strengths-based research is incredibly important to me as a relationship therapist and a spouse of a loved one in transition, particularly because of how pathologizing the world has historically been towards trans people and their experiences.

I look forward to discussing this research tomorrow and I hope to share more on this platform about these findings in the future.

NCFR Recognizes Lauren Smithee for Outstanding Research Proposal | National Council on Family Relations The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) is proud to recognize Lauren Smithee as the 2020 recipient of the Jessie Bernard Outstanding Research Proposal from a Feminist Perspective Award, which is given to a graduate student or new professional who has demonstrated excellence in research and p...


How do you validate your partner's feelings during conflict?

Validation doesn’t mean you agree, but that you can understand even a small part of your partner’s experience. It's about you both feeling understood and, ultimately, loved.

Asking your loved one questions like “Is there more to this for you?” or "I'm listening, please tell me more," may help them uncover deeper meanings or other aspects of their experience that they have yet to discuss. By seeking to understand, we can open the door to conversation and resolution.

Discover communication and conflict resolution tools to boost your connection with Gottman Relationship Coach programs today: https://bit.ly/3ci5PUO

Photos from Dr. Lauren Smithee: PhD, LMFT's post 03/31/2021

Today is an important day to celebrate the existence, achievements, and contributions of trans people and to recognize the need for continued work to make our world a safer place. To those who are out and to those who may not have the safety to be out- you matter, you are important, you bring tremendous value to our world, and you deserve respect.

Timeline photos 01/22/2021

Timeline photos

Repair is less about fixing what is broken and more about getting back on track.

Dr. John Gottman refers to repair attempts as “the secret weapon” of emotionally intelligent couples. What separates stable couples from others is not that their repair attempts are necessarily more skillful or better thought out, but that their repair attempts get through to their partner. Because repair attempts can be difficult to recognize, it's important to listen for them before a conflict conversation is engulfed in negativity.

Are you utilizing repair attempts in your relationship? Take the Gottman Relationship Coach: Dealing with Conflict program to learn how to effectively send and receive repair attempts: http://bit.ly/3iaoR1K


You've probably heard of the term, "self-care" but what does it really mean? Self-care is any activity or process we engage in to better care for our physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional needs.

Sometimes we're so busy with our many responsibilities that it can be hard to intentionally focus on our personal needs. Sometimes it can feel like there's not enough time in the day. Sometimes it can feel like we're selfish if we focus on our own needs first. The reality is that we become more resilient and better able to cope with the many stressors of life as we intentionally care for ourselves.

The good news is that there are so many ways you can engage in self-care! Self-care can be taking a bubble bath or spending time with supportive friends. Self-care can be setting important boundaries around your time or emotional labor. Self-care can be letting yourself cry and fully feel your pain when you're grieving. Steps towards more intentional self-care can be as simple as belly breathing in your car for two minutes before you go to work.

What are some ways you can engage in more intentional self-care?

Lauren Smithee – Teen Therapist 06/05/2020

Lauren Smithee – Teen Therapist

I am excited and proud to announce that I have joined the amazing team at Simple Modern Therapy. I am currently accepting new clients in Utah, with my first availability starting on June 22nd. I will continue providing therapy as a couple and family therapist, with an emphasis on trauma, relationships, and working with LGBTQ+ youth, couples, and families. Please feel free to click the link below to learn more about my approach to therapy.

Lauren Smithee – Teen Therapist Lauren Smithee LGBTQ+ Specialist Youth Advocate, Couples Therapist PhD(c), Associate Marriage and Family Therapist $135.00 per 50 min. session $202.50 per 90 min. session (801) 920-7112  Email “Those parts of ...

Timeline photos 03/30/2020

Timeline photos

Normal human responses to a global pandemic that do not need to be pathologized or treated as abnormal:

• Food and eating challenges & difficulties

• Resurgence of compulsive or addictive behaviours

• Obsessive or instrusive thoughts, memories or fears

• Generalised fear, anxiety, panic & overwhelm

• Depression, dissociation, shutdown, freeze, hopelessness

• Feelings of abandonment or loneliness or isolation

• Sense of loss of control or powerlessness. Feeling confused

• Anxiety around money, shelter, food, and other survival needs

• Past traumas being triggered, activated or re-experienced

• Health anxiety heightened (about Covid19 and otherwise)

• Feeling unheard or unseen amidst the flood of stories

• Feeling like existing chronic needs are being ignored

• Thoughts and feelings about death and dying

• New and old grief surfacing

• Feelings of anger, irritation and frustration

• Caring for everyone to own detriment. Compassion fatigue

• Feeling exhausted, fatigued, unmotivated, lethargic

• Hyper-focus, surges of energy, keeping 'doing' to distract

• Immune system depleted, other illnesses starting, chronic flares

(list not exhaustive)

AND if you do need support with any of it, that's okay too.

Sarah Mariann Martland


Supporting Families During COVID-19 | Child Mind Institute 03/19/2020

Supporting Families During COVID-19 | Child Mind Institute

Supporting Families During COVID-19 | Child Mind Institute Our clinical and supportive resources include: Facebook Live video chats with expert clinicians (10am and 8pm) Remote evaluations and telemedicine Flat-fee phone consultations for problem behavior Daily parent tips on childmind.org, Facebook and Instagram at 8am And comprehensive resources for paren...

Timeline photos 03/19/2020

Timeline photos

To those of you holding many feelings for children in these weeks, thank you. Reorganizing daily life is not easy, but we are grateful to watch the world make efforts large and small to protect vulnerable people. In the coming days, we will be sharing resources from partner organizations for those of you looking for ways to create learning opportunities and structure for children at home. We will also continue to share reminders and resources from Fred Rogers about what children may need from the adults in their lives during these uncertain times.


I love this visual for emotionally attuned and trauma-informed support for children. It is so critical to see beyond the surface behaviors and think in terms of relational safety and reconnection.
Credit: www.echoparenting.org


Text on image states:
"Survivor empowerment starts when we learn:
1. How trauma has impacted our brain and nervous system and how to reverse those changes
2. The quirks and tics in our behavior are not because we are crazy, broken or irreconcilably different, but that these are normal responses to abnormal circumstances
3. What is abnormal is the pain, betrayal, and shame of abuse
4. There is hope presented by neuroplasticity, the ability to regulate our emotions, form new mental habits and release trauma stored in our bodies, and when we rediscover trust through safe, stable, nurturing relationships
5. How purpose and meaning contribute to post-traumatic growth
6. Advocating for ourselves releases us from silence, shame, and the lack of power and control we experienced during the trauma..."
Image/Text Credit: Echo


Today I wanted to write to you all about trauma, relationships, and expressing emotional needs. One of the lasting effects of trauma is a complicated relationship with your own emotions. Often, people who have experienced trauma in relationships have experienced others repeatedly criticizing, invalidating, and/or withdrawing love and support when their needs weren’t convenient. Consequently, people who have experienced trauma are often used to holding their emotions inside and silencing their own needs.

Having emotions at all, especially ANGER can often feel off-limits or even dangerous. Holding your emotions inside might even feel safe- it can feel like protection against rejection and shame. Yet, this emotional protection can be a double-edged sword. One consequence is that those who silence their needs often feel lonely, isolated, and disconnected… even from themselves.

Healing from these emotional effects of trauma can take a lot of time, and honestly, it can feel scary. It can feel so scary and confusing to wonder if what you’re feeling is valid. Even when survivors know logically that they deserve to have their needs expressed and met, it can feel so scary to break free from learned relationship patterns and to trust yourself.

Each person’s healing process is different. Healing can be complex and take time. Some recommendations I have are to:
1. Begin to tune in more to your feelings and needs. For those who struggle with people-pleasing, taking too much responsibility, and/or holding your feelings inside, I want you to know that you are allowed to have feelings and to make them known. You deserve patience and compassion, even if you haven’t always experienced this. The love and respect you deserve should never be conditional.
2. Practice self-compassion. This can feel easier said than done but try to offer yourself the emotional nurturance that you might have missed out on.
3. Practice setting emotional boundaries, even when it feels scary. Others' discomfort with your boundaries doesn't mean that what you are feeling isn't valid.
4. Practice voicing your feelings and needs unapologetically. Your emotions are VALID and HEALTHY, regardless of what others have said to you in the past.


I hear many of these learned reactions when I work with survivors of trauma, particularly from people who have experienced complex PTSD (C-PTSD). Here are some helpful, healing responses to reflect on.


YES. And these patterns of protection often show up as Challenging Behaviors. Such a great message for parents & providers.

Timeline photos 11/24/2019

Timeline photos

Relationship Green Flags 😃


Welcome! I'm glad you're here. I am a licensed and PhD-level marriage and family therapist committed to helping individuals, couples, and families overcome difficult situations they are experiencing.

My passion is helping my clients feel empowered to invite healing into their lives. I help my clients build on their inherent resiliency and provide them with the tools they need to look deeper at their emotions, strengthen their relationships, and begin to feel better. I assist clients in beginning their healing process, through a combination of technique and support. My job is to help clients live their lives more fully, engage in more self-compassion and understanding, and to co-create a healing process together. My responsibility is to meet you where you are without judgment and to help nurture an atmosphere of hope, compassion, and respect.

I have years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families from a wide variety of backgrounds. However, I specialize in working with LGBTQ+ youth, adults, couples, and families (particularly trans and gender diverse people), survivors of trauma seeking to heal traumatic experiences and couples seeking to enhance emotional connection, conflict resolution, and communication.

I am an affirmative couple and family therapist. As a q***r woman, my work in allyship to LGBTQ+ communities is extremely important to me both personally and professionally. I am particularly passionate about working with trans and gender diverse youth, their families, and trans adults in romantic relationships seeking couple's therapy. Both in my research and my clinical work, I am committed to advocacy and promoting the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families.

I am fully trained in providing EMDR, an evidence-based treatment for trauma (both levels 1 and 2), Gottman Method Couple's Therapy (levels 1 and 2), Theraplay, and the Marschak Interaction Method (Foundational Theraplay Practitioner Certification). I also have years of experience incorporating emotionally-focused couple's therapy, trauma-informed therapy practices, expressive play therapy practices (both directive and non-directive approaches), experiential therapy, systems work, and LGBTQ+ affirmative practices into my clinical work. My therapeutic lens is emotion-focused, connection-focused, empathic, and empowering.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have.

Videos (show all)

Brief Introduction




Bountiful, UT

Other Counseling & Mental Health in Bountiful (show all)
Wellsprings Utah Wellsprings Utah
Bountiful, 84010

Empowering People. Improving Lives

Bountiful Health Center Bountiful Health Center
415 Medical Drive Ste C100
Bountiful, 84010

The Bountiful Health Center is a counseling center with skilled staff offering mental and behavioral

Sunrise Therapy LLC Sunrise Therapy LLC
845 S Main Street, Ste A3
Bountiful, 84010

Mental Health counseling and therapy, help with anxiety and mood disorders, depression, substance abuse, addictions, anger management. serving all ages individually and in groups.

Leaf Crest Counseling Leaf Crest Counseling
506 S Mainstreet
Bountiful, 84010

Providing therapy for children, adolescents, familes, and adults in Bountiful and Ogden.

Bountiful Counseling Bountiful Counseling
533 W 2600 S Suite 340
Bountiful, 84010

Counseling to help individuals and couples get unstuck

Resolutions, Inc. Resolutions, Inc.
70 N Main Street, Ste 103
Bountiful, 84010

We provide counseling services. You talk; we listen. We leverage our counselor's strengths to uncove

Neurobehavioral Center for Growth Neurobehavioral Center for Growth
415 Medical Drive, Ste A100
Bountiful, 84010

The OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center The OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center
1459 North Main Street
Bountiful, 84010

The OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Resilient Solutions, Inc. Resilient Solutions, Inc.
Bountiful, 84010

Resilient Solutions, Inc is committted to companioning our clients through difficult times. The 13 T

Feller Behavioral Health Feller Behavioral Health
537 West 2600 South
Bountiful, 84010

Welcome to Feller Behavioral Health. We are an interdisciplinary behavioral health care practice com