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Meet Beth

My name is Beth Smith, LCSW- Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Southern California, I am a Licensed therapist with over 8 years of clinical experience, and founder of Mindgarden. I am bilingual, English and Spanish speaking. I earned my Bachelors Degree in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. After completing my B.A, I became certified as an Addictions Counselor and worked at a Rehab for adolescent youth for a total of 5 years, starting as a counselor and taking on the position as Program Manager shortly after within the same department (residential setting).

I then earned my Master's Degree in Social Work at California State University of Los Angeles. Working in the nonprofit organization for 6 years I have been able to gain training, certifications and extensive clinical experience in community mental health. I have been fortunate enough to have served a diverse population, including children, teens, adults and families living with chronic and severe mental illness, survivors of trauma and Domestic violence, LGBTQ+ folks, undocumented individuals, and differently abled individuals. I have worked in various settings: School-based, Field-based, Residential and Outpatient programs. In 2022, I began working as a self-contracted therapist at a Group Practice, and opened my own Private Practice.​

My Story

I was born in Mexico and when I was 2 years of age, my parents and I immigrated to the U.S. to pursue a better life for our family. I am a first generation college graduate and the eldest of 6 children. I was a high-achieving high school student with a high GPA, AP classes and super Athlete, voted "Female Athlete of the Year" my senior year and "All Star" in the yearbook. I had to work full-time to pay for my college education all out-of-pocket, due to being undocumented at the time, I was ineligible to receive FAFSA grants or loans for tuition. This was years before DACA and the Dream Act became available for undocumented individuals, which I'm glad this will now help many in the same situation. I became a single mother at the age of 21 while trying to finish my Bachelors Degree. With the help of my family, I was able to graduate.
 
*If you would like to know more about my Education and Experience History, please refer to the bottom of this page under "Extensive Education & Experience," I know I would've found it helpful if I had seen this prior to navigating the education system and trying to figure out what to get my degrees in and experience I needed to become a therapist. 

My interest in psychology stems from my passion of wanting to help people and see change, always wanting to learn and grow, and learning what it means to be human. With a special interest in human behavior, Neuropsychology and Neuroscience.

 

Growing up in a Latino community in which mental health was stigmatized, it was hard to talk to anyone about our feelings or mental health issues - we just swept them under the rug. I wanted to open my Private Practice to help break generational cycles, spread awareness to de-stigmatize mental health and inspire others to pursue their healing journey.

I chose the name Mindgarden, because a common metaphor for our mental health is that of tending to a garden. Our self-care, thoughts, and habits are reflected in the seeds and plants that we have watered and nurtured. What we water will grow. We learn to cultivate mindfulness, care, and patience to our growth process. Just like plants and flowers, we don’t bloom overnight. This is our mind garden. 

I started my Instagram page as @MindgardenTherapist in April 2020, because I wanted to have a place where I can share some self-care tips, mental health awareness, coping skills, and spread kindness and compassion. I had been wanting to start it for a few years before that, but I finally started it during COVID times, since I wanted to help others, especially during those times of uncertainty for everyone. 

  • Instagram

I was also featured on

The Poly Post Newspaper 

Extensive Experience & Education

2009 - 2012

Bachelors Degree in Psychology
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

2012 - 2014

Chemical Dependency Counselor
East Los Angeles College

2012 - 2017

Program Manager
CHCADA

2015-2017

Master's Degree in Social Work
California State University, Los Angeles

2017 - Present

Therapist
Hillsides

2017 - 2020

Therapist
Hillsides

2022 - Present

Therapist
PATH

2022 - Present

Therapist
Self-employed

While working on my degree I had to work full-time at an Italian food Restaurant then I worked at a Mediterranean food Restaurant. 

I went into the Addictions Studies program at ELAC to become certified to be able to help people with Dual Diagnosis (Mental health and Substance Abuse Disorders).

I had 2 internships: a Residential program at Glendale Adventist Alcohol/Drug Services rehab, and the other one was an Outpatient internship at Hillsides.

I got my first job as a counselor at a Rehab for adolescent youth at CHCADA - California Hispanic Commission of Alcohol and Drugs. I got promoted to Program Manager shortly after

Went to Graduate school to get my Master Degree in Social Work to become a therapist. During my 2 years in grad school I had 2 internships: one year at Foothill Family Services, and the second year at Hillsides since I loved Hillsides, I knew that’s where I wanted to work after I got my degree.

Upon graduation with my Master's Degree, Hillsides offered me a job as a therapist. Happily, I took the job offer and I’ve been there for 6 years. 

After gaining 3,000 hours, I passed my licensing exam and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2020. I had to take my exam wearing a mask during COVID times.

Worked at a Group practice for a year before going on Maternity leave with my second child. 

I opened my own Private Practice called Mindgarden Therapy. 

INSTAGRAM

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