"Long before I received my professional license and training, I was drawn to the healing potential of caring relationships. A personal challenge at a young age prompted me to get a Bachelor’s and then a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Delhi University (India). My further interest in relationships and family dynamics took me to the pursuit of another Master’s and Doctorate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Texas Tech University. During the pursuit of my PhD, I had the honor of working at Texas Tech University in teaching, mentoring and researcher capacities. I have spent the last 15 years doing clinical work in one capacity or another. 

I have been fascinated with the mind-body interface since my early childhood when I practiced broad meditative and yoga practices. Professionally, I have been fortunate to gain experience in the Mind-body medicine methods via post-doctoral training via workshops and conferences as well as my clinical work with clients. My belief in the potential of mind-body techniques to alleviate our suffering only strengthens with each passing year. I am convinced that in behavioral health treatment, we must integrate the findings from mindfulness and hypnosis research studies that highlight the notion that our minds and bodies are not separate and hence cannot be separately treated. In my current private practice, I work from this basic premise and successfully use mindfulness-based therapy and clinical hypnosis, and my clients find rapid relief in their suffering from the use of these techniques. 

Prior to my private practice, I spent some years working with StarCare Lubbock (formerly Lubbock MHMR) as the Director of Adult Behavioral Health Programs, and before that, as a therapist at the Texas Tech Family Therapy Clinic and Family Counseling Services. I have lived in Lubbock since 2000 and having grown up in a big city, I now enjoy the benefits of a living in a smaller city. When I am not teaching mind-body methods to my clients, I am either practicing those myself, reading about them or silently preaching to my friends and family or daughters. Outside of my private practice, I like to spend time with my daughters, Maya and Sofia; and my astronomer husband Collin.” 

Neetu Arora Smith, Ph.D., LMFT
Individuals and Couple counseling in Lubbock;  
West Texas, & Eastern New Mexico region
Areas of Clinical ExperienceCodependencyAnxietyDepressionSleep difficulties. I also specialize in working with couples who experience distress, dissatisfaction, and decreased warmth and intimacy in their relationships due to destructive cycles of conflict and problematic communication.  

Clinical Model: I believe that our life challenges often present uniquely tailored opportunities for our growth. When we don't have effective ways of coping with internal or relational distress, it "shows up" in our life in the form of sleep difficulties, or symptoms of depression or anxiety, or weight issues, or inability to focus or sustain our attention. It also shows up as increased conflict and consequently reduced capacity to experience joy in our most intimate and loving relationships. Effectively learning to manage our internal distress and cope with our anxieties is the key to ultimately having a productive and self-directed life. Therefore, I teach my clients to become aware of their “reactions” and learn how to choose to "respond" instead of feeling forced to "react" to their inner turmoil, their circumstances, their life events, experiences and ultimately to their partners or children. Conceptually speaking, I understand my clients' lives with a bio-psycho-social-emotional model. I ask questions regarding health, sleep, eating, relationships, emotions and cognition, spirituality/religion (when applicable), and family history because they all connect to who we are at this time, and how and why we experience certain difficulties in certain areas of our lives. 

In my work with couples, I teach partners to develop differentiation and resilience, instead of dependence.I also help partners work on individual issues that contribute to the relationship difficulties. I may recommend some intensive individual work along side couple sessions, if I note that individual issues are coming in the way of your ability to progress in joint session. 

I teach practical conflict-resolution skills using Gottman's model to partners. Using ideas of differentiation and comfort-growth model from David Schnarh's Crucible therapy approach, I teach partners ways to effectively manage their internal distress, increase their distress-tolerance, and communicate from a place of integrity within themselves. These skills help couples de-escalate destructive patterns of volatility or shut-downs (fight or flight or freeze reactions). 

Specific Techniques: In addition to traditional cognitive behavioral strategies, I specialize in the use of Mind-Body techniques, mainly Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and Clinical hypnosis. ​Mind-body techniques bring about relief from: 
(A) Psychological and emotional symptoms such as:  
- Anxiety, 
- Depressed mood, 
- Relationship conflict, 
- Attention difficulties, and 
- Self-destructive habits such as smoking

(B) Stress-mediated medical conditions such as: 
- Gastrointestinal problems, 
- High blood pressure, 
- Autoimmune diseases, 
- Pain (acute and chronic), 
- Chronic fatigue, and 
- Sleep difficulties. 

My therapeutic style tends to be collaborative, respectful and educational, and my clients note rapid relief in their suffering, emotional-psychological or relationship-based. 

**I am a clinical member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) and an associate member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis (ASCH) and routinely travel in order to attend trainings and conferences for my clinical education. 

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Honor Your Path
Counseling Services
Neetu Arora Smith, Ph.D. 
Marriage and Family Therapist