By Carolina Maciel, April 11, 2023
Cal Poly Pomona alumna Beth Smith opened her own private practice “Mindgarden Therapy” where she provides individual psychotherapy for adults, professionals, college students and teens in California. A millennial therapist with a modern eclectic approach, Smith specializes in anxiety, depression, trauma, work stress, personal growth and life transitions.
A first-generation college graduate born in Mexico, Smith immigrated with her parents to Southern California at 2-years-old.
During her time at CPP, Smith was ineligible to receive FAFSA or loans to pay for her college tuition due to being undocumented at the time. As a result of this, she worked full-time to pay for her education with her own savings. Smith earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology during her days at CPP.
“Throughout my years as a professional I remembered the things I learned at CPP,” said Smith. “The professors were able to provide the curriculum I needed to further my knowledge in the field of psychology.”
Her love for psychology started at a young age when someone close to Smith received therapy where she saw an improvement in their behavior and achievements in school.
“Growing up in a Latino household and 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,” said Smith. “I wanted to break the generational cycle, spread awareness to destigmatize mental health and inspire others to pursue their healing journey.”
After completing her bachelor’s, she became certified as an addictions counselor working as a program manager and counselor for adolescent youth for five years.
Extending her education further, she earned a master’s degree in social work from California State University, Los Angeles in 2017. Smith is one of the 5% of Latinos in the U.S. with a master’s degree according to the The Education Trust in 2016. .
Smith hopes to continue to give back to her community by offering a sliding scale fee to help those who are struggling financially.
Much of her work involves helping survivors of trauma, domestic violence, undocumented individuals and many others.
“I love being a therapist and agent of change. I chose the name Mindgarden, because a common metaphor for our mental health is that of tending to a garden,” said Smith.
She started her page during the peak of COVID-19 to help others during a time of uncertainty.
“Our self-care, thoughts and habits are reflected in the seeds and plants that we have watered and nurtured,” said Smith. “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.”
Feature image courtesy of Beth Smith
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