Ekeithea "Keekee" Smith, Therapist:
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Greetings! I'm Ekeithea Smith, a passionate therapist hailing from Brooklyn, NY. My journey began with remarkable parents - my teenage mother, who triumphantly graduated while pregnant with me, and my father, who battled alcoholism and left us when I was just eight years old.
My roots are firmly planted in African American heritage, with ties to Norfolk, Virginia, on my maternal side, and St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, on my paternal side. I graduated from Boricua College in 2006 and continued my academic pursuit at Adelphi University, obtaining my Master's in Social Work and a CASAC-T (substance abuse credential).
While not currently in school, my sights are set on the University of Kentucky for my DSW, with plans to kick off this exciting chapter in June 2024.
Growing up in an open-minded family laid the foundation for my career in Social Work. My family's resilience in facing diverse challenges shaped my belief that Social Work isn't just a profession; it's my calling. I didn't choose Social Work; it chose me.
My professional journey commenced in various case management roles from 2006 to 2011, ranging from a federal prison Case Manager to an Aftercare Case Manager, Preventive Worker, and Foster Care Worker. In 2011, as a single mother of two, I returned to school for my MSW and CASAC-T. Since then, I've worn many hats, from an HIV Case Manager to a Program Director overseeing the ARCHES justice initiative.
Now a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Psychotherapist, my focus is on individuals and families. As the Clinical Program Manager of the Youth Adult Families at Bridging Access to Care, I spearhead a program offering supportive housing to young parents facing chronic homelessness and mental health challenges.
Beyond my professional endeavors, I'm an advocate for human trafficking, a Shape Up NYC trainer, and a certified Parenting Journey facilitator.
Why do I care about working with Black people? Simple – I am Black. I resonate with their stories, empathize with their struggles, and align with their journey to healing. I provide a space for their voices to be heard, even if just for an hour.
Having faced racism as a child in the South, I channel those experiences into my clinical approach: interpersonal, humanistic/holistic, self-reflective, and strength-based. I meet clients where they are, fostering hope for a healing journey free from judgment.
Transparency is key in my therapeutic approach. I believe in the power of storytelling and encourage clients to own their narratives. My own story is still unfolding, and I share this journey with my clients through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
On a personal note, I have a unique passion for crafting charcuterie boards. I dream of honing this skill further and starting a seasonal business around it. Join me on this journey of healing and growth – you are not alone.