Ryan SmithLMFT

Headshot of Ryan Smith LMFT


In Pacific Time

If there was one thing you wish people knew about the therapy experience who might be hesitant to try it, what would that be?

I cannot emphasize that therapy is nothing like you see on movies or television shows like Dr. Phil. When people would ask what I did for a living, I would say I am a therapist. Sometimes they would reference a scene from a movie or television show that did not accurately depict how therapists worked and gave people the wrong idea of what therapy is all about. I am very passionate about being a therapist and take it very seriously. When working with clients, I find it to be important to support them on their journey.

How do you determine therapy goals with clients? What does that process look like?

I take a collaborative stance when determining therapy goals. I typically wait until the third to fifth session and explore what areas the client would like to work on in therapy. I like to wait until the third to the fifth session because, at the beginning of therapy, the sessions focus on building rapport with my clients and getting to them. After this phase is complete, I revisit with my clients their therapy goals. Some clients know or at least have an idea of what they want their goals to be, and with this scenario, I work with the client to create a treatment plan that best supports the client to achieve their goals in therapy. Other clients may struggle to identify what areas they would like to work on, and in this case, I come in and help assist them in identifying their goals for therapy. I will revisit themes the client has shared during the previous sessions and have the client do a process of elimination or create a hierarchy on what areas seem to be the most pressing for them right now. Here the client and I have a better idea of their goals, and I create a treatment plan that will best support them to achieve them.

What does a first session with you look like?

I like to start the first session by explaining confidentiality and addressing any concerns or questions before we start. Once this is done, my clients can talk about anything that they feel comfortable talking about. For some clients who had therapy in the past and are familiar with the therapeutic process, they can get right into discussing their concerns, hardships, and background. For those clients who have not had therapy before and this is their first time or clients who had tried therapy in the past but did not have the best experience, I typically ask general questions to get to know them. I want to emphasize as a therapist, I am reflectively listening to clients, validating them on their feelings and lived experiences, and supporting them. The last few minutes of the session I like to end and ask the client how was this process for them and have a little discussion about their experience with their first session with me.


Sexuality Based Issues

LGBTQIA related issues

Sex Therapy

General Expertise



Work Stress

Relationship Issues


Social Anxiety

Body image issues




Individual Therapy

Types of Therapy

Individual Session


Young Adults (18-24)

Adults (25-65)

Treatment Approaches / Modalities

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Eclectic Therapy

Feminist Therapy

Narrative Therapy

Person-Centered Therapy

Reality Therapy

Training / Certifications



CA, LMFT, 120568


Masters of Education, Human Sexuality Studies (clinical track), Widener University

Masters of Arts, Counseling Psychology, Argosy University

Work History

I have experience working with clients experiencing issues of depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and self-esteem. I have worked with children, adolescents, adults, and persons identifying as LGBTQ. I received my second Masters in Human Sexuality Studies (clinical track) from Widener University, allowing me to practice as a sex therapist. Here I work with clients dealing with issues around their sex lives and/or their sexuality. As a sex therapist, I value using a sex-positive approach while working with clients to help them become more comfortable discussing their sex life or sexuality that they are concerned about or feel problematic. I also honor my client's vulnerabilities in having these discussions and refrain from using judgmental or dehumanizing language.


4010 Moorpark Ave. Suite #118, San Jose, 95117, CA