Speakers

Dr. Ryan Smith, LPC, LMFT

Dr. Ryan Smith, is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). He currently serves in the position of Chapter Liaison of the board of the Texas Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. Ryan received his Master’s in counseling and his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Commerce. In addition to his counseling work, Ryan spent eight years as a public school teacher at both the middle school and high school levels. He has extensive clinical experience working with the parents of school-age children who struggle behaviorally and academically to establish family-based solutions. He has worked in a variety of clinical settings involving couples and individuals of all ages, though his main specialty area is marriage and family therapy. Ryan’s clients can expect a warm and compassionate atmosphere with a focus on building a trusting relationship whether the presenting struggles are individual, couple, or family based.

Dr. Jodie Elder, LPC-S, LMFT

Jodie Elder is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor (LPC-S) and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling from Texas State University-San Marcos, and a Doctorate in Counselor Education and Supervision from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Over the past 15 years, Jodie has provided counseling services for children, adolescents, families, couples, and individuals in various agency and private practice settings. Jodie is passionate about both professional service and advocacy, as evidenced by her work as the Texas Counseling Association's (TCA) Liaison to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists and as TCA's Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. Invigorated by interactions with students, Jodie is also passionate about engaging with and mentoring the next generation of counselors through her work as an adjunct faculty at SMU.

Dr. Sarah Carlson, LPC-S

Dr. Carlson received her Masters of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward's University and Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling from the University of North Texas. During her time at UNT, Dr. Carlson specialized in play therapy and school counseling, with a focus on assessments. Dr. Carlson is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor through the State of Texas and a member of the American Counseling Association. She is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and member of the Association for Play Therapy.  Dr. Carlson is also an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and a member of Yoga Alliance. Through Yoga Alliance, she is a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider® (YACEP®).  Dr. Carlson is certified in yin yoga, and Oh Baby! Fitness® Pre/Postnatal Certified Instructor, and Mindfulness Certification Training (MCT) Graduate from Dallas Yoga Center. She specializes in early childhood development, and she enjoys working with clients who experience various concerns, including anxiety, depression, grief, aggression, life transitions, twice-exceptionalism, and special needs. Dr. Carlson also works with twins and families with multiples.

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