Hello. My name is Shelby Smith. I am originally from Missouri, but I have lived and worked in roughly 17 states and two countries. Presently, I am a clinical mental health counseling intern at the Counselor Training Center. I am currently in my second year as a master’s student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at the University of Tennessee. Prior to joining the UTK community, I graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology after which I worked in a variety of non-counseling fields for seven years. The lessons I learned in my academic and work experiences have combined with my life experiences to grant me a strong appreciation for the complexity of human existence, the beauty and importance of cultural diversity, and the strong impact of systems of privilege and oppression within our societal systems. I strive to be authentic and genuine in all of my interactions, and to create a safe counseling space where clients know they are held in respectful and unconditional positive regard. I have a deep love of nature and creativity, and will often bring in art-based activities and potentially a plant or two during counseling sessions.
I have a passion for social justice and a strong interest in working with individuals who identify as LGBTQIA+. As such, I am elated to be working in partnership with the UTK Pride Center for my internship this semester. In my scant free time I enjoy hiking, painting, reading, cooking, spending an inordinate amount of time staring at rocks and/or plants, and having long conversations with my goofy siblings.