Licensed Mental Health Counselor
About Smith M. Tilka, LMHC, MS, NCC
My clinical perspective and practices are based in the belief that we are all curious,
courageous, compassionate, and confident human beings at our core. However, we all
may struggle to access those parts of our selves at many different times throughout our
developmental lives. And during those struggling times, we may have difficulty trying to
find and access our paths towards emotional and physical stability and well-being.
Many of the clients I work with struggle with control, self-criticism, negative appraisals,
obsessions, compulsions, depression, anxiety, and/or feeling not fully alive and at ease
with being themselves in their worlds. I am committed to fostering the therapeutic
relationship in order to help reduce or alleviate their symptoms with efficiency and care.
That is, because I believe the therapeutic relationship is one of the most powerful
resources and tools that we have, and this belief is empirically supported, to create the
best therapeutic outcomes for our clients. And I do this by creating a comfortable, non-
judgmental environment where my clients can begin to heal and grow. I help my clients
feel empowered and get on a positive path towards growth and well-being. Similarly, I
work with my clients to address their challenges, uncover their potential, and lead a life
that is worth celebrating. Thus, I am excited to be on this path of self-development and
self-awareness with all of my clients. It is a true honor to witness a client’s growth and
change and it is one of the most rewarding aspects of the therapeutic process for me.
My name is Smith M. Tilka, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and Nationally
Certified Counselor. I specialize in psychodynamic psychotherapy and existential
psychotherapy. I believe that the conditions of the mind reside in the intra- and inter-
personal struggles that rest and reverberate in the consciousness of the mind. Most of
us can, and will, have disruptions in our development at some point throughout our
developmental lifespan. Unfortunately, none of us make it out of our childhoods
unscathed from experiencing wounds and scars. However, that is not to put blame on
those times, but it is to help us understand how the mind is developed and how those
impressions can have their influence on the presenting symptoms within the here and
now. It is through gaining awareness, acceptance, and resolving these disruptions
through processing action that we can help clients unburden themselves from their
presenting issues and heal their past wounds.
I utilize an individual approach to all diagnostic and treatment planning. I treat
individuals, groups, families, couples, adults, adolescents, and children. I offer
experiential healing, motivational training, self-regulation training, and psychoeducation.
I have been involved in the social and mental health service industry since 2011, and I
have extensive training in addictions, traumas, eating disorders, and women’s issues.
Some of my additional specialties include phase of life issues, relationship issues,
parenting issues, adjustment issues, disorders of the self, post-traumatic stress
disorders and their trauma resolution, family of origin and ACOA issues, codependency
and addiction recovery, sexual and identity issues, grief and loss, mood disorders, and
anxiety disorders. For me, I believe in a holistic treatment integrating the mind, body
and spirit into the healing process.
Smith M. Tilka, MS, RMHCI, NCC is a Sarasota Psychotherapist and Counselor with
her office centrally located in the heart of Downtown Sarasota. She works with clients
via in person, by phone or through Telehealth services.
Over 10 years of experience within the Mental Health Field, which includes treating
addictions, relational issues, trauma disorders, eating and body image disorders,
suicidal and non-suicidal self-mutilation, sexuality and sexual disfunctions, adjustment
disorders, neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety disorders, bi-polar disorder, and
major depressive disorder.
3+ years’ experience in Private Practice
Licensed Mental Health Counselor with the State of Florida (LMHC)
Nationally Certified Counselor with the National Board of Certified Counselors (NCC)
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Trainer
Master of Science in Counseling and Psychology:
Troy University (2020)
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology:
University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee (2017)