Alvin Smith, LGSW; Clinical Associate

Social Anxiety Help

NOTICE: Sessions are offered in person (observing public health guidelines), or over secure video calls.


Alvin Smith, LGSW; Clinical Associate

Alvin Smith, LGSW;
Clinical Associate


I am a dedicated therapist committed to helping individuals live purposeful and fulfilling lives. I have earned a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University of Southern California and a Master in Public Administration (MPA) from Eastern Washington University, equipping me with a comprehensive understanding of human behavior and social dynamics.

My professional journey in individual therapy, workforce development, higher education, and military service has profoundly influenced my perspective. It has instilled in me a deep appreciation for diverse experiences and fueled my passion for supporting others. As a gay individual, I bring a unique vantage point to my practice, fostering an inclusive and accepting environment for all.

My therapeutic approach is deeply intertwined with my personality. I am known for being resilient, encouraging, personable, persistent, creative, and reliable. I firmly believe in establishing a strong partnership with my clients, working collaboratively to identify their pain points and empower them to overcome challenges. Having lived as a Black American across different regions of the United States and internationally in Japan, Italy, and Mexico, I wholeheartedly embrace cultural diversity and integrate it into my therapeutic practice, honoring each individual’s unique background.

In therapy, I utilize a practical, active, and results-oriented approach called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This approach focuses on identifying and changing unhelpful thoughts and behaviors to promote positive change and improve overall well-being.

Through my work with clients, I have noticed recurring themes and issues in my area of specialization. This insight has guided my approach to helping, allowing me to address these concerns with tailored strategies and interventions. I understand the impact of these themes and the importance of providing targeted support to navigate them successfully.

For me, a key component of the therapeutic alliance and relationship is building trust and establishing a safe, non-judgmental and empathetic space. I believe that a strong therapeutic alliance forms the foundation for growth and healing. Together, we can explore your challenges, develop a deeper understanding, and work towards positive change.

My life philosophy and treatment philosophy overlap significantly. I firmly believe that our personal experiences, regardless of their nature, offer valuable opportunities for learning and growth. This belief guides my approach in therapy, emphasizing resilience, self-compassion, and the unlocking of clients’ inherent potential.

As a mental health professional, the most profound insight I have gained is that people inherently want to do good, but sometimes they find themselves stuck. My primary goal is to provide my clients with the necessary tools, support, and guidance to tap into the confidence and strength they already possess. Witnessing individuals rediscover their inner resources and witnessing their personal transformation is a deeply rewarding experience.

In my own life, I play various roles, including being a supportive friend, a lifelong learner, and an advocate for mental health awareness and acceptance. These roles contribute to my personal growth and enable me to approach therapy with empathy, understanding, and authenticity.

I chose to become a mental health professional because of my genuine love for people and my unwavering belief in their potential. Witnessing individuals break free from limitations and embrace their true selves is incredibly fulfilling. Being able to support others on their journeys of self-discovery and witnessing their growth brings me immense joy and satisfaction.

What I love most about being a mental health professional is the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s life. It is a privilege to walk alongside my clients, empowering them to navigate their challenges, find healing, and create meaningful changes. Witnessing their resilience, growth, and the blossoming of their true potential is a truly humbling and rewarding experience.


If you have any questions or comments, please email Larry Cohen, LICSW, with offices in Washington, DC.

Social Anxiety Help is a founding regional clinic of the National Social Anxiety Center (NSAC):