Carla Hett Smith
RCSW (registered clinical social worker), EMDR Trained
Accepting New Clients
St. Albert (Virtual and in-person)
Carla's Fee: $200/hour
Carla has over 5 years experience as a mental health therapist and 9 previous years doing mental health and addictions work in the acute care setting as a social worker. She feels that people are her best teachers in how they relate to themselves, those they love and the world. Through careful listening and reflecting, she sees her role as facilitative, bringing forth preferences and helping her clients initiate their own change process that make sense for them from a stance of respect and worthiness of all.
Direct Bills to:
Canada life/Great west life
Medavie Veterans only
Who Can Carla Help?
Carla has experience working with children under 13 (children under 13 require a phone call consultation), adults and families. She enjoys working with individuals willing to be vulnerable and showing up for this journey whether it is the first or twentieth session. She believes that everyone has the ability to determine their own values, hopes, dreams, and style of therapy that works for them.
Family & Parenting
Trauma & Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Grief & Loss
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
Counselling for Children & Families
Child Therapy (10+)
Carla uses play therapy techniques as the medium for children (10+), youths and adults to process emotions in a safe and accessible way. For example, through drawing, sand or water tray or creating worlds with imagination and props, she helps people better express complicated thoughts, feelings or memories.
Carla has completed level 1 play therapy and worked with children, youth and their families with this medium.
No family is perfect. Most families have a lot of good things going for them, while also having complications that may need shoring up. Carla believes that mental health challenges hurt families, and not just individuals, so ensuring that the family has a healthy dynamic is just as important as ensuring that the individuals are taken care of.
Carla provides compassionate counselling to all kinds of families who are experiencing difficulties, but especially families with teenagers impacted by mental health. She believes that everyone has the power to be a part of the solution and draw on their innate strength to address current issues. During family counselling sessions, beliefs, communication patterns , values and cultural issues are explored to identify preferred areas of work and how this context shapes preferred ways of being a family, while developing unique solutions to improve family dynamics, communication, respect and trust.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
When youths experience emotional dysregulation, it causes a lot of distress, fear and turmoil for everyone around them. DBT (or Dialectical Behavior Therapy) is a specialized treatment with the philosophy that: (a) everyone does the best they can to cope in the ways they know how, and (b) we have the ability to learn the necessary skills to cope better in situations and relationships.
Carla works with youths and their parents to more skillfully respond to tough emotions and situations. It is essential for parents to develop the skills to respond to a distressed youth because emotional dysregulation is somewhat 'catching' - meaning, it is very difficult to respond to someone who is dysregulated without having advanced regulating skills yourself. This approach requires practice and can be done in groups, or with individuals.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
Carla uses dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT) when a person is looking for and willing to put in the work develop valuable coping skills. DBT offers a structured approach to learning to live more skillfully in the world with our emotions and relationships.
Carla applies mindfulness techniques as a holistic way to encourage individuals to focus on and live in the present moment.
Mindfulness techniques help integrate conscious awareness in all parts of daily experiences.
Attachment Based Therapy (ABT)
Using attachment-based therapy, Carla helps individuals who have lived through negative childhood experiences that impaired their ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. Carla can help rebuild trust and security in relationships.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
Carla also uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques which focus on recognizing and challenging unhelpful thought, feelings, and beliefs. Her holistic approach often integrates CBT with other methods.
Carla uses play therapy techniques such using as props and imagination to help children, youths and adults understand and process difficult thoughts, feelings, emotions, and memories in a safe and accessible way.
Carla uses solution focused therapy to help an individual focus on the present and future by directing their energy on the solution instead of the problems. This form of therapy is effective for anxiety, depression and low self esteem.
Narrative Therapy (NT)
Narrative therapy is both a philosophy and a specific therapy that encourages individuals to be the storytellers of their own lives. Carla has recently begun incorporating this approach in a more formal way during her counselling sessions.
Carla uses eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) to treat various forms of trauma. EMDR offers a measured and safe way for individuals with trauma to recall, process and heal from traumatic events.
More About Carla
In her free time, Carla enjoys a good read with her book club, as well as getting outside and being physically active. Carla grew up around a farm that she converted into an urban farm where she grows her own vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees/bushes. She enjoys playing the piano, attending live music events, supporting her kids’ during sporting events, and has even been known to dabble in quilting from time to time . Her cat, Charlie, and dog, Athena, always keep her family on their toes with their antics.
When she was little, Carla was told that she was sensitive and loved to talk. While this could have been perceived as a weakness, today it is one of her greatest strengths. She feels privileged to combine those traits with valuing who individuals and their family are as people. Her philosophy is to seek to understand through connecting with dialogue and activity. She believes people are experts in their own lives, and that when offered a space to explore whatever they wish with more clarity, acceptance, courage, compassion, and, at times humor, healing shows up on the walk together.