Jaylen Abstract.jpeg
Jaylen Abstract.jpeg

Professional Background

I obtained my Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Connecticut in 2012.  My masters and dissertation projects included a primary focus on anxiety disorders within a college student population. I was lucky to have an amazing educational and immersive pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital, primarily working on an inpatient psychiatric unit for children and adolescents.  Following this, I worked at a behavioural day school in New Britain, Connecticut as a psychologist providing services to children and adolescents with severe behavioural issues.  I have extensive experience with diagnostic evaluations and evidence-based treatment within medical, school, inpatient and outpatient settings. Prior to starting Latif Psychology, I was in private practice at the Telka-Smith Psychology group for six years.  During psychotherapy, I utilize a cognitive-behavioral approach, driven by the individual’s developmental level and early relationship experiences.  I also incorporate a great deal of close collaboration with parents, teachers, and outside providers so that positive skills learned in therapy can be generalized into multiple environments.

Vision

I sincerely believe people are the experts on their own lived experiences, and I am a small piece of the puzzle to self-improvement.  My job is to empower clients to learn about themselves, practice effective communication, and be leaders of their own journey.  I love to collaborate closely with parents, caregivers, schools, and other members of the chosen family or community.  I am open and welcoming of LGBTQ2S+ clients and clients of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.  I myself identify with many different adjectives and identities: cis-gendered, straight, female, mom, wife, psychologist, friend, daughter, teacher, Bangladeshi-born/ American-raised/ Canadian permanent resident.  I'm happy to discuss these roles only if and when relevant to the therapy process, but want to emphasis the focus is on you and YOUR journey.  I am working on becoming a stronger advocate in anti-racist policies and practices, as well as understanding the impact of intergenerational trauma and ongoing systemic oppression on Indigenous and Black communities. While I do not claim to be an expert on these individuals' lived experiences, I hope to grow and learn and continue to be an ally.

Jaylen Smears.jpeg