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Kristen SmithFounder and Clinical Director Kristen Smith has enjoyed practicing as a licensed Marriage, Family and Addictions therapist in Arizona for the past 15 years. She has helped people with the challenges that life brings, while encouraging personal growth and development. She is committed to helping her clients reach a more fulfilling and satisfying life, as they work through their personal struggles.

Kristen has extensive training on trauma and abuse issues. As a Meadows trained therapist, under Pia Mellody, she has the skills to help clients through traumatic events from childhood to adulthood. Additionally, Kristen has been trained in Level I Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a year long training that focuses on somatic experience and mindfulness which helps integrate and heal unresolved trauma. She is also a Level II trained EMDR specialist. (For more details, see the Trauma and Abuse section on our Services page.)

As an Approved Supervisor, Kristen has provided supervision to other practicing professionals who are working toward achieving licensure. She enjoys teaching and training other clinicians to be the best that they can be with their own unique gifts, talents, experiences and education.

Kristen has worked as a licensed addictions therapist for over 15 years. She acquired much of her training at Calvary Center, an addiction recovery facility in Phoenix, AZ. She is skilled at providing individual and family therapy to promote the greatest potential for long term recovery. Kristen can provide resources, skills and a team approach to promote sobriety and recovery for individuals and families struggling with addiction issues.


Erica GoresErica Gores has had the pleasure of working with hundreds of families, and individuals over the years to bring hope into situations that can at times feel hopeless. Erica is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who is able to use her experience working with a broad range of issues to help couples, families, and individuals find growth and healing. Erica’s heart is to work collaboratively with her clients to help them reach their goals in therapy.

Erica is a Level II EMDR trained therapist. Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma. Erica has seen many lives forever changed as clients have found hope and healing through the EMDR process.

Through her own journey with postpartum depression after the birth of her second child, Erica has developed a special heart for women struggling with a variety of issues that can arise around the birth of a child such as postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and birth trauma.

Erica also has extensive experience working with adolescents struggling with depression, anxiety, cutting, addictions, school issues, friend issues, self-esteem, family change, and conflict at home. Erica is able to connect with teens that are often struggling with the idea of being in therapy, and can work with them to build trust that fosters healing and growth.

Other issues Erica works with are Relational issues, Marriage/Premarital counseling, Women's issues, Postpartum Depression, Infidelity/Intimacy Recovery, Recent or past trauma loss, Anxieties, Depression.


Ashley WorthingtonAshley Worthington is a Licensed Associate Counselor working under the supervision of Kristen Smith, LMFT, LISAC. Ashley’s goal is to provide her clients with a warm, empathic environment to allow for trust and openness to flourish. She works collaboratively with individuals and couples to develop individualized treatment.

At Living Hope Counseling, Ashley specializes in working with individuals and couples on a wide variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, addiction, codependency, self-esteem, grief, and destructive relationship patterns. She has also co-facilitated groups for partners of sex addicts, providing a therapeutic space for these clients to find freedom and healing.

In her training at Calvary Addiction Recovery Center, Ashley co-facilitated PAL (Parents of Addicted Loved-ones) group meetings with Mike Speakman, LISAC, PAL founder and author of “The Four Seasons of Recovery for Parents of Alcoholics and Addicts.” Her experience working with clients toward addiction recovery also includes assisting family members who have been affected by the addiction.

Ashley is a Level II EMDR trained therapist. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) is an approach she uses with her clients to move past traumas that have negatively affected them. With this approach, clients are more empowered and liberated from negative self-beliefs or traumatic experiences that impact them.


Gena KohnerGena Kohner is a Licensed Associate Counselor working under the supervision of Kristen Smith, LMFT, LISAC. Gena has a passion for helping others. She actively works to meet each client where they are at, fostering a supportive, safe, and welcoming environment, while tailoring each counseling session to meet the individual needs of her clients.

Gena’s desire is to not only help clients identify and work through their issues, but to also educate and implement new skills and practices for continued success long after counseling is complete.

Gena specializes in working with individuals and couples on a wide variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, addiction, codependency, self-esteem, grief, eating and body disorders, premarital counseling, intimacy issues, and destructive relationship patterns. Gena’s education and training also includes fitness and nutrition and when appropriate incorporates a whole body approach to mental health and wellness.

Gena is a Level II EMDR trained therapist and she firmly believes that this research and evidence based treatment can help move clients past traumas and negative beliefs effectively and in a timely manner.

Gena values spending time with her husband and children and loves to travel and experience different cultures and people.


Mandy HigginbothamMandy Higginbotham is a Licensed Associate Counselor working under the supervision of Kristen Smith, LMFT, LISAC. She desires to provide an empathetic, warm environment of grace and truth. She finds joy as others experience freedom and authentic connection with God, self, and others.

Mandy specializes in joining with her clients as they journey through trauma, grief, loss, anxiety, depression, identity, performance, boundaries, and relationship issues. She provides an integrative approach to therapy.

She served 14 years working in ministry with Athletes in Action. She mentored college athletes spiritually and emotionally and transitioned to working with women in ministry focusing on personal growth and development. Her passion for emotional wholeness and healing came alive during these years, as well as seeing individual’s live out of their true identity and unique giftedness.

Mandy is a Level II EMDR trained therapist. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing) is an evidenced based treatment that recognizes and addresses experiences that have overwhelmed the brain’s natural resilience or coping. EMDR helps to reprocess traumatic information and negatively held beliefs diminishing psychological disturbance.

Mandy is a Holy Yoga instructor, certified in Trauma-Sensitive Yoga. Trauma-Sensitive Yoga is an avenue for developing mindfulness and self-awareness. It aids in symptom reduction and regulation while experiencing safety and empowerment in one’s own body.

Mandy shares her life with her husband of 12 years and finds life to be full with their three young children. During her free time she enjoys girlfriend time, coffee, yoga, home projects, and shopping.


Lindsay StewartLindsay Stewart is receiving her Masters of Science in Professional Counseling with an emphasis in Christian integration. She joins the Living Hope team as a student intern under the supervision of Kristen Smith, LMFT, LISAC.

Partnering with adolescents, adults, couples, and families, Lindsay helps establish healthy personal transformation and relational growth for full and abundant living. She has a desire for people to be healed, found whole, and made anew.

Lindsay also has a heart and desire to listen, and know the needs and wants of her clients in a safe and non-judgmental environment. In her experience of fostering authentic relationships she has used her skills to help individuals heal from the effects of childhood trauma, depression, anxiety, stress and addiction.

In her free time she enjoys homeschooling her 3 boys and paddle boarding with her husband of 12 years. As a family they enjoy camping, skiing, and volunteering within the community. Lindsay is the women's ministry leader within the local church and has a heart for people.

“I love to see people become more relationally connected with themselves, with God and with the people in their lives.  I offer a safe and non judgmental place so that optimal healing can take place.”

Our areas of expertise include couples therapy, trauma and abuse and addictions.

Schedule an Appointment at 602.448.7912 or Contact us HERE.

Living Hope Counseling serves the entire State of Arizona and the Greater Phoenix area, including Glendale, Sun City, Surprise, El Mirage, Peoria, Lichfield Park, Avondale, Buckeye, Tolleson, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Carefree, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Ahwatukee, Anthem, and New River. We provide couples counseling, marriage counseling, family counseling, individual counseling, addictions counseling, and provide help for issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse, grief and relationship challenges. We provide Christian Counseling, but not exclusively, as we are trained to provide therapy to persons of any and all belief systems.


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