Marissa Smarto, Mental Health Counselor (Pre-Licensed) in Tennessee

Marissa Smarto, MA, NCC

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Mental Health Counselor (Pre-Licensed)
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I am a masters level clinician who wants to hold space walk alongside folks on their journey toward living a more authentic, stable, secure, and fulfilling life.

Instead of being taught how to cope skillfully with painful experiences and feelings, many of us are taught to numb, hide, or ignore them. But usually, this actually intensifies the suffering: the ways that we teach ourselves how to cope with challenges can often create whole new layers of pain and suffering. And it doesn’t have to be that way.

I believe that everyone deserves support and guidance as they navigate the trauma and difficult experiences of being human.

I also believe that:

-People are capable of self-directed growth, and a genuine therapeutic relationship can be extremely helpful in facilitating that growth.

-Phrases like “positive vibes only” can actually be incredibly harmful. It’s possible to cultivate joy while making room for the messiness of real life, which includes messy emotions some people call “negative.”

-Healthy relationships don’t just happen. We have as much learning as unlearning we need to do in order to create the kind of relationships we and our partners deserve, and learn how to show up as our best selves in a committed relationship.

-It’s not always about what you experienced; it may be about what you didn’t experience. Many adults who describe their childhood as “normal” feel like something is missing in their life and wonder why they don’t feel happier or more fulfilled. Having unmet emotional needs or attachment trauma can show up as an invisible force in your life— and I can help you identify and move through it.

-Trauma and painful past experiences don’t have to be “big” to have a big impact on you. Therapy can help identify the pieces of your past that you’re still carrying with you, and work to integrate them into your story so they no longer stand in your way.

I am especially passionate about working with people struggling with eating disorders / disordered eating, trauma (including sexual abuse and assault), relationship issues, anxiety and depression, grief, and family of origin issues. I take a relational approach to therapy and integrate humanistic, existential, and mindfulness-based modalities including Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am also EMDR trained.

Specialties & Clinical Interests

  • Body Image
  • Eating Disorders
  • Relationships
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Injury
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Suicidality
  • Trauma & Ptsd

Therapy Types

  • Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Mindfulness
  • Somatic Therapy
  • Trauma-Informed Therapy

Community Specialties

  • Health At Every Size (HAES)

Fees & Insurance

Cost per Session
$120.00 - $140.00
Sliding Scale
Pay By
Cash, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), Credit Card

Licenses & Certifications

License #
Mental Health Counselor (Pre-Licensed)
Professional Certification(s)
National Certified Counselor
National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC)
Graduate School(s)
Year Graduated
Lindsey Wilson College
Master of Arts