Smith, Laura (ls2396) | Teachers College Columbia University

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Smith, Laura
Associate Professor of Psychology and Education
Counseling & Clinical Psychology

426A HMann

Educational Background

1990   Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia


1988   M.S. in Counseling Psychology

Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia


1983  B.A. in English and Psychology with High Distinction

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia

Scholarly Interests

Social class


Participatory action research

The development of socially-just community-based practice


Selected Publications


Smith, L. (2010). Psychology, poverty, and the end of social exclusion: Putting our practice to work. New York: Teachers College Press.



Smith, L. (2010). Poverty as Social Exclusion: Relational Dimensions of Social Class Stratification. Hanover, MA:  Microtraining Associates.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Underlined names indicate student co-authors.

Smith, L.., Mao, S., & Deshpande, A. (in press). “Talking across worlds”: Classist microaggressions and higher education. Journal of Poverty.


Smith, L., Beck, K., Bernstein, E., & Dashtguard, P. (in press). YPAR and school counseling practice: A school-wide framework for student well-being. Journal of School Counseling.


Goodwin, A.L., Smith, L., Souto-Manning, M., Cheruvu, R., Tan, M. Y., Reed, R., & Taveras, L. (in press). What should teacher educators know and be able to do? Journal of Teacher Education.

Smith, L.  (2013). Social class and social exclusion: So close, and yet so far away. American Journal of  Orthopsychiatry, 83, 11-16.

Smith, L., Baranowski, K., Allen, A., & Bowen, R. (2013).  Poverty, crime seriousness, and the “politics of disgust.” Journal of Poverty, 375-393.

Smith, L., Li, V. , Dykema, S., Hamlet, D., & Shellman, A. (2013).  “Honoring somebody that society doesn’t honor”: therapists working in the context of poverty. In Session: Journal of Clinical  Psychology, 69, 138-151.

Smith, L., Bratini, L., & Appio, L.M. (2012). “Everybody’s teaching and everybody’s learning”: Photovoice and youth counseling. Journal of Counseling and Development, 90, 3-12.

Smith, L. (2012). Counseling and poverty. In (D.W. Sue and D. Sue, Eds.) Counseling the culturally diverse, pp. 517-526. New York: Wiley.

Smith, L., Appio, L., & Chang, J. (2012). Feminist multicultural counseling psychology and poverty.  In (Enns, C. Z. & Williams, E. N., Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Feminist Multicultural Counseling, pp. 155-168. New York: Oxford Press.

Smith, L. & Mao, S. (2012). Social class and psychology. In (Carter, J., Fouad, N., & Subich, L., Eds.) The  APA Handbook of Counseling Psychology. Washington, DC: APA.

Smith, L., Mao, S., Perkins, S., & Ampuero, M. (2011). The relationship of clients’ social class to early therapeutic  impressions. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 24, 15-27.

Smith, L. &  Redington, R. M. (2010). Lessons from the experiences of White antiracist activists. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice,  41, 541–549.

Smith, L., Davis, K., & Bhowmik, M. (2010). Youth participatory action research groups as school counseling  interventions. Professional School Counseling, 14, 174-182.

Smith, L., Rosenzweig, L., &  Schmidt, M. (2010). Best practices in the reporting of PAR: Embracing both the  forest and the trees. The Counseling Psychologist, 38, 1115-1138.

Smith, L., Bratini, L., Chambers, D., Jensen, R., & Romero, L. (2010). Between idealism and reality:  Meeting the challenges of participatory action research. Action Research, 8, 407-425.

Smith, L. & Romero, L. (2010). Psychological interventions in the context of poverty: Participatory action research as practice. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 12–25.

Smith, L., Allen, A., & Bowen, R. (2010). Expecting the worst: Exploring the associations between poverty and misbehavior. Journal of Poverty, 14, 33 – 54.

Smith, L. (2009). Enhancing training and practice in the context of poverty. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 3, 84-93.

Smith, L., Chambers, D. A., & Bratini, L. (2009). When oppression is the pathogen: The participatory development of socially-just mental health practice. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79, 159-168.

Smith, L. (2008). Positioning classism within psychology’s social justice agenda. The Counseling Psychologist, 36, 895-924.

Smith, L. (2005).  Psychotherapy, classism, and the poor:  Conspicuous by their absence. American Psychologist, 60(7), 687-696.



Related Articles

First Edition: Putting Poverty on the Table

Laura Smith calls for psychology to acknowledge a pervasive problem


Winter Reading

Is there a Mediterranean aesthetic? How should the issue of social class play influence the practice of psychotherapists? And is the United States missing a potential asset in the way it defines and educates bilingual students? These are the central questions addressed, respectively, in books by John Baldacchino, Laura Smith and JoAnne Kleifgen.


Giving Youth a Voice

In which public school students get empowered to conduct action research on issues that affect their lives


TC Faculty Question Education Secretary's Vision

Writing in Education Week, a group of the College's faculty members query Arne Duncan on some of the ideas he laid out in his address to the TC community.