Jill Smith + Associates celebrates 20 years of modern mental health care in the Midlands

May 22, 2023

The woman-owned talk therapy group has served more than 7,000 clients over the past two decades 

Jill Smith + Associates Counseling — the premier counseling practice in the greater Columbia, S.C. region — celebrates its 20th anniversary serving the Midlands with modern mental health care. Founded in 2003, the woman-owned psychotherapy group marks two decades in business. With two locations — one in Lexington and one in downtown Columbia — and a growing team of certified counselors, the private practice has cared for more than 7,000 clients. More information about Jill Smith + Associates (JSA) can be accessed at www.jsacounseling.com.

Jill Smith

“I am touched that the community has embraced me and my company over the past two decades,” said Jill Smith, LISW-CP-S founder and CEO of Jill Smith + Associates Counseling. “When I started, my intention was to do great work — not just good work. This guiding principle positioned our company for growth, and still rings true for each individual team member.”

 What began as a desire to provide the highest quality experience for clients has transformed into an interconnected team of experienced and caring counselors that provide transformative psychotherapy. JSA now has 15 team members with over 70 years of combined experience. Since 2003, JSA has served thousands of clients ranging from adults, couples, children, adolescents and families in all areas of need, including play therapy, EMDR for trauma recovery and couples therapy.

Before Smith opened JSA, she spent years working as a training and program director in child abuse prevention and worked as a forensic interviewer in the child advocacy center world. After becoming licensed to do independent practice, she began working at a counseling group practice. Early on, Smith knew there was much within the industry that could be improved, and she set out to build the best environment for her own private practice.

Smith invested heavily in both clinical training and entrepreneurial training to set the business up for success.

“It was always important for me to be a great therapist, and as I began to grow the practice, I realized that it was also important for me to be a great businesswoman,” said Smith. “I take immense pride in my team and the high level of patient care each person receives when they walk through our doors.”

With a collaborative company culture, JSA has built an employee-oriented work environment. From continued education to team training, benefits and bonuses, JSA is known for its supportive, progressive and professional setting that exceeds employees’ needs well beyond industry standards.

Lifelong learning is a core value of JSA, and the counselors are consistently bettering themselves through co-therapy, tape showing, training, independent learning, observing colleagues and feedback seeking through supervision.

A leading-edge practice within JSA includes using video recordings of permission-granted sessions to be used in group problem-solving. This creative method allows for innovative group discussion, and unique training opportunities to level up all counselors within the JSA team.

Full team collaboration creates a competitive advantage for JSA and its clients. The company didn’t want to build a group of independent contractors working under the same roof. Smith learned quickly that forming a collaborative, supportive team brings exponentially more value to our level of work satisfaction, and clients can feel that.

“I am proud of the way our company has grown and the values our staff share. The JSA team is warm and inviting, they care deeply and are eager to learn more about the art and craft of psychotherapy,” notes Smith.

JSA’s primary therapeutic approach is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). This attachment-based approach — developed by Sue Johnson — helps individuals and couples identify negative patterns in their relationships and the reasons behind them. Then, clients learn how to lovingly change those patterns. This method has been researched extensively, and JSA has seen much success with it over the years.

Smith praises EFT for changing the way she practices. Smith is certified in EFT and all JSA couples’ therapists are trained in EFT, along with other modalities. Internal EFT group meetings provide a great time to share the latest training information and review steps in the protocol and staff cases. JSA is one of few practices locally using EFT as its underpinning approach.

JSA counselors share the motto, “curiosity without judgment.” This mindset is at the forefront of counselors from client interactions to continued education and understanding oneself.


JSA’s Downtown Columbia Office Moving to New, Expanded Location

Under renovation, JSA will expand its Columbia office to a new space at 1777 Bull Street. The historic building, nestled between the BullStreet District and Main Street District, was purchased by JSA in December of 2022. Renovations began immediately.

The counseling firm is working with architects Architrave to update the interiors with a modern flare while maintaining its historical integrity. Indigo Design + Construction is managing renovations while Brookegreen Landscaping is sprucing up the space’s curb appeal. Ellen Taylor Designs and Avanti Interiors were secured to bring an inviting and serene atmosphere to the efficient and collaborative working spaces. 

Set to open the new location in June, the firm plans to move its Columbia office there from its current 1231 Elmwood location. The new office will have many more counseling offices and more parking as well as a coffee-shop-inspired bar and relaxing waiting spaces.

Jill Smith + Associates Counseling is accepting new patients — learn more or schedule an appointment via phone at 803-814-5559 or online at www.jsacounseling.com.


About Jill Smith + Associates Counseling

Founded in 2003, Jill Smith + Associates Counseling is the premier counseling practice in the greater Columbia, S.C. region with offices in Lexington and downtown Columbia. The woman-owned talk therapy group has served more than 7,000 clients over the past two decades, providing care for adults, couples, children,  adolescents and families in all areas of need, including play therapy, EMDR for trauma recovery and couples therapy Jill Smith + Associates uses emotionally focused therapy (EFT) — an attachment-based approach that tracks emotions rather than facts — amongst other approaches to deliver psychotherapy excellence that transforms the lives of clients.

Learn more at www.jsacounseling.com.