Lauren Aikin-Smith, MPH, MSW, CHES, LSW, is an open and warm-hearted licensed social worker and certified health education specialist. Lauren moved from Lancaster County to Pittsburgh in 2005 to attend the University of Pittsburgh. Upon graduating from her undergraduate program in applied developmental psychology she served as an AmeriCorps member in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood. Lauren then returned back to Pitt for her graduate degrees in direct practice social work and public health. Currently, Lauren is working on her PhD in human sexuality studies. Her research and dissertation work is focused on sexuality after early pregnancy loss across sexual orientations. Most recently, Lauren has worked primarily in a university setting with students who are struggling with general stress, anxiety, depression, substance use, gender identity, sleep, sexual health and sexuality and sex therapy. She has also taught several classes at the university level around mental health, sexuality and relationships, and general stress management.
Lauren is trained to help her clients with LGBTQ issues, sexuality, sexual functioning and pleasure, foster care and adoption, in/fertility, grief and loss, relationship/marital stress, and body image. Lauren works through a non-shaming and sex positive lens, prioritizing communication and pleasure for everyone. She has worked with a diverse group of clients over the last several years, including individuals, couples, or triads that are part of the LGBTQ, kink, and poly communities and those with ‘non-traditional’ relationships. Lauren also has experience working from a family based perspective and has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in the past.
Lauren specializes in couples, marriage, and sex therapy utilizing an integrative approach. She believes that every individual and couple are unique and a strengths based approach focused on resiliency helps clients achieve the best possible outcome. An integrative model allows her to look at the couple’s situation through many lenses and select the best intervention to help with their specific concern. She uses several models for both individuals and couples including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Gottman Method Couples Counseling, Intersystem Approach, Sensate Focused Techniques, and Psychoeducation. Lauren believes in a mind-body connection and frequently utilizes mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness techniques can be particularly helpful in sex therapy to bridge the gap between the physical sexual response and mental sexual response.
Lauren enjoys spending her free time with her wife and adoptive and foster children participating in community events, swimming, cooking, and exploring the city of Pittsburgh. Lauren is serving clients in the Counseling and Wellness Center of Pittsburgh’s North Side location. For an immediate appointment with Lauren Aikin-Smith, MPH, MSW, CHES, LSW please call us at 412-322-2129 Lauren is proud to offer the sliding scale and work with self paying clients to help them heal from sexual dysfunction and create a relationship with care, connection, and sexual intimacy.