Allison Smith, M.A., LMFT #90288
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified Wellness Life Coach
“Due to my personal medical challenges, I can relate to my patients in a special way.”
Because of her own journey fighting chronic diseases—including colon cancer and young-onset Parkinson’s disease—Allison Smith is uniquely qualified to serve at the Neurology and Pain Specialty Center. She not only provides psychotherapy to her clients and their families, but she also conducts psychological testing, educates patients and directs them to valuable resources.
In 2005, Allison graduated from the University of Arizona in Tucson with a B.A. in psychology. She earned her M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in Irvine, California three years later. In 2009, Allison was certified as a personal trainer (NASM-CPT), professional exercise specialist and corrective specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Despite her physical and mental challenges, Allison wanted to help others. She worked at The Phoenix House in Santa Ana as the admissions director which focused on helping chemically dependent adults recover from their substance addictions.
During this difficult time, Allison made the choice to turn her challenges into something positive, and began working in the Parkinson’s community. In 2010, Allison became the executive director of movement disorders at the Foundation for Neurosciences, Stroke and Recovery in Newport Beach, California, which is where she launched her program, Parkinson’s in Balance. Her focus was to provide fitness classes, support groups and other community events. In 2013, Allison was honored as a Bakken Invitation Honoree for her work, earning a $20,000 grant for the Foundation. In the same year, she launched the “Perky Parkie” blog, which has allowed her to extend her reach in the Parkinson’s community.
Allison joined the Neurology and Pain Specialty Center in 2011 as the director of psychotherapy. Allison also authored, “I Am Not Contagious,” a book about her lifetime of struggling with illnesses.
In 2015, Allison was certified as a Wellness Life Coach, who partners with individuals and families challenged by chronic illness to set realistic goals that promote motivation.
An animal lover, Allison likes to spend her free time with her dog as well as walking and hiking.