Karin L. Smithson, PhD.

karin smithson, founder of the fatherless daughter project

As a plucky PhD and brave Mom of 3, Dr. Karin carries with her a colorful bag of relatability, experience and insight … with a side of unavoidable humor. A compassionate educator on spirituality and wellness, Dr. Karin found her calling after her own losses and a decade of personal reinvention. She is here to meet you where you are. Often called “the therapist who feels like family,” she is known for wrapping the truth up in a hug with a squeeze of inspiration.

Where She’s Been

Dr. Karin is a sought-after psychotherapist, writer, and motivational speaker specializing in women’s issues, transitions, and life purpose. She has worked in inpatient, outpatient, emergency, group and private counseling settings, including DeKalb Medical Center, The Anxiety and Stress Management Institute, Visions Anew and Georgia State University.

Dr. Karin has earned acclaim as an educator and inspirational speaker at a broad range of venues, including corporate, charitable, and community events. With a background in public relations, television, event planning, professional management, and teaching at the elementary, middle school and university levels, she brings a refreshingly diverse portfolio into the room.

Dr. Karin received her Education degree from Wesleyan College, her Master’s degree in Counseling from Argosy University, and her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Practice from Georgia State University (GSU), with high honors.

Dr. Karin combines groundbreaking research on wellness and relationships with personal insight and clinical knowledge to bring a wealth of information to those wanting change and purpose in their lives. Because of her own public and private losses, including her own father loss, childhood trauma, and a painful public divorce, Karin has a deep personal interest in helping others find hope and healing.

What She’s Doing

403091_559425794083754_2014773026_nDr. Karin blogs for The Huffington Post and has been featured on HUFFPOST LIVE. She has also been featured in USA Today and The Atlanta Journal Constitution. She’s a frequent guest on a wide variety of TV and radio shows across the country, including being the resident therapist for the syndicated The Mulberry Lane Show. Her regular column “Ask Dr. Karin” is featured in Southern Season’s Magazine, and she is a regular contributor to a number of women- and family-oriented websites. She has written numerous national presentations for counseling organizations and has also been featured in cover stories in several publications.

You can find Dr. Karin’s personal blogs on her popular website DoctorKarin.com.

For 15 years, Karin has been deeply committed to the mission of the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC), where she serves on the advisory board. She has been presented numerous community awards, including the ‘One of 100 Who Make Children Feel Like a Million Award’ by Atlanta’s Child Kind Organization, ‘Atlanta’s Leading Ladies Award’ and ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’ cover story honoring her 25 years as an active community volunteer in Atlanta.

After her son was born in 2010 with a devastating host of medical issues, Karin has been honored to speak on behalf of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) and ARMHC, advocating for families facing medical crises. Her experience as a mother has given her the most surprising motivation to make a difference for family’s today and to lay the foundation for the next generation.

At Home

Karin is proud to be a native Atlantan and lives in the Buckhead area with her husband, Joe, a real estate developer and amazing father to their 3 kids. They have boy-girl twins, West & Elise (5) and miracle son, Hoyte (3).

When she takes a breather, she squeezes in Pilates, photography, crafting at the toddler table, cooking, entertaining or hosting disco-ball dance parties with her 3 children. Karin is especially happy when she gets to enjoy reflective, laughter-filled conversation over a cozy meal or finds herself toe-tapping to her favorite live music.

And she is not ashamed to admit that her leopard-carpeted closet is dominated by the color orange and more cream than she puts in her coffee.

Karin & kids