Jessica M. Smedley, PsyD is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a long history of providing direct care and psychological evaluations to adults, children and families across several geographic locations. Dr. Smedley completed her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from UC Riverside, and her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology with Marriage and Family Therapy emphasis from University of San Francisco. Dr. Smedley completed her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, where she also completed two additional Masters' Degrees in Christian Leadership and Clinical Psychology, respectively. Her dissertation work was focused in the areas of trauma and spirituality in urban communities. Dr. Smedley continues to be present in academic settings and currently holds adjunct faculty appointments at The George Washington University and Howard University.
Dr. Smedley completed a significant portion of her clinical training in community mental health settings (i.e., residential, outpatient, community-based) as well as private practice settings, providing direct care and completing psychological evaluations for adults and children who have experienced complex trauma, chronic and severe mental illness, co-morbid diagnoses, learning disabilities, and several family and environmental systemic issues and disparities. Dr. Smedley has also facilitated several workshops and trainings for a number of agencies about mental health education and wellness, mental health stigma, racial trauma, and general self-care and wellness. She has also provided expert insights for the media to include NBC4 Washington, BNC News, Essence Magazine, AARP Sisters Column, Associated Press, and various local radio stations.
Dr. Smedley believes in giving back to the profession and generations to come by volunteering in several leadership roles in her career span thus far. She served as the Ohio Psychological Association Diversity Committee Chair in 2017 and has since engaged in many leadership and advocacy training opportunities within the American Psychological Association (APA). Dr. Smedley is a Past-Diversity Liaison/Diversity Subcommittee Chair for the 2020 APA Practice Leadership Conference. She has served a three-year term on the APA Membership Board and was recently appointed to the APA Advocacy Coordinating Committee (ACC); this committee has a unique role of recommending advocacy priorities to the association. In January of 2023, APA President, Dr. Thema Bryant, appointed Dr. Smedley as the Chair-Elect of the APA ACC, and she will transition to the role of Chair in 2024. She is also active with the DC Psychological Association (DCPA) and started and co-led the COVID-19 Task Force in 2020 to provide advocacy and services to members and the community during the initial stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Further, Dr. Smedley was elected by DCPA to serve as the 2023 President-Elect and APA Council Representative (2021-23). She also helped to co-launch an initiative with fellow licensed healers of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) with the long-term goal of the association providing support to members of the community impacted by health disparities.
As a clinician, Dr. Smedley highly values the importance of growth, cultural awareness, positive racial identity, and incorporating one's unique individual background into treatment. She has found that a strength-based approach has greater, long-term impact, encouraging individuals/families/professionals to hone their strengths and thrive based on a positive belief system.
As a former Division-1 athlete and dancer, Dr. Smedley strongly believes in the importance of self-care and often applies a holistic approach to wellness in her work. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.