Meet Renee Smola, the therapist who wrote the guides for our latest book

Meet Renee Smola, the therapist who wrote the parent and clinician guide for our latest book.


Renee Smola has been working with children in residential and in private practice since 1995. She is certified as a Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (TF-CBT) working with children who have been severely abused and neglected. Renee owns a midsized counseling agency in St. Louis where she supervises other counselors, provides counseling and offers trainings to Children’s Division, Parent Aides and school districts.

Additionally, she teaches part time at two local colleges. In her spare time, Renée volunteers as a board member for the Missouri Mental Health Counselor Association and is the President of the women’s group at her church. During her time off from helping others, she enjoys competing in marathons and triathlons, camping and riding horses at their family farm with her husband and two sons.

When asked why this book and topic is important to her, she replied, “I have worked with hundreds of children in the foster care system and have a great deal of tools and therapy resources, but not one item addresses adoption and the obstacles children and their families face.”  “Adoption and finding a forever home is not always fuzzy and warm; change is often accompanied with anxiety.”

“My hope is this book is used to help alleviate some of the stressors associated with learning to fit into a new home and understand it is common to have mixed feelings as well as open the door for communication.”

Renee can be contacted at

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