Hello! My name is Laurie...
How Might I Be a Good Fit For You?
I am so glad you have stopped by! I could tell you all about my credentials, where I got them, how many I have, from what schools do I hail, etc, etc, blah, blah. That might mean something to some people but I'm guessing that it doesn't help you all that much in your decision making process of choosing a therapist. The fact I'm able to put "therapist" or "counselor" behind my name means I've done an extreme amount of work, written hundreds of papers, and read more books and research than one could imagine! It also means I've done an incredible amount of my own emotional work.
So then, what really makes one therapist different from another if their "job" is to assess, diagnose and treat people? What is there to judge besides someone's education, experience, credentials (do you even know what they stand for?) or the types of mental health challenges and treatment approaches they use? These are all very important pieces to be sure, but truly connecting with a therapist is so vital to your growth and reaching your goals. Research even supports this! I believe the relationship with your therapist should feel like putting on your favorite comfy, stretch-waistband pants and teeshirt the minute you get home from work (and may not get out of for the whole weekend!). Ahhhh....
I am a trained counselor and certified clinical trauma specialist, but I too have camped out in the black hole of hopelessness fueled by painful and traumatic experiences. I understand well that emotional pain left unresolved shows up in the quality of our health and relationships, and often leads to poor coping. Trauma is often the culprit and seed of many presenting issues ranging from depression, anxiety, overworking, OCD, perfectionism, anger and rage, memory loss, problems with attention, fears and phobias, isolation, overcompensating behaviors, and addictions of every kind. It can be associated with promiscuity, identity struggles, eating disorders, dysfunctional and unhealthy relationships, negative changes in family functioning, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders and chronic, physical pain.
"Every black hole has an escape route, but sometimes we can't see past the darkness anymore and just need to let go and allow someone to throw in a rope to help."
Credentials & Experience
I received my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Minor in Criminology / Criminal Justice from Portland State University. My Masters Degree is in Clinical Mental Heath Counseling from George Fox University. I am a member of the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Counseling Association (ACA), and the Oregon Counselor's Association (ORCA) where I also serve as Treasurer of the board. I am also an Advisory Board member for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Oregon.
As a certified clinical trauma professional (CCTP) and specialist, I am a member of the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP). I have specialized training in Grief and Loss by David Kessler, one of the world's foremost experts on healing and loss and am Level I trained by David Burns, MD., a Stanford University professor who developed T.E.A.M. CBT, a cognitive behavioral intervention protocol that builds upon Aaron Beck’s theory. Additionally I am Level I and II trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a powerful psychotherapy treatment that helps to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic experiences (EMDRIA approved). I hold clinical certification in Hypnosis for Trauma & PTSD which accesses our brains ability to associate highly focused attention with a calm nervous system, where we can process without retraumatization. I also incorporate Somatic Experiencing, which is a mind-body approach that works to release trauma energy that gets bound up in the body. Integrating and honoring the body’s felt sense of trauma is an integral part of healing.
I hold the NCC designation (National Certified Counselor) where I earned my therapy ballz by passing a grueling four-hour exam. In addition to providing individual therapy, I have also facilitated counseling groups that include skills training, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), anger management, psycho-education and advocacy. I have worked extensively with addictions, including men in long-term residential treatment who battle repeated incarceration and co-occurring mental health challenges, often including poverty and homelessness, failing health, unemployment and estrangement from their families.
My approach to therapy incorporates cognitive behavioral methods (examining one’s thoughts and beliefs) to facilitate change, however I also draw heavily on trauma-informed and attachment based theories while integrating Somatic Psychology. It is my desire to help my clients explore their core beliefs and heal areas of hurt and shame... with grace and acceptance, which is how we undo self-condemnation and judgment.
As a foundation, Systems Theory asserts that we impact and are impacted by the family we grew up in and the family we are currently a part of. Exploring themes in your life, ways of coping, family dynamics and key interpersonal relationships can be central to gaining insight, and understanding that leads to change and healing.
Supervised by Nicole LaVerne, PsyD., LPC, MAC, CADCIII, ACS