I am a native Texan and other than a few years spent in San Francisco during the 70’s, I spent most of my life in the DFW area. I moved to Waco in 2016 after a year and a half stint on South Padre Island. I’ve come to love many things about Waco, but I do miss seeing the ocean from my living room!
“I’ve reinvented myself career-wise several times, with the common thread of striving to be of service to others.”
I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1993, and a Masters in Public Affairs, also from UTD, in 1995. I worked for several non-profits over the next decade, including a domestic violence agency. It was there, surrounded by counselors doing work I have no doubt was saving lives, that I found the inspiration to go back to school to become a counselor. Thinking that I wanted to work exclusively with adolescents at the time, I first earned a teaching certificate from the University of North Texas. While teaching high school, I continued my education at UNT and earned an MS in Counseling in 2009.
“Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing.” ~Pema Chodron
My areas of specialty include substance abuse, trauma, anxiety/depression, domestic violence, and mindfulness. I have worked as a counselor, supervisor, and clinical director for adult residential substance abuse treatment centers. I understand the devastation active addiction has on both the individual and all who care about them. I also believe there is a solution, and I am honored to help individuals and families discover freedom from suffering. I currently work in private practice and enjoy seeing adult clients with a wide range of challenges including those listed above as well as relationship discord, anger issues, grief, and more.
“The basic root of happiness lies in our minds; outer circumstances are nothing more than adverse or favorable.” ~Matthieu Ricard
All of my work, as well as my personal life, is grounded in mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as the awareness that comes from paying attention in a particular way -- on purpose, moment-by-moment, nonjudgmentally, and with kindness, if possible. When we practice training our attention to stay in the present moment, we become much more aware of the stories we tell ourselves and how much suffering we experience as a result. Among other modalities, I enjoy utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which has a strong mindfulness component, to help clients with struggles of all kinds. ACT is based on cutting-edge research into how the human mind works. It has been clinically proven to be successful for a wide range of psychological challenges. The unusual name comes from one of its key themes: Learn how to accept those things that are out of your control, and commit to changing those things that can be changed to make your life better. This is a very active therapy, especially well-suited to an online platform, in that it's not one in which we just sit and "talk" about your problems. It's a therapy in which you actively learn new skills to improve your quality of life.
How does that sound?
- Stress, Anxiety
- Trauma and abuse
I also have experience in LGBT, Relationship, Family, Grief, Anger, Self esteem, Career, Bipolar
LPC #72860 (Expires: 2018-09-30)
Laura has been really helpful and I appreciate my steps forward.