getting started

“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” Pema Chodron

Welcome to Wayfarers Counseling.  Counseling is a journey of self discovery, uniquely supported by a caring, trained professional with whom anything can be shared in confidence. People often come into therapy because they know some aspect of their life needs to change. They may encounter great conflict, tension, internal resistance, and overwhelm when they try to make changes on their own, and find that they need support and help to proceed.

For most people, emotional pain is not constant—and life’s daily demands can make it easy to put off taking care of long standing, deeper problems or issues. If you have ever had a small sliver of glass stuck in your foot, you will recall that if you are not putting pressure on your foot there is no pain. However, the second you put your foot down, there is an immediate and sharp pain, your foot saying “ouch!”.

This is how I think of emotional pain—something we learn to avoid in life by not putting pressure on the “tender spots”, where the shard of glass is embedded—until we realize that the cost of living in this way is not living at all. In other words, many of us find ourselves living lives of avoidance, where we organize our lives around staying out of pain. This can mean using substances, dissociating, working too much, sleeping all of the time or not at all, exercising too much, overeating, undereating, or living on autopilot where we may hurt others or get hurt many times, without really taking notice of the toll it is taking. Years can pass like this, and those tender spots of pain and hurt are still there, growing bigger and holding us hostage. A little bit of pressure from the outside can release a huge amount of emotion and internal or external destruction, and can be very frightening. It is often after living like this for some time that people realize, in one way or another, “I can’t do this anymore,” and come into counseling.

This is also where the work of self-discovery and growth begins. As clients become more clear on who they are, they learn to tune into their own wisdom and to trust their own ability to make good choices. Discovering one’s capacity for healthy self-leadership (defined by Richard Schwartz, the founder of Internal Family Systems Therapy, as “leadership characterized by compassion, calmness, clarity, curiosity, confidence, courage, creativity, and connectedness,”) is one of the most important things that can happen through the course of a therapy process. While therapy can be painful, it can also restore much light, and having seen this happen many times over, I carry great hope for what is possible in even the most wounded of hearts.

I blend many approaches and theoretical models into my work, including, but not limited to: strengths-based therapy, systems theory, family systems theory, person-centered therapy, sand tray therapy, creative arts work, and evidence-based trauma therapies influenced and informed by EMDR, mindfulness, and Internal Family Systems*. To learn more about me and my background please click here. In particular, I specialize in the treatment of: Simple and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Depression and Mood Disorders, Dissociative Disorders, Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery, Recovery from Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Aging and Life Course Transitions, Caregiver Stress, Family Challenges, Relationship Issues, Self Esteem, Grief and Loss, and Coping with Chronic Illness. I am also interested in helping people understand more about their temperamental traits, and how these traits influenced their childhood experiences within their families of origin and presently in the world at large.

I strongly encourage everyone to take the time to find a clinician who is the best fit for their needs, and with whom they feel safe and comfortable. It is my wish for anyone who is reading this that if you are currently seeking support, you find that person. Please take the time to read over my website so you can learn a little bit more about what I have to offer. 

To learn more about how to reach Laurie, click here.

 *please note that I am currently studying IFS but because I have not formally gone through Level I IFS training, am not a trained IFS therapist.