Meet Laura

 

laura

                                                                                  

My Mission: To offer clean drinking water (mindfulness & minimalism), and to stop pathologizing human experience

 

Experience is the keyword. I give people the chance to step into the arena of their life, experience it —not run from it, and learn to be skillful with it. They get the experience of being alive and capable— it’s great medicine. In regards to mental and behavioral health, I like to think of it as offering clean drinking water as opposed to a diagnosis.  

 


Work Life

Therapeutic Mindfulness Instructor. I hold a Master’s Degree in Counseling and I am a fully trained mental health therapist and addiction counselor. As a former “traditional”  therapist, and former mindfulness instructor at The University of Virginia School of Medicine, I have found non-conventional means of support for my clients to be more sustainable. I continue to specialize in therapeutic and informal mindfulness practices for mental and behavioral health. I currently maintain a private studio in Charlottesville, Virginia at the Center for Wellness and Change.  I also contribute to Psych Central World of Psychology, Psych Central Professional, and The Fix.

For the past 10+years, I’ve been invested in mindfulness more specific to the male population, opioid use (to include tapering from medication-assisted treatments), addictiveness, and in clarifying the difference between traditional therapy and mindfulness. More recent work includes the value of minimalism to improve mental and behavioral health. 


My Approach:

Education & Self-Inquiry. As a former psychology teacher, I have a strong focus on education; and as a mindfulness instructor, a strong focus on self-inquiry and stress management. It’s all stress: the stress of not knowing how to respond to the pain of being human and the struggle to be ourselves. 

I specialize in evidence-based mindfulness interventions (MBI’s), research-based therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC’s), and minimalism to help clients maintain a lifestyle of their choosing. 


 Specialized Training:

As much as I appreciate my university education, years of clinical requirements for licensure, and various employment experiences within “the system” – I prefer to maintain footing outside of systematic protocols for mental and behavioral health.  

I am more influenced by my formal mindfulness training with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, various other world-known meditation and yoga teachers, my personal Vipassana retreats (insight meditation) as taught by S.N. Goenka, and my direct experience being a beautifully messy human. 

Other specialized training includes; motivational interviewing, rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT), cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectic behavior therapy (DBT), appreciative practice, work with Dr. David Mee-Lee, neurological science, acupuncture detoxification, mind-body medicine, personal nutrition, and organizational psychology.


 History:

Prior to Charlottesville, I worked in a private substance abuse treatment center for professionals, taught at University, and ran a wellness program in N. Florida/S.Georgia offering mindfulness to organizations, universities, and integrative health centers. I participated in a two-year project focused on introducing mindfulness at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital under the direction of Mike Healy, founder of Mindful Living in Athens, Georgia. My beginnings were supported and inspired by Dr. John Mansberger (founder of Archbold Integrative Health) (currently retired) who specialized in the stress aspect of fibromyalgia.


 As an Advocate: 

I advocate for change in the current healthcare system (specifically mental & behavioral health) due to zero, poor, or lengthy outcomes. My mission is supported by science and a deep desire to make sure people are given more options in regard to treatment. I continue efforts toward a healthcare model that reduces pharmacology and empowers patients self-reliance over their own mental and physical well-being.

 

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