My Mission: To offer clean drinking water (mindfulness), and to stop pathologizing human experience.
Experience is the keyword. I give people the chance to step in 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 regard to mental health, I like to think of it as offering clean drinking water (as opposed to medicine or a diagnosis). I am reminded of the last scene in Lord of the Flies when the naval officer arrives silent, confused, and asks, “What are you guys doing!@#?” I feel much the same about how people are living with medication and diagnoses. It’s like drinking dirty water, and I want to ask, “What in the world are you doing?” and tell them, “There’s clean drinking water.” – laura
As founder of Live More Studio, Laura holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is a fully trained mental health therapist and addiction counselor (Psychology Today). She is a former mindfulness instructor at The University of Virginia School of Medicine, and specializes in therapeutic and informal mindfulness practices. Laura has written for Psych Central World of Psychology, Psych Central Professional, and The Fix. She maintains her private studio in Charlottesville, Virginia at the Center for Wellness and Change where she works with a full medical team.
For the past 10 years, Laura has been invested in mindfulness specific to addictive behavior, and in clarifying the difference between traditional therapy and mindfulness. With extensive experience working with opioid abuse, Laura is currently introducing informal mindfulness skills to medication-assisted patients under the care of Dr. Erik Gunderson. Physician referred clients also see Laura when a temporary or non-pharmacological approach is suggested.
As a former psychology professor, Laura has a strong focus on education; and as a mindfulness instructor, a strong focus on self-observation, and stress management. It’s all stress: the stress of not knowing how to respond to thoughts, emotions, actions, relationships, and daily life.
Laura specializes in evidence-based mindfulness interventions (MBI’s), and therapeutic lifestyle changes (TLC’s) to help clients maintain a prevention-focused lifestyle.
Her work is influenced by formal mindfulness trainings with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli, and various other world-known meditation and yoga teachers. Her personal meditation practice is Vipassana. Other specialized trainings include; 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.
Prior to Charlottesville, Laura 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. She 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. Laura’s beginnings were supported and inspired by Dr. John Mansberger (founder of Archbold Integrative Health) who specializes in the stress aspect of fibromyalgia.
As an Advocate:
Laura advocates for change in the current healthcare system (specifically mental & behavioral health) due to zero, poor, or lengthy outcomes. Her mission is supported by science, and her deep desire to make sure people are given more options in regard to treatment. She continues 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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