I am a Licensed Social Worker specializing in work with women and couples. I have been practicing for five years in a variety of settings including parenting support and education, pregnancy and postpartum care, adoption, and community mental health.
Why I’m a Therapist:
I first became interested in perinatal mental health several years ago when I became a parent myself. I have since seen in my own experience and in the experience of countless friends and clients how our journeys towards, through, and beyond pregnancy can be simultaneously beautiful and breaking. Many women struggle through these experiences, and many feel like they do not have enough support. Some feel surprised by or ashamed of their own emotions. Some feel alone and like they have no way of making things better. That’s why I do this work—if you feel any of those things, I want you to know that you are not alone. And I want you to have the tools you need to truly feel better and live the life that you long for, even if your circumstances are not what you wish they were.
My first priority in therapy is to truly understand you, your concerns, and your hopes. I see therapy as a collaborative process in which we work together to help you get to where you want to be. My approach is cognitive behavioral and influenced by Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I have seen for myself and for my clients that learning to be open to difficult emotions, aware of how we are responding to them, and in touch with our personal values can help us get through even the most difficult of circumstances. My approach is also relational. I believe that our relationships are central to who we are, and that the health of those relationships has a major impact on our well-being. That’s why I love working with couples, as well as helping individuals find more satisfaction in their relationships.
Additionally, my approach is trauma informed and culturally sensitive. This is a non-judgmental space. We all have our own unique histories, and sometimes traumas, that impact who and where we are now. We also all have our own distinct cultures, values, and assumptions. I strive to always be aware of how my own culture may intersect with yours and to always be learning rather than making assumptions about who you are. It’s very important to me that you feel affirmed and validated, so that you can be your most authentic self here.
Education & Training:
Laura received her Masters in Social Work from Michigan State University with a specialization in Clinical Social Work. She has also earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from Hope College. She has since received additional training in perinatal mental health, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and grief and loss counseling. She has also completed the Level 1 training for the Gottman Method of couples therapy.
Areas of Specialization:
Laura provides individual, couples, and family therapy in the following areas: perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, depression, anxiety, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, infertility, adoption, relationships, parenting difficulties, life transitions, spiritual issues, and grief and loss.