Do you feel like you’re carrying an extra weight on your shoulders? Maybe you are withholding parts of yourself out of fear of rejection or humiliation. Walking around with shame, self-hatred and/or confusion can be debilitating.
Many times we find that LGBTQIA+ people navigate life in distinct ways – sequestering parts of ourselves to be more palatable for others. This is a survival tactic and it has successfully gotten you this far. But chances are, it has also become increasingly exhausting.
I believe that healing for most LGBTQIA+ individuals happens when we embrace AND integrate our queer identities into our narratives and subsequently our lives. This process can be a lot and this is where my role as a seasoned professional and avid advocate comes along.
My name is Lauren (pronouns. she/her/hers). I am a licensed professional counselor in Virginia and I am passionate about helping LGBTQIA+ individuals, families and their loved ones navigate through life transitions. My approach is client-centered, culturally sensitive and collaborative as I partner with individuals in the creation of their desired narratives.
As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, I am familiar with navigating intersections of sexual orientation and gender identity among others including class, race, education, ability etc. I believe the personal is the political and I am deeply committed to issues of social justice. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, visiting local wineries and spending precious time with my wife and two children.
Theoretically speaking, my first love is narrative therapy. I believe that each individual is the expert on their own life and processing and re-writing the scripts that we've inherited can be a powerful pathway to healing. Furthermore, I use a mix between narrative, strengths-based, trauma-informed and attachment-based therapies. My style is personable, warm and inviting.
I earned a BA in English, minor in Psychology, from Gardner-Webb University (2009), an MA in Womens Studies Gender Studies from Loyola University Chicago (2011) and an MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (2019). I have extensive training in the area of trauma recovery and LGBTQIA+ issues. I have over 13 years of experience in women's transitional housing, sexual assault programming, ACT team, etc.
I have clinical experience with children as young as 5 years old through older adults in their 70's. I have traveled both nationally and abroad presenting on topics related to counseling LGBTQIA+ individuals, LGBTQIA+ identity formations and diversity issues. I was most recently published in Counseling for Social Justice, 2018 edited by Courtland C. Lee.
I am a member of the Alexandria LGBTQ+ Task Force. Professional membership includes the Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE) and the American Counseling Association (ACA).