Welcome to my website and your first look at my professional psychological services. I am happy to provide counseling services to individuals, couples, and families in the greater Eagle River, Chugiak, and Anchorage areas. Please have a look around and learn more about what you can expect when you come to me for counseling services, my professional life, my business practices, and a little about my personal life. I look forward to meeting you one day soon.
Eagle River Financial Center
10928 Eagle River Road Suite 140
Eagle River, Alaska, 99577
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS, I know it can take a lot of courage to come to understand that you may need some extra help and to figure out that something is not working in your life, but most of all, to take that first step and realize you can’t fix EVERYTHING on your own… (NEWSFLASH… none of us can!)
I’m sure you’ve probably tried everything you can think of, for quite some time, and done most of this on your own, without reaching out to those who love and care about you for help maybe because you don’t want to appear weak, or that you don’t have things “under control.” The problem is, things have just kept on getting worse for you, or maybe you have felt like one thing has piled upon another. This can happen to anyone. Or maybe you feel like you have had one foot in and one foot out of your marriage and for some time now, but don’t want to hurt your spouse. Maybe you have a teenager or young adult who is struggling and you just don’t know what to do. Maybe you feel like you do fine all day and when you lay down to go to sleep at night you can’t stop your brain from spinning and spinning, Maybe you feel all alone, and you always have, or you have just lost someone very dear to you.
After almost 20 years of working with some of the most wonderful and courageous people I have ever met, who have had all kinds of things happen to them in their lives. I have noticed that the common denominator is that inside each and every one of these people, couples, or families, there are three kinds of pain; emotional pain, brain pain, and even physical pain that impedes each person from living the kind of life they imagined they would live or always hoped for. Wouldn’t it be great to lessen that pain, or confusion, or feelings of loneliness? Our work will be whatever you decide you want it to be! How does that sound like for a change?
It has been the true privilege of my life to work with VERY STRONG, RESILIENT, AND UNIQUE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES AND I’M BETTING YOU FALL INTO THIS CATEGORY AS WELL. . I promise to work with each of you as in a compassionate, unique manner, honoring your past, present, and working toward the future that you envision for yourself as well as for the important people (or other special creatures) who’ve shaped your life, I believe in the COURAGE AND STRENGTH of my clients and believe my job is to help you become not only who you want to be, but who you were truly MEANT to be. My job is to walk beside you in your journey, not to lead and have you follow behind me on our path together… it is, after all, your life. So in short, our work is collaborative and I believe in learning about you it is only fair and right for me to share just a bit about myself with you…
My license reads Laura, but my friends, family, co-workers, and clients call me Lori.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (Alaska #226) as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor (Alaska #381) specializing in individual, couple, and family psychotherapy, and have maintained a private practice in beautiful Eagle River, Alaska since 2004. Prior to that, I practiced out of state for 5 years while teaching at several different colleges and universities as an adjunct professor of psychology, sociology, and family systems.
Growing up as a military “brat,” my first experience with deployments was at age 6 weeks, when my Dad (and personal hero), a young Infantry CPT, left for his second of three year-long tours in Vietnam. Growing up in a Army family, relocating every couple of years, taught me a lot about the world and a respect for all people, the same or different as me, and quite honestly, I was taught to accept all people as people, regardless of race, religion, or even rank in the military (my husband still teases me that after 40+ years being an Army brat and then married to and Army guy, I still can’t tell what rank someone is when I see them in their uniform! The family I grew up in was and is close-knit and over the years I learned to be flexible, creative, and to believe in the good of human-kind. Sure enough I married a young LT (my high school BF and college sweetheart) and we began our lifelong journey together just after college graduation by getting married 1 month after graduation!
Beginning my professional career as a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in special education, early childhood, and elementary education in 1991, my first job was a third grade teacher at Fort Benning, GA. As the Army likes to do, we were relocated to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and I had the opportunity to work in an inpatient psychiatric hospital for children as the staff teacher, that experience was invaluable to me. It more closely matched all of my student teaching which was focused on the “behaviorally challenge kids,” as they used to say! Shortly thereafter, (and in the middle of having 3 babies in 3 years… yikes!!) I went to graduate school and developed an interest to eventually work with people who had experienced psychological trauma. After 3 years of graduate school I was lucky to graduate Magna cum Laude from Columbus State University specializing in community and family counseling in 1998. Five years later and completing the required 3000 post-graduate client contact hours of working face to face with clients, 8 more post-graduate level classes that specifically focused on marital and family therapy, and gratefully passing my two national exams (whew!), I was awarded my Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy Certificates. That was a PROUD day in my family…
for ALL of us!
In 2004 I opened my private practice in beautiful Eagle River, above the iconic Sleepy Dog Cafe and resided there for a good 8 years.
After a while, I outgrew my office there for the past 7 years shared two beautiful suites above Wells Fargo Bank with some great female colleagues. Unfortunately, since the earthquake, we have gone our separate ways due to the extent of the damage and the estimate of repair. Four months later I am back on my own, happy to be on a normal schedule for both myself and my clients! I consider myself tremendously lucky to work with a broad spectrum of clients from a brand new 7th grader to 70 year old grandparents with a wide range of needs… it always makes my day interesting! Among my areas of expertise are relationships, marital issues both newly married and long-standing couples, parenting (traditional two-parent homes, single-parents, co-parenting, blended parenting etc), all forms of trauma; PTSD (using EMDR), young adult/college issues, military family lifestyle, anxiety, depression, and grief. I work with more complex mental health issues such as Bipolar disorder, Major Depression, Borderline disorder, etc. for those clients that need this type of help. I also coordinate with local doctors and nurse practitioner if need be.
My professional approach is considered truly client-centered, family systems blended with solution-focused therapist. My treatment approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help people resolve current problems and long-standing patterns that have prevented them from living the life they dream of. I incorporate a blend of conventional, alternatives, and artistic approaches, drawing upon a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful for each client. Working with sensitivity and compassion, I work with each client to help them build on their strengths to identify and achieve individual life goals. You will often find me in the “art” room using all kinds of artistic mediums (painting, collaging, mixed media journal books, loom-weaving just to name a few) with my clients during therapy sessions. Equally so, I spend a large amount of time using EMDR with my clients who have experienced trauma.
I have been married to my high school/college sweetheart for almost 28 years and together we have 3 amazing young adults who we wish lived less than 3000-5000 miles closer! Rosey is my “empty-nest” baby, she’s a Maltese-Yorkie mix with the attitude of a Princess… humm…
I’m bringing her back into my office more than before because my clients love her so much, I hop you get to meet her and give her a treat! Warning… she will bark at you, but it’s a fake bark, she thinks she is bigger than she really is and is actually really super friendly… after barking, she loves to lick, and snuggle on your lap, all for. Truth be told, when she visits, most of my clients are way more excited to see Rosey than they are to see me!!
When I’m not working or micromanaging my young adults and husband I love to travel, take photographs, decorate, do yoga, play with paper, shop, ski, hang out with my friends and family, and travel as much as humanly possible!