Compassionate Psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families

INTRODUCTION

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 me, my professional life, business practices, and a little about my personal life. I look forward to meeting you one day soon.

URGENT UPDATE – PLEASE READ
I am so very happy to announce that I have finally moved into a new space that is all my own! I owe a huge thank you to Cima Pillsbury D.O. at Natural Family Health and staff, as well as Dr. Myron Schweigert at Chugach Chiropractic and his staff for offering wonderful temporary homes for me and my clients while we were displaced during the earthquake. I truly couldn’t have kept my practice up and running without your generosity. I hope to be able to someday be able to pay that forward, ALL of you are amazing!
As for the AMAZING NEWS, my new suite is up and running and located by taking the downtown ER exit after the bridge, look for the
White Eagle River Financial Center 10928 Eagle River Road, Suite 140.
(where UAA is housed)

go left around the building and park in the back by the dumpsters, enter the glass doors, my new suite, 140 is just inside the door on the left.



First of all, CONGRATULATIONS, I know it takes a lot of courage to come to understand that you need some extra help, to figure out what’s not working in your life, to take that first step and realize you can’t fix EVERYTHING on your own…

I’m sure you’ve probably tried everything you can think of, for quite a while and things just keep on getting worse. Or maybe you feel like you have one foot in and one foot out of your marriage and have had for some time. 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 wonderful people who have had all kinds of things happen to them in their lives, the common denominator is inside of that person, couple, or family, 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 they would. Wouldn’t it be great to be 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 person uniquely and compassionately, honoring your past, present, and future as well as including 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 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… 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 for the last 15+ years. Prior to that, I practiced out of state for 5 years while teaching at several different colleges and universities as an adjunct instructor.

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, quite honestly, I didn’t notice differences much. The family I grew up in family 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!


Home

 

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!