My license reads Laura, but my friends, family, co-workers, and clients call me Lori. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist as well as a Licensed Professional Counselor 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 about people in general. 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.
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. 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 and am now sharing space with my two favorite therapists in Alaska, Tina McGauthiar LCSW and Megan Gruhl LPC in our beautiful suite above Wells Fargo Bank. It really is a dream come true to have such a lovely space to offer clients and be able to interact daily with colleagues I admire so much. Each day I consider myself tremendously lucky to work with a broad spectrum of clients from new freshman in high school 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 (tranditional two-parent homes, single-parents, co-parenting, blended parenting etc), all forms of trauma (to include PTSD), young adult/colleage 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 practioners if need be,
My professional approach is considered a practical, client-centered, family systems, 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 and alternatives approaches, drawing upon a variety of styles and techniques to incorporate what will be most helpful for each client. With sensitivity and compassion, I work with each client to help them build on their strengths to identify and achieve individual life goals.
I have been married to my high school/college sweetheart for almost 27 years and together we have 3 amazing young adults; our oldest is a beautiful daughter who currently attends Howard University School of Dental Medicine after graduating from the University of Portland, she's working really really hard and we are incredibly proud that she is making her dream of becoming a dentist come true. Our middle son just graduated from University of Oregon through earning a full ROTC scholarship and is now serving in the Oregon National Guard and just started his first full time job with a company that works out of the Port of Portland, again, super proud of him! He feels so grateful to have earned a job working in his major that actually pays him well, and we are so excited for him too!! Our youngest, we are equally as proud of as he is on scholarship at the University of Oregon as a manager for the Women's NCAA Basketball Team who are currently ranked #7 in the country! We make lots of trips to Oregon to see our sons and to cheer the Lady Ducks (and their support staff..,!) on to their next appearance at the NCAA Finals!! Our youngest is studying what else... Business and Sports Product Design and will intern this summer with U of O Athletic Dept, how awesome that he can wear Nike athletic gear every day and be in the gym... another dream come true! Last, but not least we are empty-nest parents and that feels a little weird but we have our little 3 1/2 year old Morkie (a fancy way of saying Maltese/Yorkie Mix) Rosey to keep us on our toes! She visits my office once in a while and is super friendly, she loves to lick, and snuggle on your lap. Truth be told, when she visits, most of my clients are way more excited to see Rosey than they are to see me!! She's very very friendly with adults and children and will remember you, even if you've only met her once!
When I'm not working or micromanaging my young adults and husband I love to travel, take photographs, decorate, play with paper, shop (a lot), ski (when my back cooperates), hang out with my friends and family, and travel some more.
BS in Special Education, Elementary, and Early Childhood Education, Temple University 1991
MS in Community Counseling, Columbus State University 1998
Post Graduate Marriage and Family Courses, Friends University, 2002
Licenses & Certifications
Alaska Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #226
Alaska Licensed Professional Counselor #381
Nationally Certified Counselor
Level 1 Trained Gottman Therapist
EMDR Trained Clinician
EMDRIA certified member
Professional Activities and Memberships
Clinical Member, American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Member, Alaska Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
Full Member, Trained Clinician, EMDR International Association
President, Alaska Association of Marriage and Family Therapists Board 2016-