*Currently offering a waitlist for in-person ecotherapy*
*Currently offering a waitlist for virtual clients*
Therapy with me: As an Ecotherapist I am passionate about guiding my clients to rediscover their unique human-nature relationship throughout our time in therapy. The field of ecotherapy recognizes our intrinsic interconnection to the natural world. Due to various influences, this important connection has become severed in our dominant culture. I work to repair that disconnect with my clients. More specifically I work through a decolonizing, anti-oppression lens which often means learning to re-humanize the process of therapy, the roles of both the therapist and the client, and acknowledging how systems of oppression impact the sense of belonging you may or may not feel while in the natural world. I believe that your identities (race, gender, sexuality, culture, lineage history, body, language, etc.) impact how you relate to the world around you, including how you relate to the natural world. So, working with me often begins with naming and exploring generations of identity within your family and the historical trauma that is often present in those histories. Work with me is trauma-based, evidenced- based, body-based, breath-based and nature-based. My clients are often relieved to learn that therapy, while hard work, can also be a joyful place filled with genuine humor and safe connection.
My impacting identities/roles that inform my work: I am a cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, multicultural woman of culture. I am white passing which means that I have experienced a lot of privilege because in our racialized world I pass for the preferred race of white. My own healing process has been about discovering my ancestors, reclaiming my culture, and exploring the impacts of being the first generation in my family to be born on different soil. This identity informs my human-nature relationship and how I move through the world. It also informs how I show up for you. I align as an advocate for queer, trans, indigenous, black people of culture as a therapist, consultant and a trainer. I identify as part of the multicultural, multi-lingual, Latin-American, immigrant community and work especially well with clients who have a foot in more than one racial, ethnic or cultural world. I love working with clients on Embodied Code-Switching®, a framework created and taught to me by therapist, Marcia Edelman.
I feel informed and knowledgeable about: Ecotherapy and decolonial healing, intergenerational family trauma, the climate crisis and ecological trauma, racialized trauma, colonial trauma, indigenous trauma, complex trauma, symptoms of dissociation, addiction and cross addictions, avoidance behaviors, grief, extreme symptoms of hyperarousal (fight/flight response) or hypoarousal (freeze/fawn), anxiety disorders, mood disorders, compulsive/impulse disorders and disordered eating.
I work best with clients who: Who feel stuck, have anxiety or ambivalence about being in therapy and are open to be being surprised by how nature can be a co-facilitator in their healing. The process of getting unstuck often involves slowing down the mind, the breath and learning the difference between being uncomfortable and unsafe This is a vulnerable practice, so I work best with people who are willing to practice being vulnerable, even if there is resistance at the beginning.
I am not a good clinical fit for clients who: If you are unwilling to explore vulnerability or discomfort of any kind. I am also not a good fit for clients who have more traditional expectations of what a therapist is. You will not get the “therapy” version of me. You will get the whole-hearted, boundaried, imperfect and authentic therapist, who is also a person. Because I work with complex intergenerational trauma, we often go beyond “fixing” into a deeper process of healing. This process has a cyclical nature to it, that unfolds over time and works from the inside out, not the other way around. If you are looking for a quick fix, we likely won’t be a good fit.
What makes me unique: I have brought my skills back home to the east coast after living in Colorado (Arapahoe/Ute Territory) for the past decade. I am a part of a growing community of people who work at the intersection of ecotherapy and Social Justice issues. I offer my expertise to clients and professionals alike with sincerity, warmth and humility.
LEARNING AND GROWING
I am in the process of becoming a board approved supervisor in Maryland to support other provisionally licensed professionals develop their awareness and presence in this work. I am motivated and inspired by the works of Esther Perel, Dr. Jennifer Mullan, Resmaa Menakem and Gabor Mate to name a few. I am inspired by the ways that they lead in the field of addiction, trauma and racialized healing. I plan to complete an Equine Assisted Psychotherapy training within two years to incorporate horses into ecotherapy with clients.
FUN FACTS/RESILIENCE BUILDING
Did you know…My first language was Portuguese?
What resources me to build resilience…I truly believe that if I don’t take care of myself first, I can’t show up for anyone else authentically. So, I prioritize and protect things that provide me with nourishment like rest, movement and mindful connection with my family and the natural world. I try to sleep under the stars at least once every season.
University of Colorado at Boulder
Naropa University, MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling- Wilderness Therapy
Specialized Training in Ecotherapy
Brainspotting – Level 1
Certified Addictions Certification Level I
Board Approved Supervisor – MD Board of Professional Counselors/Therapists
EAGALA Model Certified for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
In July 2022 Laura was interviewed in the New York Times for a story about the healing powers of ecotherapy:
Laura was also featured in the Pew Charitable Trust’s Podcast After the Fact- Where Are We? Mental Health in America:
Episode released October 28, 2022: