about lauren

“To be soft is to be powerful.” -rupi kaur


about lauren:

I am 41 and have lived here in the bay for over 20 years, even though I still think of myself as a New Yorker.

Both my parents were psychologists in private practice, and the language of therapy was ever-present in my family since before I was born.

Before I was became therapist myself, I was a working artist and professional photographer for 12 years. My artwork explored some of the same themes that my therapy work does now; things like self-discovery, identity, and relationships. I loved the intimacy of photographing; being able to see and reflect people’s beauty and strength back at them, to help them reorient to their story in a new way. In the process discovering things about myself. Not unlike therapy.

In my mid-30s I began moving away from photography, looking for another career that was still creative and authentic, but that also let me work more directly on growing myself, deepening relationships with others, and transforming the world. It was this desire that led me back to the family profession.

My work with clients keeps surprising me in how it heals what needs to be healed in me, as much as what needs to be healed in them. I now see both art and therapy as parallel paths on the same journey; to understand oneself and make sense of the world around you.

Teaching & Consultation:

Harm Reduction as Social Justice: Axis Mundi Center, 2018

Working with Trans clients in the Legal System (co-presenter with Sam Davis): Oakland Public Defenders Office, 2017

Divergent Identity, Oppression, and Resiliency: JFK University, 2016

Private therapeutic case consultation on harm reduction, LGBTQ populations, GCS surgery assessments, and other specialty topics: ongoing


EDUCATION & Training:

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist: Axis Mundi Center 2017-ongoing

LGBTQ LOUD Youth Group co-leader/therapist: Pacific Center 2018-ongoing

Master’s Degree in Somatic Psychotherapy: JFKU 2013-2017

Complete EMDR Training: EMDRIA/JFKU 2017-2018

Attachment-Focused EMDR: Parnell Institute 2018

Mental Health at the Intersections: MOSAIC collective 2019

Gender Confirmation Surgery Assessments: self-study, 2018

MFT/LPCC Traineeship: Oakland Counseling Center, 2017

Harm Reduction Direct Services: Berkeley NEED, 1998-2004

Professional affiliations & MEMBERSHIPS:

California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)

World Professional Organization of Transgender Health (WPATH)

Bay Area Open Minds


National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF); Kink Aware Professionals

EMDR International Association (EMDRIA)

The Parnell Institute

Harm Reduction Coalition

National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA)