Laura is a bright new star and comes to us recently as a primary therapist. Laura finished her degree in December of 2019 and was hired full time at the start of the COVID-19 onset on March 23, 2020. Laura is from Manahawkin, Ocean County, New Jersey and attended Richard Stockton University for her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and completed her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Georgian Court University. Laura hit the ground running with us and was immediately active counselling our clients in a unique mix of in-person COVID-19 compliant social distancing and telehealth. Our agency in Blackwood never went Telehealth “only” and still maintains a balanced mix of in-person and Zoom HIPAA compliant telehealth counseling sessions.
I asked Laura, why Psychology? She said plainly that she always had a passion to help individuals and could always connect with people in a non-threatening way. Laura grew up loving the editorials of Carolyn Hax and Dear Abby. She likes to explore an individual’s strengths and see what makes people “tick”. She says whether biochemical or a faulty life issue through trauma, many people are not living their best lives. People get “stuck”. Laura wants to help people be their best selves. Clients tend to rediscover themselves through therapy and get better as they approach recovery.
Laura explained some of the challenges she sees during Shelter in Place and COVID-19. She sees personal growth and the lack of coping mechanisms hindering people. The isolation limits old habits, like going out with friends, a lack of touch, a hug, and social distancing taking away certain natural sensitivities. She thinks wearing masks limits facial recognition and hinders reading people’s emotions. She observes that the structure associated to helping stop the spread of the virus hurts the humanity and social nature in people and to a minor degree is counterproductive for good mental health.
Laura is also active in her counseling association. She is a volunteer with the NJCA New Jersey Counseling Association and seeks to recruit new members. Laura is an optimist and a pleasure to speak to. We wish her great success in her career and journey forward with Recovery at the Crossroads.