Born, raised and still residing in Taunton, MA, Laurie knew from the time she was in her late adolescence that she wanted to be in private practice and help others. She grew up with her father, a Vietnam veteran who post war role modeled being of service for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Laurie’s mother was on disability for her most of her early childhood and mental health became an interest from this relationship. Laurie has one older brother, who strongly influenced her passion for anti-racism as he ardently self-educated around issues like capitalism and slavery. With this foundation of family dynamics, Laurie deeply wanted to understand human suffering and so she began her journey with the study of Psychology. Laurie attended Emmanuel College in Boston where she completed her Bachelors Degree in 2000. A few years later in 2005 and since having worked in a juvenile detention center, she discovered meditation and Buddhism as a way to help her better cope with young adulthood. Finding Buddhism had Laurie fervently investigating writers who examined philosophy and the self in her twenties. Discovering Eastern ideas left her fascinated with the culture at large. Not long after becoming a mother and while a child protective social worker for the Commonwealth, she continued with her study at Bridgewater State University (BSU) for graduate training. Once she completed her Masters Degree in 2009 at the nationally accredited counseling program at BSU, she humbly realized that there was still, much more to learn about suffering. After working in disenfranchised communities with families, she learned first hand about the impact of disparity and inequality. With this, she continued her training to further understand the impact and treatment of trauma at Simmons College and received a Post-Masters Certificate from their social work program. This led her to Uganda on an International Learning Project where she participated in a service learning project working with governmental and non-governmental organizations addressing issues of HIV/AIDS, Child welfare, Mental Health, and Human rights in schools, clinics and welfare organizations. Laurie began private practice in 2011 upon receiving her license as a Mental Health Counselor in Massachusetts. What she found a few years into the work as a psychotherapist was that still, there was much more to understand about how to best support an individual in a counseling relationship. She found that the historical pathologizing of suffering in our culture was problematic. With this, unconditional positive regard, genuineness and compassion became crucial to offer while relating to and caring for her clients suffering. The benefits were clear in normalizing and validating the pain and suffering of the human experience from a heart-felt place. What she felt was missing in her training were skills to directly help human beings intentionally hold and relate to suffering in a way that was meaningful and beneficial to the mind and body. As a part-time faculty member in the Psychology and Counseling graduate program at Cambridge College, Laurie brings the truth to students in the classroom regarding both the challenges and the beauty of psychotherapy. She stresses the personal, embodied and psychological work of the counselor in training. Because of her continued wish to be a beneficial presence in the face of human suffering, this meant a personal and lifetime committment to understanding the self, what it means to be human, and how to hold the truth that all beings will and do experience suffering in this lifetime. This also meant that she had to accept that she could not “fix” the challenges being faced by her clients as well. As mentioned, Laurie had personally found Buddhism and meditation to be of enormous benefit in her own life. She felt more formal training was needed to help bring these contemplative ideas and practices into the therapy room. A holistic psychotherapy approach that had more of a collective focus of mind, body, and heart. With this, she completed a Post-Masters Certificate of training at the Institute of Meditation and Psychotherapy (IMP) in 2018. IMP is the oldest and most comprehensive training in mindfulness and psychotherapy. The course forms the didactic core for the Advanced Fellowship in Mindfulness and Psychotherapy at the CHA Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CHA-Cambridge Health Alliance) affiliated with the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry– the first such professional advanced clinical fellowship for training of mental health professionals associated with a major medical school. Laurie openly shares the importance of her own individual therapeutic work with a trusted other. Not only to ensure her own wellbeing as a provider, but to normalize the counseling-therapeutic relationship in itself. In public talks given in 2016 and 2019 on suffering, well-being and self-compassion, Laurie openly shared about the depressive episode that led her to take well-being and self-care more seriously. Laurie at this time is a Buddhist student and teacher in training. Please refer to the meditation section to learn more about this training.