LAURA LEE TOWNSEND, LMFT, CHHC
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) #125730
Certified Holistic Health Coach (CHHC)
I am an integrative therapist and nutritionist who works with individuals, couples, and families to improve their relationships. I work under the supervision of and am employed by Kathleen Wenger, LMFT, LPCC at Laguna Beach Counseling in Laguna Beach, CA. As an integrative therapist, I draw upon many different theoretical approaches and interventions that are tailored to the clients’ needs. I specialize in trauma recovery and am trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. My approach to therapy is client-centered, meaning we talk about what you feel comfortable with and want to explore.
I BELIEVE EVERY LIFE HAS AN EXTRAORDINARY STORY.
WHAT WILL YOUR NEXT CHAPTER BE?
I adore stories.
That's what led me into writing from an early age, made me nationally published in high school, and inspired me to become a journalist. Although I am no longer a journalist or editor, I still hold firmly that no writer can be their own editor. Writers need skilled editors who aren't attached to their stories, who can see the blindspots, assist in developing stronger characters, and challenge inconsistencies.
That is my role as your therapist: The editor to your life's incredible story. We are a collaborative team to make your life a remarkable tale.
I am a fan of transparency.
If you are about to share the most intimate parts of your life with me, it is only fair you know about me. I grew up in Ohio and received my Bachelor's degree in Magazine Journalism from Ohio University. I moved to California for my first job in publishing. I was drawn to health and wellness writing and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach.
I left corporate America for the small business world, first as a Nutritionist and Manager for a boutique gym chain, and then as a Clinical Nutritionist for a functional medicine clinic. Working at the nutrition clinic showed me I still wasn't quite in alignment with my beliefs. While I fully support incorporating nutritional and functional medicine elements into my work, my passion starts with the mind rather than the body.
I am always learning. One, because I know life-long learning is protective against neurodegenerative diseases (like dementia and Alzheimer's disease); and two, because I genuinely enjoy it. Please see my commitment to learning on my Education and Training page.
I believe in an integrative approach to healing, health, and wellness.
That should be clear by the name of my business, but I'm OK with stating the obvious. As much as we want to believe we are governed by our logical, thinking brains (prefrontal cortex), we are not. Otherwise, we'd all make smart, rational decisions all the time. The limbic system (the emotional, more primitive part of our brains) holds the keys to real change.
Getting these parts of the brain to communicate better gives me goosebumps. Magic happens when our minds and bodies work together and, better yet, when we learn to listen and understand what our bodies tell us. That's why I incorporate so many different approaches to our work together. While my foundation is in narrative therapy, I also draw upon a wide variety of other theoretical orientations and styles, such as:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy
- Functional Medicine That Addresses Nutritional Deficiencies and Lifestyle Changes
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
- Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Art Therapy
A Little More Personal About Me
I live in San Clemente, Calif., with my husband, daughter, and cat. I have been married for 12 years and am in the process of raising a child. These adventures inform my views on life transitions, work-life balance struggles, parenting challenges, identity crises, and family dynamics.
Although I grew up in Ohio, I have lived in Southern California for 16 years now and am grateful to call it home. When I'm not at work, I'm doing yoga, trail running, reading, writing, meditating, cooking, or relaxing with friends and family.
Please look around my site and get a good feel for who I am and how I can serve you. If I seem like someone you would like to collaborate with, please reach out today.