Ask about Laura Bryan
Laura Bryan, MSW, LICSW
Thank you for checking out my bio! I hope to tell you enough about myself so that you’ll be able to determine if I’d be a good match for you. It’s hard reading about people’s degrees, experience and interests, when what matters most is having a comfortable connection with a counselor where you feel safe, not judged and respected. People are vulnerable when they enter a counseling office, wondering and worrying if their counselor is the right person for them as they share private thoughts, experiences and fears. My goal is to help you feel comfortable because if you’re not and can’t be honest about what’s going on, it just won’t work well! The more you trust me and the more information I have, the better help I can be. What I know is very important to most clients, is demonstrating that I can be both approachable and trustworthy. And, helpful.
I am a very experienced therapist, with over 17 years of having a private practice in Portland OR. My move to the Seattle area (Aug 2017) was to be closer to my daughter and her family who live here, wanting to participate more in family dinners, soccer games and music recitals. Living in Portland made that nearly impossible so this move has been a welcomed and exciting change for me!
My BA degree is in psychology from Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR and my social work degree is from Portland State University. In the earlier years of my career, I worked at a mental health center in Vancouver WA as well as one in Portland OR. I then moved into doing EAP (employee assistance program) work, ultimately becoming the clinical director and then the director of that program. While also seeing clients (always my first passion), I did the marketing for that counseling service and won the contract for the City of Portland Police and Fire Bureaus. I learned about the challenges of being a First Responder and have since developed a niche for this special group of people (which also includes 911 dispatchers). I left the EAP to open up a private practice in 2001.
My private practice in Portland was very busy and fulfilling. Clients came with all sorts of issues, from depression, anxiety, stress, relationship issues, employer challenges, self-esteem problems, substance abuse and grief/loss (of parents, spouses, children, divorce, job). Age ranged from 21 to 91. Some people came in for just a few sessions; others came in needing more time and work due to their specific life challenges. I work with people of all diversities; LGBTQ, any and all ethnicities and belief systems. I love the work I’ve chosen; it comes naturally to me and I truly enjoy the clients I’ve met and who have shared their lives with me.
I use several models of therapy, including cognitive-behavioral, mindfulness, aspects of DBT and am trained in EMDR as well. Using these models both separately or collectively allows me to follow the lead of the client and what works best for them. I don’t pigeon hole one model for each client; we’re too complicated for that. My approach is inquisitive, interactive, supportive and strengthening. I listen carefully, ask questions and listen some more, looking for clues to help find resolution to what is troubling you in your life.