About Lauren

What drives my work as a Couple and Family Therapist is my belief in everyone’s ability to make positive changes in their lives and my dedication to building strong families. My approach to therapy begins with taking a client-centered, strengths-based empathetic perspective. I strive to create a comfortable and safe environment for those I work with.

Drawing from Cognitive Behavioral, Solution-Focused, and Experiential therapy, I am adept at tailoring my approach to meet the needs of my clients and am committed to helping you excel in your emotional intelligence. We will discuss where you’ve come from, where you are at now, and where you desire to go next.

I specialize in working with children, teens, adults, and families, where I build connection and cohesion in couple and family relationships. I am certified in Play Therapy and Filial Play Therapy, for children ages 3-11 years old. My work with teens and young adults often focuses on issues such as depression, anxiety, family conflict, social/dating skills, academic/career concerns, and transitions. In my work with children and teens, I expect a high level of parental involvement in the form of family work, where resilience will be fostered.

For premarital couples or couples considering marriage, I am a certified PREPARE/ENRICH (www.prepare-enrich.com) facilitator. This assessment and curriculum will help us identify your unique strengths and potential areas for growth as a couple. For those not quite ready to say ‘I do,’ I work with dating couples to ensure their relationship gets off to a healthy start with strong communication skills and mutual respect. With a systemic perspective in mind, I work with individuals to build self-esteem and improve well-being. I will help you navigate change and transition as we work towards a greater sense of purpose and stability in your life.

Beyond therapy, I’ve taught undergraduate classes at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health and graduate level classes in the Department of Counseling at Trinity Washington University. A published author and researcher, I’ve worked on a number of projects exploring the intersection of families and health, particularly adolescent mental health. When not working, I enjoy traveling to new places, mountain biking around Maryland, watching documentaries, practicing yoga, and trying new vegetarian foods.

Education:
PhD, University of Maryland – Family Science
MS, University of Maryland – Couple and Family Therapy

Specialties:
Building resilience in children and teens, emotion regulation skills, depression, anxiety, self-esteem concerns, family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness

Availability:
Monday afternoon and evenings in Bethesda

Licensure:
Maryland: LCM513

Connect with Lauren:

Phone: (301) 960-3955

Email: hello@TheMindfulHeartLLC.com

Twitter: @DrLaurenMessina

Pinterest: DrLaurenMessina

Psychology Today: www.PsychologyToday.com