Hi, I'm Laura. I became a therapist because I have a passion for walking with people through life's difficulties. I have been working in this capacity with kids, teens, adults, couples and families for the past seven years and I love it! I believe that all of us can benefit from having a compassionate support person to come alongside us during challenges that seem or have become too big to continue to face alone. I also know that seeking out therapy can be scary, intimidating and embarrassing...I felt that way myself before seeking therapy for anxiety when I was in college. Much to my surprise (and relief), I found therapy to be such a supportive, encouraging and uplifting place for me to be myself and find hope and healing from the anxiety that had plagued me since childhood. And this is what I strive to offer my clients - a safe and compassionate place to heal from personal struggles and/or relationship difficulties that persist in robbing them of peace and joy on a daily basis.

When I'm not seeing clients, I love being active outside (running on the beach or in the redwoods, cycling, yoga, paddle boarding, hiking and downhill skiing amongst other activities), spending time with my husband and other family and friends, and reading thought-provoking spiritual books.

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

I have spent the past seven years working with children, teens, adults, parents and families to address a wide variety of challenges and concerns. A bulk of my experience has been in agency settings, including a non-profit counseling center funded by Catholic Charities, a school-based counseling center, and a local nonprofit dedicated to supporting Santa Cruz County's neediest children and families through various different crises. I've had the chance to help people of all ages learn to cope with various traumatic experiences they have endured, and I have worked extensively with mandated counseling referrals...I know how to work with people who don't want help. I also have specific expertise in working with foster families to provide support, both to foster kids and teens as they adjust to short-term changes and cope with long-term trauma, and to foster parents as they learn how to meet the needs of these needy kids while maintaining their own well-being.

CREDENTIALS AND EDUCATION

I am a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (License #79083). You can verify my license here: (enter first name Laura and last name Jenkins Kurek in order to verify my license).

Masters of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Western Seminary, Sacramento campus

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, University of California at Davis

AFFILIATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS

Member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists

Certified Prepare Enrich Facilitator