ABOUT LAURA BYRNES,
Growing up, I always enjoyed talking. I loved to meet people and hear each person’s unique perspective and experience. I pursued a degree in Public Relations but found that while I enjoyed using my organization and communication skills, I was not feeling fulfilled with my career choice at the end of each day. My career led me to event planning and it was during wedding planning that I found myself navigating the complexities of family relationships and deescalating tense situations. I had an inherent drive to make a positive difference, make connections with the people, and make others feel comfortable and cared about, so I decided my skills would be better suited for a career in counseling.
I obtained my Master’s in Counseling from William Paterson University and began working as a School Counselor for the past six years in a high school in Passaic County. I enjoy working with adolescents to help them through the obstacles they face and seeing them become successful young adults. My priority as a counselor is to establish relationships with my students, parents, and staff members through empathetic understanding and unconditional support. I am also a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of New Jersey. Working in a school has provided me with experiences related to anxiety, self-esteem, students coping with LGBTQIA+ issues, coping with different stressors and loss, and the transition from high school to post-secondary plans. Other areas of interest include loss, relationship issues, parenting, and life transitions. Through the therapeutic process, I encourage my clients to reach their full potential and lead more contented and satisfying lives.
I live in Passaic County with my husband and our three boys. I enjoy spending time with my family, cooking and trying new recipes, and traveling.
APPROACH TO THERAPY
I think the foundation to counseling is establishing relationships with my clients by building a strong rapport. From there, I consider myself the “tour guide” on a sightseeing tour. A sightseeing tour typically has a bus driver and a tour guide. The bus driver controls the route and then takes the group to see interesting and important things. The tour guide explains what people are seeing and the significance of those things. I believe the client is like the bus driver, and I am like the tour guide. I lean towards a humanistic approach and strive to create a comfortable, non-judgmental environment where my clients can openly explore their lives and emotions. Ultimately, my goal is to help my clients develop a stronger, healthier sense of self, as well as an understanding of their feelings to help gain a sense of meaning in life.
PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
I completed my Perinatal Mental Health training through Postpartum Support International. This specialized training allows me to work with individuals who are experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders as well as individuals struggling with infertility, perinatal loss, and traumatic birth.
As a mother of three, I fully appreciate the spectrum of emotions that come with motherhood. From grieving the loss of your “past self”, mom guilt, finding a work/life balance, and being overwhelmed with all of the new decisions that need to be made on a daily basis, I am here to help! Parenting can be one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences and I am here to provide support to parents during this transition while also ensuring my clients prioritize their own self-care and wellbeing.