Laurie Hales

Professional Experience

Lauren Hales has worked in the mental health field for more than 18 years.  As a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida for more than 16 years, her experience as a supervisor in institutional settings has led to a broad understanding of the impact mental illness has on individuals, families, the healthcare and legal systems and communities as a whole. 

Lauren served as an expert witness at involuntary commitment hearings for more than a dozen years while working as a counselor in a psychiatric hospital.  She has also been the Social Services Director at a 200-bed long-term care facility and worked briefly at an in-patient drug treat center during college.

In private practice, she has specialized in the treatment of trauma and substance abuse in children, teens, and adults.

Education

Lauren obtained her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Mass Communications at the University of South Florida.  Graduate studies in mental health counseling were done at Stetson University. Continuing education has focused on the role of genetics, culture and socioeconomics play in mental health and treatment.  Lauren is also a certified counselor supervisor.

"My Philosophy on Mental Health & Wellness"

I believe most of the time, most of us, are just doing the best we can. When we get stuck, it’s usually due not to inability, but rather a lack of experience or knowledge. Sometimes we just need to be heard and feel understood. Sometimes, we need to add more skills to our toolbox or see things from a different perspective.

Throughout the years of my experience in hospitals and private practice, many advances have been made in the field of psychology. We understand so much more about how our brains work! We’ve developed new techniques and refined old ones to help rewrite new neural pathways, change negative thinking habits and heal emotional trauma. We are finally able to back modalities with hard data. This is an exciting time to be in mental health care.

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