Where New Possibilities Emerge

Strength-Based Psychotherapy 

Pre-Teens, Teens, Individuals, Families


Meet Laurel

My life's journey of 50+ years, along with excellent training in various types of therapy, inspires my work as a therapist. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest before moving to Southern California and had a previous career in advertising. I was married for 17 years and, I am proud to say, we successfully navigated a remarkably amicable divorce. I raised three children (boys and a girl) who are now young adults going out on their own.

I personally understand the complexities of life stage changes such as parenting, co-parenting, empty nesting, blending families, and changing careers paths midway through the game of life. For me, each life experience is a new opportunity to grow, evolve and increase connection to ourselves.

My own experiences with therapy at different points in my life were invaluable, and their impact sparked my desire to begin a different, more fulfilling career helping others navigate difficult challenges in their own lives while creating more satisfying and joyful lives.


My Approach

One single therapeutic approach does not fit all.  I utilize different evidence-based techniques that match the goals my clients have for themselves.  I strive to foster an individualized, caring, warm and friendly relationship with my clients, knowing it isn't easy to open up your life to a new person. I deeply respect those willing to seek therapy. I consider it an honor to be let into my clients' lives. My approach is collaborative and I tend to be more of an "active" therapist in the room.  We are in it together. 

There are lots of reasons people seek therapy. Often they feel stuck in circumstances, relationships, old patterns of behavior, or have self-defeating thoughts or feelings of overwhelm. They are looking for change. For relief. For new ideas. Perhaps anxiety or depression have taken hold. These struggles can be painful to brave alone. Sharing and processing with another in therapy can lighten that load and bring new insight and understanding.


A "Strength-Based" approach shines a light on the innate resources and abilities you already possess that have seen you through thus far. You have it within yourself to heal, and together we can expand those resources and coping strategies in order to move you toward where you want to be. 



Education and Professional Training 


Masters Degree - Clinical Psychology

Antioch University, Los Angeles

Clinical Training

Southern California Counseling Center

Worked with diverse clientele, including Individual adults, teens, couples, families.

School based program working with elementary school children

Family training program

Certified Trauma Trained in Community Resiliency Model (CRM)

CRM is a mind-body therapeutic approach focusing on the biological basis of trauma. CRM explores the concept of resiliency and how to restore balance to the body and mind post trauma.

Certified Trauma Trained in Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM)

TRM is another mind-body approach that teaches self-mastery of skills and self-management over intense physical and emotional states. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Levels 1, 2, & 3 

Kim Cookson & Laurel Parnell

Member of CA Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (CAMFT)

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #111107


What is EMDR?

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Laurel Parnell is a leading expert and trainer in EMDR. The following is an excerpt from the Parnell Institute's website.


"Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is a powerful and effective therapy for the treatment of trauma. EMDR therapy incorporates eye movements or other bilateral stimulation into a comprehensive approach that processes and releases information trapped in the mind and body, freeing people from disturbing images and body sensations, debilitating emotions, and restrictive beliefs. This revolutionary therapy has helped millions of clients of all ages recover from such traumas as war, accidents, assaults, disasters, and childhood abuse. EMDR has been extensively researched as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and is considered to be an evidence-based therapy.

In addition to the treatment of PTSD, EMDR is also used to treat the psychological effects of smaller traumas that manifest in symptoms of depression, anxiety, phobias, low self-esteem, creativity blocks, and relationship difficulties. Not only does healing occur much more rapidly than in traditional therapy, but as a result of EMDR’s clearing of emotional and physical blockages, many people also experience a sense of joy, openness, and deep connection with others. EMDR is a quantum leap in the human ability to heal trauma and maladaptive beliefs."

- (From www.parnellemdr.com)
Please see the website for further information on EMDR and Dr. Parnell's Institute.

Above is a video by Pinnacle of Man explaining EMDR

Pinnacle Of Man TM. “Process Trauma With EMDR Therapy (7 Phases).” YouTube, YouTube, 11 Mar. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=hNbV-iaU0Zk.

Above is a video of Laurel Parnell explaining EMDR

Omega Institute for Holistic Studies. “Laurel Parnell, Ph.D ‘EMDR.’” YouTube, YouTube, 30 Apr. 2010, www.youtube.com/watch?v=Epp5W78vJpA.


Mental Health Resources

If you are looking for other resources, or if you or someone you know is in crisis, here is a list of websites, hotlines, apps, and books you can look at that can help you keep track of your goals, get help for a range of problems, or learn to meditate and track anxiety.

Hotlines & websites




"Just where you are - That's the place to start" - Pema Chodron

For inquiries on consultations or to set up an appointment, contact me at:

Walk & Talk Therapy


Personalized to meet your needs.

  Tele/Video Counseling Available.

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