Counseling with Adults

Counseling with Adults


Anxiety and depression can be experienced from mild to moderate or possibly severe at various junctures in one’s life.   When severe such emotions can prevent you from functioning the way you would like to.

If the level of Anxiety or Depression you are experiencing has impacted your life and reached a desire to make change, therapy can help.  Investing in healing yourself includes of course finding the right therapist that meets your expectations and provides you with the meaningful connection you need.  I am keenly aware that this is essential to successful therapy and strive to make sure it happens with all my clients.


When stress and pressure build you may be on edge, and feel like you may explode on the inside because the uneasiness can no longer be contained. You may find being preoccupied with thoughts of worry perhaps about work, interactions with family or loved ones are strained or conflicted, or you are overwhelmed with daily matters pertaining to health or finances that are carried throughout the day and result in experiencing headaches, body tension, digestion problems, as well as difficulty sleeping. You have taken the first step if you recognize and understand the general worries have become “excessive” or “uncontrollable” and a concern to your overall well-being. The next step is to know that there are techniques and skills that you can apply with help from therapy. With counseling you can learn ways to help master more self-control in your body and thoughts. With mind/body relaxation skills you could cope with calmness.

Anxiety is normal as it is a way to act like a built-in alarm system to our bodies to alert us to be aware. However, in certain cases, anxiety continues to make us feel uncomfortable and anticipate something bad may happen. Anxiety may stop us from doing something that we may have found once enjoyable; like becoming afraid of dogs at a park, unable to enjoy a concert with a crowd of people, or have a lot of difficulty to take an important exam.

When your body experiences sensations like having butterflies in your stomach, increased heartbeat, sweating, tightness in your chest or shallow breathing and you think you must be going crazy, recognize this may be anxiety. Often the body shows anxiety this way by sending physiological warning signals to bring to your attention. If you then begin to have anxious thoughts and the experience seems unending– be assured: there is help and hope.

We can learn more in therapy about how our bodies are wired in a way to help us, and not to trick us. Together, tools and skills can be taught and practiced in therapy to help manage anxiety. Learning how to calm your body with coping techniques such as progressive relaxation, calm breathing, visualization and even ways to challenge with realistic thinking, can enable you to better manage anxiety. Learn more about anxiety.


Everyone feels depressed at one time or another. Some circumstances may bring about depression such as a death, a relationship break up, or a job loss and the feelings may or may not subside. However, for some, the chronic feelings of depression interfere with day to day experiences. Sometimes depression can be noticeable in feeling sad, tearful/crying, low energy, difficulty concentrating, feeling irritable, feeling helpless or hopeless, significant changes in sleep or appetite, and increased isolation. A variety of strategies can help overcome depression.

Thoughts, feelings and actions are complex and interwoven when one is suffering from depression. When I counsel depressed individuals I incorporate a variety of strategies that can help people recover. Sometimes traditional talk based approaches are used and at other times creative interventions may be incorporated and tailored to each person uniquely. I work with adults to illuminate and develop skills, by using your abilities and developing connections that can reduce depression. I help you understand the relationship between the brain and body when experiencing depression. In therapy we develop steps and solutions together and create something like a “map” for a path with purpose.

Moving forward together with support and steps for change can start today. Learn more about depression.

Trauma and PTSD

Unforeseen events such as violence, death, sexual/physical assault, accidents, medical procedures, bullying or another traumatic experience can be a shock to one’s mind and body. The psychological and physiological symptoms are often interwoven. I help adults and children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which may have resulted from single or repeated traumatic events. I help people reclaim their lives beyond experiences from the past. My goals is to help you understand what is and what is not working to make tomorrow better than today.

Abuse Counseling

As a therapist and as a social worker I have worked with children and adults who have suffered from child abuse and I believe in psychotherapy to foster healing and resiliency. Sometimes victims of abuse may or may not have had successful treatment, and with the ebb and flow of life’s experiences, further processing of suppressed thoughts may be important for an adults’ healing.

Adoption Counseling

Children and adults who have been separated from their birth families may experience grief or loss and have special needs. I understand the integration process and adjustments that take place. I have a decade of experience providing direct support to children and adoptive parents. Through my hands on field experience I have gained the skills necessary to address the sensitive and unique issues related to adoption. During the course of changes and growth various issues may arise in adoption families that become stressful and can benefit from professional therapy. I have experience in clinical services to families and children that need counseling services post adoption. Birth parents who have relinquished their right to a child may also experience grief and loss. Open and closed adoptions both have different circumstances that I understand and can help with.

Start the Healing Process

Lara Hanson

There is a lot more to tell and I am open to answer your questions when we speak in person. Please e-mail me at [email protected] or call at 818-495-0570. Let’s talk!