Laura McLaughlin, M.Ed., LPC, RPT
Founder, HeadFirst Counseling
Child & Adolescent Therapist, Parenting Specialist
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Registered Play Therapist (RPT)
ADHD Certified Clinical Services Provider (ADHD-CCSP)
Play Therapy
Attachment Disorders
Parenting Support
Parent-Child Relationships
Oppositional or Defiant Behaviors
ADHD, Impulsivity, Self-Management
Services Offered:
Individual, Sibling, and Group Play Therapy
Pre-Teen/Teen Activity Therapy
Parent Consultations
Child-Parent Relationship Therapy (CPRT)
Group Parenting Talks
In-Home Consultations and Playroom Evaluations

Laura began her counseling career in non-profit agencies working with children and adult survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse (heavy stuff!). After getting her feet wet for a couple of years, Laura founded HeadFirst Counseling to provide an approach to counseling in which clients are given the freedom to explore all aspects of themselves and while being fully supported and accepted.


Laura believes that no two situations are exactly the same, and an openness to learning about the individual client and his or her specific needs is necessary in order for therapy to be beneficial. In the therapy sessions, Laura focuses on helping her clients feel heard, understood, and accepted. Once the client is able to feel accepted for who they are at this moment, they begin to become more of their authentic self. As the client begins to heal, the need for unhelpful or destructive coping skills diminishes and the client is able to move towards more positive, helpful, forward moving, and authentic ways of being.

Laura specializes in working with children and teens that have experienced trauma or are displaying social or emotional difficulties, behavioral concerns, suicidal ideation, or self harming behaviors. Laura is equipped to work with clients that have experienced any type of physical, psychological, or emotional trauma, including but not limited to: neglect, sexual abuse, physical abuse, dangerous weather or natural disasters (tornados, thunderstorms, hurricanes), adoption, moving several times in childhood, bullying, death of family or friends, medical conditions, and many more.

Laura also specializes in work with parents and offers consultations and support for parents that are struggling with the parent-child relationship. Laura helps parents identify their child's needs, and works with parents to brainstorm ways to help meet the needs of both the child and parent in order to bring back peace at home. Laura provides encouragment for biological and adoptive parents at HeadFirst Counseling and helps them find healthy ways of establishing trust, safety, and attunement within the child-parent relationship.


Around the Dallas Community:

Laura obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Promotion from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master's degree in Counseling from the University of North Texas. Laura works with Community Partners of Dallas (http://www.cpdtx.org) as part of their HEART program to provide group therapy services to child victims of sexual abuse in Dallas County. Laura currently serves on the board of the North Texas Chapter of the Texas Association for Play Therapy (www.txapt.org) as the Member-At-Large, connecting play therapists in the Dallas area with resources to expand the knowledge and impact of play therapy in the community.

Read more about Laura on Psychology Today here.


Laura Orr, M.A., LMFT, RPT

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Registered Play Therapist

Certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)



Family Therapy

Play Therapy

Adolescent and Teen Therapy

Parenting Support

Grief and Loss


Crisis, Suicidal, and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)



Services Offered:

Individual and Sibling Therapy

Family Therapy

Couples Therapy

Parent Consultations

Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)


Laura obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Markets and Culture from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego in San Diego, CA.  Her first therapy experience was as a counselor with Hospice, where she provided both anticipatory grief and bereavement counseling to individuals, couples, families, and groups.  Laura then briefly worked for a crisis response team where she supported individuals with severe mental health and/or suicidality concerns.  Most recently, Laura spent four and a half years as a counselor for children survivors of sexual abuse and their supportive caregivers. 


Laura uses a prescriptive approach to therapy, which emphasizes exploration to discover the unique needs of each individual prior to offering any therapeutic modality.  Through her training in both evidence and experience-based therapies, Laura has found that treatment works best when first practiced through a lens of curiosity and with a strong therapeutic relationship at its foundation.  Laura uses collaboration between the therapist and client towards positive change with an emphasis on openness and unconditional positive regard. 


As a Marriage and Family Therapist, Laura believes that a person’s social environment (friends, family, romantic partners, co-workers, teachers, etc) can help or hurt progress towards change.  In other words, the problem typically doesn’t exist solely within the individual, but is often reinforced by multiple external influences, oftentimes without one’s knowledge.  As a result, Laura uses a systemic approach to healing with the goal of increasing long-term successful individual and interpersonal outcomes.

Lexie Sikes, LMSW

Licensed Master's Social Worker




Grief and Loss


Self-Worth Issues

Life Transitions

Foster Care

Social Skills

Services Offered:

Child and Adolescent Therapy Services

Parent Consultations

Social Skills Groups

In-Home Intake Assessments


Clinical Experience:

Before joining the HeadFirst Counseling team, Lexie worked in Oklahoma City, OK at a local non-profit agency. There, she worked with children and families in their grief journey caused by death, divorce, or other significant loss. Lexie is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and received her degree from The University of Oklahoma.

Lexie specializes in working with children and adolescents cope with stress, anxiety, depression, grief, divorce, and self worth issues. She has lead children, adolescent and teen support groups to find resolution to issues such as moving, changing schools, bullying, and other difficult adjustments. Additionally, Lexie has experience with school counseling, adoption, and foster care.

Lexie’s first focus is building a trusting therapeutic relationship so that her clients are able to receive the support and guidance they need to create change in a healthy way. Lexie strives to create an environment that is safe, comfortable and free of judgement. She is intentional with her structure of the therapeutic environment and works to make sure each client feels heard and understood. Lexie believes in a strengths-based approach that is guided by the individual needs of each client. Lexie uses tools and interventions that are unique to each child to bring out the best in them.  



HeadFirst Counseling is looking to hire a part-time, licensed (LPC, LCSW, LMFT, LPC-Intern, LMSW, LMFT-A) child and adolescent therapist for our Dallas, TX office.


HeadFirst Counseling is a private therapy practice located in Preston Center in Dallas, TX specializing in therapy services for children, adolescents, and parents. We provide a holistic approach to therapy looking at the whole person to enable children, teens, and parents to develop insight, empathy, and problem solving skills. We use the latest brain-based techniques and interventions rooted in helping our clients form secure attachments and increase brain integration for optimal functioning. Our main goal is to provide quality therapeutic interventions to tackle current problems and help children, teens, and parents reach their full potential and for families to succeed together.






  • Candidate must be licensed in the state of Texas (LPC, LMFT, LCSW, LPC-Intern, LMSW, LMFT-A)

  • Extensive training and experience in child-centered play therapy or other play therapy modality

  • CPRT/Filial experience and training preferred

  • Flexible availability for scheduling client sessions in the afternoon and evenings between 2pm and 6pm

  • Up to date with current research in the play therapy field with a zest for continued education and training

  • Background of attachment-based therapy and brain-based interventions


  • W2 Employee

  • Collaborative environment

  • Open, flexible scheduling

  • HeadFirst Counseling will provide a caseload of play therapy and adolescent clients to be built over the first few months of employment

  • Automated billing and scheduling

  • Competitive pay based on experience and training


Contact info@headfirstdallas.com for more information. Please send resume and CV to info@headfirstdallas.com. No phone calls, please.

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