HEADFIRST COUNSELING THERAPISTS
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)
Oppositional or Defiant Behaviors
Potty Training Concerns
Extreme Emotional Dysregulation in Children
ADHD, Impulsivity, Self-Management
Individual, Sibling, and Group Play Therapy
Pre-Teen/Teen Activity Therapy
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. Laura is also an advocate with Dallas CASA (dallascasa.org), advocating for child victims of abuse and neglect so they can grow up in safe and nurturing homes where they can reach their full potential.
Read more about Laura on Psychology Today here.
Laura's current rates are $225 for initial intake sessions and parent sessions, and $185 for all 45min child and adolescent sessions.
Lexie Sikes, LCSW
Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Grief and Loss
Child and Adolescent Therapy Services
Social Skills Groups
In-Home Intake Assessments
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.
Lexie's current rates are $165 for initial parent intake and parent sessions, and $140 for all 45min child and adolescent sessions.
Desirae Terry, LMSW
Licensed Masters Social Worker
Adolescent and Teen Therapy
Crisis, Suicidal, and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)
Individual and Sibling Therapy
Desirae obtained her Master of Social Work at the University of Southern California specializing in child, youth and family therapy. Before joining Headfirst, Desi worked at a North Texas non-profit agency serving children and families with various behavioral health challenges increasing functionality and mental health recovery. She is well versed in individual, family and group therapy.
Desirae specializes in working with adolescents and parent- child relationships. The teenage years are full of new anxieties and defining of personal values. She is uniquely qualified in helping teens build an authentic relationship with themselves and others. She also guides them to understand the connection between emotions and behavior as well as building and strengthening coping skills. Additionally, Desirae focuses on parent-child interaction working with the whole family to develop nurturing, positive parenting tools through effective evidence-based interventions. She assists families in developing successful systems to increase emotional safety, empathy, and adaptive skills within the home. You can confidently manage your child’s behavior and enjoy parenting again!
Desirae’s clinical focus is perfectionism, depression, anxiety, self-esteem, mind-body connection, and social emotional skills. She believes that the therapeutic relationship must feel safe, nonjudgmental, and empowering in order to access true healing and growth. Her approach is sensitive, collaborative, patient centered, trauma informed, educational, and strengths based.
Desirae's current rates are $125 for all initial parent intake and parent sessions, and $90 for 45min child and adolescent sessions.