HEADFIRST COUNSELING THERAPISTS

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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)

Specialties:
Play Therapy                                               
Attachment Disorders
Parenting Support
Parent-Child Relationships
Oppositional or Defiant Behaviors
Potty Training Concerns
Extreme Emotional Dysregulation in Children
ADHD, Impulsivity, Self-Management
Trauma
Highly Sensitive and/or Gifted Children


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 encouragement 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. As a young adult, Laura spent a brief stint living in New York City working at the prestigious Child Mind Institute and studying psychopharmacology under Dr. Roy Boorady before returning to Dallas. Growing up as a competitive soccer player and gymnast for 15 years, Laura now gets her exercise by chasing her 3 year old toddler around the house and doing family outings at the Dallas Arboretum.

 

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.

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Lexie Sikes, LCSW

Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Specialties:

Anxiety

Depression

Grief and Loss

Divorce

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:

Lexie obtained her Bachelor and Master of Social work from The University of Oklahoma, specializing in Child Development and Child and Family Therapy. Before joining the HeadFirst Counseling team, Lexie worked in Oklahoma City at a local non-profit agency doing grief therapy. It was there that she found her passion for working with families experiencing significant loss. Lexie specializes in grief in the forms of death and divorce, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, and compulsive behaviors.

Lexie strives to create an environment that is comfortable and free of judgement. Her goal is to empower each client by highlighting their individual strengths and she hopes to make the therapy experience warm and safe for everyone. Lexie believes that the therapist is the greatest tool, and sometimes we just need someone to listen. Using empathy with a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, strengths-based, and solution-focused therapy, clients are welcomed to process their emotions and take control of their thoughts to help determine the best route for change.

Lexie is a therapist, wife, foster mom, and friend, and she thrives when being active in her community. Outside of work you can find her reading, trying new restaurants, or going on walks with her two wheaten terriers. Growing up, Lexie was a competitive gymnast for many years and she believes this experience shaped her into the person she is today. Gymnastics taught Lexie many lessons, though most notably, the importance of dedication and consistency. These are the very skills that Lexie uses when developing the therapeutic relationship, allowing clients to explore their thoughts and feelings in a safe way.

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.

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Desirae Terry, LMSW

Licensed Masters Social Worker

Specialties:

Family Therapy

Adolescent and Teen Therapy

Parenting Support

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

Depression

Anxiety

Perfectionism

Mind-Body Connection

Services Offered:

Individual and Sibling Therapy

Family Therapy

Parent Consultations

Pre-teen and teen therapy

Young Adults

Professional Development and Speaking Engagements

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

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.

Growing up, Desirae spent most of her time training in a gym, competing nationally as a cheerleader both individually and on a team. Reaching her dream of being a D1 collegiate athlete- she loved cheering on her university! Desirae is also a trained singer- something only her two children are privy to now! She spends her free time making s’mores with her family and doing disco dance parties before bed.

 

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.

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Gracyn Costiloe, LMSW

Licensed Masters Social Worker

Specialties:

Anxiety

Oppositional or Defiant Behaviors

ADHD and Impulsivity

Divorce and Separation

Social Skills

Peer Relationships

Parenting Support

Trauma

Services Offered:

Child and Adolescent Therapy Services

Parent Consultations

Sibling Therapy

In-Home Intake Assessments

CLINICAL EXPERIENCE

Born and raised in Austin, Texas, Gracyn moved to Oklahoma where she received her Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. Gracyn specialized in child development, child and family therapy, and child trauma. She began her clinical career working for the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center serving children and families who had experienced trauma of some kind, and then spent several years as a private school counselor working with children ages 3 to 13. 


 

Gracyn’s clinical specialties include child and teen anxiety, child defiance and non-compliance, impulsivity, social skills, peer and sibling relationships, divorce, attention disorders and parenting skills. In addition, Gracyn is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and is certified in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TFCBT). Gracyn is passionate about helping parents and families navigate challenging child behaviors that can often feel overwhelming.  


 

In her work with children, Gracyn has experienced that positive change occurs best when the therapist is able to create an environment of acceptance, safety and trust. In this therapeutic space the child is able to be fully themselves and begin to navigate their own challenges and difficulties. Gracyn utilizes evidence-based approaches to meet the individual needs of her clients and their families, and enjoys working with parents to help them support their child in the therapeutic process. Gracyn’s approach is empathetic, collaborative, supportive, solution-focused, and intentional. She enjoys partnering with a child (or teen) and providing them with the guidance and support they need!  

At home Gracyn is keeping up with a little one of her own as well as a big friendly Bernese Mountain dog. She is actively involved in her church, loves cooking for family and friends, and enjoys squeezing in a little exercise whenever she can!  

Gracyn's current rates are $125 for all initial parent intake and parent sessions, and $90 for 45min child and adolescent sessions.