Laura Urquiaga-Balter is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor who received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University and completed her B.S. in Psychology at Florida International University.
Laura’s Hispanic background and bilingual (English/Spanish) capability has provided her with the opportunity to work with a diverse population of children, adolescents, adults and couples as well as with multicultural families. Laura has conducted/facilitated groups for adolescents with issues related to anger management, assertiveness, identity conflicts, sexual violence prevention, bullying and life skills.
Laura was a program manager for the Girl’s Empowerment Initiative at Girl Power where she provided individual and group therapy for young adolescent girls who are faced with many difficult challenges on a daily basis. Laura managed a team of interns and a case manager as well as assisted them in developing a curriculum for a Father’s support/educational group. In addition to this, Laura conducts groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Laura’s specialties include the assessment and treatment of anxiety disorders including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, adjustment, oppositional defiance, mood disorders and trauma primarily related to sexual abuse. Laura also has extensive training and experience in Child-Parent Relational Therapy (CPRT), play therapy, behavior modification and parenting skills.
Laura’s primary therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT); however, she also incorporates Psychodynamic, Motivational Interviewing, and/or Client-Centered approaches to fit her clients needs. Laura practices Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) with children who have personally experienced or have been exposed to sexual abuse.
Laura is also a practitioner of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) which is a therapeutic approach that has been scientifically proven as effective in the treatment of PTSD as well as in grief, anxiety, addiction, physical/sexual abuse, phobias and other conditions. “EMDR can be thought of as a neurologically based therapy that helps a person see disturbing material in a new and less distressing way” (www.emdria.org, 2014).
Laura’s empathy, compassion and understanding give way for a positive therapeutic relationship in which Laura helps her clients achieve their goals. Her focus is to empower clients and assist them in recognizing their inner strength no matter what the challenges may be.