Laurie Barrett, Ph.D., Licensed Clinical Psychologist
California License #PSY13640
I am a licensed clinical psychologist who works in private practice in Palo Alto, CA. I have worked and trained for more than 20 years in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient care facilities, community mental health settings, and health maintenance organizations.
Training and Professional Experience:
My expertise in working with a broad range of client concerns includes:
Difficulty forming relationships, current conflicts in relationships, learning to assert yourself, difficulty with dating or maintaining relationships
Depression, sadness, irritability, mood swings, fear, worry, nervousness
Communications skills, working through conflict, infidelity, premarital counseling
Skills and support for parents of children of all ages, including adolescent struggles and conflict
Exploring your own or someone else’s alcohol and drug use
Increasing ability to find meaning, feel positive emotions, and engage in a healthy lifestyle
Exploring sexual identity, challenges in intimate relationships
Finding balance between work and your personal life, clarifying personal beliefs, values, and goals
Life changes, role changes, career planning, young adult stressors, changes in independence and autonomy
When is it appropriate to seek psychotherapy?
We all experience sadness, loneliness or fear at times, and our mental health changes depending on our circumstances. The reasons for this vary for each person, but we know that the way you were brought up and your life experiences shape the way you perceive the world around you and the way you see yourself.
Psychotherapy allows the exploration of one’s sense of purpose, as well as helping people in a way that creates meaningful change in their lives. Psychotherapy is a valuable means to help you better understand your thoughts, feelings and behavior in order to find new ways to deal with and alleviate your troubles.
Not every situation needs exploring, but there are times when our usual coping skills are not enough. Many people have tried to solve their problems on their own for weeks, months or even years before starting psychotherapy but have found that that it’s not enough.
Deciding to start psychotherapy doesn’t mean you’ve failed, just like it doesn’t mean you’ve failed if you can’t repair your own car. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength and the first step to having the life you want.
Many areas of emotional distress can be addressed in psychotherapy, including:
How Does Psychotherapy Help?
Clients who engage in psychotherapy can experience:
Increased understanding of themselves and people in their lives.
The key to successful therapy is finding the right therapist for you. However good a therapist is, it is the relationship between the two of you that determines whether you trust them enough, and they come to understand you enough, to help you explore and find solutions for your problem. Having confidence in your therapist is essential. Psychotherapy offers a safe environment in which you can talk openly, express your feelings, gain insight, and resolve your problems.
I work primarily from a psychodynamic background, which includes understanding a person’s early history as it connects to the forming of patterns that may influence people in the present day. To help make changes in one’s day-to-day life, it is important to understand what purpose these patterns served in a person’s early history. Often, it is these old behaviors that get in the way of people enjoying their life today.
My aim is to build a relationship of trust with you, and create a safe space in which you will feel able to explore possibly painful, emotional issues that have been troubling you, and develop coping strategies to help you move forward. Our work together can help you make sense of and work to change the difficulties that keep you from achieving your full potential in all areas of your life.
While the relationship with the therapist is important for both members of a couple, it is not the method for change in Couples Therapy. My work with couples is based on the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, derived from 40 years of research by John and Julie Gottman at the University of Washington. Through research-based interventions and exercises, it is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy. Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s study of more than 3,000 couples. This research shows what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship.
Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help partners:
My office is conveniently located in downtown Palo Alto within easy access of Highways 101 and 280. The office is easily accessible from most of the cities within the Silicon Valley, including Menlo Park, Atherton, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Saratoga and San Jose.
I realize that it can be difficult to find high quality mental health information on the Internet. I hope the following links can be useful to you.
General Focus on Mental Health
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI of Santa Clara County
American Psychological Association (APA)
California Psychological Association
Santa Clara County Psychological Association
Depression and Related Disorders
Anxiety and Related Disorders
Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and Addiction