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Laura Whitson, M.A., MFT

Email Address: 
Phone Number: 

(831) 475-8570 


Adjunct Faculty

Faculty Program(s): 


Teaching and/or Research Emphasis and Interest Areas: 

Integrating treatment modalities to optimize healing from trauma. Supporting youth in emerging from traumatic histories and discovering their power to rewrite their personal narratives.


MA, Marital & Family Therapy and Art Therapy, Notre Dame de Namur University (1995)
MA, Education, Stanford University (1979)
BS, Art, University of Wisconsin (1972)


Laura has been a licensed psychotherapist since 2000. Working as a self-employed artist in the 80’s, she discovered the healing power of making art, and entered the study of Art Therapy at NDNU in Belmont, CA. Graduating with a dual major in Marital & Family Therapy and Art Therapy in 1995, she began earning her hours toward licensure at Santa Cruz County Children’s Mental Health, was hired as a full-time psychotherapist for that agency in 1997. Finding a particular affinity for the youth in foster care, she has devoted her study and practice to therapies that are trauma-informed, and which honor the unique stories of courage and resilience of each client.

The work she performs in this capacity includes: Providing individual and family therapy to children, youth and families in the foster care system; addressing symptoms of anxiety, depression and the effects of trauma with evidenced-based practices such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and EMDR; offering Art Therapy as a modality for healing for individuals & groups; teaching mindfulness techniques for stress reduction; providing parent education and support; performing assessments, treatment planning, implementation, documentation and case coordination; and coordinating with other agencies, clinicians and service providers to wrap services around high-risk youth and families and connect them to other services in the community.

Laura is a certified practitioner of EMDR, HeartMath and SoulCollage, and has received training in trauma-informed treatment, DBT, CBT, Non-Violent Communication and Motivational Interviewing.  She has facilitated Art Therapy groups for adults and for children privately and in a variety of settings, including a hospital psychiatric unit, a group home, a Women’s Center, an elementary school, and a classroom for severely emotionally disturbed preschoolers.



1791 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94304

Phone: (800) 818-6136 Fax: (650) 433-3888





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