Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Ann Pierce.
Laura Ann, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was a freshman in college at SMU, I started a major in Psychology. On Tuesday, my grandfather invited me to join him and my grandmother for a Salesmanship Club meeting. At the lunch, the Momentous staff explained how they support the community with family therapy. That moment sparked my interest in becoming a family therapist. I was so intrigued by their successes and the exceptional ways they were making changes in the lives of so many people.
The year after undergrad, I spent one year traveling as a leadership consultant for Tri Delta. During that year, our team made a visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. I learned about staff members called Child Life Specialists who are uniquely trained to support the emotional needs of the patients and the patients’ families. During that visit, I became certain that I would become a professional dedicated to helping children and their families. Immediately following my trip to Memphis, I applied for graduate school at SMU for a Master of Science in Counseling. Within the first hour of my Child Counseling class, I was introduced to the world of play therapy and the future of my career became very clear.
It has been said you are either a play therapist, or you aren’t. And I discovered that I am absolutely a play therapist. I finished graduate school and all the requirements to become a licensed marriage and family therapist and a registered play therapist. I am now part-owner of Insights Collaborative Therapy Group in Dallas, Texas, a therapeutic consultant for Highland Park United Methodist Day School and author of a children’s book called Little Worm, A Story About Worry.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road was generally smooth but felt long and full of traffic at different times! The process of licensure requires 3000 hours of clinical work before you can practice therapy without direct supervision. In the early years, I was eager to not only meet the requirements for licensure but to learn as much as possible to continue developing my skills. This meant long hours, several types of therapy at varying locations and countless opportunities for continued education. Once licensed, I settled in and worked hard to build my private practice. Although I have been successfully practicing for several years, I still don’t consider the road to have ended. I continue to seek opportunities that develop my work as a therapist and am constantly engaged in new research and techniques that could positively impact the families with whom I work.
Recently, I completed the requirements to become endorsed as an infant mental health specialist with hopes of supporting more families in different ways. Another project that kept me challenged was the decision to publish a children’s book. I am always searching for ways to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for children’s mental health with as many families as possible, so I decided to write a short, relatable book for families to read together. For me, the idea was simple and came together with ease and excitement. The execution is where things stayed interesting. I learned a great deal about publishing, bookselling, and digital marketing; all professional fields in which I had no previous expertise.
Insights Collaborative Therapy Group – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The name of my private practice is Insights Collaborative Therapy Group. We are a talented group of professionals who provide therapeutic support for individuals and families through all ages and stages of life. Our team is trained to support a variety of needs across the lifespan. My individual practice has a primary focus on supporting families with young children by using play therapy and parent education. I also meet with and support couples who are anticipating the transition to parenthood. It’s like pre-marital counseling, but for pre-parents!
Other therapists in our office support individuals and/or couples working through addiction, infidelity, trauma, divorce, sexual concerns, depression and anxiety, and many other life stressors. The entire group benefits from each therapist’s unique specialty area because we meet regularly to collaborate on shared cases, to explore new topics and techniques related to therapy, and received support and encouragement from one another. I am incredibly proud to work alongside some of the most knowledgeable and insightful therapists in town. I witness their dedication to the work and am regularly encouraged by the collaborative process.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I confidently reflect on my journey with gratitude. I believe I am in the exact professional space that I was destined for and each challenge and success played its own part in leading me here. Small encounters along the way, like the meeting at Momentous Institute, the tour of St. Jude Children’s Research hospital and learning about play therapy, all launched me into this meaningful career.
Having done anything differently along the way might have altered my course, and it is difficult to imagine doing anything other than my daily work. Some of my proudest moments happen every day when I’m supporting families who trust me to help them navigate life with young children or when I hear a family share their love and appreciation for Little Worm!
- Little Worm, A Story About Worry: $14.99
- Address: 8140 Walnut Hill Lane
Dallas, TX 75231
- Website: www.insightstherapy.com
- Phone: 214-706-0508
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @littleworm_worry
- Facebook: facebook.com/littlewormworry
Photography by K8