Lura Lee Smedstad
Licensed Professional Counselor
Lura has combined aspects of what she loves the most, effective therapeutic art processes, and a sound cognitive behavioral therapy approach to create a counseling practice that brings healing and support to both adult and teenaged clients. She specializes in helping her clients alleviate the effects of trauma, anxiety, depression, grief and loss issues to establish workable, sustainable life goals and healthy relationships. Her clients describe her approach as “direct but compassionate!” and uniquely suited to each individual or couple who meet with her.
Lura holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from St Cloud State University and a Master’s in Science in Mental Health Clinical Counseling with a concentration in Expressive Arts Therapies from Prescott College in Arizona.
Lura has lived and worked in such diverse communities as Vancouver, British Columbia; Seattle Washington; Taos, New Mexico; Houston Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut, and Key West, Florida. From 1993 to 2005, Lura served on the board and taught classes for Theophilus Divinity School, a three-year course of study in personal and spiritual growth here in Minneapolis. During her six years living in Key West, Lura worked full time in the Behavioral Health Department of the Lower Keys Medical Center. “Coming back to Minneapolis and all of the friends we have here, feels perfect for both my husband and me,” said Lura.
Why I use Art Therapy Techniques with my Counseling Clients:
My approach to counseling is one of eclectic delight! I employ a basis of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in order to help people understand their own challenges, and to bring about change in areas of their lives that are currently troublesome. Along with “thought” and “belief” changing activities, I have found that experiencing different artistic expressions can help people identify and describe their emotional reactions to life circumstances more effectively than verbal expression by itself. For instance, I worked with a person this last year who had such extreme social anxiety that her whole body would seize up with the tension. She learned to employ a simple, but effective, form of “bi-lateral scribbling” that allowed her to achieve muscle relaxation and a state of “calmness” needed for her to fall asleep easily at night. Another client came in suffering from the effects of Parkinson’s Disease, and was also able to find relief from participating in therapeutic art making sessions involving music. Each session of counseling is adapted to each individual in my practice. Some benefit from simply having a non-judgmental place to voice personal concerns, while others evolve into active processes, such as art therapy, in order to find more peace and resolution in their daily lives and relationships.
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