Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP

I tailor my therapeutic approach to each client's strengths and goals
Licensed Professional Counselor
10 years in practice
Accepted Insurance Plans:
  • Aetna
  • All Savers
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Capital Blue Cross
  • Highmark
  • Keystone East
  • Keystone Health Plan East
  • Personal Choice

About Lauren Ostrowski, MA, LPC, NCC, DCC, CCTP

*** Just a note about insurance. The practice I work with accepts a wide variety of insurances. The office does not accept Medicaid and I cannot accept Medicare. We accept most other major insurances. Please call the office for specific information, as insurance plans vary widely.

I believe it is a privilege to be with clients along their journey of healing and change. I strive to see the world through the eyes of each of my clients and look at the manageable steps that may be along the way to help them reach their goal. I also believe that feeling safe in session is a cornerstone of the therapeutic alliance. While I recognize that some discussions in session are uncomfortable, there is quite a wide range between being uncomfortable and feeling unsafe. This is certainly a discussion point.

For more than nine years, I have been working with children, teenagers, and adults with many different reasons for arriving in my office. While the most common issues that I see relate to depression, anxiety, anger, conflict resolution/problem solving, and trusting others, these concerns are often just where conversation starts. In fact, what looks like one area of concern often leads to other topics of focus.

Each of us has a past. Even if something in the past is not a reason for coming into sessions, I also recognize that we all learn from our past. Particularly in relationships, we learn what is effective with different people through experiences. This most definitely applies to communication styles and conflict resolution, but can also lead to a lot of other areas. Sometimes what is helpful with one or two people does not apply to other relationships and it can be difficult to see and navigate the differences.

In addition to working with individuals, I also have several years of and specific training related to working with couples. I am trained in the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. This model focuses on new ways of looking at communication skills and conflict resolution as well as looking at some of what has led up to the current state of the relationship. Here is some more information about a few key elements of my work with couples: http://tinyurl.com/DevelopmentalCouplesLauren

I have experience working with clients who have some trauma in their past. There are many different approaches to working to heal trauma. Part of the model that I use involves learning how to relax your body (as well as why this is important) while talking about your experiences. This work assists many different people who are anxious or upset (whether or not in the context of trauma) in learning what is happening chemically in their brain and being aware of what is occurring in their body. You may have heard of mindfulness (being aware of what is happening in the environment around you and noticing things that you can see, hear, touch, etc.). Often this is coupled with being aware of changes in your body (for example, feeling tightness in your chest, fidgeting with your hands or feet, faster breathing) to establish a feeling of safety in the room. The best public description that I can locate about this type of work is a page that explains a training course through the International Association of Trauma Professionals: http://traumapro.net/certified-clinical-trauma-professional-cctp/.

Having emotional changes is typical. Each and every one of us experiences some changes in emotions every day. It's one of the major ways we interact with the world around us. Sometimes these shifts lead us to take actions that we do not want to repeat. Other times, differences in feelings are large or frequent enough that it is difficult for us to follow through with what we need or want to do on a daily basis.

I encourage safe expression of thoughts and feelings in my office. I firmly believe that listening is a large component of what I do with each of my clients. At the same time, I also provide ideas, questions for further consideration, and feedback. I mention this because I have had several clients tell me that they have been in sessions where they do 99% of the talking and the therapist says almost nothing. I am certainly more active in sessions than that. The number of explanations, comments, questions, and exchange of ideas depends on each individual person in my office. I believe that you are the expert on you.

I aim for each of my clients to feel as though they are heard. While we may not always agree on everything, that does not take away from my desire to hear what you mean and where you are coming from in a discussion. After all, the decisions are yours to make.

You matter to me from the moment you enter my office.

Answers  (144)

Quitting smoking can be difficult. It's also true that there is part that is sometimes a physical need and a part that is often connected to emotions in some way. From the way that you wrote this, it sounds like you may have been able to stop smoking physically, but still have cravings.One thing you... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Thanks for asking this question. I think the most important part of what you mentioned was that you do it because it makes you happy. For that reason, I would encourage you to keep doing what makes you happy.As far as telling girls or keeping it a secret, I don't really think that it's necessarily... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

This is a question that is very specific to each person. There are definitely some variables, but I can give you some general ideas for when counseling might end:When a client has met all of their goals, at least to a degree when they feel that they no longer need to work on them with the assistance... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

This is a fantastic question. In one sentence, I would say the following:Recognize that while you and your partner probably have common interests and areas of commonality, you are separate people, each with different wants, wishes, and desires – if you consider a diagram of two overlapping circles... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Thanks for writing. There are many different house of things that may be helpful here. I can give you some general ideas, but if some of these things don't get you to where you would like to go, consider seeing a therapist who specializes in couples:Remember that you can only guarantee change in... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Well, it's generally okay to feel anxious or nervous about going into therapy, particularly in the beginning because the process of being open about what you are going through, much less to someone who you don't know well, can be anxiety-producing. It's also common to feel anxious when you are... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

One of the sometimes difficult things about being in a relationship is the fact that you can make goals for yourself, but you can't make goals for your partner. If your fiancé wants to learn to live more in the present and learn to let go of the past or move in a different direction, you can... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

I'm sorry to hear that your brother has been having such a rough time. He's lucky to have you on his side (although he may not always see it that way).As far as whether you can sign him in, that depends on a lot of different things.I would suggest that you Google the state and county that you live... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

Finding out about an affair is quite an emotional experience. It's usually jarring. I encourage you to give yourself some compassion about emotions that you have.You asked whether it is possible to get past the cheating and the answer is that it can be. It depends on many factors.I would recommend... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

This sounds stressful.You mentioned that you want to learn how to avoid them. I'm not sure whether you want to avoid them overall or if you would like to ask your mom to maybe only talk to you about it for a few minutes about your niece in each conversation that you have.Maybe you can connect your... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

I'm sorry that you are having a difficult time.I wonder about how your friendships are in person. If you get along well with people and have effective conversations with them face-to-face, there could be some kind of technology-related problem.Have you tried gently talking to people about how you... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

A lot of things affect how helpful counseling is for each person, including at least these things, but often many others:The therapeutic alliance (this refers to the bond, connection, or trust between the client and the counselor)What the person is coming in to work onHow motivated the person is to... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

There can be lots of different factors contributing to this. Here are some possible tips:Consider if you know anything about what specifically is making you feel sad? If you're looking for activities because you cannot participate in what you like to do in the warmer months, consider finding some... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

This answer could be very different depending on the fear, the degree of it, and what it connects to.I wonder the following:On a scale of 1 to 10, how upset, anxious, or scared to you get when you think about overcoming this? If it's more than a 5/10, I would definitely recommend talking with a... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.

You're right that long-distance relationships can be complicated. If he loves you and you love him, that's a great start. I wonder if you would be able or willing to have a discussion about what you love about each other and what makes each of you feel loved, valued, special, and appreciated.When... more

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal, as if you want to hurt or kill yourself or someone else, or are in crisis, call 800-273-8255 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week), call 911, or proceed to your local emergency room.