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)

The first step for making this sort of change is being motivated to change and it sounds like you have that, so you are already on the right track.As far as learning how to listen, try some of these steps:Ask whether a certain time is a good time for your girlfriend to have an important... 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 are a lot of different things that could be playing a role here.First, different people have unique levels of sex drive, and sometimes there is a hormonal imbalance.Because you say both that there is a possibility that neither one of you "actually knows what you're doing," and you want to be... 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.

It sounds like this would be difficult at times, particularly if you feel misunderstood.You may or may not know that we all have chemicals in our brain. We also have different sections of our brain that become active when different things happen. There is a part of our brain where a lot of our... 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 can think of several things that may help you to reconnect. I don't know how much time you actually spend together, but one thing you could try is to spend 15 minutes a week together talking about common interests or other things that make you feel connected.Have you considered a date night or... 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.

It sounds like you may be asking two different questions.With regard to what you said about your husband dressing as a female in your bedroom, I wonder if you would consider asking him more about this. If you choose to do that, I would suggest that you ask him whether a certain time is a good time... 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 has to be very difficult to endure.It's pretty common for members of a couple to have different ways of resolving conflict. Very often, one person wants to deal with the conflict right away or shortly thereafter and the other person wants to wait. One thing that sometimes works is to consider... 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, my first question was whether these are truly little things or things you really think the attention.If they're really small things that you actually want to let go, try looking at it on a continuum of things that really get attention (or correction) and things that really don't – and... 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.

The fact that you're reaching out for help here is really helpful.The first thing I would suggest is that you consider seeing a local mental health professional yourself to be able to talk about the details, how this is affecting you, and how you can hold onto you are while also being supportive 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.

It's ultimately your decision whether or not you go to see your mother. I'm not sure whether talking with her on the phone or through some videoconferencing application (such as Skype) would be something you could do in the meantime until you sort out what you want to do.Some things I wonder 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.

It certainly sounds like you have some anxiety. Before deciding whether it was social anxiety or a more general type of anxiety, I would wonder what it is that you think will result from you raising your hand or talking to someone you don't know. Here is some information on social anxiety: https... 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.

First of all, congratulations to you on becoming a Water Safety Instructor.As far as how to forgive yourself, this is probably one of the toughest things that we ask of ourselves, no matter the subject. On the other hand, it sounds like the location of the mistake means that after you get through... 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.

If you enjoy cross-dressing and are comfortable with how you feelaand aware of your own thoughts and feelings about it in private as compared to in public, I see no problem with that.If you would like to become more comfortable with it or express more feelings about it, I recommend that you see 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.

I would suggest possibly talking about the type of relationship that both of you want to create. For example, you may want a relationship where honesty, listening, compassion, and romanticism are major parts. You could also see what your boyfriend wants.You may also consider taking five minutes 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.

This has to be very confusing.I wonder if the two of you would be able to have a conversation about what it is that she would like you to know about what happened yesterday and the day before so you know what message she wanted you to get out of all of that.I would also recommend seeing a local... 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.

Is really difficult to tell whether he honestly forgot about someone or whether he was really lying again.I don't know whether he would be open to having a discussion with you about your concerns about this and whether you would be actually willing to listen to your thoughts about it.This might be... 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.