Lauren (Elle) Townsend (she/her), PhD, LCSWA, LCASA

Site Supervisor of South Durham

Works with ages 22+

My name is Elle (she/her). I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker Associate and Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist Associate, and serve as an Outpatient Therapist and Site Supervisor at Three Oaks Behavioral Health & Wellness in South Durham. After an undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida and Ph.D. in philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill, I found my way to social work and earned my MSW at UNC-Chapel Hill.

I believe therapy is a space where you can be yourself… which is sometimes harder than it sounds! Whether it seems like life is happening too fast to process, you feel stuck or lost & crave movement or direction, or are looking for healing, growth or support in specific areas, my job is to hold a space for you to show up exactly as you are. I don't assume coming to therapy means there is something wrong with you or that you need to change- there is something powerful about having a regular time set aside to check in with yourself. As a therapist, I can provide structure and support for that practice, whether you need support processing trauma or moving through a crisis, want to make big changes, or simply want space to be.

My approach to therapy is relational, rooted in feminist, anti-oppressive values, and can take many forms including talking through life experiences (big and small, past and present) and experiential somatic work (this can include practicing awareness of physical sensations, exploring how emotions show up in the body, or engaging in different types of movement or sensory experience). I am trained in Somatic Experiencing and as a yoga teacher and am also informed by Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, parts work, and harm reduction. Much of my work has centered on queer and trans folks; processing emotion, stress, grief, and trauma; and exploring relationships to self, others and substances.

I look forward to working with you on whatever is most generative and supportive for your whole, complex,
messy, beautiful self.


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