My name is Lauren Adams. I’m a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), which is a long-winded way of saying that I’m a therapist and providing my credentials. I have a BA in literature, a Master’s in Social Work, and five years of post-graduate experience as a therapist. I own a private practice in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. My specialties are anxiety, trauma, mood, and substance use disorders as well as LGBT and non-traditional relationship concerns, and I primarily work with adolescents and adults.
For more information on the services I offer and to schedule an appointment, please see the “services” page.
Wait, how did I get here?
I didn’t set out to become a therapist; in fact, I spent most of my life wanting to be an attorney. Growing up, I was always told that I would be a good lawyer because, once I got riled up about something, I would argue about it tenaciously, often in face of opposition from peers and adults. I prefer to frame this tendency less as the result of stubbornness or argumentativeness and more the result of being passionate about justice, equality, and advocacy for those who are unable to speak up for themselves. Law school seemed like the obvious choice, until one of my friends, who was working as a legal aid attorney at the time, suggested I consider social work school.
I looked into it and did some serious thinking about what I wanted my life to look like five to ten years after graduating, ultimately concluding that the lifestyle was too high-stress for me. I’ve always struggled with anxiety and perfectionism, and realized that going into the legal field would feed those impulses and negatively impact my mental health. Social work, while difficult and stressful in its own way, felt like a better fit with my personality, values, and desire for a healthy work-life balance. I decided that I would pursue a career in government or the non-profit field, as I felt that this would be the best way to use my skills to make a positive impact on society.
I attended Western Carolina University, which offered a generalist Master’s in Social Work. I learned both clinical and non-clinical social work, and despite my dedication to a non-clinical career path, I found myself enjoying the practice classes and yawning my way through the classes on organizations and administration. When it came time to select my internship placements, I chose positions that were a combination of clinical and non-clinical work. One was doing diversion and re-entry at the local jail, and the other was providing social work support in the local hospital’s emergency department. To my surprise, I wound up enjoying the clinical aspects of these positions more than the non-clinical ones.
After graduation, I decided to apply to a variety of jobs. I was offered a position in a community mental health agency in Haywood County, North Carolina. I had spent part of my childhood there because that’s where my father and his family are from, and it was a nice opportunity to get back to my roots while starting a new career. While I was initially unsure about the whole being a therapist thing, I quickly discovered that I loved the work. Over the next four years, I came to understand that advocacy isn’t just about standing up for others, it’s also about meeting them where they are and helping them learn how to stand up for themselves.
Most of my work in that position involved counseling adolescents, young adults, and their families. While I treated a wide variety of mental health concerns, I developed a special interest in working with people who had survived traumatic life events. The theory and practice of trauma-informed therapy really resonated with me, in that it connects helping individuals with their personal struggles and wider social advocacy through breaking the cycle of violence. I never failed to be inspired by my former clients’ strength, bravery, and hope as they worked through their traumatic experiences, addressed the life difficulties that developed in the aftermath, and started advocating for themselves and others. In many ways, I feel that my journey as an advocate has come full circle, and I am optimistic about the future.
In my infinite free time, I enjoy…
When I’m not in the therapy office, I’m probably either visiting the library, sweating at the yoga studio, hanging out with my friends, or lounging around at home or by the pool. I have a cat named Marceline, who, like most cats, is the best and the worst at the same time. I love to read– my house is practically a library at this point! I also spend a potentially embarrassing amount of time watching netflix and knitting.
I should probably mention this stuff, too.
- Western Carolina University, Master’s in Social Work
- Vanderbilt University, Bachelor of Arts in English literature
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- EMDR, level one
- Motivational Interviewing
- Cognitive Processing Therapy
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Licenses and Associations
- Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) in North Carolina (C010039)
- Member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW)