The Safety of Friendship


and Alison Leslie, LCSW

Training & Friendship

Our friendship began outside of Spencer Psychology, through a shared love for animals, and including them in our lives. We joined the practice within a few months of each other, and our bond grew through long walks in the woods with our dogs and through Alison’s journey into yoga at Laura’s yoga studio. Shortly after, we began training in EMDR, which was a relatively unknown modality at that time in the Midwest.

As we continued our EMDR training, we became engrossed in the world of healing and in the ways trauma impacts our bodies and our concepts of the way we see and interact with the world. We learned that both trauma in childhood and the shock of trauma in adulthood can leave long-lasting marks, and that trauma can be resolved and healed regardless of how long those marks have lingered.

As our understanding of trauma and the mind-body connection grew,  it became evident that the practice of Yoga was another form of healing. Under Laura’s guidance as a yoga teacher she was able to help Alison expand into her own body and support countless others through their healing, whether they were under her clinical care as a therapist or her nurturing care as a yogi.

We also learned that deep friendship and connection with each other increased our sense of safety, openness, and curiosity with each other and the world of healing. When we look back, we now know our time together was strengthening our own sense of security and ability to guide others towards their own healing process.

Then & Now

Alison & Laura

This understanding of how the body is impacted with trauma brought us to Somatic Experiencing (SE), another trauma treatment.  For our SE training, we spent three years traveling back and forth from Chicago, leaving our busy lives and families, to train in that philosophy. We are now able to combine EMDR protocol with the SE mind-body connection to resolve longstanding traumatic events for our clients. 

Six years later, we have completed our EMDR certification process and are consultants in training for this important treatment.

Alison and Laura are offering EMDR consultation for those clinicians working towards their own certification hours, or who are just interested in continuing to grow their knowledge and expertise. Laura also provides yoga online at Know Yoga Know Peace.