Dr. Holmes is a Licensed Psychologist and earned an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College in 1996, and a Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002. Over the course of her studies and beyond, she trained and/or worked in psychiatric emergency departments, university mental health systems, and group practices. Currently, Lauren maintains a private practice in Doylestown, PA, her clinical specialization being psychodynamic therapy with adolescents and young adults struggling with developmental challenges, family system dynamics, adjustment, anxiety, panic, and mood disorders, and a constellation of psychic sequelae resulting from trauma.
In addition to her doctoral practicum and fellowship requirements, Lauren designed and fulfilled an independent study and internship module in sport psychology. The objective was to impart a performance-focused, mental skills training program to local athletes and Division I and III student-athletes. Over the ensuing decades, Lauren has honed her method and expanded her reach, teaching athletes and young artists and musicians, the strategies, tools, and mindset necessary for achievement, advancement, and success. Her “exterior” work with these populations focuses on goal setting, visualization and guided imagery, stress management, progressive muscle relaxation, and identifying environmental antecedents for optimal flow states. Her “interior” work focuses on cultivating an internal world capable of aligning and optimizing cognitive and physical arousal, facilitating a greater understanding of the “athlete/artist identity,” and attending to potential intra- and interpersonal issues related to injury, burnout, play stagnation, sport withdrawal, substance use/abuse, and college and/or professional recruitment.
Lauren was a competitive figure skater from late childhood through early adulthood. She spent the last five years of her sport career in Colorado Springs, CO, on the esteemed campus of the United States Olympic Training Center, and the frozen surfaces of the renowned Broadmoor World Arena and the Cadet Ice Arena of the United States Air Force Academy. She was among the first select class of figure skaters to be invited as a research participant into the hallowed USOC performance lab, supported as an emerging elite by nationally and internationally recognized coaches, trainers, and sport physiologists and psychologists.
Fast forward, distanced in time and place from the requisite ice rinks, ballet studios, and gyms of her youth, the classrooms of her graduate school years, Lauren began swimming, cycling, and running to reconnect with her former self. Two young children in tow, she completed hill intervals pushing a B•O•B stroller, refueling on stale cheddar Goldfish and unfinished juice boxes. She pulled for long stretches, those same beloveds, nestled in a Trek trolley behind her road bike. At Penn State’s coveted outdoor lap pool, taking turns with her husband, she swam countless meters, those same toddlers in an adjacent lane, splashing and chanting “Faster! Faster!” In time, Lauren’s internal drive compelled her to register for her first sprint triathlon. Miles 13.1, 26.2 and 70.3 were to follow. Along the way, there were some impressive qualifiers – the Philadelphia Marathon, New York City Marathon, and Boston Marathon – and even a couple of age-group podium finishes – the Philadelphia Triathlon and an Iron Girl.
Much like having been drawn to the ice at an early age – to the dedication it demanded, the desire for mastery it aroused, the joy it bestowed with each perfectly executed line – Dr. Holmes has an affinity for sitting with young people, bearing witness to their unfolding personal discovery, helping them identify and meet process and outcome goals, and affirming their value and place within and outside the competitive arena. Sustained immersion in the world of competitive sport, combined with later scholarship, provides Lauren a profound, unique understanding of young talent, and of concerns held by the parents and family systems providing nurture, support, and encouragement. Lauren has a rare acumen for helping young athletes and other disciplined achievers, appreciate the mind-body connection, titrate cognitive and physiological arousal with expert precision, maintain focus and motivation, and respect the delicate balance of sacrifice and allowance. And because success is rarely achieved in isolation, Lauren’s work with clients includes counsel to critical support networks in an athlete’s orbit.