Lauren Macdonald, MSW, LCSW

Lauren’s style is patient, curious, genuine, and gentle. She provides space for clients to explore emotions through play, experiential activities, and creativity at their own pace, while incorporating skills to utilize more direct approaches if needed/preferred. Using both play and talk based approaches, she strives to provide and hold space for clients to express themselves freely (which sometimes includes difficult moments!). She believes in creating a space for clients to come as they are, taking intentional time to focus on building our relationship. Lauren is dynamic and utilizes a range of approaches because sometimes, the things we struggle with can be hard to talk about. This leads her to incorporating expressive approaches to help ease the way.

Finding her way to Blue Ridge Treks, Lauren previously worked in a variety of settings. With over a decade of wilderness experience through the North Carolina Outward Bound School and therapeutic wilderness programs, she brings experiential approaches and a strong ability to utilize metaphors, and teaching through our natural world. In addition to wilderness experience, Lauren previously worked in residential facilities, school based outpatient therapy, and as a foster care social worker. She holds both bachelors of social work, and a masters of social work.

Lauren works with children, tweens, adolescents (and their grown ups), utilizing walk and talks, hiking, creek stomping, and wilderness skills. She can also be found walking around with a backpack full of various toys and materials.

In her spare time, Lauren enjoys multiple forms of play including mountain biking, video games, board games, and generally spending time outside (even when it’s hard to motivate).