About Laura

Laura conducting a workshopLaura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. She has over thirty years of experience as a social worker and therapist helping people to create healthy and fulfilling lives.

Her experience includes teaching for the New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work, serving as an advocate for women and children at the Women Against Abuse Shelter, as Director of Counseling Services for the Domestic Abuse Project of Delaware County, as a therapist to sexual assault survivors at the Joseph J. Peters Institute, as therapist, speaker and workshop presenter for the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Philadelphia, and as the first Director of Jewish Family and Children’s Service’s Domestic violence Prevention Program. She is a member of the board of directors of the Four Corners Training Consortium.

Laura is a certified Imago therapist with Advanced Clinician status, an Imago Getting the Love You Want Certified Workshop presenter, and a level II trained EMDR therapist. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Oberlin College, and received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of the Mazie F. Rappaport Award, and has published articles on the long term impact of child sexual abuse and on the efficacy of couples therapy in situations involving domestic violence and abuse.

Laura and Steve in PortandShe lives with her husband Steve, their two cats and sometimes visiting children in Farmington, New Mexico in the Four Corners region of San Juan County. Together Laura and Steve have raised a blended family of five sons.

Some Words of Encouragement from Laura

The great composer Igor Stravinsky once said that, “In order to create there must be a dynamic force, and what force is more potent than love?” We all long for love, and yet all too often we find our dreams difficult to realize. We live in times of tremendous transition. There is much that is wonderful, exciting and hopeful about the changes which scientific and technological advances have brought to our lives.

There is also much that is confusing, frightening and destructive in this brave new world. There is no area of human experience in which both the hope and the destructive potential of these dramatic changes are so clear as in the quality of our relationships with each other.

The last twenty years have seen an explosion of interest in, and concern about, the quality of human relationships, providing us with a wealth of opportunities to learn and grow in this area. We have also seen a frightening rise in violence, abuse, addiction and divorce. We demand more from our intimate relationships than ever before at the same time that we face a loss of the very community and resources that nurture and support successful families. For me this is both a profound challenge, and a wonderful opportunity.

My passion for helping people to create healthy relationships comes from my personal experience in striving to create relationships that are healing and healthy in my own life. At times this journey has been difficult and painful. It has also been exciting and inspiring. The results have always been worth the effort. It is a journey I hope to travel my whole life; a journey I do not believe we can afford to desist from if we want to be fully alive. Know that the destination is always worth the effort.

The Tamil people of India have a proverb that I believe says it best: “Where love reigns the impossible may be attained.” As we create loving, nurturing, passionate relationships in our own lives, the joy and healing that we find has the potential of enriching the lives of all whom we touch.  Ultimately I believe that as we bring compassion and healing into our own lives, we bring peace into the world – that the work of building strong, healthy relationships is indeed the work of healing the world one couple at a time.