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Mood Disorders

On the website for the The Mayo Clinic, they define mood disorder as “general emotional state or mood is distorted or inconsistent with your circumstances and interferes with your ability to function. You may be extremely sad, empty or irritable (depressed), or you may have periods of depression alternating with being excessively happy (mania).”

Some examples of mood disorders include:

  • Major depressive disorder — prolonged and persistent periods of extreme sadness
  • Bipolar disorder — also called manic depression or bipolar affective disorder, depression that includes alternating times of depression and mania
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a form of depression most often associated with fewer hours of daylight in the far northern and southern latitudes from late fall to early spring
  • Cyclothymic disorder — a disorder that causes emotional ups and downs that are less extreme than bipolar disorder
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder — mood changes and irritability that occur during the premenstrual phase of a woman’s cycle and go away with the onset of menses
  • Persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia) — a long-term (chronic) form of depression
  • Disruptive mood dysregulation disorder — a disorder of chronic, severe and persistent irritability in children that often includes frequent temper outbursts that are inconsistent with the child’s developmental age
  • Depression related to medical illness — a persistent depressed mood and a significant loss of pleasure in most or all activities that’s directly related to the physical effects of another medical condition
  • Depression induced by substance use or medication ― depression symptoms that develop during or soon after substance use or withdrawal or after exposure to a medication

Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety is a word to describe a state of being that causes the person (system) to have excess worry and nervousness in every day normal life.

Common anxiety signs and symptoms include:

  • Feeling nervous, restless or tense
  • Having a sense of impending danger, panic or doom
  • Having an increased heart rate
  • Breathing rapidly (hyperventilation)
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Trouble concentrating or thinking about anything other than the present worry
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Having difficulty controlling worry
  • Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety


Why select Laura Jo for your therapist?

A Good Fit

Being able to relate to your therapist goes along way to building a therapeutic alliance, which is very important to facilitating positive change.

My attributes include: being a native Texan, well-traveled, a mother to three children, married for 22 years to another UT-Alumni (Engineering), UT-Austin Alumni, karaoke enthusiast, and sister to two siblings, and I have a great sense of humor. I bring a LOT of perspective to our work together.


My Master’s of Science in Social degree prepared to work with the individual and the community. Ongoing and recent training include:

  • Somatic Experiencing through the Healing Trauma Institute (framework for understanding and addressing trauma physiology)
  • Behavior Therapy Training Institute through the International OCD Foundation (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy)


Acknowledging my strengths and limitations, the collaborations I have in the community mean that you are going to be connected to other helpful resources. Referral sources for past clients include:


Number of Clients Served in 2018

Interested in E-therapy?

Treatment for Hoarding Disorder

Utilizing evidence-based treatment for hoarding disorder includes good differential diagnosis and the Handbook for Treatment of Hoarding Disorder by Dr. Steketee and Dr. Frost. A 26-week individual, outpatient program for those person with the disorder. A 16- week group program and Family Support classes offered monthly. 

Treatment for a Mood Disorder

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Treatment for Anxiety/OCD

During a brief phone call, Laura Jo will talk to you about how to prepare for your intake session.  It is not uncommon for Laura Jo to recommend a referral based on your needs at this time AND her availability and her scope of practice.