HeadFirst Counseling

HeadFirst Counseling provides therapeutic services for children, teens, adults, and families in the Dallas, TX area.

Operating as usual

Timeline Photos 05/03/2021

New Adolescent Therapist and Summer 2021 Groups - https://mailchi.mp/e78e5e321d59/new-adolescent-therapist-and-summer-2021-groups

New Adolescent Therapist and Summer 2021 Groups - https://mailchi.mp/e78e5e321d59/new-adolescent-therapist-and-summer-2021-groups

Preschoolers' extensive electronic media use linked to emotional/behavioural issues 03/23/2021

Preschoolers' extensive electronic media use linked to emotional/behavioural issues

More encouragement for sticking to strict rules around screen time for kids. At HeadFirst we encourage avoiding tablet and iPad use on school days (sun evening-thurs) and limit of 2 hours (non consecutive) per weekend day for all kids under 10.

Read more about the research here:

Preschoolers' extensive electronic media use linked to emotional/behavioural issues Preschoolers' extensive use of electronic media, including game consoles, mobile phones, and tablets, is linked to a heightened risk of emotional and behavioral problems by the age of 5, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.


Thank you, @dfwchildmag ! Honored to be listed as one of their Mom-Approved therapists in the play therapy category! 😘

Thank you, @dfwchildmag ! Honored to be listed as one of their Mom-Approved therapists in the play therapy category! 😘


Often wonder what Mr. Rogers would have to say about days like 1/6/21.

Sometimes it feels like there is nothing that parents can say to their children to make it better.

Sometimes it feels like words fail us or we don’t know the answer, or even where to begin.

Sometimes love and physical comfort is all we can provide, and thank goodness- that’s enough.


Navigating the Holidays- 2020 Edition - https://mailchi.mp/7837b8b10d91/navigating-the-holidays-2020-edition


The question on every parent’s mind: in-person or virtual school?

When it comes to this dilemma, let go of the perfect choice (there isn’t one). Instead, adopt a mindset of assessing and mitigating risk, then choosing the choice that is the best fit with the level of risk your family is comfortable with.

Using a systematic way to make this decision can help to relieve the inevitable mixed emotions that come up. Link in bio for a risk assessment tool that can be used to help determine the school/day care risk for your family.

#covid19 #covidschooling #returntoschool #parenting #pandemic #pandemicparenting #homeschool

nytimes.com 07/03/2020

In the Covid-19 Economy, You Can Have a Kid or a Job. You Can’t Have Both.

“Why aren’t you enjoying the extra quality time with your kid?” lays bare what is really simmering below the surface — a retrograde view that maybe one parent (they mean the mom) shouldn’t be working, that doing so is bad for children, that it’s selfish to pursue financial gains (or solvency, as working parents will tell you). It is a sentiment so deeply woven into our cultural psyche that making the reasonable suggestion that one shouldn’t have to abandon a career or livelihood if offices reopen before schools, day cares and camps do is viewed as a chance to redeliberate this. - Deb Perelman, New York Times Parenting Op-Ed

Read the full article below. For working parents, this piece reflects every thought, emotion, stressor, and worry you have been reeling about the last four months.


@nytimes @nytparenting

nytimes.com Our struggle is not an emotional concern. We are not burned out. We are being crushed by an economy that has bafflingly declared working parents inessential.

nytimes.com 06/08/2020

Opinion | Camp Is Canceled. Three More Months of Family Time. Help.

Heading into Summer 2020 as a full time parent and paid worker at the same time is no easy undertaking (nearly impossible without additional help or coverage).

The article below by Jennifer Senior for the The New York Times provides a little encouragement for those of us struggling with summer and three more months of cancellations.


nytimes.com We’re homemakers, stay-at-home parents and paid workers. All at the same time.


Pandemic Parenting and Racial Inequality Resources - https://mailchi.mp/5e0214556e0a/pandemic-parenting-and-racial-inequality-resources


Before the age of 6yrs, children are not able to reliably recognize familiar people when part of the face is covered up or hidden. Recently many cities have mandated the use of masks when out in public or going to essential businesses, potentially creating many scary and frightening situations for young children.

Gradually exposing your child to masks can be helpful. Place it on a stuffed animal to wear, playfully take it on and off your face several times so your child can see it’s still mommy or daddy underneath the mask. Leave one out in their room or playroom for them to explore on their own if they choose.

For older children, allow them to practice wearing one around the house before the expectation of wearing it while out.

Staying home and keeping your children home is the safest and easiest method for now, but if you must venture out taking steps to reduce fear of masks can help empower your child and encourage social responsibility.
. #covid #corona #parenting #masks #parenthood #coronaparenting #parentsupport #kids #dallas #play #playathome #quarantine #quarantinelife #quarantineparenting

dallasparks.org 03/26/2020

Rec At Home | Dallas Parks, TX - Official Website

Free Local Resource for Dallas Families!

Dallas Parks and Recreation City of Dallas Parks & Recreations has created a [email protected] program for families to stream free videos of fitness ideas, healthy snacks, and more!


dallasparks.org Find leisure activities to do at home.

headfirstdallas.com 03/24/2020

Pandemic Parenting Survival Guide: For Parents of Young Children and Toddlers

Tips from our founder and therapist Laura Blunk McLaughlin for Parents of Toddlers and Young Kids for surviving the quarantine with some of your sanity intact :)

headfirstdallas.com How to come out of this Coronavirus quarantine with all family members still alive. Tips on how to manage your day and keep your toddler and yourself sane during the COVID-19 outbreak.


We’ve collaborated with @miraclemilkookies and #messagefrommom podcast to bring you tips on how to navigate parenthood during this crazy pandemic. Great advice on how to talk to your kids about #CoronaVirus without increasing anxiety and fear. Go to podcasts app and search Message From Mom to listen for free!

#covid_19 #covid #covidparenting #parenting #parenthood #podcast #quarantine #quarantineparenting #anxiety #kids #play #flattenthecurve #corona


The holidays can be a difficult time for many people. It is important to take care of yourself and surround yourself with positive, supportive influences (sometimes that means a good movie or book, sometimes that means family, and sometimes that means friends that feel like family). Be kind to yourself and reflect on all you have accomplished in the past year. You are exactly where you need to be. You are enough. Merry Everything from your HeadFirst family. •

#happyholidays #christmas #hanukkah #kwanzaa #stnicholasday #solstice #yuletide #merryeverything #mentalhealth #mentalhealthholiday #mentalhealthhelp #support #supportmentalhealth #youarebeautiful #youareenough @ Dallas, Texas


Some solid Monday advice 🙌🏼

#monday #mondaymood #mondaymotivation #mondayindallas #dallas #dallastherapy #dallasplaytherapy #childtherapy #familytherapy #mentalhealth #dallasmentalhealth #mentalhealthishealth #mentalhealthisimportant


You’ve got this (for all our mamas too)!
#repost @crisistextline and @gmf.designs #backtoschool

headfirstdallas.com 07/31/2019

How To Decrease Environmental Anxiety in your Child | Child & Adolescent Therapy in Dallas, TX- HeadFirst Counseling

Our latest blog post, by HeadFirst Counseling family therapist Laura Orr discusses the current topic of climate change anxiety, and how the talk of the impending end of the world is affecting our kids.

headfirstdallas.com What HBO's Big Little Lies taught us about climate change anxietyClimate change has been an increasingly prevalent topic of conversation and concern as article

headfirstdallas.com 07/08/2019

Helping Children Cope with Divorce | Child & Adolescent Therapy in Dallas, TX- HeadFirst Counseling

Divorce is tricky. Read our latest blog for tips on navigating through it with your kids as the focus.

headfirstdallas.com How to navigate the decision to proceed with a divorce with your child's best interest in mind.By Lexie Sikes, LMSWTherapist, HeadFirst CounselingIt is never e

momentousinstitute.org 07/01/2019

Equity: Why Talk About It with Children

Children often spend a lot of time thinking about fairness- especially amongst siblings. We love this article by the Momentous Institute explaining the importance of equity and ways to focus the conversation with your children around the idea of equity vs equality.




Weekend podcast plans? Check out the interview between our founder and play therapist, Laura McLaughlin @laurab_mc and Whitney Rowell, founder of @miraclemilkookies and Message From Mom! Access the podcast through the podcast app and on iTunes!

#dallasmom #dallasmoms #playtherapy #parenting #parentingtips


Happy Mother's Day to all our mamas out there!


Does your child sometimes struggle to interact with same age peers? Challenges with friendships and difficulty in social relationships can lead to increased anxiety and low feelings of self worth that stay with children for much longer than we like to admit. Contact our office today for more information about our social skills groups this summer.

Now offering several groups for boys and girls, elementary and middle school ages.


Summer groups now available! Now offering groups for children of all ages, and one new group particularly for fed up mommies (and you thought you were the only one!). Contact the HeadFirst Office for more information or to register (469) 665-9416 or [email protected]


HeadFirst Counseling is excited to welcome Lexie Sikes to the therapy team!

Lexie is a Licensed Masters Social Worker and joins the team of clinicians at HeadFirst after specialized work in grief agencies and at a private catholic school in Oklahoma as a guidance counselor. Lexie specializes in the areas of divorce, grief and loss, anxiety, self-worth issues, and life transitions. Lexie is now accepting new clients and has after school sessions times available (while they last!). Read more about Lexie on our website under the Meet The Team tab at www.headfirstdallas.com


HeadFirst is excited to welcome Laura Orr to the therapy team!

Laura is a seasoned therapist with many years experiences and is joining the HeadFirst team of clinicians after working in various non-profit agencies and in the Dallas community. Laura is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and also an Licensed Professional Counselor-Intern under the supervision of Elizabeth Coles, LPC-S 61349.

Laura specializes in issues related to infertility, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, stress, and trauma. Laura will be offering individual, family, group therapy, and couple's sessions at HeadFirst Counseling! Read more about Laura Orr on our website under the Meet the Team tab.

guidelive.com 02/26/2019

New 'kind cafe' coffee shop in Dallas is hiring unemployed former foster kids

Doing good in the neighborhood-

We love this new coffee bar coming to Lower Greenville that is hiring all former Foster Care youth.


guidelive.com Francois Reihani is a 23-year-old Dallas man who says he came from nothing but always seemed to be working on something. Reihani's third...


The HeadFirst Counseling team had a great morning at the DFW Kids Summer Camp Expo at @smudallas !! Contact our office for more information about our summer groups!
#play #summer #dallas #playtherapy #headfirstcounseling #parenting #family #socialskills #emotionalhealth #counseling


HeadFirst Counseling's cover photo

eventbrite.com 02/21/2019

DFW Kids Directory Summer Camp Expo

This Saturday Feb 23rd 10a-2p
HeadFirst Counseling will have a table at the DFW Kids Summer Camp Expo handing out information on our upcoming summer groups! Come see us at one of the outside tables in the covered area! We will have tattoos and toys for kids to play with!

More information about our upcoming summer groups will be available on our website soon! Topics for this summer's groups will include: ADHD, Anxiety, Social Skills, and groups for children of divorce.


eventbrite.com Looking for something to do with the kids this summer? Don’t stress out, plan your children’s summer and make it the best one yet. FINDING THE RIGHT CAMP JUST GOT MUCH EASIER. Come to the DFW Kids Directory Summer Camp expo to seek options to keep your children enriched and entertained during th...

fusionacademy.com 01/22/2019

Upcoming Fusion Events in Dallas

Dallas Parents!

Check out the HeadFirst Counseling founder, Laura McLaughlin, presenting about Executive Functioning and ADHD tomorrow evening hosted by Fusion Academy Dallas and the Attention Deficit Disorders Association (ADDA)!

Event is FREE!


fusionacademy.com Attend one of our upcoming Fusion Events in Dallas and learn about Fusion, our one-on-one teaching approach, and our private middle or high school.


Little voices matter! Allowing your child to feel heard, acknowledged, and validated goes a long way in creating harmony and democracy at home.

And just in case you haven’t yet... #vote #vote #vote Today!!!


Wishing everyone a safe and happy Halloween! 🌧🍬🍫🦇🦇🎃
#happyhalloween #halloween #play #kids #trickortreat #dallas #playtherapy #parenthood

undark.org 08/06/2018

How Indirect Violence Gets Under a Child's Skin, and Into the Brain

How Indirect Violence Effects Your Child

Research shows that indirect violence can have detrimental effects on children and their developing brains. With the news being saturated with school shootings, family separations and the immigration crisis, recent celebrity su***des- chances are your child has been indirectly exposed to the violence and trauma in the world. This causes a decline in their executive functioning levels and can cause symptoms similar to ADHD.

The article below highlights some of the recent research findings. If you notice changes in your child surrounding a violent or traumatic event, contact our office immediately to prevent long-term changes from taking place in your child's developing brain (469) 665-9416


undark.org Even if a youngster does not witness a violent crime or know the victim, new research suggests that sleep and stress hormone levels are both affected.


The Importance of Positive Parent-Child Relationships in Early Childhood


Needing something to binge watch over the summer? If you have Netflix, the new series titled The Beginning of Life is not to be missed! It offers great advice and research about the importance of being present with your child and providing positive early life experiences between parent and child. When it comes to attachment, the first 3 years of life are the most important and set the stage for your child's future relationships- both within themselves and with others.

Check it out!


Su***de Ideation and Attempts Increasing in US Children

Summertime often means a spike in suicidal ideation and su***de attempts for many US children and teens. This is sometimes attributed to the lack of structure and routine, feeling of isolation being away from friends as the school year ends, or many other reasons.

Contact our office immediately if you notice any of these signs and symptoms:
Sudden decrease in energy, motivation to engage in activities previously enjoyed
Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Sad or depressed mood
Any sudden changes in behavior
Any expression (verbal or written) of thoughts of su***de or not wanting to exist

Often signs of depression and suicidal ideation can go unnoticed and vary widely from child to child. Early prevention is key when it comes to stopping depression in its tracks and preventing su***de.

Videos (show all)

Welcome to our Dallas office! Now accepting clients for the fall- call before the schedule fills up! (469) 665-9416 #hea...




8215 Westchester Drive, Suite 145
Dallas, TX

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 7pm
Tuesday 9am - 7pm
Wednesday 9am - 7pm
Thursday 9am - 7pm
Friday 9am - 3pm
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