Young adults / college students (18 - 24)
Specialties & expertise
Perinatal mental health
Laura Chalk is a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist in Providence, RI with a specialization in women's mental health. She provides talk therapy and medication management for adults and parents navigating postpartum challenges, sexual health, attachment challenges, anxiety, and depression. Laura is is an expert in working with women and their families during pregnancy and postpartum, bringing over 15 years of experience in midwifery and clinical work at Women & Infants Hospital to private practice. She has a special interest in birth trauma, perinatal loss, and depression and anxiety in the pregnancy and postpartum period.
Laura primarily takes a psychodynamic approach grounded in attachment theory and incorporates other evidence-based modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), interpersonal therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) in order to help clients understand underlying self-beliefs while also providing immediate symptom relief. Laura provides psychiatric medication management as needed, prescribing conservatively and where indicated.
Laura received her MSN from the University of Pennsylvania in Nurse-Midwifery and her BA from Tufts University. She obtained a post-master's degree as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist from URI. She is dedicated to creating an open and safe environment where no topic is off limits and enjoys ushering clients through vulnerable times with more confidence and resiliency.
Perinatal mental health – Anxiety, depression, and relationship concerns specific to childbearing women and their families; Navigating complex emotions and the transition to parenthood during pregnancy and the postpartum period
Sexual functioning – Supporting individuals and relationships to work towards achieving satisfying sexual lives and functioning in navigating varying levels of physical ability that can impact sexual functioning; this may include impacts of disability, chronic illness, or mental health as well as the normal variation that occurs in bodily function as people age and bodies change. Expertise in treating vaginismus
Medication management – Prescribing and optimizing medication regimens with specialized training in pregnant and breastfeeding women
Anxiety – Generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks
Attachment work – Challenges with mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from failure to form normal attachment to primary caregiver in early childhood
Depression – Sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated, amongst many other symptoms
ADD / ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) – Managing ADHD and its effects on decision making, studies, relationships, and work; helping with organizational challenges
Bipolar disorder – Using coping and preventive strategies to stabilize swings between elevated mood or irritability and depressive episodes
LGBTQ and sexuality topics – Exploring questions related to sexuality and gender identity; coming out or being closeted; relationships; family and cultural challenges
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD) – Severe, sometimes disabling extension of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that can cause extreme mood shifts and disrupt your work or affect relationships
Trauma – Including dealing with past sexual assault, childhood trauma, environmental trauma (e.g. witnessing/experiencing violence), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
Brown University Student Insurance
Johnson & Wales University
RISD Student Insurance
URI / University of Rhode Island Student Insurance
First appointment: $250 (with medication)
Therapy & medication management sessions: $200/session
Therapy sessions: $150/session
Medication management sessions: $125/session
Sliding scale: A sliding scale is offered to clients who need a reduced fee to receive therapy.
Message to clients
"Laura is a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist who includes both psychotherapy and psychopharmacology as part of her practice. She has expertise in women’s health drawn from 15 years as a community midwife. Her expertise in the perinatal period was further deepened with a fellowship in infant mental health. Her areas of focus include: depression, anxiety, loss, adjustment, intimacy, sexual health and birth trauma.
Laura enjoys working with a diverse population, from college on as they negotiate life transitions, develop insight into how they have formed relationships and subsequent patterns that they have seen develop over time. Laura believes that therapy can be a powerful space to develop new coping strategies, ways of communicating and healthy life choices. Her approach is psychodynamic, informed by attachment psychotherapy as well as evidence-based approaches such as IPT, CBT, ACT and mindfulness. Psychopharmacology is another tool that Laura draws from in the treatment of mental illness. She has trained and worked at Women and Infants and is skilled in working with the perinatal population as well as others for medication management."
Treatment approachesAcceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a form of cognitive behavioral therapy that uses mindfulness and behavioral activation to help people learn strategies to live life more in the present, more focused on important values and goals, and less focused on painful thoughts, feelings and experiences. (learn more)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)In cognitive behavioral therapy, you work with a therapist in a structured way, attending a limited number of sessions. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, so you can view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. (learn more)
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that often used to treat disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders, and particularly chronic borderline personality disorder. It teaches skills such as mindfulness, pain tolerance, interpersonal effectiveness, and emotional regulation. (learn more)
Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. (learn more)
Mindfulness PracticesMindfulness practices include but are not limited to developing awareness, attention, and remembering. In mindfulness-informed therapy, clients develop tools to become aware of what is occurring within and around them, so they can begin to untangle from mental preoccupations and difficult emotions. Self-acceptance and compassion are also core elements of mindfulness-informed therapy. (learn more)
Supportive TherapySupportive psychotherapy is used primarily to reinforce a patient’s ability to cope with stressors by giving clients the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the issues. Clinicians help patients learn how to move forward and make decisions or changes that may be necessary to adapt, either to an acute change, such as the loss of a loved one or severe disappointment, or to a chronic situation, such as an ongoing illness. (learn more)
Education and work experience
Private Practice, 2009 - Present
Women & Infants Department of Women's Behavioral Health, 2014 - 2017
RIC School of Nursing, Adjunct Faculty, 2010 - 2013
University of Rhode Island, Post Masters Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist Program, 2008
University of Pennsylvania, MSN, Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery, 1994
Tufts University, Bachelor of Arts in French