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Focus Stories

Therapist Larissa Humiston

by Susan Shalhoub

Featured Photo from Therapist Larissa Humiston

There’s great news for local families: renowned Licensed Clinical Social Worker Larissa Humiston is now seeing patients in Lake Mary.

After building successful client relationships over the past decade at her Winter Park private practice, Larissa is bringing her own unique brand of counseling to patients here, as well.

And Larissa says there has been a theme with most patients lately: stress due to the spread of the coronavirus.
“There’s a level of uncertainty – with jobs, rent payments due, and just not knowing how the virus will affect the future,” says Larissa, who sees anywhere from six to 10 patients a day, age 14 and up. “There is lots of anxiety.”

But she’s happy to listen to those in the community and offer ways to cope.

Larissa welcomes new patients looking for help with things like depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and grief and bereavement along with hosts of other issues.

She offers counseling, which means working on specific problems like stress management, as well as psychotherapy, which is more of a long-term process focusing on broader issues.

Path to Practice
Though Larissa earned a master’s degree in social work from New York’s Syracuse University, she didn’t start out on the path to therapy work. First, Larissa was a ballet and jazz student at New York’s Bennett Conservatory for the Arts, which led to coaching and choreographing high-school dance teams and theater groups. She loved teaching others to dance and showing them their potential. Working with hospice patients and their families as part of Larissa’s study of social work revealed parallels between dance, counseling, and end-of-life themes such as grieving.

“They are actually pretty related,” she says. “Through dance, light can be shed on things that happen every day that we don’t always talk about – grief, body-image issues – kids can learn not only communication, but also teamwork and how to build each other up through dance.”

A Central Florida resident since 2007, Larissa remains an active, award-winning member of the dance community. She founded Emotions Dance Company in Longwood in 2007.

Through her caring therapy, Larissa offers clients access to the kinds of movement and motion that can improve their lives. By tailoring her approach to each client and using modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy when appropriate, Larissa is creating a valuable new resource for those seeking help in our community.

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