Dr. Dennise Lawry

Licensed Clinical Psychologist




Dr. Lawry is currently providing psychotherapy for adults, families, and couples.  Counseling services are offered in both English and Spanish. 

Counseling can help address the following issues:

  • Depression       
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Concentration
  • Decision Making
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Abuse/Neglect
  • Co-Dependency
  • Job Performance
  • Divorce
  • Anger         
  • Behavioral Problems
  • Parenting/Step-Parenting
  • Loss/Grief
  • Self-Esteem
  • Marital Problems
  • Stress/Anxiety/Fears
  • Spiritual/Religious Issues

Dr. Lawry has been working in the mental health field for over 12 years and is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.  She is committed to providing the highest quality of professional mental health services to her clients.  She is currently practicing at Samaritan Counseling Services of the Gulf Coast in the Sarasota office.  Samaritan partners with churches to provide mental health services to the community.  In addition to her professional education and experience in psychology, Dr. Lawry has extensive training in a faith-based approach to counseling helping clients draw upon religious and spiritual resources for their personal healing and growth.  Dr. Lawry respects each person's individual beliefs and does not impose her personal religious beliefs on clients.

Dr. Lawry’s clinical experience includes work with adults, couples, families, children, adolescents and groups in community mental health centers, university counseling centers, and private practice settings.  She successfully completed a year long APA-accredited internship program at Citrus Health Network, one of South Florida’s largest community mental health centers.  In 2006, as part of her doctoral dissertation Dr. Lawry developed a culturally sensitive adaptation of the Prevention Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP) for Hispanic couples.  She implemented a pilot program at Charis Center for the Hispanic community in Sarasota.  In 2007, she completed her Postdoctoral Residency at Charis Center under the supervision of Dr. Christopher Cortman and shortly after earned her Psychologist License.  

Dr. Lawry also has a special interest in assessment.  She has conducted evaluations in private practice settings, inpatient psychiatric hospitals, and university counseling centers with children, adolescents, and adults.  Dr. Lawry’s assessment experience includes psychoeducational evaluations for children with academic difficulties, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral problems, ADHD, and more.  She has also conducted psychological evaluations for adults with emotional, behavioral, and personality disorders. 

As a mental health consultant for the Head Start schools in Chicago, she worked with program directors, teachers, and parents to implement institutional changes or to provide feedback regarding treatment options for children exhibiting behavioral or emotional problems.  At the Center for Church Psychology Collaboration in Wheaton (IL) Dr. Lawry was a consultant to pastors and church leaders.  She conducted community and congregational needs assessments and program development. She also provided clinical supervision to students in the Master of Arts in Counseling Ministries program at Wheaton College. 

Dr. Lawry enjoys working in the community.  She has facilitated a number of community prevention programs, including Dare to be You, Lifeskills Training, YES!, and Strenghthening Families.  She uses science-based curricula to provide faith-based education, training, and family-building programs that help develop and enhance positive skills in parents and their children. 

At Wheaton College, Dr. Lawry participated in many research efforts primarily focused upon the integration of psychology and theology.  She has participated in several publications, including her dissertation “Intervention Program for Hispanic Couples:  An Adaptation Study of PREP,” Wheaton College Graduate School, and “Maintaining Personal Resiliency: Lessons Learned from Evangelical Protestant Clergy” in the Journal of Psychology and Theology.    Directory