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david lawson, psyd, LCP


About David

Dr. David Lawson, PsyD, has been working in clinical psychological practice and education for over 25 years. He is a graduate of Biola University in La Mirada, CA, where he received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.  During his educational tenure, he has taught at the University of Virginia and Palm Beach Atlantic University, where he is currently a Full Professor and is the head of the Counselor Education Program at their Orlando extension campus. 

David’s work has been featured in numerous academic publications, as well as at the national conferences of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Association for Sex Educators Counselors and Therapists (AASECT). Outside academia, Dr. Lawson has been retained by the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide marriage enrichment, conflict resolution, and deescalation training to staff, and he travels internationally to Greece each year to provide a clinical growth experience for young clinicians. His unique, warm, and down-to-earth counseling style encompasses sexuality and gender (including work with persons identifying as LGB/TQ+), traumalife fulfillment, spiritual abuse recovery, and more.

From David:

“Part of what makes each of us unique is the pain we experience and carry. Likewise, it is that very pain that also unites us together, allowing us to move, grow, and become something better. The very essence of empathy is found in the uniting of our story and our pain together, allowing us to know and understand another’s painful experience indirectly. Yet for many, me included, that pain becomes trapped somehow in a complex web of worry and concern about not being okay, or not being good enough. And so, we hide, from ourselves and the pain that we are terrified to experience on our ‘insides.’ And we also hide from others. In this, we become even more lonely and more disturbed by our pain, creating a vicious cycle of both hiding and hoping no-one sees, while simultaneously moving on to something else, hoping it will magically go away. Sadly, at some point we are carrying so much pain that we can no longer move on. We are stuck in the very web that we created to hide from our pain and hurt. But there is hope, and it often comes in a way that is challenging and unpredictable. Since we are injured through relationships, our healing must come through relationships; this is the foundation of healing.  The journey from that point involves being connected to others who can hold and help us understand our pain that we have tried to hide, so that we can discover its context historically and in our lives now.  Counseling helps us to embrace who we are, including the pain we hold.  In so doing, we learn to become, to change, and to thrive.”

In your language you have a form of poetry called the sonnet…There are fourteen lines, I believe, all in iambic pentameter. That’s a very strict rhythm or meter…And each line has to end with a rigid pattern. And if the poet does not do it exactly this way, it is not a sonnet…But within this strict form the poet has complete freedom to say whatever he wants…You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.

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