Lauren, De’Agostino, Mental Health Student Intern
Lauren is guided by the philosophy that connecting humans to the Earth is a healing practice. In their work as a family therapy student, herbalist and researcher, Lauren helps people to tend their human and nonhuman relationships and is particularly drawn to experiential and somatic practices.
In their previous experiences developing experiential, place-based curriculum and tending the land, it led to pursuing a career in family therapy. At Lewis and Clark, Lauren has been following the eco-therapy track, building a food forest on campus and writing a thesis about integrating biocentric views into family therapy. By designing a food forest, Lauren envisions helping the land thrive – supporting soil bacteria, fungi, pollinators and people – even as students’ interests wax and wane. Connecting with this land serves the dual purpose of being therapeutic and informing future practice. Lauren feels that it is an honor to work alongside human and nonhuman friends to tend to a beloved place. Currently, Lauren is a research assistant for Dr. Pilar Hernandez-Wolfe on a study exploring the human-nature bond, in which they are also in the early stages of developing a class that explores the Plant-Human Bond.
Before coming to Lewis and Clark, Lauren focused on creating place-based experiential curriculum for elementary school aged youth and families and created programs in rural Belize, on a farm in Santa Barbara and in Northern California before starting their own nature school in San Diego in 2020. Lauren is passionate about connecting children, families and couples to the land to help build skills, increase feelings of confidence and find rhythm with the dance of nature. Lauren believes are always surrounded by powerful metaphors for growth, loss, change and transformation and can ground our healing by partnering with all living beings on Earth.