Karen is a compassionate and skilled therapist focused on helping LGBTQ+, ADHD, and ND teens and adults transcend life’s challenges.
Clinical Social Worker in San Jose, CA
I have worked with adolescents throughout my entire social work and therapeutic career. I love the age group and have good rapport with teens and their parents. I believe in working closely with the caretakers as well as the minor client, since the family situation always has a significant impact on the teen's concerns, in one way or another.
As a member of the community, I have personal insight into the experiences and challenges common to these individuals and couples. Professionally, I work with all people inside the rainbow around whatever issues they are confronting. I am experienced with supporting people through gender-affirming steps and procedures. Self-acceptance, family concerns, coming out, sexuality and relationships, and all forms of questioning are common themes.
I specialize in diagnosing ADHD, providing resources and guidance, and treating the depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem that commonly occur in individuals with this brain structure. As a person with ADHD, I have a genuine understanding of the struggles and frustrations that commonly arise. I also enjoy working with other neuro-divergencies such as ASD, helping them develop coping skills for interpersonal and functional challenges.
I think of myself as a detective, working to figure out what is causing tension and conflict in my clients' relationships. I do this through individual assessment and conversations with the couple together. Once we identify the source of the strain, we can use a variety of strategies to improve communication, increase a sense of connection, and fulfill the goals the couple sets out to achieve.
Emotions arise naturally from the thoughts we choose to focus on. Emotional awareness opens the door to greater freedom, lightness, and decisiveness. I create a safe space for clients to identify and experience the emotions that weigh heavily on their hearts. This can also allow them to share themselves more fully with their partner, allowing compassion to grow and conflicts to shift and resolve.
Our brains are idea machines. It is their job to give us lots of ideas to help solve problems and keep us alive. We need to be skillful at choosing which thoughts to accept and act on. Our thoughts determine our feelings and actions, so it is critical to understand and guide our thinking carefully. I use many strategies to help people identify their thoughts and deep beliefs, think intentionally, manage the emotions that arise from those thoughts, and act with integrity.
I see myself as a detective working to find the source of the tension and conflict in my clients' relationships. I do this through assessing each partner individually and then meeting with the couple together. Once we identify the challenge areas, I use a variety of strategies to improve communication, increase connection, and achieve the specific goals the couple aims to address.
I offer coaching to clients who live outside California and to individuals who are seeking direct guidance in some aspect of their growth. I believe in the power of positive energy for motivation and inspiration. My professional and life experience have equipped me with effective ideas which I tailor to each individual situation. And I know that humans respond to praise and helpful encouragement, so I use a strengths-based approach, highlighting each individual's best traits.
The power of being aware and attuned to the present moment can be life-changing. I help people learn to slow down and ground themselves right where they are, to deal with each moment of life as wisely and calmly as possible. Science tells us that meditation has a multitude of positive effects, and most people can incorporate some form of mindfulness meditation into their days, even if just for one minute at a time.