Kara Anderson

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About this Service

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 25 years of experience. I am located in Florida where I began my career in counseling in 1994 as a residential therapist in a psychiatric hospital, followed by the roles of an outpatient therapist, clinical supervisor and program director at a substance abuse treatment agency. In 2001, I relocated to Ohio, where I worked for the next 13 years as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor – Supervisor, program manager and program administrator for a mental and behavioral health nonprofit organization. In 2014, I relocated back to Florida where I began my online practice. If you have any reservations about online counseling, I encourage you to give it a try. It is a highly effective and convenient therapeutic modality that can be accessed from the the comfort and safety of your own home or wherever you are at any given time. I can attest to this with utmost confidence based on my clients’ positive feedback after providing services here for nearly 6 years.

My clinical philosophy is one of a humanistic nature, with emphasis on the therapeutic relationship as the most essential building block of the counseling process. My therapeutic style is warm, interactive, attentive and compassionate. I believe that genuineness, unconditional positive regard and empathy are critical to the helping process. As needed, I am also direct and structured in my approach and tend to assign therapeutic homework or tasks to enhance the progression and continuity of the process in between live sessions or message exchanges. I have the ability to tailor and pace treatment to your individual and unique needs, and I am sensitive to evolving the process at your pace and convenience while still promoting and prompting advancement toward your goals. Furthermore, I take a holistic approach to health and wellness, with emphasis on achieving balance in major life domains. I believe that when needs, desires or aspirations are unfulfilled in one significant realm, the others are affected as well and this creates imbalance in one’s life, leading to stress, anxiety, inconsistency, overwhelmed feelings, lack of self-care, somatic symptoms, etc. Lastly, in terms of professional characteristics and standards of care, I operate with the highest degree. I was esteemed throughout my career for my level of professionalism, ethical conduct, organization, efficiency and grace.

My educational background includes: a bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Miami, FL; a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Nova Southeastern University of Fort Lauderdale, FL; and additional post-graduate coursework in career counseling, and the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of mental disorders at University of Dayton in Bexley, OH. I enjoy the ongoing pursuit of continued education, training and professional development through seminars in specialized areas, reading and self-study. I highly value knowledge, information and effective application of therapeutic theories, models, strategies, and techniques that may benefit the people I serve. My clinical experience includes working with various diverse populations and treatment modalities, and the full spectrum of issues and disorders ranging from the most simple to the most complex co-occurring conditions. I specialize in treating depression/anxiety/stress, substance abuse/dependency, emotional/physical/sexual abuse, trauma and grief/loss. I also have extensive experience with counseling issues in the following areas: LGBT, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Intimacy-related issues, Parenting issues, Anger management, Self esteem, Career difficulties, Compassion fatigue & Addictions in general.

Depression, anxiety and stress are some of the most common challenges faced by people who seek counseling. In this realm, I have worked with children, adolescents and adults in residential/hospital, outpatient and community-based settings. I have provided individual, group and family services, and have facilitated psycho-educational counseling groups and workshops on coping skills, stress management/reduction, emotion regulation, self-esteem and assertive communication skills. My approach though eclectic, tends to be rooted in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which per evidence-based research, is very effective in treating these issues. This active intervention is problem-focused and goal-directed in examining the relationships between thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and modifying unhelpful or negative patterns of thinking that lead to self-destructive beliefs and actions, to improve coping and overall wellness. I also take a mindfulness-based approach to CBT (MBCBT) by encouraging the use of mindfulness practice and self-compassion. These tools help to address and validate one’s personal experience with distress, pain and suffering; and diminish associated negative symptoms by focusing attention on the present moment. Learning how to self-soothe and regulate emotions through effective relaxation, calming and grounding strategies are significant components of my clinical approach to addressing depression, anxiety and stress.

For over two decades, I have treated teens and adults who struggle with substance abuse and dependency issues. In 1998, I was humbly honored to receive Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association’s Professional of the Year award. I have provided these services in various settings and levels of care from the least to the most restrictive. As an outpatient alcohol and drug counselor, I worked with self-referred individuals as well as those who had been mandated to receive evaluation and/or treatment as a condition of probation, parole, work, school or a family/community member. I provided these services in individual, group and family forums. As a clinical supervisor and administrator, I had the opportunity to develop and oversee programming and staff in the specialized area of addictions. In a training capacity, I facilitated seminars to educate clinical staff in the areas of assessing, diagnosing and treating alcohol and drug problems. I am very passionate about working with people who struggle with addictions in general, one day at a time, toward a healthy recovery and lifestyle. Maintaining a strong emphasis on healthy coping skills, positive support systems and relapse prevention planning are key to my treatment approach in this area.

In the delicate area of treating the effects of abuse and trauma, I have worked with child and adult survivors of emotional/physical/sexual abuse and violence. I have extensive experience working with acute and post traumatic stress disorder and have developed and facilitated group curricula that focus on reducing isolation, guilt/shame and self-blame; building self-esteem, positive support systems and coping skills; and increasing a sense of mastery and personal empowerment. I am also well versed at teaching survivors how to implement effective relaxation, grounding and anchoring techniques to help diminish anxiety and maintain a balanced state of arousal and focus in the present moment. Encouraging self-forgiveness is also very important to me in helping survivors let go of illegitimate shame or guilt derived from any unwanted responses to, or effects from the abuse. Throughout the healing journey, I am sensitive to guiding the process at a pace that feels most comfortable and safe to each person, and promoting respite from focusing on difficult material if/when it becomes too emotionally burdensome. To help prevent any inadvertent re-traumatization from occurring during the counseling process, I am especially conscientious and attentive to providing trauma-informed care.

Throughout my career, I have helped children, teens and families work through grief/loss challenges. In my professional opinion, there is no one particular formula for grieving. Though there are common elements or phases of grief, everyone grieves differently. It is a very personal experience and individual response to coping with significant loss of any kind – death, separation/divorce, relocation, retirement, job loss/change, etc. Grief occurs in stages, which may come like waves in the ocean, ascending and receding at any given time and in no particular order. I am skilled at helping people understand this phenomenon and learn how to navigate these treacherous waters. I have expertise in providing compassionate support and effective strategies to aid individuals through this vulnerable and difficult time toward a place of healing and acceptance.

Working with LGBTQ (Q – queer or questioning) counseling issues is a point of passion for me. I respect, admire, embrace and promote diversity, individuality and authenticity in my personal and professional life. I am LGBTQ-informed/educated and have experience with bullying, coming out, internalized homophobia, gender identity affirmation and transgender support. Mental health problems are difficult enough in their own respect, let alone compounded by LGBTQ issues. I have worked with a broad spectrum of concerns in this realm ranging from depression, anxiety, shame, guilt, secrecy and confusion associated with sexual orientation/attraction and gender identity to homo/bi/transphobia and HOCD (homophobic obsessive compulsive disorder). Furthermore, LGBTQ couples and families have unique issues when it comes to navigating the legal, emotional and financial aspects of raising and/or restructuring a non-traditional family. On behalf of this community, I firmly believe that more support, education and advocacy are greatly needed. With all the significant strides that have been made toward raised awareness and acceptance in our society, there is so much more that we can do to achieve full empowerment and equality for all. I want to be a part of this valuable movement and growth journey by helping one individual at a time.

I genuinely admire your initiative and courage to reach out for support, and look forward to working together toward your goals. With patience and commitment and dedication to this process, this is the first step toward a happier and healthier or more evolved you.

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Focus and Specialization Areas

  • ADHD
  • Addictions
  • Anger Management
  • Career Difficulties
  • Coaching
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Coping With Life Changes
  • Depression
  • Family Conflicts
  • Grief
  • Intimacy-Related Issues
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender Issues
  • Parenting Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Self-Esteem
  • Stress and Anxiety

Qualifications and Credentials

  • MS LMHC PCC-S
  • 25 Years of Experience

International Availability

This online therapist is available to work with clients outside the United States.

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