My name is Karen Allen, and I am licensed as a mental health counselor. Whether I chose to become a counselor, or it chose me is debatable. After seeing the challenges and impact of mental health disorders on people I cared very much about, and their families, I felt compelled to help. My formal education consists of a Master of Science degree. Perhaps even more valuable than my formal education, are my life's experiences because they have helped me integrate and apply my formal training beyond the theoretical constructs.
While I care deeply about and for my clients, I understand this time is their journey for the work of healing and growth. It is a privilege meant for them, and one I feel honored to witness. In counseling, you will do the work of healing, repair, and growth as you are able. It is a process, and there will be moments when you feel you are digressing rather than progressing. You will realize success as long provided you do not give up.
I am present to listen, to empathize, to teach skills and how to use them, and to offer encouragement. As a teacher, I cannot make the student learn any more than a physician can heal. I offer my knowledge, skills, abilities, and hope so my clients have the physical, mental, and emotional supports that allow healing to occur.
The first appointment will be spent getting started in therapy, ensuring limits of confidentiality, benefits and risks, and policies affecting treatment are understood. The first appointment is also an assessment appointment. Assessment allows therapy to be individualized to meet specific needs. It is a time to explore which of the therapies I offer are acceptable for both client and clinician. I offer therapies designed to resolve specific issues quickly, and I do my best to minimize the number of appointments required.
One therapy I am proud to provide is Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or A.R.T. for short. My first experience with A.R.T. occurred when it was in its pilot research phase proving its efficacy for treating trauma and PTSD. I was a treatment recipient and was impressed with A.R.T.'s ability to ferret out underlying memories contributing to problems in the present. My resolution required only one treatment. Studies of combat-related PTSD have shown A.R.T. to be an effective treatment delivering results in as few as six treatments (published studies are posted at www.IS-ART.org). What both my clients and I like about A.R.T. is how quickly they have received relief from phobias, insomnia, memories of childhood abuse, and medical trauma.
For clients who prefer something other than A.R.T., I offer EMDR, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, anger management therapy, and the Genesis Process for the Prevention of Relapse. I am a Christian and I offer a biblical approach for clients desiring evidence-based practices supported with Christian principles. I take a developmental approach towards treating clients as there are many factors contributing to who we are and how our lives evolved.
How much will therapy cost? Some problems will take longer to treat fully than others. I am a therapist who believes in helping clients build and strengthen skills. When my clients are receptive to learning and practicing skills, they can experience improvement in eight to ten weeks. Improvement means progress, not necessarily resolution. Progress in therapy is an individual matter dependent on the nature of the problem(s), consistency attending scheduled appointments, how much of an active role the client takes in treatment, and skills practice between appointments.
At the end of the day, helping people grow and find relief from emotional pain is one way I pay forward my gratitude for those who invested in me. Counseling is the means by which I can help responsibly. If you think I may be able to help, please contact me. If not me, call someone else. Please, never give up on yourself, there is hope.