Brenda Carlson

(MA, LMHC, NCC)

About Me

I am a licensed mental health counselor in Florida with over 3 years work in community mental health and 10 years experience in private practice, including 8 years as a certified clinical trainer for other counselors. I work a great deal with adult survivors of childhood abuse, but also with those dealing with depression and anxiety. Additionally, I often assist couples dealing with relationship and communication issues and with the gay and lesbian community.
I completed my Masters Degree in Ohio at a dual enrollment program, which was partly at Ashland University and partly at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. I completed internships at both Cleveland Psychiatric Institute and Lutheran Medical Center of Cleveland, both of which are large teaching hospitals..
I believe the best counseling technique is the one that helps the person seeking help to feel better. To that end, I use a variety of cognitive techniques in my work. In other words, techniques that assist individuals who feel "stuck" to look at their situation from different angles and from that new perspective, work out new methods for resolution. No two problems are ever exactly the same, so I make it my personal objective to listen very carefully to each person and in a very open and non-judgmental way, try to understand what each situation feels like looking out through their eyes. I have experience with both relatively mild and very severe types of problems.
I do offer video sessions at specified times when I am in my office and have a reliable high speed connection. Phone sessions are always available at times posted according to my Live Chat schedule.


Specialties

  • Stress, Anxiety
  • LGBT
  • Relationship
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Anger
  • Self esteem
  • Bipolar
  • Depression

I also have experience in Addictions, Family, Grief, Intimacy-related, Sleeping, Parenting, Career

Years of Experience: 25

Licensing

LMHC #MH2142 (Expires: 2019-03-31)


Reviews

Written by B.R. on Oct 13, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 5 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, self esteem, and career

She talks to me at my education level which doesn't waste my time, which is a problem I have had with other counselors. She tells me how to solve my problems in ways I would never think of and they work! I think she is great and the perfect fit for me.

Written by V.A. on Sep 22, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, sleeping, parenting, self esteem, anger, and career

Absolutely love this app. My counselor Brenda is amazing.

Written by S.H. on Sep 16, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 2 weeks lgbt, relationship, grief, and self esteem

I was hesitant to do online counseling, and even more skeptical that I would find a person who would have the appropriate background to relate, but I did. Brenda's profile outlined her extensive experience, which gave me confidence. Interacting online with her has significantly assisted me in working through some issues I had taken so long to face. I really like the convenience of texting, as it gives me time to ponder various questions and comments she makes. I am very happy with the process and experience I have had thus far.

Written by S.A. on Sep 05, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks

Ms. Brenda is amazing. Even when life starts getting hectic and I can't get on everyday, she still checks in to make sure I'm doing alright. 10/10

Written by D.E. on Sep 03, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, self esteem, career, and bipolar

Brenda is amazing. She listens to me and is able to provide the best advice. She makes me see things through other lenses and makes me want to start changing negative into positive things. Thank you for all your support - it is much appreciated.

Written by K.R. on Aug 21, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 4 months

Brenda is insightful, compassionate, and has a host of tools to help me deal with the challenges of life. Her intelligence coupled with her kindness help her to see things I haven't, and guide me successfully out of the rough patches.

Written by M.A. on Jul 24, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 2 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, sleeping, and self esteem

Brenda is such a kind soul. I have never felt such an instant connection with a therapist as I did with her. I would highly recommend her to anyone needing an empathetic ear.

Written by M.O. on Jun 30, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 4 months relationship, intimacy-related, and anger

Brenda is amazing. Very helpful and knowledgeable. I appreciate her very much.

Written by M.I. on Jun 23, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 10 months depression, stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, sleeping, and parenting

I've had great experiences with Brenda, and my wellness and recovery path since I started working with her have been absolutely stark. Just knowing that someone sane, patient, and objective is waiting at any time of day or night has made an inexpressible difference to my life.

Written by S.E. on Jun 21, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship, sleeping, self esteem, anger, and career

Brenda is everything you'd expect from a counselor: patient, understanding, kind, and not a hint of judgment in her words. Just wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for opening my eyes and heart to other possibilities I hadn't considered before speaking to her. Thank you Brenda.

Written by C.H. on Jun 15, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks addictions, and sleeping

Brenda is very receptive to your thoughts , concerns and a true person to look for advice and guidance. You can easily feel connected to her in a short period of time .

Written by G.R. on Jun 09, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, sleeping, and self esteem

When I started with BetterHelp, I'd pretty much given up on the idea of face to face counselling because I've struggled with following through and dealing with my issues surrounding trauma and PTSD in the past. Over the last few months, Brenda has helped me see that getting help and moving forward is not only possible, but something I can feel positive about.

Written by J.O. on Jun 01, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, family, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, career, and bipolar

Brenda has been great. She has been very insightful and helpful with my situation -- offering guidance than not even my face-to-face counselor offered me. Very compassionate and responsive too.

Written by M.O. on May 27, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, and self esteem

Brenda is an amazing person. I am lucky to have her as my counselor.

Written by E.J. on May 14, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks relationship, family, intimacy-related, self esteem, and anger

Brenda has given me some great advice and she has helped me see the world in a different way. Thank you Brenda!

Written by L.A. on May 09, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month depression, lgbt, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, and self esteem

Brenda is an outstanding counselor. I have been working with for a few weeks while stationed in Afghanistan. I appreciate the help she has given me.

Written by C.A on Apr 27, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, intimacy-related, parenting, self esteem, career, and bipolar

Brenda has been very helpful and given me a different perspective on things which I haven't received from anyone else thus far

Written by M.I on Apr 27, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 8 months depression, stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, sleeping, and parenting

I'm so happy I was assigned to Brenda. She's been incredibly helpful in working through a lot of my brain demons. I've recommended BetterHelp to like, everyone I know who's interested in counselling services, and even mentioned it to my GP. I am definitely better off and a healthier person because of Brenda's help and thoughtful, kind words.

Written by A.N. on Apr 11, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, and bipolar

Brenda has been what I need in a counselor, helping me address a few of my struggles head on. Though it is still an ongoing process, I am happy to be able to work with her.

Written by A.N. on Apr 01, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, sleeping, self esteem, and anger

Listened to my problems, gave great advice on the problems at hand

Written by N.E. on Mar 31, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, and self esteem

In the short time Brenda has been helping me I have notice a vast improvement in my self, I would definitely recommend her. Thank you very much Brenda i really appreciate it.

Written by J.I. on Mar 30, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, anger, career, and bipolar

Brenda is a great professional. She has helped me to deal with my relationship and self-esteem problems in a couple of weeks. I'm still having her guidance and she offers great insights on my thoughts and helps me to get to the answers to my daily struggles.

Written by C.A. on Mar 29, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 days depression, addictions, lgbt, relationship, and intimacy-related

I can't say enough great things about Brenda. I was in a bad place recently and now I feel so much better. In this short time, Brenda has guided me through a bad week and I've come out the end a happier and with some work a better person who is planning to take all of Brenda's good advice and no longer be an addict. Thank you so much Brenda.

Written by L.U on Mar 28, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, and self esteem

Brenda is very patient and kind. I feel very comfortable talking to her about a variety of things and I would definitely recommend her to a friend.

Written by S.H. on Mar 27, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, sleeping, self esteem, anger, and career

I'm glad I have Brenda as my counselor, she's been very helpful since I started with her, and she always makes me see the positive side of things, even when friends and family fail to do so.

Written by T.E on Mar 16, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, family, eating, and depression

So far my session have been very helpful. Brenda has given me some skills to try to divert my thoughts and they have been helpful. I feel I have a long way to go but I feel I'm on the right track.

Written by E.L. on Mar 11, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, eating, sleeping, parenting, and self esteem

Brenda has been helpful, personally learning how to implement positive actions into my daily life.

Written by D.O. on Mar 11, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, sleeping, self esteem, and career

Brenda was a great help for me and provided me a different way to view my situation which allowed me to shrink back from my worries and relax more.

Written by P.E on Feb 17, 2017 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, and self esteem

She's very comforting and understanding!

Written by M.I on Dec 30, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 days depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, anger, and bipolar

Brenda is very attentive and responds quickly. She asks good questions and is sensitive and apt to everything said.

Written by K.R on Nov 27, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, lgbt, parenting, self esteem, anger, and career

Brenda helped me manage stress and reduce my panic attacks within the first week of seeing her. I am definitely continuing my sessions and look forward to improvement in other areas of my life as well.

Written by K.W on Nov 23, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 6 days

Brenda is a good counsellor. I am happy with her service and I will talk to her again.

Written by N.U on Nov 14, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month relationship, family, and self esteem

Brenda is accessible and I can feel comfortable talking to her. I have really enjoyed interacting with her, and I am sure that in time we will have very good results. I recommend.

Written by S.H on Nov 09, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 days depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, self esteem, and career

Dr. Carlson is a great counselor, she helped me a lot to get rid of my alcohol addiction and also guided me to the right path towards my personal life. She is very understanding and responsive.

Written by S.U on Oct 07, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 days depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, sleeping, self esteem, and career

Very knowledgable in her field. Counseling was objective and professional while helping me feel more at ease about the issues presented. I would recommend Brenda Carlson to anyone in need of a short or long term professional counselor.

Written by V.A on Sep 29, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, sleeping, parenting, self esteem, anger, and career

I find Brenda has really helped. Although we are still in the beginning I believe this is working very well so far.

Written by B.R on Jun 09, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 days stress, anxiety, lgbt, self esteem, career, and depression

Thanks to Brenda my relationship is no longer in trouble and my personal well being has improved.

Written by M.E on May 09, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 1 week stress, anxiety, family, trauma and abuse, self esteem, anger, career, bipolar, and depression

Brenda is an understanding, awesome counselor. When you can't make sense of something, talk to her about it and she will help you.

Written by S.A on Apr 27, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 6 days stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, trauma and abuse, eating, and depression

Brenda is a very compassionate, caring, insightful and well versed counselor. She is very very responsive and also proactive to reach out to you. She provides you the space you need but also lets you know that she is there to help. She is reassuring and makes observations but then stops to also get your feedback before further elaborating which I liked as it can be challenging for a counselor to get a sense of who you are when there is little body language or voice interaction to go on. I feel she has dealt with many different areas so is well versed to guide in many situations.

I would highly recommend Brenda!!

Written by J.O on Apr 11, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 8 months

I got great help with some issues I have been having. She is very knowledgeable and made me feel a lot more confident about the changes I am making in my life.

Written by J.A on Apr 04, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, lgbt, trauma and abuse, sleeping, self esteem, anger, bipolar, and depression

Brenda is very helpful and good at what she does.

Written by S.T on Mar 30, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months relationship, family, intimacy-related, sleeping, self esteem, and anger

Brenda has been helpful in guiding me on the path that i=I want to be on to be my best self.

Written by C.G on Mar 16, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months relationship, family, and intimacy-related

Brenda has been great at helping to navigate through life stressors. She has great insight and provides thoughts and ideas to think about pertaining to each issue. She is very experienced in helping to figure out relationships. Highly recommended. Glad I was matched with Brenda. A huge plus is how quickly she responds - always within the same day which is great for me. It has been great working with Brenda.

Written by A.N on Mar 11, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 3 months addictions, and relationship

I loved her responsiveness and professionalism and how every time I felt wary and that I was sharing too much, she encouraged me and said it was okay and that really comforted me. She is really great!! Definitely would recommend her!!

Written by O.R on Mar 03, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, relationship, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, anger, bipolar, and depression

Brenda has helped me with everything I throw at her. All of her advice is amazing and warranted, and I'm glad I got paired with her as my counselor!

Written by J.O on Feb 26, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 4 months

Brenda has been an amazing help. I got so much insight from her.

Written by G.I on Feb 08, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 8 months stress, anxiety, relationship, self esteem, and depression

Brenda is readily available. I receive a response promptly. She will reach out and check in on me showing concern. She has helped me think deeper and is helping me resolve some issues. She is not judgmental at all and very understanding of my situation.

Written by R.A on Jan 30, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 3 months stress, anxiety, relationship, grief, self esteem, and depression

Brenda was extremely helpful in assisting me in identifying some issues which had brought me to her services. She immediately made me feel comfortable in providing information without reservation. She had great insight and provided exceptionally useful resources for me to utilize in my progress. Highly recommend Brenda!

Written by A.N on Jan 25, 2016 after counseling with Brenda for 2 months

Brenda has been absolutely amazing! I really enjoy talking with her. Her responses are very professional, very friendly and I'm so glad I came across this site and that Brenda was assigned to work with me. This has been a very worthwhile experience and I am 100% satisfied with the progress that is being made.

Written by K.A on Dec 29, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 5 days stress, anxiety, family, and depression

Brenda provided me with a unbiased and fresh perspective on the problem I was dealing with, whilst also being beautifully empathetic which came through in our messages. In the short time I was working with her I got exactly what I needed, and now I have some new strategies in my toolbox that are already proving to be helpful. Would thoroughly recommend, thank you Brenda!

Written by K.A on Dec 15, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, sleeping, and depression

Brenda is incredibly prompt and thoughtful in her responses. She is never judgmental and asks the right questions to help you explore your own thoughts. After trying a few different counselors on BetterHelp, I really have to recommend Brenda to those who want gentle, clear guidance.

Written by C.A on Dec 09, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, relationship, self esteem, career, and depression

Brenda has been such a a wonderful, supportive counselor. She is very understanding and encouraging, and gives great insights with clear explanations. She is exactly the type of support I needed during a difficult and confusing time. Many thanks!

Written by K.I on Oct 24, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, and depression

Great counselor in the short time we've been talking! She answers back so quickly no matter what time of day it is. Her responses are thorough and easy to understand. A good balance of understanding what I'm going through and challenging me to become better. Highly recommend.

Written by M.O on Oct 23, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 5 months stress, anxiety, lgbt, relationship, self esteem, career, and depression

Very friendly cordial helpful.

Written by M.A on Sep 22, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month

Brenda has been very helpful sorting through depression and anxiety surrounding my divorce. I appreciate her honest assessments and ability to sift through the frustration that I've been conveying, getting to the real heart of the problem.

Written by J.E on Sep 09, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month

Brenda has given me sound advice during this difficult time that I am going through with an abusive, alcoholic husband. She has been diligent in following up with me and checking in with me which is very reassuring. I appreciate her professional manner and her friendliness that makes me totally comfortable in sharing my issues with her. She asks appropriate questions to get a better understanding of my situation. I am so glad that I was matched with Brenda!

Written by K.A on Sep 07, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, grief, self esteem, and depression

Brenda has helped me get through my anxiety and depression following a breakup and though I need to take it a little at a time, I feel because of her coaching, I am slowly getting better and realizing my true worth as a person. She is very good at her job!

Written by A.L on Sep 06, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, intimacy-related, eating, sleeping, self esteem, career, and depression

Very good and patient. Insightful. Responds quickly. Gives homework. Checks in on me if I haven't messaged in a while. Best counselor I've ever had went three four in real life and three online before I got Brenda.

Written by K.E on Aug 15, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks

I've hit a little emotional rough patch in my life and Brenda had been a tremendous help. She is thoughtful, responsive and has helped me reframe my thinking on things without being too prescriptive. I'm surprised how comfortable I feel being candid and I know that is due to her professionalism and guidance.

Written by A.L on Aug 12, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 week lgbt

I worked with Brenda on LGBT issues that are coming up with me as I end my marriage. I found Brenda to be knowledgeable, caring, insightful and challenging. If you're ready to work on your issues, you will do well with Brenda as a guide.

Written by L.A on Aug 11, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 months stress, anxiety, lgbt, relationship, intimacy-related, self esteem, and depression

Brenda is great. She usually responds within an hour and has insightful things to say. I wasn't sure how well someone would be able to get to know me in an online format like this, but I really feel that she has a good sense of me, my values, my issues, and my needs. She has definitely been helpful to me and I would recommend her highly. Her recommendations to me have been really great in helping me in figuring out some of the possible reasons behind my behaviors and how to begin dealing with those situations. I couldn't recommend her more, and I'm glad we met (inasmuch as we have). :)

Written by L.O on Aug 04, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, family, self esteem, career, and depression

I felt very comfortable with Brenda from the very beginning. She was spot on with some of the issues I needed to deal with. She was always available and would also check back in if she didn't hear from me for awhile. She is definitely an asset to Better Help - you are in good hands if you get matched with Brenda!

Written by A.M on Jul 29, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 2 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, anger, and depression

Brenda was so helpful and understanding. It was really great to be able to have someone to speak about my relationship. She provided me quite a few tools and recommendations which have tremendously helped my situation. I couldn't of asked for a better counselor!

Written by M.A on Jul 23, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks stress, anxiety, relationship, family, eating, self esteem, career, and depression

Brenda is an awesome combination of kind/empathetic and highly trained/bravely honest. She's a great guide and she doesn't mind asking the hard questions - but she asks them with a caring and positive attitude. I'm so glad that I'm working with her.

Written by C.A on Jun 23, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks

Betterhelp is in fact better help. Quick, attentive, accommodating, kind, understanding; They are everything I am looking for. I find it mobile friendly (Android), and my counselor Brenda is worth every cent. I am low income, and the better support staff were very helpful in making it possible for me to continue sessions. (Thank-you!)
I struggled with my own pride in asking for help for years, but now, I feel like why did I never ask sooner. The anonymity of contacting someone not in my community, and not face to face, has been very opening and freeing to me. I feel it is private, and free of stigma. I don't have to tell my family or friends, unless I want to. Spectacular. I recommend this service.

Written by J.A on Jun 19, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 2 weeks stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

Brenda is amazing she is professional, helpful, responds very quickly with understanding and empathy, and always has good advice.

Written by S.U on Jun 10, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month

Awesome therapist. Has helped me tremendously and I plan to continue sessions with her

Written by S.H on May 18, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 1 month stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related, self esteem, career, and depression

Brenda has helped me see things I wouldn't have if I hadn't been honest with her about my feelings, thoughts and fears. She has been patient, understanding and encouraging in the time she has been my counselor. I would recommend her as a counselor.

Written by D.O on May 14, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks

Brenda has been an amazing influence at a critical time in my life. For me, everything about my life changed overnight, and that's not an exaggeration. Though the change was very positive, it left me without a direction and having no real idea who I am and what makes me tick. I was very lost and my positive life change was quickly becoming a source of major stress.
Brenda was the light in the fog that I needed. She offered me insight and practical answers for my questions. She was never heavy-handed, nor did she ever focus on details of the I considered unimportant. She seemed to recognize what I needed from our time together, and she delivered!
When my life gets hectic and I forget to utilize the great tool that is Brenda, she never fails to message me after a week to see if I have anything I need to talk about. She provides a nice sense of consistency in my otherwise crazy life.
After the free trial end, it was a real no-brainer to keep the service. At $35 a week, I have practically perpetual access to a gifted counselor. Thank you, Brenda, for being part of this incredibly valuable service!

Written by M.A on May 12, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 2 weeks

Brenda is really great at building an almost instant connection. She listens and offers help in a way that is more subtle and not distant or over bearing. So far so good , and I'm glad she has the patience to hang in with me as well :-)

Written by K.R on May 08, 2015 after counseling with Brenda for 3 weeks

I've been working with Brenda for a few weeks now and she not only has wonderful insights and understanding but also provides effective tools to help sort through a challenge. I like that we are in the here and now, and she is helping me to understand some dynamics in my life that I know are difficult but she gives me clarity on them. She has been very helpful!