Kara Anderson

(MS, LMHC, PCC-S)

About Me

I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor living 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 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 providing online counseling services, a highly convenient and effective new therapeutic modality.

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 pursuit of continued education, training and professional development through ongoing 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 spans over two decades, various diverse populations, treatment modalities and the full spectrum of issues and disorders ranging from the most simple to the most complex co-occurring conditions. I have specialized 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, Relationships, Family, Intimacy-related, Parenting, Anger, Self esteem & Depression.

Depression, anxiety and stress are some of the most common challenges faced by individuals who seek counseling. In this realm, I have worked with children, adolescents and adults in residential/hospital, outpatient and community-based settings for over 20 years. I have provided individual, group and family services around these issues, and facilitated psycho-educational counseling groups and workshops on coping skills, stress management/reduction, self-esteem and assertiveness training. My approach, though eclectic, tends to be cognitive-behavioral, which 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 encourage the use of mindfulness practice and self-compassion to address and validate one's personal experience with distress, pain and suffering; and help diminish associated negative symptoms. Learning how to self-soothe and regulate emotions through effective relaxation and calming strategies is a significant component of my clinical approach in addressing depression, anxiety and stress.

I have extensive experience in treating adolescents 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. Throughout my career, 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 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 addictions. I am very passionate about working with people who struggle with this challenging problem, one day at a time, toward a healthy recovery and substance-free lifestyle while always maintaining a strong emphasis on healthy coping skills, positive support systems and relapse prevention planning.

In the specialized area of treating the effects of abuse and trauma, I have worked with child and adult survivors of emotional/physical/sexual abuse and violence for over 20 years. I have extensive experience working with acute and post traumatic stress disorder and have developed and facilitated group curriculums that focus on reducing isolation, shame and self-blame; building self-esteem, positive support systems and healthy coping skills; and increasing a sense of mastery and empowerment. I am also very knowledgeable about and skilled at working with survivors on effective relaxation, grounding and anchoring techniques to diminish anxiety and help maintain a balanced state of arousal and/or focus in the present. 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 comfortable and safe to each individual, 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, adolescents 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 resolution and healing.

I also have a specific interest in, and passion for working with LGBTQ (Q - questioning) counseling issues. I respect, admire and embrace diversity, individuality and authenticity in my personal and professional life. I have worked with the LGBTQ community in a clinical capacity throughout my career and have experience with bullying, coming out, gender identity and transgender support. Mental health and substance abuse 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 and gender identity to 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 great 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.

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 of the helping process in between sessions. 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, 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.

I 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 you.

*Please visit BetterHelp's FAQ link for information about the platform including fees and how messaging and lives sessions work: https://www.betterhelp.com/faq/


Specialties

  • Stress, Anxiety
  • Addictions
  • Trauma and abuse
  • Grief

I also have experience in LGBT, Relationship, Family, Intimacy-related, Parenting, Anger, Self esteem, Depression

Years of Experience: 24

Services Offered


  • Messaging

  • Live Chat

  • Phone

  • Video

Licensing

LMHC #MH5069 (Expires: 2019-03-31)

LPCC #E.0500133-SUPV (Expires: 2019-09-30)


Reviews

Written by E.R. on Jun 28, 2018 after counseling with Kara for 2 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety

Kara has been very empathic, kind, and helpful. She responds quickly, listens, and seems to "get me." Kara lets me rant, but also has made sure to give me the tools I need. Her communication is excellent, and I'd very much recommend Kara.

Written by Z.I. on May 09, 2018 after counseling with Kara for 1 year and 7 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, and intimacy-related

I found Kara to be very intuitive and compassionate throughout our time working together. She was attentive and timely in responding and offered new insights and potential ways to look at situations as I presented them. An invaluable sounding board, Kara was with me through an intense period of self development and growth. Knowing I can count on her into the future if so needed is a welcome safety net as I move on from regular counseling.

Written by A.N. on Jan 16, 2018 after counseling with Kara for 2 years and 1 month

Kara is amazing and I'm incredibly thankful for her.

Written by Z.O. on Jan 10, 2018 after counseling with Kara for 1 year and 10 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, self esteem, anger, career, and depression

Kara is so easy to talk to! She is kind, honest, and very good at making the right points at the right time. I've always got some homework and thoughts to chew on at the end of our calls, and she's as engaging and attentive with messaging when we use that as well. Mental health journeys are all in the subject's own head, and counselors are like the guides through the storm... The more actively one utilizes their insight and skills, the more one learns. I'm learning so much and am so grateful to Kara and the BetteHelp team for their continued affordable support!!!

Written by S.A. on Nov 01, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning relationship, and self esteem

Kara has seen me through an extremely difficult period in my life. I found the online service to be easy to operate and the more frequent contact as opposed to weekly visits beneficial. Kara is extremely clever in honing in on the core issues and then working out a clear plan to address them. She was also a friend and even though we never formally spoke I found her counseling calming.

Written by E.R. on Nov 01, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 5 months on issues concerning family, trauma and abuse, and parenting

Kara is there whenever I need her. She's very open minded and is genuinely a good spirit.

Written by H.E. on Aug 14, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 1 year on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, and self esteem

Kara is great! She is positive, kind, and patient in her responses, but also direct in the challenges she presents to me each session. I always look forward to receiving her responses.

Written by R.I. on Jun 21, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 6 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, intimacy-related, and self esteem

Over my time period with Kara, I have felt the ability to really open up my vulnerabilities and in turn Kara has treated me with utmost respect and care. She has helped me on my path to improving my confidence in myself and helped me tackle a myriad of issues with professionalism and sensitivity. She is really well matched to me and I am grateful to have her in my life.

Written by E.R on May 23, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 1 week on issues concerning family, trauma and abuse, and parenting

Kara has a high knowledge of the Western Medical view of mental health while also understanding the ideas of energy and human spirit. That's what I love about her. She can engage in a discussion of diagnoses but also never lose sight of the bigger picture, that we're more than flesh and bones. The human condition is a constant and starts with spirit. We discussed this and she was very receptive to this concept. I also believe she yields a gentleness that is required to be effective at this sort of work. She doesn't treat you like some sort of mental patient or case but rather as a human being. She understands that most people could benefit from therapy but never take the initiative. She gets it. She's brilliant. I recommend her highly. :)

Written by P.A on May 18, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning depression, and stress, anxiety

Kara is a highly skilled professional. She listens intently and really hears what I'm saying, versus just waiting for her turn to talk. There is no psycho-babble or canned comments during a session with Kara. During our discussions, I consistently feel validated, my thoughts are valued and not judged, and she offers relevant and timely feedback. I also appreciate Kara's ability to circle back and gently connect seemingly unrelated experiences or issues. She sent me thoughtful links to information and articles on topics of interest - much appreciated. This experience has given me new insights, ways of dealing with life's challenges, and a renewed sense of self and purpose. Two thumbs up! Thanks Kara.

Written by O.W. on Mar 24, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 2 weeks on issues concerning lgbt, relationship, and intimacy-related

Kara's been nothing but great since starting the trial. Each message is reassuring and works toward offering helpful advice that I can work with or consider in a way I hadn't before. I felt like I had a pretty complicated situation to convey, but Kara found the important elements and helped me focus.

Written by Z.I on Mar 02, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 4 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, and intimacy-related

The process of working with Kara has been insightful, supportive and helpful. I finally feel like I'm making progress resolving my issues with Kara's reassurance and guidance. As therapists and clients go, I feel like we're a great match.

Written by A.N on Feb 10, 2017 after counseling with Kara for 1 year and 2 months

Kara is a wonderful counselor! She is responsive, kind, compassionate, and caring.

Written by R.I on Dec 23, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 3 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, intimacy-related, and self esteem

A wonderful and empathetic, professional counsellor. She is non-judgmental, and is helping me greatly.

Written by R.E on Dec 17, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning eating

Kara has been absolutely amazing. She is very supportive and has definitely help me get back on track to a more positive outlook on the world. It was so nice to know that I could just message Kara whenever I was having a bad day and she would always respond. Thanks so much for your support.

Written by A.M on Oct 29, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 1 year on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, trauma and abuse, grief, parenting, self esteem, anger, and depression

Kara is great. She really understands my worries and gives me great advice. There is no pressure and I can do this all on my own time, as needed. I would recommend her to anyone.

Written by H.E on Oct 03, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship, and self esteem

Kara is a warm, patient, and introspective therapist. In our few weeks together, she has already gotten me to think outside the box while still feeling comfortable enough to take emotional risks in my therapy.

Written by C.H on Aug 09, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning lgbt

Kara is really careful and likes being accurate on how you really feel. You will feel her professionalism. She is really good.

Written by C.A on Aug 05, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 4 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, and depression

Kara's unconditional positive regard made talking to her very easy. She has a wealth of knowledge, is attentive, and genuinely kind and authentic. I highly recommend her for anyone dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression.

Written by L.E on Aug 03, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, lgbt, family, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, anger, and depression

I have really enjoyed working with Kara. I felt comfortable talking with her right off the bat and that doesn't happen often. She provided me with links and exercises that made me think and helped me work through my issues. I also highly recommend this site. I don't have much time available outside of work hours, and I am more comfortable corresponding with people online than I am talking to them face to face, so this is the perfect venue for me.

Written by E.R on Jul 14, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning family, self esteem, and career

Kara has been absolutely wonderful and very helpful. I enjoy all of the things she has me working on and she is very prompt and kind.

Written by J.O on May 24, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, self esteem, career, and depression

Kara is very kind, and has a lot of knowledge to back up her suggestions. I look forward to her messages, as they are so reassuring and positive.

Written by Z.O on Apr 19, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 8 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, grief, self esteem, anger, career, and depression

Kara is insightful, validating, genuine, and well-versed in her field! She really does it justice and has helped me immensely by providing kind and well balanced subjective/objective feedback. She responds thoroughly in a reasonable manner, which is all I can ask for... I am so happy I finally chose to give BetterHelp a chance!

Written by C.A on Apr 11, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 6 months on issues concerning family, trauma and abuse, grief, self esteem, and career

Kara Anderson is professional, caring, and empathetic. Her excellent knowledge surpassed many of the psychologist and face to face counseling. I found the ability to choose between writing, audio, video, and phone messages so useful! I could go back to previously talked about things from a different point, and process things at my pace. She utilises this service well.
As well as how useful the platform was with Kara, is her personality! I have been working with her for 4 months and will continue again in a couple months. Her ability to put me at ease, and build rapport and trust was excellent. She is very patient and understanding. She gave me so many practical resources too, that are CBT orientated, so instead of ruminating about the past only (Like some non-verbal psychologists have done in the past) she listened/read and heard me but also challenged me with insightful and perfectly timed questions that didn't feel intrusive or upsetting. She has the skills of timing, reading, and understanding people to know the exact moment when you need to hear something and really take it on board. I am at peace with myself in a way I have never been before and my life has improved dramatically with help from Kara. She showed me doors inside myself I didn't even know existed, and I know with continued support, I will no longer be a victim or survivor, I will just be mother, artist, partner, friend.

Written by J.A on Apr 07, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 3 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, and depression

Kara has been the absolute best. She is very patient and pays attention to detail. I am very pleased with her services to help me through some challenging times. I experienced significant change in the first week of the process.

Written by S.H on Apr 07, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship, trauma and abuse, self esteem, and depression

I am so pleased and grateful that I was sent to Betterhelp, and even more so to have Kara as my guide. I feel blessed. Kara has clearly listened to my needs, and has responded promptly, with kindness, non-judgmental guidance and support. I wholeheartedly thank Kara and will miss her. Kara personifies God with her work boots on. Many thanks Kara!

Written by D.A on Mar 02, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 6 months on issues concerning intimacy-related, and self esteem

From what I know so far Kara seems to be a open minded, honest , a good listener and friendly and I would highly recommend her to anyone I know.

Written by R.A on Feb 24, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 3 months on issues concerning addictions, relationship, family, and intimacy-related

Kara is patient, thoughtful, warm and supportive. I benefited greatly from her guidance and she consistently challenged me to think and act to better my situation and my life. I never felt pressure or judgement and found answers within myself because of our interaction. She has had a great impact on my life and I would recommend better help to anyone and everyone.

Kara, you are lovely and I can't thank you enough.

Written by J.O on Jan 17, 2016 after counseling with Kara for 7 months on issues concerning relationship, and family

Very pragmatic approach, open minded and affirming.

Written by S.J on Dec 21, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning relationship, intimacy-related, self esteem, and anger

BetterHelp came along at a time when I very much needed it, and I couldn't have asked to be matched with a better counselor. It has been a huge relief to me to have Kara to turn to these past few months, and she has helped propel me towards insights and growth I needed to get through some difficult moments.

She makes it clear that whatever you need to express and work through will be met with no judgment. She easily provides insight while being empathetic and respectful, and offers actionable steps for self-work where appropriate and without pressure.

Written by S.A on Dec 15, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 2 months on issues concerning relationship, and self esteem

I can't believe my luck in finding Kara on the internet. I live in Australia so I was a little skeptical when I joined. I have had a wonderful experience, and have come so far in a short time. Kara has been nurturing and has offered sound advice. Not only has she been a counsellor, but also a friend.

Written by J.E on Nov 23, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, family, parenting, self esteem, anger, career, and depression

Kara has really helped me by just being there. She allows me to explore all my thoughts and all my feelings without judgement. She shows kindness and compassion with straightforward insight. I trust her.

Written by M.A on Nov 12, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship, grief, intimacy-related, self esteem, and depression

I feel very encouraged and comfortable talking to Kara. She always manages to enlighten me and remind me that the problems I have can be managed and even resolved. She gives very sound, insightful advice and is always available to respond to any of my dilemmas. I have discovered so much about myself through this process and I would highly recommend her services as she is a very professional and approachable person. I am so grateful to have Kara as my "life coach"; and she has helped me immensely in getting through this stressful chapter in my life.

Written by S.H on Nov 03, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 3 months

The BetterHelp online service is a perfect way to get help when you have a busy schedule, and need an experienced counselor. I have seen a few counselors in my time, and I have always had a positive experience. I think that most folks shy away or become skeptical about counseling in general because they are just shy, and/or busy. This is a very discreet and convenient way to get help. My mom passed away ten months ago and it was sudden. I was struggling with many things: the meaning of life, the surrealism of it all, insomnia, and family issues. A very difficult time indeed. Kara Anderson was there for me and helped me to work through these issues, she pointed out my strengths and we worked on my weaknesses. She told me it is okay for me to nurture myself through this difficult time. A lot of people struggle with that because they feel they are weak if they do so or selfish. When you are grieving, you have to give yourself time. You have to have someone to talk to about these things. You need an unbiased person to vent to. This is a perfect service for that. Many counselors advise writing a journal in any type of therapy. Writing to a credentialed, experienced counselor is like that and much more. You are putting your thoughts and feelings into writing, and then getting constructive feedback, and you can read for review/reference later if needed. I definitely recommend this service. I am very thankful that this resource is available.

Written by S.H on Oct 29, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 9 months

Kara has been such a huge help to me. She checks in to see how im doing, she is very quick with her responses, shares literature and reading material which is very helpful for me. I recommend her with no reservation.

Written by K.A on Oct 19, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, and depression

I came across BetterHelp during a period of serious self-doubt and questioning, and although I was at first skeptical about engaging in an online counseling program, I immediately discovered its value. I’m so grateful to have been paired up with Kara as my counselor— I right away felt a clarity and warmth in her communication with me. Her astute and insightful observations were just what I needed to get back on track with my own personal journey of evolving and healing, and although I would love to continue working with her, I feel sufficiently strengthened and balanced at this point to be able to work on my own, for now. I do know, however, that Kara and BetterHelp will be available to me if and when I feel the need to re-engage… Sending thanks and gratitude to BetterHelp, and Kara.

Written by R.E on Oct 15, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 2 weeks on issues concerning relationship, eating, and anger

Working with a counselor through BetterHelp is a surprisingly intimate and rewarding experience. I say surprisingly because my expectations were fairly low going in; receiving such a high level of consistent service was delightful. My counselor was very clear from the beginning about what I could expect, and never failed to fulfill her end of that social contract. Replies to my sent messages were prompt, and helped to provide a solid foundation of trust to build our work on. What I really want to say is that it is good and I recommend it. :)

Written by M.O on Oct 10, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month

I can not say enough positive things about Betterhelp. I was skeptical about an online platform but this has worked out phenomenally! My assigned counselor, Kara Anderson, has been amazing. We have a fantastic rapport and I can not imagine face to face counseling being any better. I recommend Betterhelp wholeheartedly.

Written by J.E on Sep 23, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month

Kara has been really encouraging and I appreciate her feedback and insight. I'm very thankful.

Written by R.E on Sep 15, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 1 month

I can't say enough good things about Kara. She has helped me so much. I can tell her anything and know I'll have no judgement from her. I can't say how much that means to me.

Written by C.A on Sep 05, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 4 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, intimacy-related, self esteem, career, and depression

Kara has been the most understanding person about everything I've brought up. She really tries to understand what it is that I'm going through, and has been supportive and constructive instead of simply critical. Hers is the voice I've been hoping to find.

Written by M.A on Aug 18, 2015 after counseling with Kara for 3 weeks on issues concerning stress, anxiety, relationship, intimacy-related, self esteem, career, and depression

Kara is very personable and great at making you feel comfortable. She helps you come to realize the things you should be doing on your own, with brainstorming techniques. She has been nothing but a positive influence and has brought a lot of relief to me. I have struggled a lot this past year and I feel that this short time with her has been very productive.