Hello, and welcome! My name is Kara Denahan and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Rhode Island. I have been providing therapy to individuals and couples for over 20 years. Currently, I am only providing therapy for individuals.
I want to share a little of my development as a therapist as I think this will give you a better sense of who I am, both professionally and personally. My undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Science in Design, specialty Photography. In my mid-thirties I decided to return to school and entered a master’s level program to study Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Rhode Island. I graduated with a Master of Science Degree from URI in 1997. After a few years of working as a therapist for other people, I opened up my own private practice.
In 1999 I felt some dimension was lacking in both my professional and personal life and I joined a meditation group dedicated to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist who I found to be compelling. I learned about the concept of interbeing and the benefits of mindfulness, meditation, acceptance, and cultivating inner peace. The wisdom transmitted in the teachings and the meditation practice deepened and expanded my capacity to connect and engage with my clients at a more satisfying level.
In 2009 I pursued training in Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), developed by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. I had been intrigued by this model of therapy for many years. IFS regards each person as a collection of parts ("a part of me wants to exercise, a part of me doesn’t") that interact continuously. The intention is to accept our inner world through connection with our True Self, which is wise and kind and non-judgmental. When we truly accept ourselves, even the parts of ourselves we might consider "flawed’", we are also able to accept others and their flaws more easily. We experience more ease within ourselves as well as outside of ourselves. Completing Level I (2010) and Level II (2012) of the intense IFS trainings had a profoundly positive effect on me. I am glad to be able to share these teachings with my clients. Truly accepting who we are is the best gift we can give ourselves.
There have been many other influential teachers in my life. Most recently, I am intrigued by Polyvagal Theory developed by Stephen Porges, Ph.D, and its practical applications as presented by Deb Dana, LCSW. Polyvagal Theory explains the underlying cause of most physical and mental disorders is a chronically dysregulated nervous system in a state of threat. I am also in awe of Daniel Siegel, M.D., a neuropsychiatrist who has developed Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), a therapy that beautifully integrates neuroscience, attachment theory and meditation practice. Rick Hanson, Ph.D, also blends neuroscience with ancient wisdom traditions and offers practical, simple, and effective techniques for increased personal well-being. Martha Beck is another source of inspiration who masterfully weaves humor with wisdom and has the gift of making the metaphysical credible. I am forever grateful to the teachings of Brene Brown for so clearly delineating the difference between shame and guilt, and for being an advocate for vulnerability, under the right conditions. I pass on to my clients the knowledge I have integrated from these wise and kind masters.
What I know is that there is not a one size fits all form of therapy. What works for you may not work for your friend. There are many doors to move through in life, and I make it my mission to help you find the best door for you to step through to a more fulfilling life. I know if you follow that which inspires and uplifts you then you will find your way. It is my joy and honor to be with you as you discover and uncover the unlimited potential that is you at your essence. What I have to offer you is years of accumulated wisdom and the ability to be fully present, expertise gained through following my heart to that which inspires and uplifts me. I hope to inspire you.
Please be aware that I only work mornings, Monday through Friday, and I prefer scheduled live chat/phone/video sessions.
Additional areas of focus: Addictions, LGBT, Relationship issues, Family conflicts, Trauma and abuse, Intimacy-related issues, Sleeping disorders, Parenting issues, Anger management, Career difficulties, Bipolar disorder, Compassion fatigue, ADHD, Abandonment, Attachment Issues, Blended Family Issues, Caregiver Issues and Stress, Codependency, Commitment Issues, Communication Problems, Control Issues, Dissociation, Expats, Family of Origin Issues, Family Problems, Forgiveness, Guilt and Shame, Isolation / Loneliness, Life Purpose, Midlife Crisis, Mood Disorders, Panic Disorder and Panic Attacks, Post-traumatic Stress, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Self-Love, Social Anxiety and Phobia, Women's Issues
Clinical approaches: Attachment-Based Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Therapy, Trauma-Focused Therapy, Internal Family Systems
RI LMFT MFT00080
Kara is an amazing therapist. She listens and intuitively responds in a way that allows me to grow and move forward with my answers to my own issues which is empowering. I am so fortunate to have found her to help me.
Written on Nov 29, 2023 after therapy with Kara for 6 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety
Kara is amazing and always supportive!! I appreciate having the ability to message with her during off hours. It has been a great thing to have when things come up that are issues.
Written on Nov 03, 2023 after therapy with Kara for 2 years on issues concerning stress, anxiety, addictions, relationship issues, family conflicts, parenting issues, and anger management
Kara is great, very understanding and helpful and available. I would definitely recommend her to anyone in need.
Written on Sep 30, 2022 after therapy with Kara for 1 year and 2 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, addictions, lgbt, relationship issues, grief, sleeping disorders, anger management, and adhd
Written on Jun 25, 2022 after therapy with Kara for 1 year and 10 months on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, relationship issues, trauma and abuse, intimacy-related issues, self esteem, and coping with life changes
Wonderful therapist. Listens, offers a multitude of strategies and asks thoughtful questions.
Written on Jan 04, 2022 after therapy with Kara for 1 year and 9 months on issues concerning stress, anxiety, and anger management
I've only had a few sessions with Kara (via live chat) so far, but I can confidently say she's the easiest therapist I've ever talked to--and the option of live chat rather than voice/video is incredibly helpful as well. She provides worksheets to go through when helpful, helps to reinforce more positive thoughts/behaviors, and follows up after sessions / at the beginning of the week to check in. I was hesitant to try BetterHelp over traditional therapy at first, but Kara has definitely changed my view towards it :)
Written on Sep 09, 2021 after therapy with Kara for 2 weeks on issues concerning depression, stress, anxiety, trauma and abuse, and adhd