Q: Kara, you often use the term "waypoint" in letting people know what kind of therapist you are and who your ideal client is. What does this term mean, and how do you connect it with therapy?
A: A waypoint by definition is a stopping point when someone is traveling- or a point where a route can be changed. I see myself as someone who stands alongside people as they both determine and choose when and where to change their course. The term also has a lot of meaning in the Marine community, in particular, and working with active military, their family members, and veterans is very close to my heart. Using language that resonates for that community is important to me.
Q: Does that mean you primarily only want to work with people in the military? Would you describe them as your ideal client?
A: Absolutely not. I definitely have a passion and interest for active duty members, veterans, and their families, and I bring a lot of knowledge based on both my life and previous work experiences. However, my ideal client is someone who is ready to be challenged. I appreciate clients who are ready to work both inside and outside of session. Motivation is a tremendous strength and resiliency, and I find that, often, people are very motivated but just lack the know how or skills to get where they want to be. My role as a therapist is to build a safe and warm environment where they can feel our alliance, and we can collaboratively work to address what is bringing them in.
Its important to me to add that I have a significant history in working with people who have survived trauma and have done a lot of crisis work. I have found that all of my life experiences have reinforced to me the importance of being a good listener, trusting my clients to be the experts in their own lives, and my role in helping them facilitate their waypoint.
Q: You reference waypoint again. How does that connect in a therapy session?
A: Going back to what a waypoint is- a stopping point at which a path is changed- using this term helps shape what you can expect from sessions. I believe that individuals are a product of complex systems who have to navigate a path forward.
Our behaviors are heavily influenced by our social environments, and our struggles and resiliences and intricately interconnected- influencing one another in many ways. When you are able to identify how you are influenced by your environment, you are able to better understand your choices- and your path forward.
As a therapist, I work to helps clients understand how our thoughts influence our behaviors and how we can work to change or better respond to our thoughts and feelings.
If you want names of theoretical frameworks, I use: systems, person-centered, narrative, cognitive behavioral, social learning, and crisis intervention models of therapy.
Q: We have just a couple of questions left. First, why Wilmington?
A: I am a true Wilmington transplant. I moved here and immediately fell in love with the culture, charm, and friendliness of the people here. Wilmington is a big city compared to where I grew up, but I love that it still has a small town feel to it. I feel at home here and am excited to be establishing deep roots.
Q: Lastly, what interested you in the field of social work? Why did you choose to become a therapist?
A: Before entering the profession of social work, I participated in a lot of self-discovery to try and find my purpose in life. I would often asked myself, “What is my calling, and what will give me purpose?” This question was central to me because of what I saw modeled as a child.
Growing up, I watched my father dedicate over 20 years to the United States Marine Corps and saw him establish himself within an organization that was larger than himself. I observed him find his passion and purpose leading others as a Marine.
Watching him taught me that when someone feels connected to something larger than themselves, that person becomes driven and determined to also find something equally purposeful and meaningful in their own lives. Social work is focused on both enhancing the lives of others as well as upholding strong ethical values that reinforce the dignity of all life. I appreciate that social work is a cause bigger than myself.
To schedule with Kara or find out more information, please email us at email@example.com
Kara currently accepts BCBS, out of network, private pay, and has a select number of sliding scale spots available.