Karla has over two decades of counseling experience working with children, adolescents and adults. As a licensed Professional Counselor, she uses Art and Play Therapies as well as Cognitive Behavioral (CBT), and Humanistic approaches. She is solution-focused and considers the child’s entire external environment in helping him/her achieve wellness. Karla believes that peace and harmony are attainable and uses art and play approaches to achieve them. She provides a warm, caring, non-judgmental environment for her clients and families.
As an Art Therapy practitioner, Karla believes that, as Elinor Ulman states, “Art is the meeting ground of the world inside and the world outside”. Through art making, she posits that the child’s internal world of thoughts and feelings are explored and revealed at a pace that is comfortable to the child. A child is often unable to express these verbally, but art and play are the vehicles for effective communication and healing.
In addition to private practice, Karla’s experience includes an internship at the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas where she utilized Art Therapy with teens. She also worked with children in their intensive outpatient clinic. Later, Karla was the Art Therapist/Play Therapist at a children’s residential facility for children with severe emotional problems.
Early in her career, following her years in nursing school, Karla owned and operated “Nutrition Plus”, a successful program she developed to help people achieve and maintain their weight goals with healthy eating, behavioral and psychological changes.
During graduate school, Karla worked at the Veterans Medical Center where she was an inpatient therapist. She helped veterans suffering from acute psychiatric as well as substance abuse problems utilizing individual, group, and psychological testing methodologies. She also conducted research and wrote a published report on the effect of substance abuse treatment across personality factors in veterans suffering from PTSD. She wrote manuals on Pain Management, Sleep Management and Assertiveness Training.
Karla holds a Master of Science Degree from Angelo State University in Clinical and Counseling Psychology and is a graduate of The Dallas Art Therapy Institute’s rigorous post master’s course. She has presented twice at the annual State of California/University of California Sacramento’s National Association of Social Workers’ Conference on the use of Art and Play Therapies with children.
Random factoids about Karla: Karla has volunteered for many years with hospice, in nursing homes and in memory care facilities using art, play, and pet assisted therapy with Zoe, her parrot, and her canine helpers. She has two wonderful daughters and one awesome grandson. Karla is a published writer and editor, enjoys traveling, reading, dancing and swimming.
- Master of Science in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from San Angelo State University
License and Certifications
- Licensed Professional Counselor
- Play Therapy
- Art Therapy Certificate
- Adult Counseling
- Attachment and Relationship Concerns
- ADHD/Attention Issues
- Behavioral Concerns
- Family Changes
- School Concerns
- Stress Management
- Suicidal Ideation