A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor, Karen Hamilton has over twelve years of experience conducting individual, couples, family, and group counseling with adults and teens. Karen specializes in relationship issues, depression, anxiety, adolescents, substance abuse, process addictions, and co-occurring disorders.
Karen utilizes an integrative approach that includes family systems therapy, motivational enhancement therapy/cognitive behavioral therapy (METCBT), attachment theory and the Developmental Model of Recovery defined by Stephanie Brown, Ph.D.
As a couples counselor, she works to help couples understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships, providing counseling to give them the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences and resolve problems. Karen knows that entering into a safe, neutral space with a caring professional can encourage a stronger, enduring connection in couples, and she strives to provide that space.
Karen provides one on one psychotherapy for adults, focusing on the strength and stability of the relationship between herself and the client. She has the warmth and empathy to make her clients feel comfortable in her care, along with the patience and directness to be honest yet caring at the same time. Karen provides a confidential environment where communication is primary, and gives her clients the chance to explore their feelings, beliefs, and behaviors so they may better understand themselves and others, set personal goals, and work toward desired change.
As an adolescent counselor, Karen provides individual psychotherapy for teenagers, helping teens and young adults embrace independence and learn to make decisions for themselves. Drawing from her vast clinical experience with teens, Karen is an engaged listener with a direct, warm and approachable manner. She helps kids navigate the pitfalls of adolescence, and cope with depression, anxiety, peer pressure, and school priorities. She also counsels them on addiction issues, social skills, trauma, loss, grief and anger. Karen is especially patient with her teen clients, using compassion and humor to create an effective therapeutic alliance. She facilitates and encourages the development of personal and external empathy, and guides adolescents to set goals and work toward them.
As an addiction specialist, Karen works with clients to assess, treat and heal substance abuse issues, co-dependency and love addiction. She also has emerged as an expert on the topic of teens, technology and social media, she counsels clients on the many serious challenges surrounding this urgent and rapidly changing issue. She is a longstanding advocate of internet best practices and clear guidelines for effective parenting in this area, and regularly writes and lectures on this crucial topic. To read her recent editorial in the San Francisco Chonicle, click here.