Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) MA|MEd|MA

Meet Kara

Passionate about empowering people

Kara Pierson Counsellor

I'm really glad you made it here. I'll bet you are wondering 'WHY I am the right fit to help you' and 'HOW I can help you'. 


I have witnessed sorrow, suffering and trauma in my 'over 30 years as a helping professional' (educator, humanitarian aid and international development professional, trainer and coach). But I have also seen incredible resilience when there is adversity and a person's' potential to create meaningful change - if one is open to it. 

  • As a teacher, I experienced how creativity is an essential human resource and takes courage to do.
  • Coaching newcomers to Canada helped me to appreciate acculturation challenges, personal strength and adaptability to major life transitions. 
  • In my humanitarian and development work,  I witnessed how people in crises can push themselves to carry on and overcome obstacles and trauma. 


I get how it feels to be in your shoes


I am no stranger to feeling stressed, stuck, lost and overwhelmed. I have experienced my own set of challenges and changes along the way. I have reinvented my professional self numerous times and I have chosen 'perhaps less than conventional paths' in life. I am familiar with loneliness, cumulative stress, compassion fatigue, anxiety, feelings of not belonging and isolation. Not only have I learned that pushing myself out of my comfort zone can bring growth but to process and heal, I made the choice to ask for help and do my own personal work. 


Responding to what you need

Because of my extensive experience in working with all sorts of people, I appreciate the richness of an individual's background and his/her experiences. I recognize that experiences shape who a person is. Each of us has our own obstacles to navigate and we also make our own choices in how we deal with them. I believe one of these choices is asking for help when we need it or even sometimes, when we don't think we need it.


What you are experiencing is an opportunity for personal growth


When we are in our pain or discomfort, it's so hard to see and feel anything else. But you can use it to create meaningful change and fulfillment in yourself, in your relationships and in your life.


I will appreciate and validate your uniqueness


Each of us sees and experiences the world uniquely. We also learn in our own ways. To me, that means ' one approach does not fit every client'. This is why I take an integrative approach in my practice. 


I understand that you will need different things at different times during the counselling process. Our work together needs to be fluid- moving between everyday challenges to emotional uncovering to more spiritual or philosophical exploration.


In sessions, you might need to talk or even vent. At other times you might need to get out of your head. There will be times when you might need to sit with and pay attention to your painful thoughts and feelings instead of fighting or escaping them. And at other times, you might need to express yourself creatively and do something. Yes, we do not just talk but also do the work we are talking about. I want to do my best to be as responsive as I can to you- and that includes responding to your personality, concerns, stressors, learning style and strengths. 


I have come to realize that connecting in a meaningful way and helping others has become a way to construct meaning in my life. It has shaped me to be the person I am today as well as me as a therapist.


Therapy is hard work but it can also be fun, empowering and rewarding. That is what I will strive for when we work together.





Take that first step

Some random stuff about me

I'm not only an eternal helping professional but you can call me a big fan of slowing down and creatively exploring life and one's internal world. 


SLOWING DOWN...... my morning ritual with coffee, quiet & stillness,  cuddles & walks with my dog Zeebo (fun fact- I'm also trained in canine massage therapy), getting outside & into nature whatever the weather is like.


CALMNESS & GROUNDING....being near or in water... using my quasi- green thumb to try growing things both inside & out, nurturing the meaningful connections in my life.


CURIOUSITY....... off the beaten-track travelling, the thrill of getting lost in new places, trying new, weird & spicy foods, exploring gem stones & their energies.


PLAY, CREATE AND FUN.....experimenting with photographs, textiles & interior design, playing with the written word, big belly laughs with friends.

  

Me and my dog Zeebo
Me and my dog Zeebo

And the boring stuff about me

Professional background

  I continue to improve myself as a Psychotherapist. I have done specific training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, the Hakomi method, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Medical Qigong. I am committed to on-going learning and am a passionate mental health advocate. 


Certifications

  • Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying) with the College of Registered Psychotherapists  of Ontario (CRPO)
  • Professional member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)
  • Certified with the Certified Coaches Federation (CCF)


Graduate degrees

  • Master of Arts in Applied Anthropology and Development Studies  from Macquarie University, Australia 
  • Master of Education in Comparative International Education  from OISE/University of Toronto 
  • Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology  from Yorkville University, New Brunswick