In today’s society, we all face many challenges in our daily lives. With demanding schedules, the increase in technology and increased external expectations, a greater number of people are reaching out for therapeutic assistance to help them cope with their day to day lives and move towards greater productivity and happiness. When it comes to treatment for many mental health concerns, one method that has shown particular effectiveness in clinical studies is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

In the beginnings of my clinical work, I practiced what therapists call the ‘eclectic approach’, which is essentially using different techniques from various theorists depending on the client. Over the past 15 years, my practice and experience grew and I found that cognitive therapy consistently resulted in more effective and long lasting results.

Only after several years of specialized training under the Cognitive Therapy and Training Center, which is certified by Academy of Cognitive Therapy,  I considered myself to be a true cognitive behavioral therapist. While reviewing research and consulting in the field, I became aware that clinical hypnosis is often used alongside CBT to ‘amplify’ the desired shifts in thought and behavior. Although qualified cognitive behavioral therapists and hypnotherapists were accessible in San Diego, there were few clinicians who specialize in both. I moved ahead and completed Michael Yapko’s intensive training in clinical hypnosis for mental health specialists. The results have been remarkable, and I am so pleased that I am able to offer such an exceptional mode of treatment. 

Ms. Kerschmann is committed to contributing to the field of psychotherapy through research. Her work providing clinical consult in field trials regarding proposed diagnostic criteria has been acknowledged by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, also referred to as the DSM-5. Additionally, on numerous occasions, Ms. Kerschmann’s work with the cognitive behavioral process in adolescents has been acknowledged in the professional journal The Review of Education, Pedagogy & Cultural Studies. She is also a member of the San Diego Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Consortium.

Ms. Kerschmann’s experience includes training with the Family Mediation Centre in Melbourne, Australia, where she contributed to the creation of a parent-adolescent-school mediation program (CRESS), which is now utilized by the Victoria Family Court System and affiliated therapists.

In 2004, Ms. Kerschmann earned her license to practice as a therapist in the state of California while working for the San Diego County Children’s Services bureau. During that time she was a social worker with the Adoptions Program and later helped establish the HOME Program, which provides housing for former foster youth. Ms. Kerschmann was also licensed as a custody mediator in the state of Minnesota in 1998.

Karen Kerschmann’s educational background includes a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis in law and political psychology.

In addition to her private practice, Ms. Kerschmann is an advocate for current and former foster youth and is a foster parent for Special Families. She provides clinical therapist services to various group homes and foster teens, as well as offering individual, group and family therapy to former foster youth under the age of 25 for a low fee or pro bono. Ms. Kerschmann also volunteered hours of therapy services to perpetrators of animal abuse through the BARC program.

Read Karen’s blog here