Paola Caraker - About Me
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About Me
 
I received a masters degree in counseling with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy from California State University Fresno in 2002.  Upon graduating, I worked in an outpatient adult mental health clinic providing individual and group therapy services to individuals with severe mental health issues as well as treating victims of domestic violence. Following this experience, I provided services to children and adolescents involved in the juvenile justice system as well as provided school based mental health treatment.  In my work at various outpatient children's mental health settings, I became specialized in sexual abuse  treatment, family therapy, play and art therapy and  working with parents and foster parents with parenting struggles. In 2007 I began working at a medical community clinic in North County San Diego providing integrative behavioral health services to adults and older adults. In working within the medical community I have become well versed in medical conditions impacting one's mental health, psychotropic medication  and pregnancy related  depression and anxiety. In addition to my clinical work, I have completed the level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 training  in Gottman Couples therapy; an evidenced based treatment approach to help couples increase respect, affection, closeness and better manage conflict. In August 2016 I completed the 4 day Externship training in Emotion Focused Couples Therapy; a couples treatment approach based on  the work of Dr. Sue Johnson highlighting attachment patterns and ways in which couples replicate similar attachment styles in their adult romantic relationships as one did with primary attachment figures in ones childhood. I have found that working with couples has also helped me work with “singles”who are navigating the current culture of love and dating and/or finding “acceptance” in the experience of being single. 

Due to my interest in integrative care and athletics/fitness,I began to further my education in nutrition and exercise  and it's impact on mental health and have become very passionate about helping individuals heal their mind and body and increase peak performance. I am certified in EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) an evidence based treatment model which not only addresses PTSD but specific phobias, triggers to anxiety and can increase peak performance in regards to sports, occupational goals, or any other issues related to “performance/performance anxiety.” EMDR goes beyond treating performance issues as just issues related to focus, concentration goal setting and negative self talk but instead helps to address the underlying unprocessed traumas trapped in the body and memory networks manifesting into maladaptive behaviors. Due to my experience in the performing arts as a singer as well love and dedication to athletics and fitness I have become very passionate about helping clients address “performance” issues to reach their ultimate potential.
 
 
Paola Caraker MFT