Karen Sorensen

Karen L. Sorensen, PhD

Karen  Sorensen

Karen Sorensen

Karen L. Sorensen, PhD

Professions: Clinical Psychologist
License Status: I'm a licensed professional.
Primary Credential: Licensed Psychologist
Billing and Insurance:

I don't currently accept insurance, but I can provide documentation if clients wish to submit to an insurance company for "out of network" benefit coverage

Fees: Session rate is $160-180. Adjustments made for financial hardship.
Free Initial Consultation
Weekend Availability


5252 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, California 92117

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My Approach to Helping

All of us have issues and problems that we would like to solve but we often lack motivation to do so by running into what I would call Resistance. You may find that you sincerely want to make the changes, but you realize that is not the same as having sufficient motivation to do so. And you may feel you don’t have the energy or sometimes even the information to make it happen. Resistance is subtle and difficult to uncover in yourself and in your relationships.

One of my special areas of interest is helping individuals and couples work through that resistance and acquire the motivation to find ways to lead happier and healthier lives. I do this through a combination of various types of therapies that I choose on the basis of each person’s unique personality and goals. The commonality is that in each of these therapies is tailored to generate the changes that help you to get out of the stuck places like Resistance, and onto the motivation you need to get what you want.

More Info About My Practice

As a psychologist, the type of work that I do draws from the best of numerous psychotherapies. Much of my work involves practical and individually specific tools for facilitating change for my clients. This reflects my sincere belief in the uniqueness of each person and their ability to learn to lead happier and healthier lives. As such, I tend to focus more on the present and the future with emphasis on motivation and solutions that lead to greater awareness, and the confidence needed to move forward in solving their issues.

Depending on my clients' needs, in general I often use a variety of approaches and therapies, including as appropriate: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Motivational Interviewing, Behavioral Couples Therapy, Stress Management Therapy, Mindfulness Management Therapy, Person Centered Therapy and Positive Psychology.

In my addiction psychotherapy specialization, I work both with clients and sometimes their families and friends. In my 20 years of experience working with dual diagnosis and addictions, I have had the benefit of working in every level of care -- from substance abuse prevention to in-patient rehab treatment programs, PHP, IOP, and outpatient. One of my sincere beliefs is that there is no one way that works for every person. Not everyone needs rehab or 12 step groups. Each person and each situation deserves special consideration. In short, that means there are no have-to's, should's, or must's. What is important, however, is non-judgmental trust in the individual, empathy and compassion, knowing how to bring clients the type of care they need, and of course, never giving up.

In Couples Counseling, I see my work as helping to develop healthy person-to-person emotional connections without sacrificing individuality. Each person's personality needs to be recognized and respected. In initial sessions, much of my focus begins with changing communication styles and learning to negotiate conflict. To restore or develop trust and connection, I find that people need to first literally learn to talk to each other differently. This is not as easy as it may sound, but it is possible and it is the foundation of maintaining healthy relationships. Once respectful and caring communication is established, improved emotional connections become possible and problems can be resolved.

With Stress Management therapy, I see handling stress as a gateway to preventing difficult problems as well as some psychological disorders. The beauty of Stress Management training is that the skills can be taught and the results can be obvious in a relatively short period of time. Stress Management can be a tool that keeps issues from developing into more serious psychological distress. I find that all persons, regardless of age or background, are able to benefit from Stress Management approaches.

Services I Provide

  • Chemical Dependency Evaluation
  • Coaching
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Online Counseling / Phone Therapy

Ages I Work With

  • Adults
  • Elders


  • English

Groups I Work With

    Adults 18 years and older. Individuals, couples, relationships.

Client Concerns I Treat

  • Addictions and Compulsions
  • Adjusting to Change / Life Transitions
  • Anxiety
  • Behaviorism
  • Blended Family Issues
  • Communication Problems
  • Depression
  • Drug and Alcohol Addiction
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Emotional Overwhelm
  • Forgiveness
  • Habits
  • Individuation
  • Irritability
  • Life Purpose / Meaning / Inner-Guidance
  • Mood Swings / Mood Disturbance
  • Parenting
  • Perfectionism
  • Relationships and Marriage
  • Religious Issues
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Self-Confidence
  • Self-Criticism
  • Self-Esteem
  • Social Anxiety / Phobia
  • Spirituality
  • Stress
  • Values Clarification
  • Young Adult Issues

Types of Therapy

  • Breathwork
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Critical Incident Stress Management
  • Existential Psychotherapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Humanistic Psychology (humanism)
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
  • Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy)
  • Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Relationship Enhancement Therapy
  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

See other therapists in San Diego, CA.

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