Karen Sorensen

Karen L. Sorensen, PhD

Karen Sorensen

Karen L. Sorensen, PhD

Telehealth Available
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: Initial 15 minute phone consultation without charge. Session rates are $160-180. I provide Super Bills for PPO coverage for your particular reimbursement. I also accept Medicare. Fee reductions are available under special financial circumstances.
Free Initial Consultation
Weekend Availability
Evening Availability


5252 Balboa Avenue
San Diego, California 92117

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My Approach to Helping

Feeling motivated to find meaning and purpose in life during challenging times is especially difficult. My approach to therapy is supportive, non-judgmental and yet practical. I specialize in various types of therapies with tools that help reduce frustrations, anxiety, and depression to give you the confidence to pursue your goals. Even when you sincerely want your life to feel differently, sometimes you need more information, support and insight to make those changes happen. I’m here to help with that.

Change in your life can create anxiety and this is a normal feeling we all experience occasionally. But anxiety can also become frequent, constant and sometimes almost paralyzing. During stressful times, anxiety may seem to be blocking you from what you desire, and sometimes feelings of sadness or substance abuse follow close behind. I help you manage these stressful times and difficult life transitions using various therapies suited to your unique personality and particular needs. These therapies and our time together will generate the strength and motivation that you need to get out of the stuck places and move on to the life that you want.

More Info About My Practice

In my work with individuals, I draw from a variety of the best evidence-based psychotherapies for facilitating insight and change. This reflects my sincere belief in the uniqueness of each person and their ability to learn to lead happier and healthier lives. I have great respect for each of my clients and while I review the past, I tend to focus more on the present and the future with emphasis on motivation and solutions that help them with greater awareness, and the confidence needed to move forward in solving their issues.

Depending on my clients' needs, some of the therapies I include, where appropriate: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), Motivational Interviewing, Behavioral Couples Therapy, Stress Management Therapy, Person Centered Therapy, Mindfulness Management Therapy, and Positive Psychology. My educational background included a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, with an additional graduate level specialization in Chemical Dependency, and a Masters in Psychology with a another specialization in Stress Management.

In the addiction treatment I do, I work both with clients and their families and friends. In my 20+ years 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 everyone. Not everyone needs rehab and each situation deserves special consideration. In short, that means there are no "have to's", "must's", or "should's." I apply an approach that is non-judgmental, with empathy and compassion for my clients, while bringing them the best type of care they need, and of course, never giving up.

In addition to my addiction work with individuals and couples, I have added to my practice a 4 session private training for parents with adult children who continue to relapse on alcohol and drugs. This training is designed for those parents who would prefer private sessions with a therapist instead of groups and meetings. This training, called Parenting Adult Relapsers (PAR) is educational and based on my 20+ years of experience working with adult clients with addictive disorders. As a parent, you will learn what to do and what not to do, how to talk to your adult child in a way that promotes openness, how to manage your personal reactions to their relapses, and what’s next when more help is needed. The end goal is improved family relationships and the prevention of parental burnout.

With general Couples Counseling work, I see my role 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 style 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.

Services I Provide

  • Chemical Dependency Evaluation
  • Coaching
  • Consultation
  • Family Therapy
  • Individual Therapy & Counseling
  • Marriage, Couples, or Relationship Counseling
  • Telehealth

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)
  • Integration of different therapy models
  • Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
  • Logotherapy
  • Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
  • Mindfulness-Based Interventions
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Person-Centered Therapy (Rogerian Therapy)
  • Positive Psychology
  • Positive Psychotherapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT)
  • Relationship Enhancement Therapy
  • Self-Acceptance Training

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