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  • Ian Karlsson

    Many adolescents and young adults feel directionless and paralyzed by the high expectations set for them by their communities and media. The pressures of the ideal life presented in social media and on TV can be overwhelming. The prospects of education, career, or significant relationships can be intimidating.  Feelings of depression and anxiety can stifle or block momentum. Sometimes it’s hard to care at all. From the outside it might look like laziness, but inside it feels like fear, confusion or sadness. 
     “Why can’t I choose a career?” 
    “Why do I always date the wrong people?” 
    “Why can’t my parents understand that it is different for me?”
    Questions like these might feel unanswerable. It may feel easier to ignore these questions all together, especially if there are lingering feelings of shame about not having them already answered. This can be especially true for young people who have experienced trauma, depression, anxiety, or have challenges they are scared to tell anyone about.  
    Ian’s philosophy: 
    Therapy is about finding the inner enthusiasm to seek positive opportunities in life. It’s about removing emotional barriers to self-expression and letting your authentic self flow into the world.  
    Ian is an advocate for social justice and equity.  He believes that every human being, even those who find themselves in the most oppressive circumstances, can maximize their thriving. It can be hard to figure out what social, educational, or vocational path to take as a young adult, especially when everyone has an opinion. Ian helps young people wrestle with the hard questions and create a sense of meaning as they decipher just who they want to be in this world.
    Ian is effective in helping first time, or initially reluctant, participants overcome paralyzing anxieties, insecurities, and heartbreaks.  Challenges clients once believed would be a part of their lives forever can be overcome and put in the past with healing and restoration. Ian is passionate about helping individuals, especially young people, find a sense of freedom and confidence in themselves..  
    Ian’s Background
    Ian has his Masters in Social Work from Azusa Pacific University.  He has over 7 years   experience working with youth, adolescents, and young adults.  He has worked in a public high school setting,  as well as provided psychotherapy for the diverse population found in community mental health. 
    Ian has a passion for individuals of diverse backgrounds and ages. He is both trauma focused and identity affirming.   His
    passion for the community is evidenced as he has biked from Portland, OR to New York, NY to raise money for families experiencing homelessness 
     He has experience working with the homeless population in Pasadena, refugees in Chicago, developmentally disabled youth in Portland, and recently immigrated youth in the San Gabriel Valley.  
    Ian Karlsson is available at our Pasadena and Newport Beach locations or Virtual