Karen Muggli, LCSW
License # 64036
Originally from Denver, I found my way to San Diego following my undergraduate education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. This was followed by three years overseas in the Peace Corps. While my entry into the mental health field didn’t come immediately on the heels of my undergraduate degree, my passion and intention to do this work began as early as adolescence.
My assignment to work with youth in the Peace Corps granted me myriad experiences, many of which show up in my work today. Alone on my own little island, I learned important life lessons; success and failure, courage and defeat, love and betrayal, privilege and humility, loneliness and connectedness, exhaustion and resilience, apathy and perseverance, belonging and exclusion, passion and frustration, pride and humiliation. There, left to my own devices, to evolve as I saw fit, and to reckon with my own thoughts and the loneliness that accompanied, I strived to fit in, to make peace with feeling misunderstood, and to do work that was meaningful. I developed empathy for so many facets of the human experience, learning to appreciate life and its people in the raw. There, too, I learned to become comfortable and even thrive in the messy and the unpredictable; two characteristics inherent to the therapeutic process.
In my efforts to influence and effect positive social change, I was invited to really look at what human relationships are made of, what is culturally motivated, what is socially constructed, and what makes the human experience gratifying across cultures. It was there that I also really took an interest in parenting and how this impacts a child’s development.
With this as my foundation, I went on to complete my Masters of Social Work at San Diego State University; later to be licensed with the Board of Behavioral Sciences as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (License # LCSW64036). Since then, I have had experiences working with children, teens, and families both in-home, and in the school environments. Populations served have included youth and families of every background with issues varying from mental illness and developmental delays to backgrounds in trauma and delinquency. I have been trained in both Trauma-focused CBT as well as Positive Discipline. In addition to working in private practice, I am also working with Junior High and High School school students in the San Diego Unified School District.
As is further outlined in my discussion of Treatment Principles and Therapeutic Approach, my passion, now, is in developing a therapeutic understanding around whatever the presenting problem may be, assessing its cause, determining future goals with these things in mind, and addressing said goals with an eclectic approach that includes theories from multiple modalities. It is my orientation that through integrating an understanding of how and where our sense of self develops from, we are empowered with conscious choice to make change. I apply this philosophy to mood-related disturbances (things such as depression and anxiety), trauma-related disturbances, behavioral issues, and interpersonal issues including family and romantic relationships. It is through this process that I aim to really address and help heal the root of the problem rather than simply provide coping skills to help disguise it. This philosophy is grounded in the notion that healing the core of the whole person inadvertently addresses many of the problems people present with, and that these problems are most often symptomatic of what are often longstanding unmet emotional needs.
I use a combination of approaches including cognitive behavioral, psycho dynamic, inner child, and humanistic modalities to help one see how their past is impacting some of their difficulties today. By facilitating a process of becoming aware, I help relinquish unconscious beliefs that are holding one back while assisting to help identify what’s needed to make change.
I am passionate about working with relationship issues; identifying the struggle, strategies for change, and empowering ways to begin shifting behavior to start attracting what one wants. I specialize in honest communication, self-esteem, trust & intimacy issues, anger management, co-dependency, heartbreak & loss, defensiveness & vulnerability, and life transitions.