Specialized Mental Health

Clarity Counseling aims to make therapy fun and beneficial

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In these times of so much uncertainty in the world, it is normal to feel the need to talk to someone who is trained to listen and offer wisdom.

KARIN KASSAB is a psychologist and the founder of Clarity Counseling Center in Wilmington. With more than 18 years of experience with mental health, she has practiced in several areas including early career experiences at an inpatient facility, work in a youth halfway house, at a rape crisis center, co-leading body image groups for teenage girls as well as in research labs where psychological research and testing was conducted.

“In more recent years, I loved working at the New Hanover County Detention Center, where I provided suicide risk assessments, psychological evaluations, and psychotherapy for juveniles,” says Kassab. “I am also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher and have been practicing for more than 10 years. I see yoga and psychotherapy as natural partners, so my clinical work is infused with an appreciation for holistic health, wellness, and mindfulness.”

In 2011, Kassab opened a specialty counseling practice and later founded Clarity Counseling Center, in 2015.

“I believe therapy should be fun as well as beneficial,” Kassab says. “I work in a collaborative and participatory manner. In sessions with me, you get feedback and valuable evidence-based skills in each session.”

To use current language, Kassab calls herself a millennial therapist.

“When I tell people this, I get the look, like ‘What the heck is that?’ Demographically, millennials were born anywhere from the early ‘80s through the early 2000s, which includes me. The central difference between millennials and previous generations is how they communicate,” she says. “I believe they have unique therapy needs, best met through a tailored approach with therapists who are able to relate to their concerns, which non-millennials might dismiss.”

Though she is a psychologist primarily, Kassab’s strong interest and knowledge in business encouraged the founding of Clarity Counseling Center.

“I was raised in a family of self-starters, opened my own business at a young age and have grown it into a successful group practice,” she says. “I feel this enables me to provide a unique insight into the stressors and phases of business as well as entrepreneurial growth and development. Growing up in a family like mine, I think I always had business in my wiring. Clarity was born because I was determined to do things differently.”

She has certainly achieved that goal.

“Historically, it was difficult for those seeking therapy to find a therapist who specialized in their specific needs,” says Kassab. “I was tired of the old-school mindset – generalists with bios listing 50 specialties.

“I wanted to create a culture where the therapists specialized (and) became experts in a few specific areas. This was my vision for Clarity, and all our therapists have worked hard to achieve this,” Kassab added.

Whether one seeks professional help or not, Kassab says there are some simple things that can be done to ease the burden faced by this pandemic regarding mental health.

“In a pandemic, when we are intentionally reducing our face-to-face contact and the symptoms of isolation must be endured, there are still small, actionable things we can do to help us cope with the effects of quarantine:

  • Massive doses of self-compassion and acceptance. There is no right way to do a pandemic. Be gentle with yourself. No matter how you are feeling right now, it is valid.
  • Move: Daily, gentle body movement, like a walk, stretching, dance party, or yoga.
  • Connect: Call, FaceTime, or text someone you love daily. Or connect with yourself.
  • Nature: Get outdoors for at least a few minutes every day.

“I urge individuals, please do not wait until you are at your wits’ end to seek treatment. If you’re feeling anxious, fearful, depressed, exhausted, overwhelmed, etc., that is a healthy emotional response to a pandemic. You are not alone, and you don’t have to go it alone. We are here, and we’re trained and ready to help you through these uncertain times.”

The best feature of modern medicine is the ability to utilize Telehealth in times like this when face-to-face interaction is not possible.

“The therapists at Clarity Counseling Center are here and ready to serve new and existing clients though this time,” says Kassab. “(With Telehealth), you can do a visit from anywhere, anytime. Clients have a lot more options with telemedicine scheduling, and therapists have been able to add hours to accommodate differing patient schedules. Online sessions also make client-therapist matchmaking more accessible to people living in rural areas, where specialists may not be available.”

With so many unknowns ahead as opening the economy and easing restrictions will come with restrictions, it is no surprise that some may need a little extra help to cope.

“We are all impacted by the pandemic, and no one knows how to navigate it perfectly,” says Kassab. “Whether it is stress, relationship conflict, financial concerns, feeling down, loneliness or anxiety, I encourage individuals to reach out before they are in crisis. I would like individuals to know that we will be there for them in the upcoming weeks.”


To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.

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Categories: Health

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