Karla Leiper, M.A., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her license from the California Board of Behavioral Services in 2005. Ms. Leiper earned her BA in Psychology and Spanish from St. Mary’s College of California in 1996. She went on to earn her M.A. in Clinical Psychology from John. F. Kennedy University’s School of Professional Psychology in 2000.
Ms. Leiper seeks to co-create client-centered goals with the adolescent and family, as well as exploring different types of tools to achieve improvement in mood, self-esteem, behavior and communication. Using strength based, brief therapy and family systems approaches, she is able to guide struggling youth and their families to resolve problematic patterns, thinking, and behaviors such as anxiety, depression, oppositional-defiance, panic disorders, sleep disturbances, self-esteem, and identity development. The importance of real, empathetic connections accompanied with strategic therapeutic interventions have been, and continue to be, of utmost importance in the relationship between counselor and client.
As an undergrad, Ms. Leiper was drawn toward the field of psychology for both its helpful purpose as well as intellectual pursuit. She trained and volunteered for Contra Costa Rape Crisis Counseling Center where she would answer the hotline and accompany victims in the hospital during their physical exams. She also provided weekly, informal group meetings for teens in the local community.
Fluent in Spanish, she was able to work with at-risk youth and their families during graduate school and beyond acquiring her over 3,000 hours for clinical licensure. She has gathered various experiences in different settings, including community service agencies and non-profit organizations all working with families, teens, children, service providers and county agencies.
Ms. Leiper’s other work experience, in three separate counties, included group home and school experience with Seriously Emotionally Disturbed youth in Alameda County. She also provided intensive in-home services for youth and families in the juvenile justice and child protection system in Solano County. As a Bilingual Mental Health Specialist for Marin County Health and Human Services department, Ms. Leiper provided individual therapy, family therapy, case management, wrap around services, and psychiatric emergency services.
Ms. Leiper has been a resident of Placer County for over six years, having moved from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a bi-cultural, bilingual, spanish speaking mother of five children, married over 20 years. Her family is one of her greatest achievements and she enjoys the great outdoors, moving her body whether it is running, yoga, or hiking and uses humor whenever she can.