Karolina Shander, M.S.
Clinical work supervised by Danielle Broxon, Ph.D.
Group work (Understanding Self & Others) supervised by Jason Hindman, Ph.D.
- Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas (in progress)
- M.S., Counseling Psychology, University of North Texas
- B.A., Psychology, University of Iowa
Approach to Therapy and Professional Interests
My theoretical orientation lies within integrative relational theory where the needs of the client are emphasized by utilizing diverse techniques grounded in relational psychoanalytic thought with an integration of cognitive behavioral, systemic, and humanistic-experiential therapies. The combination of my beliefs and foundations of integrative relational theory is applicable for individuals who experience a sense of disconnection, uncertainty in career or life direction, feelings of lessened self-worth and general distress within themselves and their relationships, or who want to further themselves and tackle growth. I believe a strong therapeutic relationship with clients is the crucial element in the process of change and the understanding of how alterations in maladaptive interpersonal patterns can lead to growth and healing. To fully take advantage of the integrative relational theory and its therapeutic process, I hone in on developing and nurturing this special, often fragile, and absolutely crucial, trusting and collaborative alliance between client and therapist. The alliance allows the possibility for the client to acquire and successfully deploy new skills and tools necessary in various stages of change and in life obstacles. The growth and transformation in the therapy room work starts with a strong yet challenging therapeutic relationship, and allows us (client and myself included) to be fully present in each and every moment and grow into the desired version of ourselves, together and apart.
Areas of professional interest include: Identity development, trauma, eating disorders, diversity/multiculturalism, relational/relationship difficulties, training/supervision, athletic performance/life satisfaction enhancement.
Personal Statement on Diversity and Social Justice
As a daughter, friend, partner, clinician and supervisor, I actively work to embed Social Justice and Diversity work in my daily life. With transparency into my own process of dismantling systemic bias and prejudice, I hope to teach, supervise and convey my dedication to equality while inevitably making mistakes and committing to continue to grow in awareness, knowledge, allyship and advocacy. I thrive in diving deep into relationships and understanding each and every human’s story. Specifically I am consider how the environment in which someone may live, the people with whom they interact, and the expectations that they hold affect them. I recognize when a client arrives to work with me in therapy, the importance to understand their willingness to seek and accept mental health or performance services is influenced by their cultural values and experiences and how they interact with my own stimulus value and personal history. I recognize the importance of being aware of the diverse backgrounds of the people with whom I am privileged to work and engage all humans with cultural humility and competence. By leaning into vulnerability and embracing imperfections with each interaction, while tirelessly challenging myself and privileges, I offer my dedication and promise to listen actively, champion each and every human I have the pleasure to work with, and engage in a reciprocal learning experience.
My passion for connection and influencing others encompasses my daily work of connection with clients, friends, supervisors and peers, as well as my love for fitness and health. If I am not delving into client work, you can find me frolicking in the outdoors, planning vacations I may never take with my husband, videoing my parents in Poland, trying new gyms or fitness activities, or new foods (e.g. gummy bears, tacos, burgers, chips and cheeses).