About Me

Welcome to my online private practice!! This has been a dream of mine since grad school. CCWS was created with one goal in mind – I wanted to be able to do the work I love AND be my own boss. Helping people has been a calling for me since childhood. The human condition is universal, and unfortunately, it involves a lot of pain. We all struggle some times. We are all vulnerable and flawed. It’s part of life.

According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) the current rate of Americans experiencing mental illness in any given year is 1 in 5. Personally, I suspect it’s closer to 1 in 4, but it’s typically better to trust the numbers than anecdotes. Mental illness is no different than physical illness. It happens and it often needs treatment in order to get better. If you break your leg, you’re not going to try to ‘walk it off,’ or tough it out….you’re going to go to a doctor for a cast and some crutches, likely do some physical therapy, and go through the process of recovery. Even for something as minor as the common cold, most people at bare minimum will buy some cough drops or echinacea, take a day off of work, sleep in. Why do we treat our emotional and psychological wounds and pain any differently?

Please know that if you have found my site because you are having a difficult time,  you are not alone. In fact you are in very good company and there is hope. There is treatment. You are not broken. You are not crazy. And therapy can help.

Therapy helps people who are struggling with issues related to trauma, grief, addiction, anxiety, major life changes, etc. It gives you a safe, confidential, and objective place to process what you are going through and problem-solve what to do about it. Everyone needs help and support at times and as a psychotherapist I am trained to help you get back to where you need and want to be. I’m here to support and walk with you on your journey toward healing and self-discovery. If you are ready to get started you can use my online booking widget to schedule an appointment, call me directly, or even email a request for a 20-minute free consultation. If you aren’t ready to take that step yet, feel free to explore my website, get to know me and my practice a little bit, and take advantage of the free resources and other information I’ve made available. I’ll be adding more as time goes on (and as I figure out all of this website stuff) so be sure to check back regularly!

I put this page together because I understand that people often like to know a little background about their therapist ahead of time to see whether it will be a good fit. I will be adding more personal details as the site evolves, but here are some things that you should know in getting started:

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker practicing in the State of North Carolina and a Licensed Master’s Social Worker through the State of Michigan.

I offer individual and couples therapy to clients ages 15 years and up. I’ve been in practice since 2011 and did my initial training in a Community Mental Health Setting working with people suffering from severe and persistent mental illness. After this I was employed as a therapist with the VA for another 3 years. I am a veteran myself (5+ years in the US Navy) so I consider myself well-equipped to offer military/veteran-centric and military/veteran-oriented treatment. Likewise, I am trained in LGBTQ+ concerns and greatly enjoy working with that specific population. During my time at the VA I served as the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator for a time, and was briefly a member of the LGBT Center Advisory Council in Marinette, WI. Unfortunately we moved shortly after the Center was established, so my time there was cut short.

I help people change their lives by offering a variety of treatments, each tailored to the needs of the individual. I’ve been trained specifically in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders. I also pull significantly from other treatments as needed, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.

All About Therapy

According to the National Association of Social Workers, “Clinical social work is a specialty practice area of social work which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, emotional, and other behavioral disturbances.” Through the use of various psychotherapy methods and collaborative treatment measures, my clients develop life-changing habits to help them cope with any of life’s many challenges. My therapy sessions are designed to dissect personal issues and provide patients with effective tools to help them see the glass half full instead of half empty.Opal Carlson