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Learn more about our one of a kind practice.

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Our Mission

The Mission of Grow Through Life Counseling is to provide quality counseling for children, teens, and families California through effective intervention and quality psychotherapy. We can prevent so many problems of emotional growth and development with early intervention.

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Our Vision

Inspire a new generation of youth to overcome challenges to be healthier, happier, healed and equipped with positive coping skills as they enter adulthood. We know by helping younger populations we have a meaningful, long term impact on individuals, future generation, families and communities.


Our Philosophy

We believe happy, well trained therapists in a positive and healthy office and work community can provide a higher quality of care to children, teens and families. We have the expertise, compassion, understanding and empathy to help all families in pain. We believe in reducing mental health stigma as we know counseling provides many benefits with or without a diagnosis and all people go through struggles and can benefit from more support in their lives. Our strengths include our prior experience with children, teens and parents: in schools, outpatient clinics, inpatient facilities, day treatment, group homes and in research studies. We provide safe, quality, effective, psychotherapy services with uncompromising integrity.

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Our Values

Growth Mindset

Learning and Development

Work-Life Balance


Sense of Purpose

Fantastic Culture 

Emotional Investment 

Trust in Leadership 

Encouragement and Recognition

Involvement and Belonging 

Fair Compensation and Benefits 

Company History

Grow Through Life Counseling was founded in 2012 to provide a higher level of quality support to families in the Eastlake area of Chula Vista, CA. Kara Kohnen, LMFT and Director of Growth and Founder, desired to provide a higher level of care to younger populations. All clinicians employed at Grow Through Life Counseling have a passion for improving the lives of younger populations. In its first 5 years, Grow Through Life Counseling helped thousands of children, teens & families in the Eastlake area. In 2017, Grow Though Life Counseling expanded services to Carmel Valley further north in San Diego in order to serve patients who were driving a far distance for treatment. This expansion helped us serve more San Diego families seeking high quality care for children and teenagers. In 2019, Grow Through Life Counseling added service locations in both Scripps Ranch & Oceanside. In 2020, GTLC started in Murrieta and we moved to a larger location in Sorrento Valley.  We added Telehealth services for all Californians in 2020. In late 2021, we also opened in La Mesa, CA.  In 2023, we will be expanding our Scripps Ranch location to double current size and adding Santee, CA as our 7th location for in person, in office care. We are growing because we have a fantastic of clinicians who are supported by the thousands of families who have trusted us with their care and are grateful for this trust and support. 

What Sets Us Apart 

 At Grow Through Life Counseling, as a new patient you will speak with a real human being when you call our intake line! This will be an opportunity for us to make sure we are the right clinician for you and for you to get all of your questions answered prior to scheduling your first appointment. 

  • All patients have a phone extension for voicemail and email address to reach your therapist directly. 

  • We never nickel/dime for administrative tasks and provide school absence notes for free - just let us know you need one.

  • When you come to treatment at Grow Through Life Counseling, you will be meeting in a warm, family friendly space in which all ages of children are welcome. Our rooms are big enough to have all family members join and we welcome extended family as well. 

  • We know that Telehealth is not for all and value in-person connection. We provide locations throughout San Diego so we can keep care accessible to where families live and part of a doable routine when in person care is needed or preferred.  

  • We hear other therapists don't call people back. We will call you back every time within 24 hours or the next business day. If we don't pick up, it is likely we are in session and make every effort to return your call in a timely way. At times, we are in session until 8pm so we will wait until the next day so as to not call you too late in the evening. If a team member is not available for any reason, another will reach out to you instead. 

  • We are in network with Sharp Health Plan, Aetna, Cigna/Evernorth and Tricare West. We'll check your benefits and let you know what the cost to you will be. If you have another insurance plan and you'd like to use it, we provide you with superbills at no cost once per month. We take HSA directly in most cases as well.

  • We give all patients a portal link to request future appointments up to 3 month in advance to accommodate your busy family schedule.  and once you are a patient you will be able to log in at your convenience and request future appointments, modify and reschedule as needed and see all upcoming appointments. 

  • We offer after school and weekend options to serve you at the times that work for you and your family 

  • We use technology to provide electronic records, patient portals and a virtual receptionist so your provider knows when you arrive! 

  • We currently offer six locations: Eastlake in Chula Vista, Sorrento Valley, La Mesa, Oceanside, Scripps Ranch and Murrieta 

  • We now offer Telehealth for all of California. Per BBS of CA, you must be located in CA at the time of the service. 

  • We recognize the most important part of your care is the relationship you have with your provider and welcome feedback at any time.

  • We operate at the highest ethical and legal standards with uncompromising integrity.

  • We are a locally owned small business who care about improving our community and providing great employment options for our local therapists too. 

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