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Santee Team ~ In Person & Telehealth available

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Rachel Benson, AMFT

Associate Marriage and Family Therapist. Supervised by Kara Kohnen, LMFT. 


Rachel received her Masters's Degree in Counseling Psychology and specialized in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) with Distinction. She is originally from Hong Kong, and she speaks several languages, including Cantonese and Mandarin. Rachel believes every person is unique, and she also understands how difficult it is for clients to deal with emotional issues such as separation, divorce, and death. She has partnered with students who experienced depression, anxiety, imposter syndrome, social anxiety, stress, grief, self-esteem issues, and academic and employment challenges. Rachel has worked in various school districts with diverse populations and has hosted many workshops, such as time management, love languages, and self-care-related topics. Rachel enjoys working with individuals and their families through different challenges of life. She is passionate about working with members of the following populations: single mothers, LGBTQIA+, young children, teenagers, and young adults, college students (international students, adult re-entry students etc.), and military families. Rachel is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Brainspotting, sand tray and sand play therapy, Gottman Couple Therapy, and Play Therapy with young children. She leans toward person-centered and integrated therapy, such as Solution Focused Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Somatic therapy, internal family system, and mindfulness practice. She was fortunate to learn about sand tray therapy from the World Association of Sand Therapy professionals. She believes that using an integrated therapy approach and evidenced-based interventions can help her clients reach their highest potential and achieve their goals. 

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Jessica Rodriguez, APCC

Associate Professional Clinical Counseling Supervised by Megan Baldwin, LCSW


Jessica is passionate about helping individuals reach their goals and live fulfilling lives. Jessica's experience working in a school-based mental health setting equipped her with the skills to treat trauma, anxiety, depression, ADHD, PTSD, and OCD in children, teens, adults, and families. Additionally, she has experience providing career and grief counseling. Using a strength-based and solution-focused approach, Jessica strives to be a culturally competent trauma-informed therapist. She guides her clients to create meaningful change by creating a safe and empowering healing space. Jessica is an Associate Professional Clinical Counselor with a Master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of San Diego.

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Kara Kohnen, LMFT 

Director of Growth and Clinical Supervisor 


Kara Kohnen is the Director of Growth at Grow Through Life Counseling and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego with over 20 years of experience working with children, teens and families in behavioral health. In June 2012, she began Grow Through Life Counseling for specialized treatment of children, teens and families. Her areas of expertise include: parenting, behavior modification, ADHD, Learning Disorders and high functioning Autism. She enjoys working with younger patients and frequently works with families as part of the treatment process. She also helps adults with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, transitions and grief. She uses several techniques including CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as part of the treatment process. She is a clinical supervisor of pre licensed clinicians and has taught in graduate programs. In 2017, Kara wrote two books: one for children called "Why Am I Going to Counseling?" to help parents explain the benefits of treatment and the therapeutic relationships of children starting and in treatment and "13 Reason Why Am I Going to Counseling for Teens" to help teens actively engage in the process and to promote suicide prevention. Kara enjoys speaking at schools and in communities of topics about pediatric mental health, teen mental health and suicide prevention. Call 619-549-0329 ext 0 for more information or to get started in care today! 

Santee Leadership Team

Clinical Manager & Supervisor: Kara Kohnen, LMFT

Santee Location

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