Support Team

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Nicole Hernandez

Lead Intake Coordinator

Nicole Hernandez joined our team as an intake coordinator in January of 2020. She has a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavioral Science and plans to pursue her master’s degree in Social Work. Nicole has a background working as a preschool teacher and with children who have autism. Nicole has also worked with women struggling with co-occurring disorders and eating disorders. She is passionate about holistic health and believes it is important to integrate mind, body, and soul in order to have a balanced sense of well-being. Nicole is intuitive and empathetic to others needs and eager to learn. 

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Janette Etchings

Intake Coordinator

Janette Etchings joined our team as an intake coordinator in September of 2020. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychological Science from California State University, San Marcos. She is currently applying for graduate school to pursue her Master’s Degree in Psychology with the goal of becoming a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist. Janette has over four years of experience working in the field of Memory Care encouraging residents to experience purposeful and meaningful engagements. Her compassionate and nurturing personality makes others feel comfortable and accepted. Janette has spent the last 5 years teaching painting classes to encourage others to express their artistic abilities. She has a passion for creativity through art and believes it is an integral part of the healing process.

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Shakera Yusifi

Client Support Manager

Shakera Yusifi joined Grow Through Life Counseling in 2019 to support clients and therapist in providing great care and assisting in billing on boarding processes. Shakera brings with her her talent for working compassionately with people and addressing their needs. Shakera has previous HR experience at a Client Support Manager for EA Health Corp with complex organization and support tasks. Prior to this, Shakera was the Head Neurophysical Training at the Drake Institute in Vista, CA. She provided direct care as well as managed a team of technicians in assessing and treating ADHD, Autism and other Learning and Processing Disorders. Shakera is passionate about helping others.

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Kara Kohnen, LMFT

Clinical Director and Owner

Kara Kohnen is the Clinical Director at Grow Through Life Counseling and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 18 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. 

We are here to answer: how can i help my teenager depression? How can I help them make friends? Is social media or screen time dangerous? We provide supportive counseling for teenagers: depression, anxiety and adjustments. We often work with families as part of our treatment processes. We have added Telehealth services and can now also provide child anxiety treatment at home or in office  children's counseling services! 

​© 2020 by Kara Kohnen, LMFT @ Grow Through Life Counseling   Located: Eastlake of Chula Vista, Del Mar, San Diego, Scripps Ranch and Oceanside

Now Offering Telehealth! 

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