Clinical Social Worker
University of Kentucky- MSW in Clinical Social Work
Eastern Kentucky University-BSW with a minor in Psychology
“I believe Social Work is a calling, it chooses you, you don’t really choose it.”
Karanita was called into social work after spending the early years at home with her two sons. After volunteering for a number of years, for the school PTA, Boy Scouts of America, and teaching and directing Sunday school, she was offered a position as a Paraprofessional with the local High School in Georgetown, Kentucky where she and her family had moved in 1989. “To say I was not prepared for that undertaking, might be an understatement; but it hooked me, and I was dedicated to those kids.” She worked herself into being a non-professional “expert” on ADHD, Dyslexia, Childhood Trauma, Children in Foster Care, Childhood Emotional “Disorders”, and “Behavioral Disorders in Adolescents.”
While working full time as a Special Education Paraprofessional for 7 school years, she continued to volunteer with the PTA, Youth Soccer, JROTC, and Marching Band, as well as maintaining her position as a Sunday School Director at Mallard Point Baptist Church. And was an active leader in the DARE Graduation Program for 6 years. Early, in what would become her last year at the High School, she was introduced to the term “LCSW” and her curiosity has carried her here, to where she is today.
In her first semester of College at Eastern Kentucky University, she met with her advisor, and mapped out the next four years. Her goal being to graduate with a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. She was able to complete that goal in three and a half years, and stayed an extra semester to complete her Minor in Psychology. In Social Work, you are expected to have multiple practicums. While at Eastern KY University she completed practicums in an outpatient day treatment program at a community mental health center, and at an inner-city case management agency called “The Nest, The Center for Women, Children and Families.” There she was introduced to a new program being developed in the region called Drug Court.
While spending three months after graduation in Germany, with her oldest son, who was living off base, while serving in The United States Air Force, she applied and was accepted to the Master of Social Work Program at The University of Kentucky College of Social Work. This meant that she would be able to complete her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work in three semesters. Due to her introduction to Drug Court she was afforded the opportunity to serve her entire three practicums at a women’s long-term substance use treatment program called Chrysalis House. This program allowed the women to keep their babies and children under the age of 5 with them during their treatment, which averaged 2 years, and consisted of a phase program. The phases where: entry, transitional, on-site apartment, and community. She was given the opportunity to work with the women, in each phase of the program, both as a Practicum Case Manager, then as a Supervised Student providing individual therapy. Many of the women were pregnant when they entered the treatment program, some had already given birth and had babies, or young children, and most had a co-occurring mental health diagnosis. She was also introduced to Play Therapy and enjoyed providing therapy services to some of the children who had been impacted by their mother’s substance use. This was provided to the children of the women for free, and as an added benefit of the program, services were started at age 3-4 years old up to age 12.
In her professional career, she has worked primarily as a Co-Occurring outpatient therapist in 3 major Community Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder agencies, two in Kentucky, who also provided services for clients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. And most recently, after moving back to her home state, one her in Missouri that allowed her expand her skills by giving her the opportunity to work with their geriatric population. She has also worked for a Non-Profit Agency that provided in-home individual therapy services for children, , and adults. And briefly as a Care Manager for Health Insurance Company.
Karanita has been trained and uses a variety of therapeutic evidenced based practices, including Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She is currently undertaking education that will lead to Certification in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.
Karanita enjoys working with a diverse population of people, and uses a Strength Base Model as her focus.