Carissa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at The Wellness Connection. Carissa helps clients of all ages navigate the stressors and transitions that are inevitable in everyday life. She advocates for the needs of her clients and empowers them using an integrative person-centered approach to achieve their goals by collaborating with them to define the challenges they are experiencing and the action steps they want to take. She provides clients with one-on-one support and the tools needed to increase their skills and motivation. By working with Carissa, clients will receive evidence-based training to decrease depression, manage anxiety, boost their confidence and self-esteem, stabilize their mood, strengthen their communication and relationships, enhance school or work performance, and improve their ability to manage stress or any other challenge that comes their way.
Carissa studied Criminology and Psychology while attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree and graduated with honors. Following graduation, she worked with at-risk adolescents at a residential group home when she realized her passion was helping youth increase their capacity to live safe, abundant, and healthy lives. She furthered her education at The University of Pittsburgh where she received her Master’s Degree in Social Work, as well as a certificate in Integrated Health Care.
Following graduation, Carissa moved to Ohio with her husband where she first worked in community mental health as a School Based Therapist for students K-12. She later served as a social worker on the Crisis Intervention Team completing mental health assessments with patients in the emergency department to determine appropriate level of treatment. In addition to these roles, Carissa provided individual and family mental health counseling to children, adolescents, and young adults at a private practice in North Eastern Ohio.
Carissa recently relocated to Virginia with her husband and her two golden retrievers, Luke and Beau. She and her husband have undergone specialized training with their pets to have them certified as therapy dogs through the Bright and Beautiful Therapy Dogs Inc. As a family they look forward to volunteering at local libraries, nursing homes, and hospitals. Carissa enjoys reading, practicing mindfulness, attending fitness classes, and hiking with her family.