Karen Lese-Fowler, Psychologist in California

Karen Lese-Fowler, Ph.D.

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I am a psychologist with over 25 years of experience treating individual adults suffering from the affects of anxiety, adjustment concerns, grief, and upsetting life experiences.

If we work together, you'll notice that I start by asking a great deal of questions, so I can get a deep understanding of the contexts, challenges and strengths that make you yourself. I'll want to know about cultural factors that are important to you, broadly speaking–including race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identification, ability status, and many other factors. It will be important for me to understand the pivotal events that have happened in your life, from childhood to now. That doesn't mean we will focus only on the past. It simply means that I learn about the context of your life. Once we have finished the initial assessment session or sessions, we will talk through your goals for therapy and plan for therapy.

A lot of research has shown that the most important part of therapy is the relationship, so it's very important to me that we establish trust. This isn't always easy, especially for people who have experienced trauma, oppression or abuse. It's very important to me to foster warmth, kindness and genuineness in my relationships, so if there's a misunderstanding we can talk about it. I'm humble enough to recognize that I make mistakes, and want to be able to talk about those with my clients. I try to be transparent in my work–if there's something I think, I don't tend to hold back, though I'm thoughtful about how and when to express myself. I tend to be active in session, and hope people leave most or all sessions with something to think about or work on.

Within my practice, I incorporate several strategies of therapy, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Interpersonal/Dynamic Therapy. I infuse mindfulness approaches in my work both as a coping strategy for painful experience and as a way of teaching people to pause and reflect within session. I am also trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR,) which is a method of helping people make peace with upsetting events that have happened in their lives. My website provides more detail about those approaches, but you may always ask questions.

I was certified in telehealth prior to the pandemic, so I'm very comfortable with telehealth, though in person services have a special place in my heart. I see people in person if they are fully vaccinated and boosted. My office is located in a lovely, peaceful Spanish-style complex in Old Town, close to the interstate 5 Old Town exit. Free parking is available on site. While our office is located in a historical building which is not ADA compliant, it is handicapped accessible. If you have questions about whether you would be able to access the office, please call.

I invite you to reach out if you have any interest in working with me. I'll be glad to speak with you, and if I believe someone else would be better positioned to help, it's my ethical responsibility to be honest about that. When I can, I provide referrals to people who need them.

If you would like to reach out electronically, please use the form on my website. That form is set up to be confidential and HIPAA compliant, while links on directories such as this generally offer no privacy protections.

Specialties & Clinical Interests

  • Anxiety
  • Betrayal Trauma
  • Body Image
  • Grief & Loss
  • Race-Based Traumatic Stress (RBTS)
  • Relationships
  • Self-Esteem
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Sexual Identity
  • Trauma & Ptsd
  • Violence
  • Women's Issues

Therapy Types

  • Acceptance And Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Interpersonal/Psychodynamic

Community Specialties

  • Biracial
  • Black
  • Hispanic Or Latino
  • Trauma Survivors

Faith Based Specialties

  • Atheism/Agnosticism
  • Buddhism
  • Christianity
  • Judaism

Fees & Insurance

Cost per Session
$175.00 - $195.00
Sliding Scale
Pay By
Cash, Check, Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), Credit Card, American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
Insurance Plans Accepted
Out Of Network

Licenses & Certifications

Years in Practice
License #
PSY 16282
Professional Association(s)
Membership Type
American Psychological Association
San Diego Psychological Association
Graduate School(s)
Year Graduated
Virginia Commonwealth University