Owner and Director of Mighty Oaks Counseling and Wellness
Dr. Carlson has always had a passion for working with children. Even at a young age, she enjoyed teaching children in different capacities, from Vacation Bible School to dance class. Dr. Carlson attended the University of Texas for her undergraduate degree in Applied Learning and Development, with a focus on Pre-Kindergarten to 4th grade. While she still holds a teaching license through the state of Texas, Dr. Carlson felt she could be more impactful on an individual and small group basis. After some volunteer work in a children's hospital, she decided to pursue counseling.
Dr. Carlson received her Masters of Arts in Counseling from St. Edward's University and Doctorate of Philosophy in Counseling from the University of North Texas. During her time at UNT, Dr. Carlson specialized in play therapy and school counseling, with a focus on assessments. She trained under world-renowned play therapists, including Garry Landreth, Sue Bratton, and Dee Ray. She was the Assistant Director of School Services while at UNT, coordinating play therapy services for over 100 students in 5 elementary schools. She also was the Assistant Director of Assessment Services at UNT, where she led a diagnostic team of doctoral students who conducted intelligence, achievement, development, and emotional testing.
Dr. Carlson's dissertation was titled "Effects of a Teacher Consultation Model on Elementary School Classroom Management" and focused on teaching kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers play therapy constructs to use with their students individually and group settings. Dr. Carlson's dissertation was recruited to be formatted in book form by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing. It can be found on Amazon and is titled "A Play-Based Teacher Consultation (PBTC) Program: Strengthening Relationships between Elementary School Teachers and Students".
Including services for:
Dr. Carlson spent 5 years working at Jewish Family Service of Dallas after graduating from UNT. She worked to build their play therapy program and grow the outreach to preschool and elementary school students, teachers, and parents. In her position as Early Childhood Clinical Specialist, she worked with children, adolescents, adults, and families in individual and group settings. She worked directly with preschool teachers over a two year span, teaching them therapeutic skills for their classroom. Additionally, she led several social skills groups, parenting groups, led trainings, and supervised interns working towards their full licensure.
In the summer of 2014, Dr. Carlson decided to meld her personal passion for yoga and wellness into her professional experiences by obtaining a 200-hour teacher training certificate from Sunstone Academy. Through her experience at Sunstone, Dr. Carlson is able to use principles in the therapeutic and supervisory setting. She has led preschool groups, focusing on socialization skills, yoga, and breathing through the Jewish Community Center and led chair yoga classes for Planned Living Assistance Network (PLAN) of North Texas, an organization that helps adults with severe mental illness feel connected and develop a sense of community. Additionally, Dr. Carlson has led yoga camps, focusing on emotional regulation, social skills, and yoga during the summer at Sunstone Academy and at Mighty Oaks. Dr. Carlson also incorporates yoga and mindfulness principles into her Mighty Girls social skills groups.
In addition to her therapy practice, Dr. Carlson worked for the Anti-Defamation League from 2016 to 2019, facilitating their "No Place for Hate" initiative in schools, businesses, and places of worship. She traveled throughout the states of Texas and Oklahoma to provide anti-bias and anti-bullying training to children and adults.
From 2016 to 2018, Dr. Carlson served as a faculty member at SuntoneFIT's academy, where she trained adults looking to earn their 200-hour yoga teacher certification. She also taught at several SunstoneFIT locations for 4 and a half years, where she taught Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Barre, and fitness classes. With the expansion of her business and dedicated yoga room, Dr. Carlson is now focusing her teaching at Mighty Oaks.
Dr. Carlson is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor through the State of Texas and a member of the American Counseling Association. She is a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor and member of the Association for Play Therapy. Dr. Carlson is also an Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher and a member of Yoga Alliance. Through Yoga Alliance, she is a Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider® (YACEP®). Dr. Carlson is certified in yin yoga, an
Oh Baby! Fitness® Pre/Postnatal Certified Instructor, and Mindfulness Certification Training (MCT) Graduate from Dallas Yoga Center. She specializes in early childhood development, and she enjoys working with clients who experience various concerns, including anxiety, depression, grief, aggression, life transitions, twice-exceptionalism, and special needs. Dr. Carlson also works with twins and families with multiples.
Dr. Carlson has been awarded DFW Child magazine's designated "Mom-Approved Doctor" award in 2018 and 2019.