Kim Vargas is a Clinical Social Worker licensed in the State of Pennsylvania.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Brown University and graduated from Catholic University with a Masters in Social Work.
She has been a psychotherapist for over 12 years working with clients to address a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, parenting and relationships. She is trained in both Cognitive-Behavioral and Psychodynamic Therapies, and utilizes techniques from both to promote growth, empowerment, and a greater level of happiness in her clients.
Counseling for Individuals, Couples and Families
Anxiety and Depression
Everyone has some degree of anxiety or worry in their lives. At times, however, this worry can become overwhelming, making it difficult to enjoy daily activities, or preventing people from taking part in important events. Anxiety can interfere in relationships with significant people, including partners, children, co-workers, and friends.
Similarly, feelings of depression can limit an individual’s ability to engage and take pleasure in life. Symptoms of depression may include general feelings of unhappiness or malaise, isolation, changes in eating or sleeping, and difficulties experiencing emotional and physical intimacy.
Kim has a great deal of experience helping clients identify the factors contributing to anxiety and/ordepression, and creating plans to address those factors. She helps clients better understand how underlying thoughts, beliefs, perceptions and past experiences affect mood in the present. She then assists clients in figuring out how to make changes that ultimately result in a major reduction in anxietyand depression and the symptoms (emotional and physical) associated with them.
A positive sense of self is key to feeling happy and satisfied overall. For many people, feeling good about themselves is challenging. For some, low confidence or self worth is pervasive in most areas of their lives. For others, it may be difficult to feel confident in particular settings. Kim addresses issues surrounding self-esteem by examining the roots of the negative self view, looking at faulty perceptions of self, and helping clients to rework their self view. Ultimately this results in individuals who are happier, more confident, and more optimistic about the future.
Relationships and Couples Counseling
Relationships with significant others are sometimes a tremendous source of stress. Communication, differences of opinion about child-rearing, finances, major life transitions, and lack of quality time together can contribute to feelings of alienation or isolation in a relationship. As relationships evolve, differences in world view, religious background and cultural upbringing can start to emerge. Kim helps couples to communicate better with each other, reach compromises in problem areas, and reconnect to each other. She also works with couples who are moving toward a deeper commitment, and want some counseling before taking the next step toward engagement, marriage or cohabitation.
Kim has expertise in working with parents to manage the challenges of parenting, from birth or adoption through becoming a grandparent. Parenthood is a wonderful and rewarding time of life, but it can also be very overwhelming. It can bring up unexpected thoughts and feelings that may be difficult to share with friends and family. New motherhood can be an especially challenging time as moms struggle with their new identity (and loss of old identities), body image, feelings of isolation, relationships with significant others, and anxieties about doing the “right” thing. Kim helps parents navigate this unchartered territory by providing emotional support, as well as assistance in problem-solving. Parenting work may be done in individual sessions, or in a support group.
New Moms Support Groups
Kim offers support groups to new moms to address the challenges and joys of new parenthood. These groups are an opportunity for moms to meet other women at the same stage of life, and to share thoughts, feelings, fears, and accomplishments in a nurturing, confidential environment. Mothers are invited to bring their pre-walking babies to these groups. Please contact Kim for more information about joining an upcoming group.
Clinical Supervision for Social Workers
Kim Vargas provides supervision for both new and experienced social workers. Kim really enjoys helping new clinicians to discover their own therapeutic style and to understand their own reactions to their client’s thoughts and feelings. She assists therapists in integrating their classroom learning with their work in the actual therapy room. For more experienced therapists, Kim provides case consultation and ongoing clinical support.