No Judgment Counseling with Kaitlin Corson, LMHC - Handel Behavioral Health
Mental Health Blog

No Judgment Counseling with Kaitlin Corson, LMHC

March 16, 2023

When Kaitlin Corson, LMHC encountered mental health counseling after college, she realized that her personal hardships and those faced by her friends and family informed her desire to help people. 

It was that realization that led Kaitlin to pursue her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and become a therapist. She hasn’t looked back since. 

Kaitlin’s endless source of curiosity and compassion for people has allowed her to work with a wide range of identities, cultures, and conditions. From supporting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, to providing individual counseling to female inmates at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Framingham, Kaitlin cares deeply about helping another human being heal. 

As a person-centered therapist, Kaitlin’s first intention is to make sure the client feels safe and accepted for who they are. It’s through building a supportive relationship that Kaitlin can guide clients toward a better understanding of themselves and their unique life experiences. 

She takes an eclectic approach to mental health counseling, guided by the belief that no two people share the same experiences or require identical treatment. She will always adjust to the needs of the client, while holding a safe space for the client to experience their growth, loss, and victories.

We sat down with Kaitlin to learn more about her background in the mental health field, and  approach to working with clients online and in our Franklin office.

What inspired you to pursue mental health counseling?

Originally, I went to college for Criminology and Sociology. I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, but I knew that I wanted to help people. 

Mental health has always been in my life. I’ve known people who’ve struggled with self harm, people who have been in abusive relationships, and I’ve found myself in similar situations. 

I started to research mental health counseling, and reflected on my personal experiences. I realized that I wanted to be a therapist, and I haven’t looked back since.

What have your experiences been in the mental health field?

I moved from the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania to pursue my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Boston University School of Medicine.

My first practicum was out of the Baycove Boston Emergency Services Team. I provided support and guidance to clients experiencing a wide range of mental health conditions, and assisted with higher levels of intervention. 

Later, I supported survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault at Voices Against Violence in Framingham, Massachusetts. I offered one-on-one counseling, ran support groups, and did overnight medical calls. I also offered to sit with clients through the process of getting sexual kits done, and went to court with client’s if they needed to obtain a restraining order. It was intense work, but I loved it. 

Before working with HBH, I was the Residential Treatment Unit Coordinator at Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Framingham. I ran support groups, and offered one-on-one crisis intervention sessions for female offenders.

How does your work at the Correctional Facility inform your practice now?

Sadly, the Correctional Institution really wasn’t supportive of its employees’ mental health. We were drained and overworked, and because of that, our clients weren’t receiving the care that they deserved. 

When you have 60 people on your caseload, and you’re taking crisis calls at night, you really 

don’t have time to form personal relationships with your clients. I really wanted to provide personal, long-term care, which you have the opportunity to do in outpatient settings. 

Working at the correctional institution definitely transformed my perception of people.

When you’re forming relationships with people who are in prison for various reasons, who are experiencing pain and loss and struggle- it really opens your eyes to how complicated and intricate each person is. 

It trained me to be less judgmental and approach people with an open mind, which I bring to my practice with HBH.

How would you describe your therapeutic style?

My intention, as a therapist, is to understand and validate each person’s experience without judgment. 

I’m always tuned into the client in front of me, and what experiences they’re bringing to the session. You can’t treat any two clients the same way, even if they’re going through a similar situation.

I’ll often utilize Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) approaches to help clients gain greater insight into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors with compassion. I’m also currently receiving a grief counseling certification.

People often assume that grief counseling only involves the loss of a person, but it really encompasses any loss of a situation. When we experience a loss, we have to learn how to identify it and process it naturally. There’s no linear timeline to healing. But we can learn how to make sense of our emotions around the loss to honor our experiences and move forward. 

I’m also a trauma-informed therapist, and that lends itself to so many situations. Clients might not identify trauma in themselves right away. The more they reflect on their lives, the more likely they are to identify situations that caused them hurt or suffering. Together, we’ll slowly clarify the roots of traumatic memories, and process the client’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors around those experiences. We’ll move patiently through the process, making sure the client feels safe and supported throughout.

What conditions and situations do you address?

I work with clients experiencing a wide range of mental health conditions and situations including: 

What coping strategies do you like to offer clients?

I like existential therapy, so helping people find the little things in life that bring them meaning and joy. When people are experiencing feelings of anxiety or depression but don’t know the cause, I’ll help them focus on their personal responsibility and decisions that keep their lives moving forward.

I also love bringing creativity into my sessions. 

Art therapy can be a really valuable and freeing tool to help people express, identify, and understand their emotions. It can help clients remember that, like any piece of art, they are subject to change and transform into something new.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I mean, I love all of it. I love working with clients of all different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and identities: I’m genuinely fascinated by each person’s uniqueness. 

I think one of my favorite parts of being a therapist is seeing people implement some of the techniques that we talked about and practiced in sessions. To see clients experience positive change in their lives, it’s just so rewarding to be the guide through that process.

What is your favorite part of living in Massachusetts?

Well, I’m originally from the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. When I moved to Boston for graduate school, I realized how great it is to be surrounded by people and activities. I love benign close enough to Wooster, Boston, and Providence. I also love the sense of community that I’ve found since living in Massachusetts.

Interested in scheduling an appointment with Kaitlin?

If you’re interested in deepening your relationship with yourself, including your close relationships and experiences in the world, Kaitlin is excited to support you through the process. 

As an online provider, Kaitlin supports clients from all over the state of Massachusetts. Kaitlin is also happy to meet with you in person at our Franklin office. 

To start your mental health journey with Kaitlin, please contact us today at (413) 343-4357 to schedule an appointment online.

About The Author

Nettie Hoagland Headshot

Nettie Hoagland is a writer with experience in local news reporting, nonprofit communications, and community development. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont. Nettie believes in the healing power of the arts to create connection and community. She is passionate about using writing as an instrument for personal and social growth in the field of mental health. She is currently based in Brooklyn, NY.

Kaitlin Corson Headshot

Kaitlin received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Boston University School of Medicine. Kaitlin has experience working with individuals who have a wide variety of identities, cultures and diagnoses, including working with criminal justice involved individuals. Her experience includes providing individual therapy, group therapy and crisis intervention in acute settings. More About Author →