Unconditional Acceptance with Carol Dupre, LICSW - Handel Behavioral Health
Mental Health Blog

Unconditional Acceptance with Carol Dupre, LICSW

February 16, 2023

Amy Mauro

“I like to compare my therapeutic approach to a needle following the groove in a record. The needle has to be fine tuned and sensitive to transmitting the sound for reproduction. My goal as a therapist is to be that needle.”

Carol Dupre, LICSW entered the field of mental health counseling with a passion for the strength, perseverance, and loving kindness within each of us to rise above life’s challenges. 

Every person who enters Carol’s therapeutic setting will find a safe and supportive space where they can be seen, heard, and accepted for who they are.

Carol is a former 5-12th grade science teacher, AmeriCorps VISTA for a food bank, residential home counselor, and parental aid in a private home. She also extensively advocated for those who face food insecurity: including the previously homeless, senior citizens, singles, and families. 

A true social justice activist, Carol continues to involve herself in community human rights projects. 

As a mental health therapist, Carol puts aside her own biases, and shows optimism that the client can create positive changes in their lives. Her positive, open, and non judgmental attitude will inspire clients to recognize their innate strengths, and set their unique goals. 

Carol has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. She has done both in-home, and outpatient therapy.

Carol is trained in trauma-informed therapy, uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Mindfulness Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. She continues to develop her skills to help clients meet their individual needs and goals. 

I sat down with Carol to learn more about her background in the field, her therapeutic approach, and what clients can expect from working with her online.

What inspired you to pursue mental health counseling?

I taught middle and high school science for several years after earning my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Education. 

When a serious injury prevented me from teaching I realized that I needed to reinvent myself. I started doing advocacy and outreach for a local food bank. My work involved assisting the previously incarcerated, the homeless, senior citizens, singles, and families through the red-tape of the SNAP application, and connecting people to food access resources.

I tend to be a quiet type of person. So, having the privilege to advocate for others who may not have the opportunities to speak out for themselves inspired me to pursue social work. 

While I was working at the food bank, I earned my Masters Degree in Social Work from Westfield State University. During my Masters practicum, I supported foster children, worked in a teen parenting program, and provided hospice support for older adults.

How would you describe your therapeutic approach?

My treatment style is relational and holistic. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to therapy. I avoid placing my own assumptions and intentions on the client’s experience. Instead, I bring a positive, open, and non judgemental approach to helping the client tell their own story and set their own goals. 

Through observation and response to the client’s experiences, I strive to make the client feel heard, seen, and accepted for who they are. Everyone is unique in their own way, and I believe that the therapeutic process should reflect that. 

As a trauma-informed therapist, I can help the client identify the roots of ​​trauma. We can then safely process the trauma together, become aware of how it’s showing up in the client’s life, and develop coping strategies to meet their challenges. 

My work safely guides clients to a place of connection, integration, and growth.

Is there a specific population you like to work with?

There’s a special place in my heart for adopted individuals, and adoptive family members.

I have my own lived experience with being adopted. While I don’t use my own story when I’m working with the client, I can use my empathy and understanding as a strength to support the client. 

Adoption counseling for birth family members, adoptive parents, and adoptees of any age can be an extremely beneficial experience. There’s often a transracial and/or transcultural component to adoption that can be explored through therapy. I help the adoptive parents better understand their adopted child’s cultural background, and network with communities that represent their child’s background. That way, the adoptive family can be better equipped to educate others and advocate for their children.

What therapeutic modalities do you like to use?

My approach to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy is grounded in effective goal setting. I encourage the client to identify their unique strengths and personal goals. I’ll intervene with contemplative and creative practices to help the client become more intentional with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in the present moment. 

I also like to use:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Mindfulness
  • Narrative Therapy

When I’m first getting to know clients, I’ll use the tree of life project: the client will draw a tree with its roots, the ground, its trunk, branches, leaves, fruits, and a storm. Each component will represent different aspects of the client’s identity; including their past, future goals, strengths, support system, and challenges. The project helps the client express their lived experience and share their story without judgment or correction.

I’m also going to become trained in Expressive Arts Therapy. I’m not an artist per say, but I’m passionate about helping clients express their voice through the arts. 

Outside of my practice with HBH, I do Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) in Berkley, MA. 

AAT is the utilization of animals as a therapeutic modality to encourage healing and rehabilitation with clients experiencing acute and chronic conditions. 

Animals can offer an extraordinary amount of emotional support. They have a sensitivity, and strong ability to perceive what a person is experiencing without judgment. 

I’ve always been an animal lover. I grew up on a hobby farm, and have experience working on a horse farm.

What mental health conditions and situations do you address?

What is your favorite part of your job?

I love it when the client feels ready to walk into the world carrying their innate power and strengths to meet life’s challenges. I encourage the client to reach out to support groups and return to therapy if they need help working through another chapter of life.

What do you like most about living in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts is home to me. I grew up in Central Massachusetts and moved out to Amherst for school. 

I love being part of the community here, and I have strong ties to the people and places that make it home.

Interested in scheduling an appointment with Carol?

Carol is excited to offer her openness and support to people of all different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. Her ability to meet people where they are with loving kindness and insight will allow you to bring your full self to the therapeutic setting. 

As an online/telehealth provider, Carol supports clients from all over the state of Massachusetts. If you are interested in working with Carol online please contact us at 413-343-4357 to begin your therapy journey!

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.

Carol Dupre Headshot

Carol is a graduate of Westfield State University. Her clinical experience has included working for a community clinic doing In Home Therapy and Outpatient therapy. She enjoys working with clients of all ages. She is trauma-informed and many experiences including advocacy/support of foster youth, in a teen parenting programming and providing hospice support. She has previously advocated for those who experienced food insecurity and currently More About Author →