Therapists can refer clients to psychiatry on UpLift. Psychiatric providers are available to answer questions about medication, changing treatment plans, side effects, and more.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.


Through a collaborative approach, harm reduction works within the realities of our world and addresses those truths, rather than deny them.

Headshot of Kate Larson, LMFT
Provider Spotlight

Get to Know Kate Larson, LMFT

Kate Larson, LMFT is a therapist on UpLift. She shares how she helps clients and families recognize their potential and creates space for people to grieve.

Get to Know Kate Larson, LMFT
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist


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UpLift’s “Get to Know” series features our providers—so other providers can get to know them, learn from each other, and connect. 

This month’s featured provider is Kate Larson, LMFT.

What are you passionate about when it comes to therapy?

Helping clients recognize their own potential, and how they can come to a place of understanding, acceptance, and embrace their individuality: I love to collaborate with clients to problem solve. I like to help them reframe and rename, and have them come up with their own sort of definition of that. 

The passion for me is being able to go on a journey with a client together. It just feels like a gift—that I get to be that person in that moment during a session with each of my clients to hear their story. I've always been able to maintain my passion that way.

What type of clients or areas do you specialize in working with?

As a marriage and family therapist, I enjoy working with individuals but I'm also trained to work with couples and families. I enjoy delving into many facets of individuals’, couples’ and families’ life stories.

I’m drawn to family therapy because of the whole systemic approach—looking at family dynamics, identifying strengths that the family has, and helping them recognize the strengths that they didn't realize they had. I look at generational trauma, how it impacts and manifests within each individual differently. I look at how that trickles down into the family. Therapy allows families to appreciate their own system, understand differences in relationships, and how to develop those in an accepting and positive way. 

I am certified in Advanced Grief Counseling, so that is something I truly enjoy: working with folks who are going through different grieving processes—embracing each person's way of grieving, or each couple's or family's, while taking into consideration generational and cultural values.

My experience has been that those who grieve may feel guilt, shame, remorse, and at times, regret. Therapy helps to break down those barriers so they can openly grieve, particularly if they've had complicated relationships with their loved one who's passed. I like to reassure them that there’s nothing awful about what you feel or think. Individualizing someone's grief process and letting them know that their way is the way that they grieve—once they give themselves permission, I find that they can grieve more freely.

People who are grieving also say they feel frustrated because outside people say certain things to help but those things they say aren’t necessarily helpful. I validate how difficult that is for them to hear. But also we bring clients to understand that people may have limitations in how they support and help somebody grieve, and help clients access better grief support.

How do you believe change happens for a client? 

I'd like to think that I'm aboard with a client as they navigate rough waters, identify barriers, open up new waterways, so that they can come to an open kind of area: There's no barriers, no debris, the waters are calm. They can navigate them smoothly on their own, without fear, and they can have confidence and self-assurance.

The most common way I see change happen is when I witness a client catching themselves saying an old or negative narrative, and then switching it to the new, reframed narrative about themselves. Then I comment, “I noticed you caught yourself there. That's great. How did you remember to do that?” 

I’m very process-oriented when recognizing change, because they may not even be aware that they did that. That's an important part of embracing change.

Then I may interject, “How did you feel about me recognizing that?” Stop and see where change has just taken place. That can help the client feel more hopeful and positive about their ability to change on their own. 

Are there any modalities or approaches you feel attached to?

I typically go to CBT and trauma-focused CBT, but also Internal Family Systems, narrative therapy, and grief therapy. I really try to create something with my client in terms of what works for them. I try to create a therapeutic approach based on what kind of experiences that they have had in therapy in the past—what has worked, what wasn't helpful. That's information to help me develop with my client a therapeutic approach that I think is going to work best for them. I also do some guided imagery, guided visualization, body scanning, and I've learned to do even virtually. It has been beneficial. 

I try to give people guided visualizations that they can implement themselves, and different techniques that are accessible. Sometimes the techniques that I use in session may be inaccessible to clients outside of a session when in a moment of high anxiety. So I want to give them exercises and techniques that they can quickly access in a moment of heightened anxiety.

What inspired you to get into therapy?

Being a middle child, coming from a very tight knit family, but with parents who divorced when I was 12. During that difficult time in my life, I was caring for a depressed father following the divorce. I had to work through learning how to be a helper to myself and not be a caretaker so much with others. In addition to being a preschool teacher for 10 years, I found that working with families outside of teaching started planting a little seed. I really enjoyed having conversations with parents about what was happening at home and what was difficult, what was working well. That started me exploring opportunities to study family therapy.   

Also, having a child with special needs: I taught preschool until about 1999. I quit my job and worked full-time with my son and his development. Even though I stepped away from teaching, I still bring that into my therapy when working with parents. Diving into Birth-to-Three and early intervention with my son, I became enriched with resources. When it's appropriate, I’ll help a parent navigate the community and access different resources that are out there, depending on their child’s needs.

What is your favorite local resource to share with clients?

I do a lot of collaborating with my clients in terms of what they're looking for with parenting resources. DC has the Department of Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs. That's a national organization but each state has their own chapter, where they have a parenting support group. 

DC also has parenting resource support groups at the Department of Behavioral Health on different topics, such as ADHD and autism. 

The Parents’ Place of Maryland: They do parent training, family-to-family. They have support for military families. 

If I have an individual who is looking for outreach or to try to make friends and socialize in their 30s, oftentimes the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has volunteer opportunities. You don't have to commit long-term. You can pick and choose. It's a great way to meet people and give back. 

What is the best therapy-related article or resource you’ve seen recently? 

There's one that I read in Family Therapy Magazine last year about the impact of social media on teens by Rachel Ehmke at the Child Mind Institute. She did an article called “How using social media affects teenagers,” and she talks about how as a species, we're attuned to reading social cues. That helps parents understand the importance of the social aspect of life for teens, but also the impact on their mental health and how to find or maintain balance. 

What is your favorite way to practice self-care that you’d recommend to other therapists? 

I've been doing yoga every day for about 20 years. I walk every day. I read, I listen to music. 

I have my dog at home with me. In between my sessions, we go out and play. Believe it or not, I have bubbles and a hula hoop to get moving and to let myself be a kid for a moment. So anytime I just need to do some deep breathing, I love to blow bubbles. My dog loves to jump up and pop the bubbles, and it brings me joy.  She does not know what to make of my hula hooping so I think it’s just entertaining for her.

If I have access to clay or dough, I enjoy working with my hands to create something. We do so much intensive work, it's important to break away and do some playfulness. It's re-energizing.

What’s the last book you read or what book did you read recently that you would recommend to anyone?

If I'm going to refer a book to my client, I want it to use language that they can relate to. The book isn’t too heavy, too scientific but it's got enough in there to be legitimate, researched, and a good resource. 

The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age by Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD and Teresa H. Barker

The language is very readable for parents. It gives a comprehensive, holistic understanding of how to balance your life with your family in the digital age, without having to completely take away social media. It talks about how you can enrich the family system by disconnecting for a little bit, and different tools and strategies for parents that they can easily use.

The Dance of Fear: Rising Above Anxiety, Fear and Shame to be Your Best and Bravest Self by Harriet Lerner

The Dance of Fear is extremely helpful for facing fear of rejection, anxiety at work, anxiety in your relationship. Instead of trying to get rid of anxiety, the book shows where anxiety can be beneficial and where it can be a barrier, normalizing it as part of our lives and managing anxiety so it doesn't take over your life. 

You Can Go Home Again: Reconnecting with Your Family by Monica McGoldrick

For clients who have a long history of generational trauma, complicated family history, or tend to be the caretaker in the family—and the heaviness of being the caretaker—I find this book to be helpful.

I do the genogram with my client. The book covers family ties, the impact of loss, where we come from, and couple relationships. In each chapter, McGoldrick does a genogram on a famous person, like Sigmund Freud or Katharine Hepburn, with beautiful old photographs. It makes these historical figures into real people with families, real problems, generational trauma, just like an everyday person. So it humanizes it and normalizes it as well.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

There’s great anecdotes and information that help you understand your motivation, how you deal with barriers, and work through problems.

Why did you choose to use UpLift?

The onboarding process was incredibly easy and so user-friendly. I loved that I could just start out because I was still working full time when I joined UpLift. I could work as much or as little as I wanted,  starting with maybe working 1 or 2 days for a few hours. That allowed me to slowly build my confidence and my caseload over time, to the point that I could leave my full-time job and just work with UpLift. 

I have autonomy at UpLift but I’m not an island. I've reached out to the clinical supervisor with situations where I need guidance or suggestions. Even after 20 years of experience, I still need someone on the outside hearing my concerns and how to work through that. There's enough support and help if it’s needed.

The staff is always so responsive. When I make suggestions about what we could do to improve, they take it into consideration. I’ve already seen changes, like being able to see psychiatric notes or stay connected to a psychiatrist. 

I’ve done therapy in many different milieus and have seen what works and what doesn’t. UpLift offers everything I’ve seen work clinically and with tools like the electronic health records. There were places where there was so much that had to be done, and it really took away from quality work with the clients.

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About the author
Eliana Reyes, Content Strategist

Eliana Reyes is a content strategist and writer at UpLift.

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