Karen Wheeler, LCSW, RPT-S, CST-T

Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist

Ms. Wheeler is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapy Supervisor. She treats adults and children with depression, anxiety, behavior disorders, attachment disorders, divorce or marital issues. She has extensive training and experience in treating children and adults suffering from abuse and trauma, especially those resulting in attachment disruptions. She believes in a holistic healing model which addresses the needs of the body, 

the mind and the emotional heart center. Ms. Wheeler provides clinical supervision to social workers, counselors, and clinicians seeking their Registered Play Therapist credential and Play Therapy trainings at both national and regional conferences.

Ms. Wheeler believes that life’s experiences can negatively affect our view of the world, altering our ability to experience joy and success in our lives. By integrating these experiences, examining the validity of the current belief system and accepting a healthier view of oneself; life changing shifts in consciousness can occur. As clients move toward a more balanced and healthy view of themselves and the world, they become capable of having more fulfilling relationships. They can now experience living in harmony with themselves because they operate in alignment with their core spiritual center, trusting inner wisdom.

Ms. Wheeler believes that healthy, cooperative relationships are the key to creating a successful and joyful life. Cooperative and fulfilling relationships exist through the ability to feel empathy and practice compassionate forgiveness with both ourselves and those in our lives. She teaches behavioral, verbal, emotional and energetic methods for enhancing relationships to couples, families and children. Ms. Wheeler believes that by creating a safe and trusting relationship with her clients, they take their first step in the healing process.

She believes an integral component for effective therapy is the blend of verbal and non-verbal techniques. This combination addresses both the conscious thinking portion of the brain and the unconscious portion that holds many of the negative experiences which create problematic symptoms.

Ms. Wheeler’s sixteen years of post-graduate training include many innovative methods which accelerate the emotional healing of her clients. Supportive non-verbal therapies include Theraplay™, Jungian Sandplay, Water Tray, Client-Centered Play Therapy, EMDR (click EMDR on the left of this page) and Energy Healing.

Since 1994, Ms. Wheeler has provided treatment to children, families and adults in various psychiatric facilities, group homes, therapeutic foster care agencies, homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters in both New Mexico and North Carolina. 

Ms. Wheeler graduated from the Arizona State School of Social Work in 1994 and was awarded her Registered Play Therapist Supervisor certification in 2000. She received her Clinical Sandplay Therapist in 2010 after ten years of training and personal process and was recently awarded her Sandplay Therapist Teaching Member status by Sandplay Therapists of America (STA). She was an instructor at the University of New Mexico and has provided national trainings for therapists since 1998 on treating children with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Reactive Attachment Disorder. Ms. Wheeler developed and trains clinicians on use of the Water Tray as a developmental play therapy method. She has provided professional training for The New Mexico National Association of Social Workers, The New Mexico Sand Play Society, The Colorado Sand Play Association, The North Carolina Association for Play Therapy, The National Association for Play Therapy, Sandplay Therapists of America and the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She provides internships, supervision and guidance to students as well as therapists working toward licensure or certification. Ms. Wheeler has served on the board of directors, including two terms as President, of the North Carolina Association for Play Therapy . Her favorite recreation is swimming with the dolphins at Topsail Beach, swimming laps at the gym and collecting healing crystals.

Highwood Park Plaza

3173 Wrightsville Ave.

Wilmington, NC 28403

(corner of Wrightsville and Wilshire)

Phone (910) 251-7950

Fax (910) 251-7980