Insight Psychological Therapists - Karen Pérez Cruz

Karen Pérez Cruz, Practicum Intern Therapist, B.SC (She/Her)

As a genuine people-person, I am passionate about creating a warm, safe space where individuals feel comfortable, validated and accepted as their most authentic selves. I use a person-centred approach whereby I work collaboratively with my clients to genuinely understand all aspects of themselves (e.g., culture, race, gender, environment, boundaries, personality, values) and the experiences that have shaped them. I walk alongside my clients in their journey toward mental well-being by incorporating several therapeutic approaches to target their unique goals and challenges effectively. I am a trauma-informed, culturally-sensitive, Health at Every Size (HAES), anti-oppressive, sex-positive, LGBTQIA2S+, trans and polyamory-friendly therapist. Clients can expect to receive gentle and patient support that encourages client agency to progress through therapy at their own pace.

*NOTE: Our Practicum Intern (Student) Therapists offer reduced rates for counselling support. Please be aware that FEES WILL BE NON-REIMBURSABLE by Extended Health Care Benefit Plans.

More About Karen Pérez Cruz

My experiences as a first-generation Latina immigrant to Canada have garnered a personal connection to the challenges of most immigrants and individuals from marginalized communities like mine. I resonate with the impacts of adjusting to a new language and incorporating ourselves into a new way of life. I have been most affected by the need to remain connected to our unique cultural identities in a society different than our own. Therefore, I utilize culturally-sensitive approaches that acknowledge the impact of a person’s belief system on their lives and mental health. Clients can expect a genuine desire to understand all aspects of who they are and their current experience.

I practice from a person-centred approach whereby clients are seen as the experts of their own lives and can overcome their challenges in ways unique to them. I aim to foster a gentle therapeutic space with my clients founded on mutual compassion, respect, empathy and is free from judgment. I work collaboratively with my clients in their journey towards well-being, understanding that everyone has unique personal and situational characteristics that require accommodations to support them best. I also incorporate a gentle approach to therapy that supports and validates clients at whichever stage of their journey they find themselves. Clients can expect full agency in all aspects of our therapeutic process and be guided compassionately toward their goals at their own pace.

I devoutly tailor therapy to match each client’s specific goals and address the barriers or challenges based on their circumstances. My counselling practice is eclectic in that I use an integrative approach to therapy, drawing from multiple therapeutic orientations to utilize the most effective and evidence-based treatment specialized for each client. I utilize treatment methods from Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Family Systems Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), and Psychodynamic Therapy among others.

I have acquired significant practice with person-centred and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) methods from my cumulative volunteer and work experience. I have volunteered for the Kids Help Phone Distress Line as a Crisis Responder and the University of Alberta Peer Support Centre as a Supportive Listener for students experiencing mental health concerns. Both roles provided over six years of extensive experience supporting individuals in distress and experiencing issues ranging from suicide, abuse, assault, gender and sexuality, and those currently harming others. I have obtained specialized training in suicide risk assessment, treatment and intervention for children, youth and adults. In addition, I am particularly interested in sex therapy, couple’s counselling, eating disorders and trauma.


What is your favourite quote?

“The world gives you so much pain and here you are making gold out of it.” – Rupi Kaur, Milk and Honey

What has been the most satisfying part of being a therapist?

I feel fortunate to be in a position that allows me to witness a person’s journey toward healing and finding relief for themselves. I have yet to find an experience as fulfilling as seeing a client grow more comfortable with being vulnerable over time. It is always heartwarming to experience the therapeutic relationship between client and therapist cultivate genuine compassion, connection, and understanding between two vastly different individuals.


Masters of Arts in Counselling Psychology (In Progress)

Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Distinction


Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association Student Member


Community Helpers Program with Suicide Intervention

Brain Story Certification

Suicide Assessment and Intervention Training

Indigenous Youth Suicide Prevention Training

Living Works Start Certificate

Mental Health First Aid Training

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) Exp. 2025

QPR: Suicide Prevention Training

Trauma-Informed Care Training

First Responder to Sexual Assault and Abuse Training


  • English
  • Spanish

My areas of focus:

Anxiety & Depression
  • Suicidal Thoughts

I have experience in:

  • Abuse
  • Adolescent & Teen Issues
  • Anger Management
  • Anxiety
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Children
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Becoming a Parent or the Addition of Children
  • Behavioural Issues
  • Changes in Health
  • Child & Youth Anxiety
  • Child & Youth Depression
  • Child & Youth Self Esteem Issues
  • Child & Youth Stress and Trauma
  • Children's Mental Health
  • Coming Out
  • Communication and Negotiation
  • Compassion Fatigue
  • Cross Cultural Issues
  • Dealing with Infidelity
  • Dealing with Physical Health Issues
  • Death or Loss of a Pet
  • Depression
  • Difficult People
  • Divorce or Separation
  • Emotional Abuse
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Family Caregiver Stress
  • Family Issues
  • Family Violence
  • Food or Eating Issues
  • Gender Identity
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Graduation
  • Grief and Loss
  • Intercultural and Interracial Relationships
  • Issues Related to Bullying
  • LGBTQ2S+ Issues
  • Life Transitions and Adjustment Issues
  • Losing Someone to Suicide
  • Loss of Employment
  • Loss of a Loved One
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Marriage and Relationship Concerns
  • Panic Disorder
  • Physical Abuse
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Relationship Dependence
  • Religious or Spiritual Trauma
  • Self-Esteem Issues
  • Self-Harming
  • Sexual Assault and Abuse
  • Sexual Offending Behaviours
  • Sexuality and Intimacy Issues
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Stress Management
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Trauma
  • Weight & Eating Disorders
  • Workplace Stress
  • Workplace Trauma

My treatment approaches:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Adlerian Therapy
  • Behavioural Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy
  • Existential Therapy
  • Family Systems Therapy
  • Gestalt Therapy
  • Gottman Couples Therapy
  • Mindfulness Therapy
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Person Centered Therapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Solution Focused Therapy
  • Structural Family Therapy