Carolyn Knarr

Therapeutic Approaches

Carolyn has a family therapy perspective, working closely with the child's parents. She training and experience includes a number of specific evidence-based therapies, including Play Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Trust-Based Relational Intervention, and Trauma Focused CBT. Carolyn utilizes art interventions and other activity-based therapies. She is knowledgeable about, and may incorporate, specific autism spectrum therapies and interventions such as Theraplay and AutPlay.

training and experience

Carolyn's work in early childhood, special education has given her much training and experience in disorders which begin in early childhood, such as autism, sensory processing disorder, early onset bipolar disorder, and ADHD.  She has been part of a team with pediatric occupational therapists, teachers, and parents in writing effective I.E.P.s.

As Clinical Director of Kids In The Middle, she trained and supervised therapists and worked with families and children in helping repair the effects of divorce and separation.  As a therapist at Our Little Haven, Carolyn worked with children with Reactive Attachment Disorder. She has gained a reputation in the St, Louis area for working effectively with RAD children and their parents, and has continued her training by attending workshops and classes. Her compassion, understanding, and knowledge about adoption-related issues has helped numerous  families in their post-adoption journeys. Carolyn uses Karen Purvis' Trust-Based Relational Intervention as the core of therapy.

Many life situations have a severe, lasting impact on children, such as abuse, death, and violence. Children can either be a victim, or witness things which children should never have to experience. Carolyn's recent work in the St. Louis Public Schools while at Kids In The Middle provided opportunity to help children with multiple trauma and family disruption histories.  Much of her other previous work included working with trauma-related issues.

Anxiety disorders are often the presenting concern in children of all ages. Carolyn uses activity and play-based therapy to help children and adolescents understand their anxiety and learn coping skills. This may includes OCD, phobias, other specific anxieties, or generalized anxiety disorder. Parents are helped to understand these disorders and how they can be supportive in their child's treatment.



Carolyn has been married for over 35 years and has 3 grown children. She has personal experience in raising a child with ADHD and sensory processing disorder, and another child with other mental health issues.

Carolyn leads a parent mentoring program at her church and has written a workbook on parenting.

She loves hiking, gardening, and camping and is inspired by the beauty of creation. She also dabbles in textile arts which reflect this beauty.