A bridge leading to a beach at sunset.

About Therapy

A person holding their head, looking distressed.Is it time yet?

The pain of the past, self-doubt, inner conflict… it’s too much to carry by yourself.

Sometimes you think…

“I’ve got this.”

“Things are good enough.”

But you might also have a little voice saying, “Does it really have to be this hard?”

Maybe you’ve been thinking about this for a while…

But then you picture yourself in a therapist’s office, and all the doubt comes tumbling out!

“I won’t know what to say!”

 “I can’t put into words what’s wrong with me!”

 “I haven’t been to therapy before, so I don’t know how to do this!”


When you come into my office, I’ll offer you a cup of tea. We’ll talk… the way you talk to a person who is genuinely curious about who you are.

You do not need to entertain me. I will find you interesting and important anyway. You don’t need to know “what your problem is.” We will find a way to bring it into focus… together.

People walking on a trail in hiking shoes.After we’ve gotten to know each other a bit…

We may take our work outside. We might walk to the local park. You may find that walking while you talk brings new energy and opens perspectives.

Or you may just find my quiet, relaxing office to be the perfect space to do all your therapy.

I’ll help you tell your story.

We’ll find a way to tell it that makes sense to you.

Then, I will help you harness your creativity and focus on your dreams to redirect your story as you see fit.

Carol Bartels facing away from the camera, looking into the distance.I know how a great therapist can help you transform.

I’ve been there… stuck, overwhelmed, in pain. Therapy in my twenties helped move me forward.

I finished therapy feeling wide awake in my own life.

And how did he do this? Mostly by being an authentic, wide-awake, self-accepting person himself. He brought all of who he was to the job.

And I knew I wanted to do that, too.

About Me

Carol Bartels, LMFT, smiling.I’ve always liked relating to people on more personal levels.

Before becoming a therapist, I was an educator for 20 years. And I always cherished the time after class when a student asked a question, and I had a chance to work with them one-on-one. Their life problems always seemed more important to me than the academic ones.

Even as a little kid, I had a cozy spot under a bush that was my special thinking/feeling spot. I would invite friends to sit and think and feel and discuss with me. They thought I was weird.

When I watched the news, I didn’t just see politics and protests and calamities. I saw people trying to find their place in this world. I saw traumas, individual, generational, and collective, playing out as conflict and war. And I believed there was a way through, one person at a time, to healing and better understanding.

You might say that I “heard the call.”

I had a growing sense that I could be one of those people who could sit with others in their pain and help them move through it to a more satisfying place.

I know people long to talk about their deepest fears, most painful experiences, their most awe-inspiring observations without fear of judgment because that’s what I want.

Becoming a therapist later in life is an asset. I went through school as a mother, a daughter of a dying parent, and a wife in a struggling marriage. So the education wasn’t just theoretical. I had the real-life experience that let me see how the theory works in practice.

Now, with ten years under my belt as a therapist, I am just coming into my prime.

Being a therapist allows me to keep evolving and use my creativity to address life’s problems. I can incorporate all of who I am into my work: the me who is a parent, a happily-married-person-the-second-time-around, a pet lover, a gardener, a crafter, a social justice warrior, and an earth lover.

I look forward to putting my creativity to work for you!

I will help you find energy, peace, and hope again.

Call me for a free 20-minute consultation: (562) 548-8999. We will chat to see if I am the right person to be with you on this leg of your journey.