Karmaria Negron, MSW, QMHP-C/A Supervisee in Social Work, Clinical Supervisor: Marianne Redmond Lopez, LCSW

Karmaria Negron earned her M.S.W. with a concentration in Direct Service Mental Health from the Howard University School of Social Work and her Bachelors in Sociology from the University of Virginia.  She received her Level I Certification for Advanced Trauma Treatment from The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy Training and Education.  She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and is currently working towards Virginia Clinical Social Work licensure under Clinical Supervisor, Marianne Redmond Lopez, LCSW.

Why Clinical Social Work?

What I love best about becoming an LCSW is the opportunity to meet a diverse population of people.  As a Social Worker, empowering people for change is at the core of our ethos!  I feel that clinical social work gives me the privilege of building a therapeutic relationship with my clients and I don’t take that privilege for granted. Often when people come in for a session they are at a place of vulnerability.  They have invited me into their lives as they seek change in one way or the other.  From that point trust is a critical component of the relationship foundation.  It is impossible to forge forward with ethical integrity, particularly when it comes to the client centered therapeutic relationship.  

My motto is that the therapeutic relationship is like a ship! They are the captain; my only job is to provide navigational support!  What I love best about this process is seeing clients reach that “a-ha” moment, when they recognize they have what it takes to be the best they can be!  It is such an amazing transformational process; I consider it an honor to be invited to be a part of their journey.

Karmaria has deep roots working in the Fredericksburg community. She brings years of experience working with children, adolescents, families, and adults. Her specialties include working with clients who have experienced trauma, specifically sexual abuse or sexual trauma. The healing process is not something to be taken lightly.  Her goal is to empower her clients through the journey of healing and self-discovery.  

She highlights her experience with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.   During her tenure with the USMC she gained valuable experience while supporting her command in laying the foundation for a sexual assault program aimed at helping Marines, who experience trauma, to report and move through the adjudicatory and healing process.  It was at that time that she decided to refocus her attention on providing direct therapeutic services.  

Sexual trauma can affect anyone, including men, women, and children whether directly or indirectly.  The impact of sexual trauma has lasting effects on both the survivors but also on the community as a whole. According the RAINN’s website:  

Victims of sexual assault are:

  • 3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
  • 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol
  • 26 times more likely to abuse drugs
  • 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide

As the coordinator of IJ’s AWARE program, we seek to increase community awareness through education and training, as well as create a place for survivors to successfully navigate the short and long term impacts of sexual trauma in their lives.  I deeply understand the impact of trauma on children and families. I believe that survivors of trauma can thrive and lead successful lives with the right support.  I have a strong desire to empower others to understand the impact of trauma on the community as a whole and to come together to foster an environment of healing and awareness. Because our services are client centered we will be able to offer advocacy, support and more focused trauma therapy to help.  

As a former parent educator with RACCAP Karmaria was afforded the opportunity to empower families who desired to incorporate positive parenting and grow in their parenting roles.

I have worked with many families, children and adults who have been damaged by abuse and neglect. Both can have profound effects on child and family attachments.  Attachment work can be very challenging yet extremely rewarding work for therapists to engage in.  

Throughout her work history,   Karmaria has worked cross-culturally with a variety of individuals including different races, socio-economic status, religions and nationalities. She feels it is import to meet people where they are to effectively help them stir up what is inside of them and grow.  She cites her own walk of faith that affords her the strength and ability to take the healing journey with individuals who are seeking therapeutic support.

My goal is to remove the stigma of seeking and receiving therapy.  We here in Fredericksburg have seen our share of community tragedies where mental health support could have made a major impact on individual lives and families.  I am pursuing my LCSW specifically because it is my desire to bridge the gap and help end the stigma around receiving therapy.  For too long in our society, we have labeled seeking mental health support as a sign of weakness.  I personally believe that it takes courage and strength to seek help…to say “this (my life, my feelings, my sadness, my anger) is something I need help or direction with” and to seek help.  Despite technology creating an atmosphere of ease, “everything at the tap of a finger…” technology allows us to hide.  The very foundational and fundamental need for human connection support becomes more elusive as we “instasnap” our lives onto a screen.  Now please hear me, technology is great and it has great value but as a Social Worker, I see how it helps create an atmosphere where seeking professional support is not an easy step to make.

As a clinician, my goal is to empower and impart hope with sound clinical principles.  I look forward to joining you on your journey to health and healing…