Karolina Shander, PhD

I received my Counseling Psychology PhD from the University of North Texas. Throughout my training, I have worked with a wide range of individuals, adolescents, and groups with varying presenting concerns. Also, I specialized in Sport & Performance Psychology while working with athletes, military, performers and other folx focusing on high achievement in their respective fields. I use an integrative relational approach to therapy, with numerous skills derived from evidence-based approaches which focus on the developmental nature of transition and change. Feel free to continue reading below to learn more about my expertise and approach to therapy. I look forward to working with you.

Whether you are starting or continuing your journey in therapy, your voice and connection to your therapist are a vital part of the therapeutic process. Therefore, if questions do come up while you peruse the page, feel free to give me a call for a 10-15 minute consultation to discuss questions, concerns and for us to determine together if we would be a good fit.

I believe that we as humans strive to perform each and every day, whether it is at our job, at home, with our loved ones, and we ultimately try to be our best selves. Together we can embrace transition, set and achieve your goals, and cultivate long-lasting change in your life.



(469) 892-8580

1130 N. Kimball, Ste 120, Southlake TX 76092

Populations Served
    • People experiencing transitions (retirement, job shift, motherhood, single parent, etc.) or significant lifestyle changes (injury, accident, etc).
    • People looking to increase life satisfaction
    • People who experience depression, anxiety, trauma, grief, loss, relationship concerns, self-doubtPeople
    • People experiencing body image difficulties and eating concerns (eating disorders, eating disorder recovery)
    • Identity exploration
    • Adolescents
    • Athletes (injury, performance enhancement, identity exploration, identity foreclosure, retirement)
    • Performers (artists, musicians)
    • High-performing individuals (military, first responders)
    • I/O (leadership, team cohesion)
My Approach to Therapy

Our lives are full of various transitions as we develop and grow. Some transformations may result in distress, and some may be positive, all of which impact us and who we are. I believe that our experiences can be problematic when we cannot make sense of them, or they do not fit our understanding of who and how we show up in the world. Whether you are noticing an unexplainable change, searching for a transition due to feeling stagnant or stuck or experiencing a major life shift, therapy can be a space where that change can play out and be acknowledged with safety. Together we can embrace your authentic experience, make meaning out of life fluctuations or shifts, and collaboratively identify new strategies that not only allow you to overcome these transitions, but to thrive as the most congruent version of you.  

My theoretical orientation lies within an integrative relational theory where your needs are emphasized, utilizing diverse techniques grounded in relational psychoanalytic thought with an integration of cognitive behavioral, systemic, and humanistic-experiential therapies. I believe a strong therapeutic relationship with clients is the crucial element in the process of change, and the understanding of how alterations in maladaptive patterns structured by each human’s individual story can lead to growth and healing. I view all humans entering the therapeutic space as the expert of their own experience, and I want to understand how this impacts you and help develop strategies to empower yourselves in situations or provide a space to heal.

What You Can Expect

Therapy can be challenging, but incredibly powerful. Collaboration and sharing ownership in the process is my goal. You are the expert of your experience and we together will come up with solutions, interventions and changes. In my role, I can offer candid feedback, support, resources and insight. Strong emotions can emerge and sometimes you may experience emotional and mental turmoil. You will not be alone.

In therapy with me you can expect an approach that is individually tailored to your needs, where your feedback and input is cherished. If your goals  change, we can pivot together to identify how we can best work together to achieve the most purpose and satisfaction in your life… even when life hands us tribulations or blessings we are not expecting. I am committed to you and your journey, wherever that road takes us.


2021-Current: Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Private Practice, Chrysalis Center

2020-2021: Pre-Doctoral Internship in Psychology, Texas A&M University Counseling and Psychological Services

2014-2021: Masters and Doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of North Texas with special emphasis in Sport and Performance Psychology

Dissertation: College Student Athletes’ Psychological Well-Being in Retirement: A Longitudinal Analysis

2010-2014: Bachelors degree in Psychology from University of Iowa with special focus on Human Relations and Sport Psychology

Training and Experience
  • I received training from a generalist program, which focused on many models of therapy and treatment approaches for various presenting concerns such as depression, anxiety, personality concerns, eating disorders and identity development.
  • My training included an emphasis in Sport and Performance Psychology, which focused on optimal performance for high performing individuals (athletes, first responders, military), as well as navigating various components of sport such as team cohesion, leadership, navigating injury, return to sport, retirement, switching positions, among other concerns. My training also focused on how to work with sport teams, including coaches and other performance staff (nutritionists, athletic trainers, doctors), to create a cohesive and high performing environment for excellence.
  • I completed my doctoral internship at Texas A&M University, where I conducted individual, couples, and group counseling services to college students, performed psychological assessments for general personality and learning disorders, and worked within the Athletic Department to support athletes with individual and group therapy, as well as consult with coaches for optimal performance of their teams.
  • I have facilitated therapeutic groups on self-worth, grief, transitioning/retirement from sport and interpersonal relationships.
  • I have worked in university counseling centers and community clinics.

My past research has focused on transition out of elite sport and its impact on psychological well-being, mainly depression/anxiety factors, eating disorder symptomatology and satisfaction with life.

Future research interests include identifying and constructing protocols for athletes transitioning out of sport for various reasons (i.e. injury, lack of playing time, graduation),  to improve outcomes in interventions. 

I am also interested in transitions for all humans. I want to understand the factors that facilitate and hinder life satisfaction during life transitions that each and every person faces (i.e. death, loss, job change, role change, identity change, geographical move, etc.).