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Outpatient Psychiatric Care with Kara Guglielmo

Outpatient psychiatric care provider Kara Guglielmo is pictured.

Kara Guglielmo is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) offering exceptional outpatient psychiatric care at Axis Integrated Mental Health. With a steadfast commitment to holistic healing, Kara's career trajectory was shaped by a fundamental desire to meet a critical need for professional mental health services for her community. Through firsthand experiences in high-pressure environments like the emergency department, Kara recognized the urgent need for comprehensive mental health support. This interview offers a glimpse into Kara's personal and professional evolution, from navigating their own struggles with the aid of therapy to advocating for under-researched areas such as psychedelic-assisted therapies and veteran reintegration. Beyond clinical expertise, Kara shares her top tips for establishing boundaries and sleep hygiene. 


Book with Kara

Tell us about your background and how you got started in outpatient psychiatric care

For as long as I can remember I have had a desire to help people. Initially, I believed the best way I could help people was to help their physical health; however, through my healthcare career, I found mental health was being woefully under-treated. Treating people involves treating the whole person, body, and mind. My resolve to help with mental health was solidified while working in the emergency department and seeing the need repeatedly being ignored. So many people could avoid the emergency room altogether if they sought out outpatient psychiatric care sooner, instead of waiting until it is a crisis to get help and support. Not only is it easier to recover from issues when they are dealt with early, but it's also far less expensive and less traumatic than having to go to an in-patient facility.


What's something you've struggled with in the past that you've overcome? How did you overcome it? Who helped you and how does that experience inform your practice?

I have had many struggles in my life that I have had to overcome. Many of them I would not have been able to overcome with the support of a therapist and close trusting relationships. Because of these struggles, I know how important it is to meet people where they are and not try to force too many changes too quickly. Everyone can thrive, but growth takes time. One of the advantages of going to outpatient psychiatric care at a place like Axis Integrated Mental Health is affordability and accessibility. Nearly all services are covered by insurance. You can go at your own pace and we can meet you where you are and work at the pace you're comfortable with.


What areas do you think are under researched in outpatient psychiatric care?

Axis Integrated Mental Health is one of the top providers of Spravato and ketamine therapies in Colorado. I would like to see more rigorous research in psychedelic-assisted therapies. I would also like to see more research involving veteran reintegration into civilian life and the steps that can be taken to ease that transition.                 


How do you spend your free time?

I enjoy traveling, hiking, DND, and anything that I can do with my family.  


What's your guilty pleasure?

Tik Tok is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s the best way to stay current on trends. 


What's something that you were skeptical about but actually surprised you because it's so effective?

You don't have to start outpatient psychiatric care to begin taking care of your mental health. Box breathing is incredibly effective! It’s so simple and can be done anywhere.  


If there was one thing that you could get more patients to do to take care of their mental health, what would it be?

Establishing healthy boundaries is fundamental for everyone to maintain mental health. Learning how to clearly communicate needs, limits, and expectations with others in a respectful manner can be all someone needs to upgrade their life immediately. A couple other things I would suggest:

  • Learning to say no without guilt when necessary and prioritizing well-being
  • Recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others
  • Rostering mutual understanding and respect in relationships
  • Practicing self-awareness to identify when boundaries are being crossed and take proactive steps to address them
  • Prioritizing self-care and allocating time for activities that recharge and replenish energy
  • Seeking support from friends, family, or a therapist when navigating challenging boundary-setting situations

Sleep hygiene is also key. Some tips and tricks that everyone can try:

  • Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down
  • Limiting exposure to screens and bright lights before bed as they can disrupt your natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Cultivating a comfortable sleep environment with a cool, dark, and quiet room
  • Avoiding heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol close to bedtime
  • Engaging in regular physical activity, but not too close to bedtime
  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation.

These practices can promote restful sleep and contribute to overall mental health and well-being. If sleep issues persist, consider getting a sleep study done to identify the issues. Sometimes, sleep apnea or other issues can be a culprit that can be easily fixed with a dental device or CPAP machine.


Do you define success differently today than you did when you were younger? How?

As I've matured, my perspective on success has evolved significantly. In my younger years, I predominantly equated success with the completion of specific goals or achievements. Whether it was finishing a project, reaching a certain milestone, or obtaining recognition, my focus was on the tangible outcome. However, with time and experience, I've come to realize that success is not merely about reaching a destination; it's about the journey and the continuous forward momentum. This is especially true in outpatient psychiatric care, where people can hyper-fixate more on their flaws than on their progress.

Success, to me, is not a static endpoint but rather a dynamic process of continuous development and forward momentum. It's about setting ambitious goals, striving to surpass them, and then setting new ones, thus perpetuating a cycle of growth and achievement. This shift in perspective has brought a deeper sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, as I no longer measure success by isolated achievements but rather by the progress I make along the way. 


Do you have any hobbies, projects or side hustles that you're passionate about?

My passion for the mental well-being of our military personnel runs deep, rooted in a profound respect for their sacrifices and dedication to service. I am driven by a desire to contribute meaningfully to the support and care of those who serve our country. As such, I aspire to leverage my expertise and knowledge in mental health to provide valuable insights and guidance to active-duty military members. My ultimate goal is to offer practical and effective outpatient psychiatric care tailored to the unique challenges and experiences faced by service members. I recognize the immense pressure and stressors inherent in military life, and I am committed to equipping individuals with the tools and strategies they need to prioritize their mental health and well-being. Through informative presentations, I aim to foster a culture of mental health awareness, resilience, and support within the military community, ultimately enhancing the overall readiness and effectiveness of our armed forces. It is my sincere hope that by sharing these resources, I can make a positive difference in the lives of those who serve our country bravely.


What's the phone app you use the most?

Equally Tik Tok and Snap Chat 


What's a book you think everyone should read?

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