Kurt LaRose is a Clinical Social Worker (licensed to practice in the state of Florida and the District of Columbia) who has worked in the social services sector since 1987 when he began volunteering to lead chemical dependency groups at a non-profit hospital in Southeast Missouri. In 1989 LaRose co-developed, generated funds, and facilitated a drug education program for youth in grades K-12 promoting practical methods for children to “Say No To Drugs.” In 1991 he and his then wife moved from Missouri to Florida to run a group home for abused, neglected and abandoned youth with Father Flanagan’s Girls and Boys Town (the original Father Flanagan’s Boys Home). LaRose later became a licensed treatment foster parent assisting youth to move from restrictive institutional care into independent living programs. LaRose is now divorced from his wife of 25 years, with whom he remains close. LaRose is also the father of three adult children; one a Harvard grad school graduate, another a grad school graduate from Florida State University, and a third completing studies in undergraduate course work. In recent years, LaRose has taken an interest in the seemingly divergent communities of faith and the LGBTQ community—where the two have historically clashed and appear to be increasingly evolving toward commonality and community.
LaRose has experience in assisting impoverished populations to better deal with barriers that perpetuate poverty (mental illness, addiction, unemployment, lack of education, discrimination, glass ceilings, etc.) and has been awarded social services grants from public and private sources via city, county and state funding authorities. He has facilitated the transition of homeless families from living in shelters, cars, and on the streets to permanent housing while accessing federal grant monies through homeless coalitions and non-profit faith based agencies. Kurt developed policies and procedures for a basic needs department that served 4,000 clients per year, while implementing outcome measures for the professional and ethical treatment of persons in need of assistance from the same social services department. A focus of his work has been to help people access services, while monitoring the effectiveness (and/or ineffectiveness) of various specialized intervention services that are/were designed to meet the basic food/clothing, housing and budgeting needs of clients. LaRose has managed and disbursed financial assistance to prevent homelessness via rental and utility payments for individuals and families facing imminent eviction and/or living with out electricity/gas/utility services. He codified various normative policies within the non-profit agency setting, establishing formalized, standardized, equitable, and ethical services procedures for staff, volunteers, and student interns, with evaluation methods to ensure program efficacy.
He is experienced in social work program development and implementation, working within a multidisciplinary medical model program designing a case management services and mental health counseling program for a rural healthcare clinic targeting underserved African American and Hispanic populations. The multidisciplinary approach, combining the bio-psycho-soico-spiritual model with the medical model, provided outcomes in a small sample of mental health patients that highlights the cost impact of mental health counseling when the service is conjoined with medication management in the primary care setting. Some patients who were depending solely on medication for psychological relief began counseling services and ultimately reduced and/or stopped taking medication by the termination of the four month program. The analysis of the mental health and case management program is available on this website.
In the summer of 2006 LaRose joined Thomas University as an Adjunct Professor teaching Rural Health and Human Services in the Social Work Department. The professorship evolved, in part, as a result of his work and research in developing the mental health and case management services program in a rural underserved community. The academic work with Thomas currently includes field supervision and liaison field work, as well as course work in School Social Work & Conflict Resolution for undergraduate social work students.
Other mental health counseling programs have been implemented in three rural academic settings. One of the programs was co-implemented with two other professionals while LaRose served as a clinical intern with the Florida State University College of Social Work Multidisciplinary Center. Two additional programs were developed and implemented when other North Florida school districts entered into private contracts for mental health counseling services with LaRose. The ages of the clients LaRose has assisted in the elementary and high school academic settings range from 4 to age 18. The school counseling services programs target racism, “gang think,” drugs, sexual behavior, alcoholism, suicide, child abuse, divorce, death (due to AIDS & violence), sexual harassment, physical and verbal aggression, truancy, probation compliance and mandated clients, authority conflicts, and academic achievement. In 2009 and in 2010 the school counseling programs were modified to include another mental health professional to provide the onsite service delivery; LaRose continues to supervise and administer onsite SCP programs and he continues to assist with annual contract negotiations and other program implementation services when consultation services are requested; onsite programs are currently marketed to move from program implementation and training services and then transitioned to run entirely “in-house” as explained in a youtube summary, as districts are increasingly mandated to have onsite mental health services, in response to gun safety factors. at the end of the 2018 academic school year.. LaRose’s implementation of counseling programs has enabled him to provide in-service training seminars to teachers and students about the complexities of counseling, including legal issues surrounding confidentiality, adult access to juvenile records, realistic outcome expectations, and diversity goals and limitations within homogenous communities. A key component to the counseling services programs is the absence of focus on pathology and/or dysfunction, but rather counseling services promote a focus on the strengths, qualities and abilities of the youth and their families. Program evaluation and outcomes for the counseling services program (year & program 1 and year & program 2) suggest 80% to 90% efficacy in most areas assessed, across multiple years. A draft school counseling program proposal can be viewed on this website. The proposals are modified from year to year and district to district based upon various indicators, criteria and funding structures, keeping in place the muti-level multi-layer deliverables, the key cornerstone elements of the program rooted in the programs seminal efficacy indicators, multi-year outcome evaluations and LaRose’s onsite SCP programs are/were one of the few and first programs in US to evaluate mental health services in schools.
In 2013 LaRose introduced virtual/remote access secure servers for providers, teachers, and parents to access. This cutting edge approach facilitated clarification to overlapping and sometimes conflicting laws that govern academic records; the secure servers (branded to the district) keep youth mental health records in compliance with HIPAA laws, out of the path of Right To Information laws requests for state employees (ie: teachers and staff emailing about a mental health case would be accessible in a non-HIPAA secure platform) along with other variables that occur in FERPA laws. Mental health programming and services in schools, a 14 year developer and veteran to them, gained national attention in 2018 with the national spotlight shifting to mandated services following repetitive gun violence. LaRose developed a comprehensive evaluation and protocol mechanism for assessing risk and protective factors for gun violence propensity, released in draft form to the public (to stress that gun violence propensity can be profiled with multi-level and multi-layer evaluation and data gathering techniques – completed within hours of risk exposure). LaRose offers implementation assistance for school districts hoping to develop mental health services onsite.
LaRose has consulted other communities outside of the US, such as Innovative Agency Solutions with their home visit and school based programs (which was live in August 2012) in the Bahamas. Additional consultation services for onsite counseling was provide for college students, only partially codified between August 2012 – November 2013 working with the University via MOU in Kenya, and with a counseling group director as well from Rwanda, Africa. The Bahamas based program ran for a year and the Africa programs did not progress past the MOU stages.
LaRose has completed various research projects addressing the lack of quality outcomes in America’s child welfare system, while offering alternative child welfare methods based upon existing programs and models (combining social service constructs with judiciary and penal system constructs) that enables, motivates, and encourages families to succeed. His child welfare research has received university recognition and award nomination and more recently the research has been expanded into a web-based promotion and presentation that targets Florida law, foster care, adoption, shared family care, family drug courts and the termination of parental rights—which inadvertently and systemically fail to provide effective child welfare and familial rehabilitation. He has been a public speaker on the dynamic processes of child welfare, with survey research that begins with the origins of child welfare in US history, and he proposes that America change it’s view of child welfare into a concept he’s coined as the Adult Welfare Model (see also five phase model summary here).
LaRose has been a university guest speaker for bachelor level social work students addressing the micro, mezzo and macro issues involved within the poverty dynamic—beginning with the individual, the agency that is sought out for assistance, and the community that promulgates its support of the agency to address a “societal ill.” His presentations not only speak to the various social factors that enable person’s to stay within the subsistence level of functioning, but other perpetual factors such as funding and political schemas are highlighted. Further, his university presentations provoke students to become increasingly aware of their own biases that might limit the profession of social workers from being as effective as possible in meeting the needs of clients.
LaRose practices mental health counseling services in Leon County (Florida) with individuals, couples, and families facing a multitude of psychosocial dysfunctions., primarily in online digital sessions; he treats clients in face to face sessions in Washington DC. LaRose is licensed in two jurisdictions providing a myriad of services online, in the office and onsite. LaRose has worked with two school districts in the Panhandle supervising the counseling services of youth in second chance environments and other youth (K-12) who have been staffed ESE (via public/private practice contracts). As of 2018, LaRose’s School Counseling Services Program is in it’s 14th year in one rural district.
His therapeutic style is based upon the needs of each individual client, borrowing from a multitude of models and intervention techniques. He is not a mental health practitioner who standardizes diagnoses (meaning the majority of his clients are not diagnosed with the same disorders). His specialty area is mental health with an emphasis on accurate diagnosis, cooperative treatment planning (the client and the therapist agree to the treatment process and strategize to develop the quickest counseling solution) and second opinion recommendations. LaRose is credentialed to provide Clinical Hypnosis in Florida and in DC as a specialty (although LaRose continues to be eclectic based on emerging and improved biological sciences allowing mental health professionals to move away from bias and preferred treatment – to understanding brain structures and processes along with genetics, the body and the impact of environment on the entire anatomy of the human; even vocabulary is part of a brain center creating all thought). His interest in the impact of language and the written word has long been an interest of his dating back to the 80’s when he was a writer for a small family owned newspaper business; this interest developed in undergrad as he wrote and published on the evolution of language and communication. Early on his interest in communication later proved to be an asset in his work in hypnosis and his work as an author. He is also a Clinical Social Work Qualified Supervisor in Florida. LaRose is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in the District of Columbia, expanding services to DC in 2018. His work is geared toward treating clients with PTSD, stress and anxiety, relationship/couples counseling, and depression (links related to specialty areas will take the reader to in session content). LaRose has been working on his first book, expected to be out in 2019 addressing years of practice and practice related stories, contrasted to emerging sciences and implicit biases to create dialogue about all walks of life that appear on the couches of “experts” and “specialists.” The book as of early 2019, was in its second editing phase with the book publisher, and already it has been received with some fan fare, even to a trained reviewer and expert in psychology (not LaRose, but a peer!).
In 2006 LaRose joined the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Chord E-Zine publication as guest writer for a year long series of articles covering various aspects of mental health counseling. The series (published online in 2006 and 2007) addressed topics such as how to choose a therapist, resolving conflict, spirituality and mental health, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, stress reduction, and career satisfaction (Note: the Honor Cord online publication, and its online archives, were removed from the Phi Kappa Phi website in October 2008; the content of each article is published elsewhere on this website. For further information about the Phi Kappa Phi ezine Honor Cord, please contact the publisher at their website or contact LaRose for additional information about the removed archives).
In 2008 LaRose was published by the National Association of Social Workers, Specialty Practice Sections covering mental health approaches and spirituality (LaRose, 2008), Washington DC, addressing mental health provider considerations involving client requests for spiritual services during counseling. In 2009 articles started to appear in Inspire Magazine related to Stress Reduction (LaRose, 104, 2011) and in Inspire Magazine related to Career Satisfaction (LaRose, 58, 2010). In 2018 LaRose published a controversial proposition to use cryogenics in the treatment of chronic PTSD, an intervention that, as of the publishing, remains invalidated.
Mr. LaRose graduated with a Master of Social Work (Clinical Concentration) degree from Florida State University in 2005. He was awarded the degree with a 3.98 GPA and was elected to the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class. In September 2005 LaRose was published in the Chancellor’s List, a university faculty invitation-only recognition for graduate students. The academic and professional biography is one of 1 percent of the students from 3,000 different US colleges and universities honored that year. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Union Institute and University of Cincinnati, Ohio in October 2003; the BA degree was awarded with a 4.0 GPA. In 1999 LaRose’s academic biography also appeared in The National Dean’s List, an honor that is bestowed upon 1% of all college students in the US. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Scholastic Order.
In preparation for clinical licensure, LaRose worked under the direct supervision of a Florida licensed LCSW (and a registered supervisor) for nearly four years. From April 2005 to February 2009 LaRose was licensed as a Registered Clinical Social Work Intern (Fla. Lic. #ISW3858). On January 31, 2009 LaRose passed Association of Social Work Board National Clinical Examination and was licensed by the State of Florida as an LCSW (Fla. Lic. #SW9297) on February 4, 2009. In 2018, LaRose obtained another licensing credential, obtaining his LICSW in the District of Columbia (#LC50081569). He is credentialed in clinical hypnosis as well. LaRose has received continuing education credits in domestic violence, sexual addiction, HIV/AIDS, dual relationships, medical errors, forensic interviewing, delirium and dementia in the aging, disaster mental health, LGBTQ, sexual affirmative paradigms, the brain, nutrition and mental health, multicultural counseling, substance abuse and teens, and post divorce counseling, with an increasing training pursuit in neuro-biological and genetic factors in mental health treatment. In February 2012 LaRose’s private practice was identified as Leon County’s first mental health practitioner to add statewide online services, including 24 hour a day scheduling, online journaling, secure forms and records, as well as other HIPAA compliant electronic health records. In September of 2013 LaRose was credentialed as a Clinical Social Work Qualified Supervisor.
In 2016 LaRose was a Lead Presenter at the National Association of Social Workers State conference in Orlando Florida discussing the topic of Mental Health Providers using online digital private practice models to improve client outcomes and improve the professionalization of sole proprietors. Currently LaRose consults LCSW’s and LCSW Interns in setting up their digital practices with full insurance billing, client self scheduling, credit card billing—and guides them in the digital portal set up with an entire mental health practice protocol—online and live within weeks. LaRose is published on the topic as well.
LaRose offers an array of onsite services, including critical incident assessments and recommendations, professional development seminars, public presentations with literature review article distribution, employee assistance counseling, counseling services program implementation consultation, concierge retreat services, hypnosis in Florida, online sessions in Florida, and Face to Face sessions in DC, as a part of his private practice therapy services (most services can be ordered online). Office consultations can also be arranged.
For a complete resume and vitae, explicating specific dates and timelines including links to various professional, personal, and academic tasks, please click here.