Skip to main content

Services for Children & Families

As a Developmental Psychologist of  35 years, Dr. Karen Levine’s passion for improving the well being of neurodivergent and neurotypical young children has been the driving force throughout her career.  She uses an individualized, developmental, relationship-based approach to therapy, incorporating playfulness, fun and humor when feasible, working to  increase happiness and lower anxiety and distress.  Karen’s practice is guided by a neurodiversity affirming orientation. She believes there is not a one size fits all approach to therapy, and that individual children and families need different kinds of support at different points in their development.

Karen interviewed on Barry Prizant’s Uniquely Human Podcast

Karen is a Licensed Psychologist with a Ph.D. in Psychology from Boston University (1989), a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1985) and a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Brandeis University (1982).   She holds an academic appointment as a part-time Lecturer on Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and as Adjunct Faculty, Lesley University.  She was the co-founder and co-director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Autism Program in the late 1980’s, of the Building Blocks and the Spotlight programs of the Northeast ARC in the late 1990’s.  She formerly worked at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Cambridge Health Alliance.

Karen developed a play-based approach to treat children’s fears and phobias, integrating a version of the evidenced based behavioral tool of Gradual Exposure, which she has re-conceptualized as Gradual Incorporation, within a joyful, developmental, individual differences play-based model. This approach is described in her book, Attacking Anxiety, is currently called Behavior Play Therapy or Affective Play Incorporating Fears (APIF), and is being studied and manualized by Bonnie Klein-Tasman, Ph.D., and her research team, at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.

Karen is the recipient of the 2012 Lesley University Autism Hero Award, and the 2010 Federation for Children with Special Needs Founders Award. She is an ICDL DIR/Floortime Training Leader and Expert DIR® Floortime™ provider.  Karen conducts workshops regionally and nationally

Karen has authored numerous articles and book chapters, and with Naomi Chedd, she has authored 3 books: