About Peter

Peter Carlson

Licensed Mental Health Counselor MH 2330
Certified Addictions Professional  CAP 62


I am often asked how long the therapy will take, how many meetings per week, how long it will take to feel some relief.  The rapidity of change will depend on how frequently we meet, how long you’ve been experiencing the problems, how severely they affect you, and how resourceful you are in applying what we talk about in therapy sessions to your life away from the therapy sessions.

I consider this work to be my life’s calling—a privilege to be of service to you.  I hope we can find the time to work together and help you recreate your life, to be more joyful and abundant.  I wish you well.


  • I’ve lived in the Orlando area since the early 1950’s
  • I was a professional artist for 15 years
  • I’ve experienced the death of my parents and the end of a marriage
  • I’m now happily married for over 20 years to my associate, Paula Despang
  • I’ve been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1989—license #MH2330
  • I’ve been a Certified Addictions Professional since 1988—certification #62
  • I was certified as a hypnotherapist in 1992
  • I’m an active member of the Florida Organization for Relational Studies
  • I’m a member of the American Mental Health Counselor’s Association
  • I’ve been adjunct faculty for Valencia Community College’s Professional Development Program since 1988
  • I’m the founding teacher and president of the Orlando Insight Meditation Group, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to teaching mindfulness meditation since 1993
  • I’ve been in private practice since 1992


We all are suffering through stressful changes in our culture.  We’ve given names to the varieties of suffering, such as depression and anxiety.  We’ve experienced family dysfunction, marital conflict, grieving, substance abuse, eating disorders and various other maladaptive attempts to cope with stress.

I believe there are two different goals that we can focus on in our work together: Firstly, the immediate symptoms that made you decide you need professional help can be identified and we can work together to alleviate the symptoms.  Secondly, we can focus on improving the quality of your life, so that you can experience “thrival, not just survival”.

In my practice, I strive to give the best attention possible to your situation, varying the therapy to meet those needs.  Some parts may be directive, teaching you new ways to see yourself and your resources, and helping you acquire new skills.  Additionally, an important part of the change process includes the quality of our mutual relating.  It has been my personal and professional experience that the quality of understanding and compassionate connection between me and my client is a vital part of the healing process.

Services provided:

  • Individual psychotherapy
  • Relationship counseling
  • Relapse prevention training
  • Group therapy
  • Self improvement workshops
  • Meditation training


I prefer to not accept the conditions that health insurance companies place on the therapeutic relationship.  Therefore, I’ll be working with you on a fee for service basis.  My normal fee is $120 per hour for individual or relationship counseling.  I do consider a sliding scale for those who would find the expense too much, and will gladly discuss this with you.  My fee for group therapy is $30 for one 2 hour group meeting per week.  Please feel free to discuss participation in group therapy with me.  If your insurance allows “out of network providers”, I will be glad to fill out and sign the appropriate claim forms so you can get partial reimbursement for the fees you’ve paid me.