Featured Social Worker Dr. Linda Olson, CDV and Calmkins

Dr. Linda Olson is a psychologist, licensed psychotherapist, and social worker with over 30 years of experience in private practice and an emphasis on treating childhood trauma, focusing on Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV).

Dr. Linda Olson is a psychologist, licensed psychotherapist, and social worker with over 30 years of experience in private practice and an emphasis on treating childhood trauma, focusing on Childhood Domestic Violence (CDV). She is also one of the estimated 40+ million adult Americans who grew up living with CDV. 

Despite her many years of education and professional focus, she found herself repeating the cycle in her own marriage, as many who grow up with CDV often do, and lost two adult sisters tragically to events that each relate back directly to their childhood experience. Her personal and professional experience with CDV inspired her to dedicate her life to building awareness of CDV and helping impacted children and adults to overcome its negative effects.

Linda earned a Master’s in Social Work and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa, then subsequently a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Georgia School of Professional Psychology, Argosy University, Atlanta. 

In honor of Social Work Month, we asked  Linda to give some personal insight into the connections between her experience working with those impacted by CDV and her life work as a social worker. Here’s what she said:

“The most rewarding part of working with children and adults impacted by CDV is having the privilege of working with individuals who often have difficulty trusting others. By developing trust and a strong sense of connection, I know I am building their sense of self-worth and truly helping them transform their lives.”

When asked about the biggest challenge of being a successful woman working in the Social Work space, Linda Said:

“The biggest challenge working in the field of social work is helping children and families understand that to heal our pain, we have to stop questioning and judging ourselves and others.”

In addition to the successful ventures Linda has had in her professional life, she has also been a vital contributor to the Childhood Domestic Violence Association (CDVA), as a founding member of the Georgia CDVA chapter, as well as a longstanding board member of the Association.

Having grown up in a violent home, she lived with perpetual fear and blamed herself for much of the chaos in the home. In memory of her sisters and to help other children cope with CDV, she recently created Calmkins, a behavioral health program that brings hope to children by regulating their emotions and building social skills.  Among the tools she created are  calming weighted companions. Research shows that these objects help reduce stress in children, by providing comfort and self-soothing. Dr. Olson’s program has helped hundreds of children transform their lives to date.  

For more information on Calmkins, visit the Calmkins website here

To learn more about CDV and our work, visit cdv.org.

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