Personal experience with counselors as a child and young adult, inspired Kelly to follow that path. Their compassion and care made her realize she wanted to be there for people in the same way. She sees people as more than just what they are going through and helps them to see their worth.
One of Kelly’s favorite quotes is, “Every storm runs out of rain” by Maya Angelou. It reminds her that feelings, thoughts, and circumstances are temporary. There are always storms throughout life. You can learn how to weather them but may need help along the way. This can mean many things. Healing from trauma and grief, learning to organize your thinking and feel your feelings. It can also be finding the tools and strategies that allow you to reach your goals. Kelly believes her role is to help you discover who you want to be. Everyone continues to grow and learn all through life.
Kelly works with ages 4 and up. Her extensive experience helps people dealing with mental illness, a history of trauma, grief and loss, childhood abuse and neglect, and self-image. She also specializes in working with people experiencing compassion fatigue and/or secondary trauma due to their profession—social workers, nurses, and therapists.
With extensive education, Kelly has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Mary Washington College and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has training in the forensic interviewing of children, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional.
As a trained presenter of ACE Interface, Kelly is passionate about educating others about the adverse childhood effects of childhood trauma on brain development. She says it is important to ask what happened instead of what is wrong, and care enough to find the answers.
Working with clients, Kelly creates a safe, nurturing environment to build trust. She uses mindfulness strategies, Cognitive Behavioral Treatment techniques, and Creative Expressive therapies, including art and music. As a team, Kelly explores which evidence-based tools are most helpful for you. The goal is for you to continue practicing them when your session ends.
Most of Kelly’s experience to date has been as a social worker, working in social service agencies including child protection. She uses play and art therapy techniques to help children open up. Kelly’s social work experience flows naturally in to becoming a full-time therapist. It prepared her to see how life experiences shape and affect everyone’s lives. She says it is the connections we make that make life worth living. When people are experiencing the worst times in their lives, it is important to see the whole picture to honor and show respect.
Kelly has a passion for social justice, especially for those discriminated against, put down, seen as ‘less than’, and those characterized or labeled for their faults without taking their whole story in to account.
Kelly says it is a privilege to be part of her clients’ wellness journeys. “I honor that by providing trauma-informed, person-centered care with compassion, authenticity, and creativity. I look forward to meeting you, exploring how to ease your emotional pain and helping you find your own way to live life intentionally in a way that is meaningful to you.”
To make an appointment to see Kelly, call Aram Wellness Center today.