I have been working in career counseling and mental health for fifteen years! Over the years, the majority of my experience has been in colleges and universities. I love working in higher education, and I credit my various roles on campuses in NY and NJ with sparking my interest in, and love for, working on both career and gender-based issues.
As the former coordinator for a campus Women’s Center and a member of a group that created a campus Bystander Intervention program, I learned what abuse and assault look like, and how different it is for each person. I have put together several violence prevention campaigns and facilitated psycho educational groups to increase awareness and discuss instances of intimate partner violence.
Sometimes what we experience as women isn’t necessarily violent, but it is discriminatory. That is something I have experienced first hand, and why you can trust me on your journey to empowerment. I am a daughter, mother, wife, sister, and most importantly, I am a woman. A woman who knows what is like to be treated “less-than”, to be discriminated against because of her gender, and to struggle with self-esteem because of negative internalized messages. This pushed me to continue my education to become Dr. Kelly and focus my research on gender-based violence. This is also why I have completed multiple trainings toward the NJ Domestic Violence Specialist certificate, and why I was a trained Confidential Sexual Violence Advocate in Essex County, NJ. I know that traumatic experiences (including but certainly not limited to abuse, violence, and discrimination) are often the root cause of feeling powerless, so I also became a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional to learn effective ways to work with survivors of trauma.
Some people might find it strange, after reading about all this training and focus on gender-based issues and empowerment, that I also work with individuals on their career issues. But here’s the thing – feeling unheard and being discouraged from setting big, high-achieving goals has an effect on our careers. It can prevent you from pursuing the job or career you really want; from asking for that raise or that flexible schedule you deserve; and from putting your career satisfaction and success before the needs of others. I see it. All. the. time. I love career counseling and think it is truly undervalued.
Part of counseling is being challenged on your assumptions, behaviors, and negative self-talk, and I will challenge you. That is what helps us to focus inward, reflect on difficult feelings and experiences, and make lasting change. But I also know, especially when working with people who have been silenced for most of their lives, that sometimes all you need is for someone to listen. I will do that, too.
- PhD, Counselor Education (2022)
- Read my research here: The Lived Experiences of Traditionally Aged College Women in Abusive Relationships
- Master of Arts, School Counseling (2008)
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), May 2019, #37PC00681100
- Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), April 2014, #337049
- Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP), April 2020
- New Jersey State School Counselor, May 2008, #697127* (maiden name Kelly Kuehn)