Kelly Ford is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with extensive experience working with children, teens, individuals, groups and families. Kelly believes that every individual seeking counseling services is unique and therefore her approach to therapy is unique to each client as well. Through the use of cognitive behavioral, solution focused, dialectical behavioral, trauma focused techniques and empathic listening, Kelly helps clients make positive changes in their lives and empowers them to recognize their inner strength. Kelly strives to build a strong therapeutic relationship with her clients in order to assist them on their personal journey. Kelly also uses play therapy techniques to work with children as young as four years old.
Prior to joining Polaris Counseling, Kelly worked for several years as a sexual abuse therapist for a non-profit agency. During this time, Kelly provided specialized services to children and teens who had experienced trauma, abuse, neglect and a variety of mental health issues. She also worked with youth demonstrating sexually problematic behavior. Kelly has extensive experience working with children and teens on issues such as divorce, grief and loss, self esteem, and social skills issues, as well as adults suffering from depression, anxiety, parenting and relationship problems, and other mental health concerns. Kelly has spent a significant amount of her professional career educating parents and the community about child and adolescent mental health issues through specialized classes and community outreach events. Kelly believes parents and the family system as a whole are crucial to the therapeutic process when working with children and adolescents. She attempts to incorporate family involvement as much as possible while still giving the child or teen autonomy, and a safe place to call their own.
Kelly holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology with a focus in Clinical/Community Mental Health from Western Illinois University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois State University. Kelly grew up in the suburbs of Chicago (go Cubs!) and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves traveling to new destinations, working on DIY projects, and trying new restaurants. Kelly has a passion for animals and loves spoiling her rescue dog and cat!
What people are saying about Kelly:
“Words cannot express how much Kelly has assisted our family! I am not sure where we would be without Kelly. My daughter had been seeing Kelly for couple of years off and on. She was adopted since birth but around the age of 5 she starting exhibiting displays of anger especially in school which led to a couple of suspensions. Kelly was able to tap into my daughter’s creative side by coming up with games and different art activities and that they could do together and we could also do at home as a family. At the end of their session, she was able to print off little coloring pages to take home since she worked so hard during therapy. Kelly made their sessions fun, fresh and exciting! It never seemed like a chore to see Kelly but more like a reward!”…
Kelly’s Recommended Readings:
Crazy Love-Leslie Morgan Steiner
How Can I Get Through To You?-Terrence Real
The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog-Bruce D. Perry
Overindulged Children: A Parent’s Guide to Mentoring-James Fogarty
Freeing Your Child From Anxiety-Tamar Chansky, Ph.D
The Five Love Languages-Gary D. Chapman
Codependent No More-Melody Beattie
The Connected Child-Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Sunshine
Understanding Your Child’s Sexual Behavior: What’s Natural and Healthy-Toni Cavanagh Johnson