Kelly Venezia Crilly, M.A., LAC, NCC
Licensed Associate Counselor
I began my educational journey at the College of Charleston, where I earned my BS in Psychology with a minor in Dance. At Montclair State University, where I earned my MA in counseling, I spent my time focusing on working with children and adolescent students, particularly in the K-12 and collegiate settings. Since then, I have worked as a school counselor, primarily at the high school level. There have been roles along the way that have influenced my practice, most notably volunteering as a chat operator for Crisis Text Line, and 2-1-1/National Suicide and Support Hotlines, where I became extremely passionate about helping people in crisis.
To complement my counseling practice (and a lifelong love of dance), I also practice and teach yoga and group fitness classes for children and adults. I fundamentally believe in never taking yourself too seriously, and finding joy in life every day. When I’m not working, you can find me on the lake, or hiking with my dog. I am also always ready to discuss lyrics, film, or anything creative. Expression is key to feeling free and being who we are.
APPROACH TO THERAPY
I specialize in working with people of all ages, especially in making life transitions and big decisions. I have worked successfully with clients who are experiencing the effects of trauma, or struggling with family dynamics, relationship issues, chronic stress or burnout (anxiety), obsessive thinking or compulsive behaviors (OCD), and mood fluctuations like depression. I am an LGBTQ+ affirming counselor and am passionate about creativity in counseling. I love working with people from all different backgrounds and ways of life.
My approach to counseling is based on meeting my client where they are. I fundamentally believe that a warm, trusting relationship is what heals us. When we feel seen, and our voices are heard, we are able to be who we are meant to be. In sessions, I draw from humanistic counseling theories, along with cognitive-behavioral, solution-focused, psychodynamic, and narrative therapy to provide a client with insight into their life and story. Sometimes that change in perspective is all we need to get back to feeling our best. Life is a dance; sometimes, we just have to rediscover our rhythm.
I consider myself to be a holistic counselor who incorporates all parts of a person in the healing process. Using the body as a window into the mind, I find myself using mindfulness-based approaches to ground my clients in their present reality. As a counselor, I see decisions about our future as a mindful process. Being grounded in the reality of the present helps us to be the people we want to be in the future, and can help us look more kindly back on ourselves in the past. This approach works well with clients who tend to overthink, intellectualize, or find themselves stuck in the decision-making process. Our bodies can bring us clarity and peace, and help us to realize the truth of what we want and how to get there.