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Exploring Life & Business with Kelsey Galer of North Star Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsey Galer. 

Hi Kelsey, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I entered the mental health field with the goal to maximize the quality of life for those struggling with mental health disorders. After earning my license to practice as a mental health counselor, I started my practice, North Star Therapy. I liked this name because the North Star has helped millions of people find their way for centuries. Like a good therapist, it offers guidance when you need it most. 

Millions of people live with unmanaged stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other issues that are highly responsive to treatment if you get help. Too many of us have witnessed the detrimental effects unmanaged mental health issues can have on individuals, families, communities, and society at large. Positive mental health functioning is so important because it gives us the ability to connect with other people through positive relationships, provide for ourselves and contribute to the world around us, prevent disease and negative health outcomes, and most importantly, feel joy in living. 

I feel so lucky to have the privilege to help people on their journeys toward health and happiness. Day after day, I am humbled by the resiliency of my clients. They inspire me immensely. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I love the quote by Maya Angelou that says “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty”. I suppose we imagine the butterfly feeling safe and comfortable in that cocoon while it makes its metamorphosis, but it’s more likely to be dark, scary, and uncomfortable in there. Change is hard, and so is pushing yourself through the discomfort of getting to where you want to be. It hasn’t always been a smooth road and I’ve encountered many of challenges that forced me to grow. 

I hit plenty of roadblocks on my journey completing, in total, six years of higher education and two years of post-graduate internship before earning my license. Landing an internship as a pre-licensed professional can be somewhat of a unicorn in this field, which is why I dedicate part of my practice to helping aspiring counselors through internship opportunities. 

When it came to starting a business, that was not something I went to school for, and a lot of it was learning as I go. I would say my job is 80% psychotherapy, 10% business, and marketing, and 10% tech, as everything we do now has a technological component. The way I operate is, if it’s something I can learn myself, I won’t outsource it. This helped save money, which was pertinent to offset the high cost of education. More so, this approach diversified my skills, from writing content for my website, rehabbing office furniture, and collaborating with other providers in the community. 

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I recently shared the successful program I use to treat the issues I see the most and published my first book: “How to Treat Anxiety, Depression, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Streamlined Guide for Mental Health Counselors”. I would say these are my areas of specialty, though I treat many other issues as well. 

It’s exciting that mental health is becoming less stigmatized because it means more people will get help. Additionally, there is a growing awareness that you don’t need a diagnosed pathology to attend therapy. Perhaps you just want another perspective, a safe space to grow, or support as you navigate challenges. 

North Star Therapy treats adults, couples, and adolescents ages 16+. We are located along Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa. We have a renowned therapy fish named Frued who is completing his thesis soon. This next year North Star Therapy will be expanding and hiring more counselors to better serve the community, which is something I am very excited about. 

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