We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Kjellsen MC, LPC and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
Just Be Counseling Services contributes to the community and world at large through advocacy, support, and healing for those struggling with mental health challenges. Mental health can sometimes be looked at in a negative light, with comments such as “they’re crazy” or “you must be really messed up to be seeking therapy services”. We and our client’s hear comments and beliefs like these regularly, and work every day to decrease, and hopefully one day, eliminate the negative stigma around mental health. Because the truth is, mental health is just as important as your physical health. We don’t think twice about going to the doctor’s office when we have a broken bone. The doctor provides an assessment and treatment plan to help the injured body part heal. Mental health counselors do the same, but for you mental wellbeing. We gather information about you and your life, assess the presenting problems, and help create and implement the best treatment plan for the client to heal and grow. We at Just Be Counseling Services strive to help individuals, families, couples, and youth work through current and past life stressors and trauma to help heal the deep wounds we all have within. It is truly magical to witness the transformations of our clients and how their bravery to show up and dedication to the work, really pays off in their lives. We emphasize that everyone is on their own life journey, filled with twists, turns, highs, and lows. We walk alongside our clients through the difficult parts of their journey and help them see the positives, explore their barriers, and find the answers that lie within, while trudging through the difficult parts of life. Each session, we work to take a little step forward. Small steps forward impact the individual, their family and friends, and their community. Just Be Counseling Services works with people from all walks of life and hope to provide a little growth and change in each of them, which will help make small changes in the community, and eventually, the world. We hope to leave this world a little better with each passing day. The name Just Be comes from the idea that each client has the ability to make their own personalized mantra to help them grow. The most important thing to remember is that it is simply enough to JUST BE YOU!
What should our readers know about your business?
My journey to pursue counseling started after a life-threatening medical diagnosis that I received while in college. I always wanted to help people and assumed that I would become a doctor one day. That was the path I was on, prior to spending several months receiving care, due to my bone marrow transplant. During my time in the hospital, I realized the face time between doctors and their patients weren’t as frequent or connective as I had originally believed. I wanted more. After my recovery, I began looking into other helping professions that really worked one-on-one with the person in need. That is where I learned about counseling. Back home in South Dakota, counseling (at that time) was not something many people sought out. I had an internship experience working with youth who were displaced from their home. In that setting, I saw how these young children were impacted and many times, by the struggles mental health had on them and their families. Unfortunately, many of these children and their family members did not have access, resources, or courage to receive the help they needed. This is when I knew mental health counseling was my calling. Fast forward a couple of years, I moved across the country with my husband to begin my next step, graduate school at ASU’s Masters of Mental Health Counseling program. I knew it was the right thing for me when I came home excited to learn and read more about the work I was studying. My internship was spent working with children and families at a local outpatient facility in Gilbert where I learned a great deal and started to narrow my focus. After graduation, I spent my next 2 years working for that same facility as well as part-time at a private practice. I’d always envisioned owning my own practice and it became a reality in 2018. The name and branding was very important to me as I wanted it to be meaningful and symbolic for my clients. We talk a lot about being mindful and aware of the present moment in therapy and I believe the words “just be” sum up mindfulness perfectly. Mantras are also helpful tools in therapy and I thought “just be” could be a cool way for client’s to add a special message that can be a helpful reminder during difficult times. Some of the personalized mantras client’s have created are “Just Be You”. “Just Be Brave”, “Just Be Kind”, “Just Be Willing”, “Just Be Strong”, and “Just Be Here and Now”. These little reminders can be a special reminder for the work they are doing in therapy. Finally, I had to decide on a logo. I chose the mountain logo as I truly believe we are all on our own life journey full of ups, downs, twists, and turns. As a therapist, I want my clients to know that I am here to walk alongside of them, helping them find the tools they need to keep moving forward, and seeing the beauty and growth in the process. It may not always be an easy road, but I believe clients have the tools they need to reach the top and it is my job to help uncover what is already within. I spent the last 3 years building my brand through networking, marketing, and word of mouth referrals. Over the last 8 months, Just Be Counseling Services has grown from a one therapist practice to a soon-to-be 6 therapist practice. I’m so pleased we have grown and are able to reach even more people in need. I am very excited for this next chapter for Just Be Counseling Services as I will be able to help new therapists grow and develop as clinicians through clinical supervision, and as a team we are able to impact many more individuals, families, and couples. Looking back, it is hard to believe my dream has come true and I get the opportunity to help, connect, and support individuals and families each and every day.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many fun things to do in Arizona and are some great spots for food and drinks. I personally love hiking and spending time outdoors. Camelback mountain’s trails are definitely on the top of the “to do” list when it comes to hiking, but I also enjoy the trails on the San Tan mountains, South mountain, and thoroughly enjoyed reaching the peak of Flat Iron on Superstition mountain. For beautiful scenery, I highly suggest Sedona to see the gorgeous red rocks. Camping is a fun summer activity we enjoy and spend much time along the Mogollon Rim. As for activities in the city, Top Golf is a fun way to spend the afternoon or evening with friends or family. My favorite spring activities are spending a day at the Waste Management Golf Tournament and catching some afternoon baseball during spring training. I am a big sports fan, so enjoy attending the Cardinals, Suns, and Diamondbacks games. There are so many good restaurants in the valley. I enjoy going to weekend brunch and would recommend OHSO and Hash Kitchen. La Casa Blanca is a wonderful, quaint Mexican restaurant in Chandler that always has great seafood enchiladas. For more seafood, we enjoy The Angry Crab, but be prepared to get messy! If you are looking for pizza, I’d highly recommend Floridino’s in Chandler and be sure to get the pizza muffins! Old Town Scottsdale has amazing places like Cien Agave, Diego Pops, The Mission, and Rehab Burger. Phoenix has many unique restaurants that I want to explore. Some of the best Thai food I’ve had is at Wild Thaiger. Chandler and Gilbert have new restaurants popping up and would encourage some exploring of the downtown areas alongside Saturday morning walk through the Gilbert Farmers Market.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have been truly blessed with a supportive and encouraging support system which has helped me pursue my dreams of opening my own mental health practice. Specifically, my parents, who have always pushed me to achieve my goals and instilled a sense of hard-work and drive, that helped me push through the tough times. To my brother, who always set the bar high and modeled persistence, belief in self, and the courage to step outside of the comfort zone. To my husband, who did not hesitate to take a life-changing move to Arizona for me to start my training, and who has been encouraging and supportive every step of the way. I’d also like to mention my training and mentors at ASU, Total Life Counseling, and Thrive Counseling Services. I’ll forever be grateful for these people as they helped shape me into the therapist I am today.
Headshot: Taylor Olivas