Keely (she/hers) holds a Master of Science in Gender, Development and Globalization from the London School of Economics as well as a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from the University of British Columbia. She began her social work career working with survivors of torture, refugees, women fleeing domestic violence and survival sex trade workers.
Keely has sixteen years combined education and experience supporting clients with various issues related to trauma, mental health, addiction, eating disorders, abortion and domestic violence. Keely has worked with individuals, couples and families. Keely loves to be challenged, loves to learn and wanted to gain even more knowledge to better help guide her clients which is what brought her back to completing her Masters of Social Work.
Keely is the recipient of the 2021 UBC School of Social Work Equity Award.
The goal of this award is to recognize student contributions to the struggle for equity and social justice and contributions to any of our equity themes: Indigenous; LGBTQI2S+; (dis)ability; immigrant; and/or BIPOC issues. Social justice and equity have always and will always be the driving force in Keely's practice.
Keely believes in creating a non-judgmental, safe space for clients. She believes that clients are the experts of their own lives.
Grief and Loss
Strengths Based Therapy
Intersectional Feminist Theory
Trauma Informed Therapy
What experience or background do you bring to your counselling and supervision practice that is uniquely yours?
I’ve had the privilege to work with some of the most vulnerable populations imaginable. One of my strengths is there is nothing you can say that will surprise me or scare me. I’m here for it all! I have a real sincerity and genuineness of connecting with people. I’m authentic and funny and creating deep meaningful connections is not only a guiding force in my practice but in my everyday life. I believe that being sincere and genuine helps break down the barriers that there may be between myself and my client.
What is your favourite thing about working closely with people every day?
I love hearing people's truths and stories and learning about who they are and who they want to become. I love creating a space where people can laugh and cry and walk away feeling heard and valued.
What is a personal challenge that you have overcome in your own life?
When my grandmother passed away very suddenly the grief I felt was all consuming. My emotions went in waves. Extreme sadness, feeling numb and I could not stop feeling angry. I could not function. I felt hopeless and out of control. That’s when I knew I needed help navigating my feelings and learning some tools that would help me process what was happening to me. That's when I started going to counselling and started to peel back the layers of the emotions I felt I had no control over. I learned how to sit in the grief and allow myself to feel what I needed. Counselling taught me how to process my emotions so they moved through me.
What have you learned from your work?
That human beings are unbelievably resilient. That having a safe space and safe person to say your truth is the best way to navigate through whatever life throws at you, good or bad.