About Jillian

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Jillian Kelly, MSSW, LCSW, RPT

Jillian is a psychotherapist who works with children (age 2-16) and their families. Prior to opening her practice in Asheville, North Carolina, she worked in community mental health centers with at-risk children in the Bronx in New York City for 7 years. Jillian's education and advanced training includes a Master's degree from Columbia University, service with the National Health Service Corps, certification in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF CBT), and completion of post-graduate training to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT). She is a graduate of the Association for Play Therapy’s Leadership Academy and she has served as a Board Director and Vice President of the New York Association for Play Therapy. 

Jillian has taught as an Adjunct Lecturer on the topics of Play Therapy, Trauma, and Resilience, has co-authored several publications (including Dear Mr. Leprechaun: Nurturing Resilience in Children Facing Loss and GriefPlay Therapy with Children Facing Medical Challenges; The Use of Puppets in Psychodynamic Play Therapy), and is a frequent presenter at Play and Expressive Arts Therapies conferences across the United States.  

Most importantly, Jillian respects and delights in the work of accompanying children on their journeys through hard times: from expressing big feelings, to uncovering bravery, setting healthy boundaries, and ultimately healing. Jillian is proud to be described by her patients as "goofy, silly, cares about me, remembers important stuff, playful, magical" and by their parents as "warm, attuned, spirited, can break down complicated theory and research into everyday chat, helps me help my child, calms me down, is bright without being snobby or thera-cheesy, really cares about my kid." 

Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else - Mister Fred Rogers