Erin Kelly, M.A.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist – MFC 46710

Coordinator of DBT Training & Program Development

For over ten years, I have been helping children, adolescents, young adults, and families develop the skills they need to reduce their suffering and lead more fulfilling lives.  I have a passion for helping girls and young women navigate social, emotional, and societal challenges. I have worked extensively with adolescents, young women and their families to create space for alternative perspectives of self, others, and situations.

Since training intensively in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), I look at therapy as a balancing act—simultaneously accepting what is and asking for needed change. This parallels a common challenge in families; one person may be pushing another to change while the other person is asking to be accepted.  In coming to a place of balance, I have found that many families and adolescents increase their abilities to effectively communicate, negotiate, and engage with one another. When there is space for this, many problems are solved. I value and practice the tools of mindfulness that DBT incorporates in both my personal and professional lives.


• Transitioning from adolescence to adulthood
• Healing from the effects of trauma
• Coping with anxiety and depression
• Reducing and eliminating self-harm
• Developing a preferred identity and way of being
• Building self-confidence and self-efficacy
• Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a skills-based treatment modality for difficulties with emotion regulation

Additional Information about my Specialties:

I have extensive experience addressing issues related to self-injury and suicidal ideation.  Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a modality of treatment that addresses these issues directly and assists clients in building a life worth living.  I use DBT for this purpose as well as working to help clients:

• overcome various types of anxiety, including social anxiety, through exposure-based techniques
• move past depressive symptoms through behavioral activation and cognitive modification
• increase experiences of joy and fulfillment through mindfulness-based practices

I consider myself to be a mindfulness-based therapist and a lifelong student of mindfulness.

Coordinator of DBT Training & Program Development:

As Coordinator of DBT Training and Program Development, I assist the Institute’s DBT Team in fulfilling their training, education, and program goals.  I work directly with the team to assess training needs, provide supplemental training as needed, and support the implementation of evidence-based findings into the structure of the ever-evolving DBT Program.

Presentations and Workshops:

• DBT Overview: for Marriage and Family Therapy Students as part of Gonzaga University’s MFT Program.


• Listen for Love’s Sake
• Seven Action Steps to Take When the World Overwhelms
• How to Tame Comparing Mind

Advanced Training: 

• Shari Manning—Exposure
• Shari Manning—DBT Case Conceptualization
• Charles Swenson and Kelly Koerner
• DBT Intensive Training

Other Current Professional Activities:

• Consult with Dr. Charles Swenson once a month with DBT Team
• WAMFT member, attend local WAMFT trainings and events

Prior Experience:

• Optimum Performance Institute, developed residential DBT-based program for young adult women transitioning to independent living
• The Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic, Outpatient Department
• Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services
• Quest Camp, a summer program for children diagnosed with ADHD


• Phillips Graduate Institute, M.A. Psychology, Emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy
• Occidental College, B.A. Psychology

Mission:  My mission is to foster an environment where girls and women work collaboratively to discover and support one another’s unique strengths and gifts, passions and values –  to help create a sense of being fulfilled, empowered and whole.


Phone: 626-585-8075 ext. 104