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Meet Kelsee Keitel

My name is Kelsee Keitel and I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor Associate, Nationally Certified Counselor, Licensed Educator, and Outdoor Leader based in Indianapolis, Indiana. 

 

I’m passionate about empowering others through mental health care, psycho-education, and outdoor recreation, which is why I founded Hemlock Counseling Services.

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The words most often used to describe me are: Calming, Adventurous, Authentic, Sweet, Goofy, and Driven. 

In my free time I enjoy cycling, mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, and camping. I also host a podcast that discusses mental health and outdoor recreation, called Switchback: An Outdoor Community Podcast. 

I have experience working with a diverse range of clients as a former school counselor, rock climbing instructor, and dance coach. I completed my Bachelors degree at Indiana University and my Masters at Butler University. I am currently practicing under supervision at Peace of Mind Counseling, as I prepare for my board exams.

A Few Things About Kelsee

I’m usually drinking a sparking water or hot cocoa.

I love to cook.

I keep a special stash of cash specifically for Long’s Donuts.

My favorite day of the year is the first spring morning that the earthworms resurface.

I’m a big fan of live concerts and comedy shows.

I’m unashamedly into the woo-woo (Libra Sun, Gemini Moon, and Cancer Rising if you’re curious)!

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Training & Credentials

Licensed Mental Health Counselor (A)
Butler University 2019


Nationally Certified Counselor
NBCC 2019


Licensed School Counselor (Indiana, K-12)
Butler University 2019


Certified Family Life Educator (P)
NCFR 2016


QPR Certified
Indianapolis 2018

Grief Group Facilitator Training
Brooke’s Place 2018

Suicide Prevention Advocate + Volunteer
AFSP 2021

BS Applied Health Science
Indiana University 2016

Major: Human Development & Family Studies
Minor: Human Sexuality

MS Education
Concentration - School Counseling
Certificate - Mental Health Counseling
Butler University 2019

Counseling Philosophy

My counseling philosophy is the sum of theoretical orientation + evidence-based practices + personal beliefs, outlined below.

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I believe that our thoughts are powerful and when we change our thoughts, we change our life. As a result, much of my work is rooted in Cognitive, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. My Person Centered practices also draw from elements of EMDR, Mindfulness Training, Somatic Experiencing, Acceptance & Commitment, Gestalt, Attachment, and Behavioral Theories.


I believe all people are capable of facilitating their own growth, healing, and self-actualization when given the right support and guidance. This is why I take an empowering, strengths-based, person-centered approach to providing you with the support you need to achieve your goals as a resilient human being.


I believe that therapy is a partnership. We will work together to develop your treatment plan in order to meet your needs and achieve your goals. We are both experts in our own way. Don't expect to let therapy happen to you. Therapy is active, challenging, and hard work that continues to take effect in-between sessions.


I believe clients have a right to understand the therapeutic process. I take a psycho-educational approach with therapy, meaning that I teach clients along the way. I will be transparent because I want you to understand the approaches we are taking, so that you are empowered. There’s no magic secrets here.


I believe that nature can be highly therapeutic. The outdoors can facilitate new personal insights and a unique personal growth that does not occur indoors. This is why I provide an outdoor therapy experience.


I believe in walking my own talk. This is why I also am participating in my own mental health counseling, mentorship, coaching, energy healing, and seeing my primary care physicians regularly. I believe this is a crucial element of responsibly providing your care.


I believe that we are holistic beings, and that our physical, mental, social, and spiritual healths are intertwined; Impacting one, affects all the others. Your holistic health is important to me as your mental health counselor, so I am happy to collaborate with any other practitioners you are working with.


I understand that traditional therapy can often seem too formal and intimidating. Staring into a therapist's eyes while sitting in a stuffy office chair isn't the best environment for every client. My solution to this is to use a soothing, positive, and strengths-based approach to help clients reach their goals while blending outdoor recreation and movement as a part of the therapeutic process. Overall, my goal is to meet you where you are as you aim to reach your goals.

The Story Behind the Name: Hemlock

As a child, most of my weekends and breaks from school were spent in the woods. One of my family's favorite adventure spots was Hemlock Cliffs in Southern Indiana. 

Throughout adolescence and into early adulthood, I spent less and less time in nature, however. 

 

After a series of life transitions, relational pains, and heartaches of my own, I began to reconnect with the outdoors. 

Long neighborhood walks, reflective hikes, solo backpacking trips, meditative bike-rides, rock climbing community trips, and park-bench talks with friends helped me to heal and grow through my own journey. While navigating the ebbs and flows of life, two things remained clear to me: 

  1. Nature provided a nice exhale and safe setting to process my grief and pain.

  2. Movement provided a sense of empowerment and healing when life seemed out of my control.

A canopy of Hemlock trees above, and a conglomerate of rock and roots below paved the way for my own healing. 

My experience was providing personal evidence to support what I had learned as a licensed counselor and outdoor enthusiast: movement and nature can be a powerful element in the therapeutic process. 

I named my counseling practice after the Hemlock trees because they embody what I want my clients (and myself) to be:

  • They are one of the few trees that grow and thrive in dark, shady places.

  • They have deep roots which give them strength and resilience through all whether.

  • They are coniferous trees, bearing fruit (pinecones) and remaining green no matter the season.

  • They contribute greatly to the ecosystem around them, providing life-giving nutrients to the water systems nearby.

 

The Hemlock trees remind us that there is still room for growth and prosperity, even amidst dark and cold storms. They demonstrate that we can still stand tall no matter the season.

It is my hope that by working with Hemlock Counseling Services, you will come to realize that you can be a Hemlock Tree too.

Have you heard the podcast?

Kelsee also hosts a podcast called "Switchback" with the goal of creating a community built by decreasing barriers of access to outdoor recreation through the avenues of story-telling, expert interviews, and honest conversations about mental health and the outdoors.

To learn more about the podcast, click here.