Kelsey Feldman is a sun-loving therapist-to-be whose sweet and generous personality is exemplified in every sentence she speaks as she chats about her life in her Southern California apartment.
Feldman is a master’s student studying marriage and family therapy and psychology at Brandman University, a Preschool Manager, and is working with Rachel Wright as her Right-Hand Human/Executive Assistant and Therapist Mentee.
However, Feldman didn’t always dream of becoming a therapist.
“I guess as long as I always thought, since I was a child, I was going to be a teacher,” tells Feldman “I grew up just knowing.”
When Feldman started attending her first undergraduate program to become a teacher as well as started teaching preschool, life threw her a huge curveball.
“I was in and out of the emergency room, five times in a year. I went to specialists, to gastroenterologist, to try to figure out what was wrong,” says Feldman.
She explains, “I was in pain. I was nauseous every day and I lost so much weight.”
After experiencing so much pain without a beneficial treatment plan, Feldman began to struggle with anxiety, depression, and some agoraphobia.
It wasn’t until she finally found a therapist who she felt comfortable with that she experienced a turning point; Explaining that it took a number of months to find an affordable therapist within her insurance plan, who was taking on new patients, and who she felt she could connect with and trust.
Coincidently, Feldman also read an article about the benefits of exercise on mental health around the same time that she began seeing her new therapist.
After joining a gym and hiring a personal trainer with the hopes that it would help her regain her appetite, Feldman says that she met someone who mentioned that she would be good at highly athletic TV shows, specifically American Ninja Warrior.
“So, I tried it and fell in love,” says Feldman who began working as an obstacle tester for a number of TV programs.
Feldman tells that during this time she met her best friend and now trainer who introduced her to Spartan Racing; an obstacle race that promotes empowerment and “extreme wellness,” according to their website.
It was through this passion for exercise and continued active participation in therapy that Feldman began to feel better both mentally and physically as well as sparked an interest in becoming a therapist.
“I want to help other people in the same way I’ve been helped because I had no idea what therapy was, you know, there’s a huge stigma around it,” says Feldman.
Feldman’s drive to help others and interest in psychology led her back to school to acquire her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and work towards her master’s degree with only a year left in her program.
“At the very root of everything I’ve done, I just want to help people,” says Feldman.
The true-crime lover found Rachel Wright through a friend who had suggested Feldman follow Wright on Instagram after she had spoken about often experiencing pain during sex.
After reaching out to potentially take a workshop, becoming a fan of Wright’s work and platform, and getting rejected from a job she had her heart set on, Feldman saw Wrights’ post that she was hiring.
“I was listening to a TEDTalk and they’re like doors close because other doors are going to open and I was like whatever,” explains Feldman giggling, “The next day, I’m not even joking, her post was that she was hiring.”
It was Feldman’s opportunity to work and learn from someone she truly admired, not just because of Wright’s work in mental health but her perspective on mental health.
“She accepts everybody and she just loves anybody and everybody she comes across because of them and who they are and she takes them at face value and that’s something that I just aspire to be in my everyday life and if I could have a professional mentor in that area? Holy crap,” tells Feldman.
The same could be said for Feldman whose perceptive kindness and acceptance fills even a Zoom call, with a warm glow.
Feldman’s dream, which she hopes to get one step closer to through her new position with Rachel Wright, is to be in private practice as a therapist who incorporates the use of therapy dogs (something Feldman has and continues to do extensive research on), offer sliding-scale payments in order to help as many people as possible, as well as give back to the community; Exemplifying the compassion of Feldmans’ core character.