Kelly Swanson, LPCC, RPT


Welcome to Monarch, my name is Kelly Swanson and I was born in Denver, Colorado. I am one of three adopted children. My family moved to a small town in rural northern Minnesota in the 80’s. I met my husband while in high school, and we were married right after graduation. My personal interests are spending time with my family, reading, walking, and enjoying nature.

I have always wanted to be a social worker or counselor but worked in several fields on my journey to where I am now. I started out as a teenager working both as a waitress and a bank teller. I kept working until I had my first child then stayed home to take care him. I had a daughter and did some in home daycare while they were little. Later I worked in the business office at Sears, until we moved to Mora where I currently live. I worked as a Pharmacy Technician until a family member was diagnosed with cancer, so I quit my job to help with her care. Later I got a job working for Kanabec County Public Health and worked there until my mother and another family member who had been paralyzed in a car accident moved in with us.

I worked from home for my husband’s company doing accounting and business work while caring for my family. While I was grateful for this opportunity, I longed to fulfill my lifelong dream and calling to becoming a therapist. So, I decided to go way outside of my comfort zone and return to school to achieve my goal.

Once I had received my bachelor’s degree from Argosy University in Psychology, Forensic Psychology/ Criminal Justice, I enrolled in Bethel University working toward a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology specializing in Children, Adolescents, and Community Counseling.

I did my internship and started working for Therapeutic Services Agency as a clinical trainee and did in home therapy. Soon after I started working in the School Linked Mental Health program at East Central School. I worked on continuing education and was trained in Trauma Focused CBT and DC-05 Assessments.

While working I still wanted to learn more, I have a love of learning new things, and went to Minnesota State Mankato to receive certification and educational credits to become a Registered Play Therapist. Which I was finally able to achieve in 2017.

After working hard to meet all the state’s requirements I received my Professional license: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. (LPCC). I was given the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented, dedicated, and professional therapists at Monarch Counseling Services. I respected the owner and her philosophy towards clients, and therapy. They offer service in a rural, underserved area where there is a high need for Mental health services and to be able to work in a community I have grown to love.

I am blessed to be able to have my office housed in East Central School. This enables access to children and families who may not be able to access Mental Health services. I have worked with students from infants through 18 yrs. After school I worked with adults, doing individual, family therapy, but I specialize in Play therapy.

At Monarch Counseling Service I do Diagnostic Assessments including DC-05 assessments, Treatment Planning, I have an integrated approach to interventions including Play Therapy, work with Adoption issues, trauma, sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, self-harm, anger issues, family therapy, grief and loss. I work with all ages birth through 100+.

My love of children is why I received the certification to be a Registered Play Therapist so I can do play therapy and sand tray.

I feel blessed to walk with my clients on their journey of healing, and self-discovery assisting them to uncover their own strengths and build on them. Supporting them, giving them guidance on the road to growth and completing their goals.

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