A Nonjudgmental Presence To Guide And Support You Through the Healing Process
Witnessing the growth my clients can achieve in therapy makes my work endlessly rewarding and worthwhile. It’s always an honor to be welcomed in as a supportive presence whose sole purpose is to help people work through their challenges.
Throughout my career as a psychologist, I have found that on a fundamental level, people strive to be happy. Unfortunately, when we highlight “happiness” at the exclusion of anything else, this rigid approach to life can end up backfiring. But when we learn to appreciate the full range of emotions available to us other than happiness, we open ourselves up to new possibilities and cultivate a richer emotional experience through values-centered living.
My Background And Specialties
I initially went to college to pursue a degree in theater but noticed that what interested me most was trying to understand what motivated a character’s thoughts and feelings—what made them tick? I soon realized that I was better suited to psychology and turned my attention in that direction.
Due to personal experience, anxiety disorders were of special interest to me. Because anxiety runs in my family, I have witnessed firsthand how painful and debilitating it can be and knew that I wanted to specialize in its treatment. In subsequent years, I found jobs related to the mental health field, including working with children at a domestic violence shelter and helping people manage job-related stress in the corporate environment.
As my private practice began to grow, I was treating more and more clients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When I discovered there was a shortage of clinicians equipped to help with the unique challenges OCD presents, I decided to seek out specialized training by becoming certified in Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and by utilizing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).
Exposure And Response Prevention (ERP)
Because no one wants to feel anxious, it’s common for someone with OCD to keep the fear at bay by avoiding it at all costs. Unfortunately, avoidance tends to make the fear—and the compulsive thoughts and behaviors associated with it—intensify.
ERP approaches OCD differently, teaching you that you can approach things that feel scary and come away with a new understanding of your thoughts and behaviors. Disconfirming the power that fears hold over you helps build confidence that you can tolerate the fear rather than allow anxious thoughts to control you.
By starting with the fears that are easier to conquer and working our way up to more challenging triggers over time, we work to diminish them one step at a time. Through creative collaboration, we develop your treatment together so that you can gain the expertise to come up with ways to conquer fears on your own. Engaging in exposure in a safe and supportive environment, we approach an experience you would usually avoid, thereby weakening the effect it has on you.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Values are like an inner compass that guide you through life. When your values are unclear or undefined, it is easy to live reactively and not know how to follow the path you desire. Through ACT, you can become better aligned with who you want to be, even when you are navigating big emotions or challenging life events. By identifying what your values are and what changes you can make in your life to get aligned to your values, you can move toward being the person you truly want to be.
In addition to working with teens and adults who struggle with OCD, I also work with clients who feel unsatisfied or stuck and may be dealing with anxiety or depression. When I’m supporting someone who’s feeling overwhelmed by life, I will often ask them what would they be doing if they were able to be exactly who they wanted to be? What would make them feel purposeful and give their life meaning? Helping my clients find words for their values—which are different than goals—can be eye-opening for them. Aligning to our values allows for more flexibility on our life journey by always prioritizing staying true to ourselves.
I have been told that I have a very accepting, nonjudgmental presence. I carry a sense of warmth into my practice, supporting my clients as they move toward the place they want to be. My desire is to collaborate with my clients in a genuine way where they’re allowed to creatively explore and determine their unique path to healing.
A Little More About Me
ACT is a therapy that has deeply impacted my philosophy on life. I now pay attention to my values and how they can serve as a guiding principle when emotions are stormy. When faced with challenges, I try to pause and think about how to move toward values rather than being reactive in the moment. When life gets hard, I can still live a life with purpose in alignment with my values.
Outside of my practice, I love being with my family and discovering new experiences with them, including travel, cultures, foods, music, and languages.
Dr. Kelly Granger is a Doctor of Clinical Psychology who is certified in Exposure and Response Prevention. After receiving a bachelor’s degree of Arts in Psychology from Biola University, Kelly went on to receive a Master’s Degree and PsyD from Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University and became a Licensed Psychologist in 2016. She gained experience while working as the Lead Assessor at LA Biomed/Harbor UCLA and later as the Director of Clinical Training at a local non-profit. Kelly has been in private practice since 2017.