Client Testimonials: Michelle Kelley, LCSW, Girls Stand Strong

I just wanted to say THANK YOU. I left your office so inspired today.

Michelle, I just wanted to say THANK YOU.  I left your office so inspired today.  I know there's a possibility this proposal to my boss won't work BUT this is the biggest thing I've ever asked for at a job.  I have always played safe, and for the first time in a long time I'm asking for what I need.  I just needed to express my deep gratitude to you. Have a great week.  See you soon!

AnnaMay

To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She was very empathetic and non-judgmental... She didn't make our daughter feel badly... She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents.

When we first contacted Michelle, our 15-year-old daughter was in a very scary place. My husband and I found out that our daughter was engaging in self-harm and we were extremely worried for her safety. We felt as though we didn't really know what was going on with our daughter and certainly didn't know how to help her.

We chose to take our daughter to Michelle because her website really spoke to us. We started out by looking online for some sort of counselor or therapist to help our daughter and that's where we came across Michelle's website. We liked that her focus was on women and girls. We also liked that her website mentioned helping people who are involved in self-harm. From her website, it looked as though she recognized the pressures put on women and girls and really worked hard to help them feel strong and empowered. So, after reading about Michelle online and viewing her website, we decided to contact her.

To say Michelle changed our lives would not be an exaggeration. She met with us and our daughter and was very empathetic and non-judgmental. She didn't make our daughter feel badly about the self-harm. She didn't make my husband and myself feel like incompetent parents. Michelle explained what she thought might be going on with our daughter and helped us to make some practical changes in the household; making things easier for everyone.

Our daughter saw Michelle at least once a week for several months and she would have continued to see Michelle had our family not been transferred out of state. During this time Michelle was very quick to return phone calls and emails (even on weekends) when we had questions or concerns. I can't say enough positive things about Michelle and how she helped our family. I would recommend her very highly and my only regret is that we didn't find her sooner!

Linda

I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.

I am a female college student, and Michelle Kelley guided me through the most difficult time of my life. At the start of our conversations, I had a negative view of myself and the situation I was in. By our final conversation, I was confident in myself and positive that my situation could be used to make me the best version of myself.

I am in a better place now because Michelle guided me through the dark and into the light. She never once told me what to do or how to feel, but she helped me figure out how I was truly feeling during a time when it was hard for me to know. I definitely owe my newfound confidence to Michelle. Without her, I don’t know how I would’ve been able to come out of my horrible situation as such a better version of myself.

Thank you for all of your help Michelle!!

Grace

People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.

I share Michelle Kelley’s information with everyone and anyone I know struggling with relationships or their feelings. People don't understand Michelle doesn’t just offer advice… which they seem to be afraid of hearing. I convey the message that the decisions you make are ultimately your own but Michelle will help you find clarity and sort through emotions.

I can't thank Michelle enough for her help a few years ago. I have been on my own for a couple of years, buying my own house, and last year resigned as manager of the business where I worked for years to accept a position as General Manager of growing company. It was a considerable salary increase and I am empowered to make business decisions that not only affect the company bottom line but directly impact the overall operation. The owner of the business values my opinion, praises my work and rewards me through financial compensation!

I never realized how much a controlling relationship can bleed into all areas of your life. I was willing to accept mediocre work because I was conditioned to be grateful for the ease of working in town and flexibility. My worth is so much greater than just accepting what someone feels the position is worth instead of realizing what I was worth.

I have a wonderful and healthy relationship with a man I can truly call my best friend. I am amazed at his support and unconditional love. It's something I've always wanted. My kids are well adjusted and doing very well in school, socially and at home.

Thank you for all your help.

Forever Grateful,

Chris

We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.

We feel so fortunate to have found Michelle Kelley and will be forever grateful for her help and support with our teenage daughter. We originally came across Michelle by luck, just an internet search, during a time when we were really struggling with our daughter.

Michelle was able to build that connection with our daughter where we couldn't, and we were relieved to see that there was hope for her and our family. We felt comfortable knowing that Michelle would be the kind of counselor that would help our daughter see the good in herself, but also question some of her choices and actions.

If you are struggling with your daughter or if your daughter is struggling with her own issues, we highly recommend that you work with Michelle. She has always been very professional and responsive and has been there for us when we needed her.

Patricia

You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.

When I first contacted Michelle Kelley, my daughter and I were having a hard time communicating. I felt like I was failing with my daughter. It was an emotional rollercoaster that didn’t seem to get any better. We were angry and fighting all the time. My daughter was sad and upset.

Michelle seemed to have a great reputation in the area with helping daughters and mothers communicate better. She came highly recommended.

After the very first session, I noticed my daughter attempting to make changes. Listening to me, not yelling at me because she was mad. Overall, her relationship has improved with me and my other daughter. She helps do things around the house and better understands that being happy is a choice. She is easier to get along with. I enjoy coming home and spending time with her without wondering what is going on. She cares about her grades. She is taking better care of herself as her self-esteem has increased.

Bottom line is my daughter would fight with me about numerous things (food, phone, helping out, picking up a towel, putting her shoes away are just some examples), she was actually completely un-happy and I see a wonderful young girl again that loves life. You have brought back the communication ability that I thought that I lost. You helped her understand what we were feeling and she is such a better person for seeing you.

Absolutely, I would recommend Michelle Kelley of Girls Stand Strong to anyone that is struggling with their relationship with their daughter. She has made my daughter a much happier person. She is the caring individual that I knew she was.

Maggie

Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment. All seems to be good now. She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.

Michelle, you are so right about [my daughter] and how she thrives off of feelings of accomplishment.  All seems to be good now.  She amazes me every day with the way she is learning to handle tough situations.

We will definitely contact you soon about scheduling our next set of appointments… a “regular tune-up” is always nice!

Cynthia

With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years.

When I first contacted Michelle Kelley of Girls Stand Strong, I was overwhelmed with the number of issues on my plate and the severity of each of them. I was so fearful that I couldn’t take action on the simplest of daily tasks. I felt alone, scared, and out of control. I was concerned about the effect all of this was having on my marriage and children. I felt that I had lost myself and there was no way to get “me” back.

I initially sought Michelle’s advice for my oldest daughter. I was very impressed with how quickly she pinpointed the core issues and with how she worked with my daughter to address them. Michelle gives clear and specific feedback. She also gives relevant “homework” that will have direct impact on the issues being addressed. Once I realized that Michelle also worked with adult women, I knew I had found someone who could coach me through all of the issues I was dealing with at the time.

When I first began working with Michelle, I had been in therapy off and on for over 15 years. I had worked with 4 different therapists as well as several medical doctors. I DID NOT want to talk about my issues anymore. I WANTED TO DO SOMETHING TO RESOLVE THEM!!! My sessions with Michelle were extremely helpful. The first thing she did was validate me and all that I was dealing with at the time. Next she guided me to a point where I could clearly see the root of my problems. Finally, she supported me through my process of learning the new skills I’d need to resolve my issues.

With Michelle’s guidance, I was able to accomplish in approximately 8 months what I hadn’t been able to over the past 15 years. I learned that I had far more control over what thoughts went through my head than I ever realized. I learned to tune in to those thoughts, evaluate whether or not they were serving me well, and most importantly to change the ones that were affecting me negatively. The changes in me and in my life from this discovery have been profound. While some of the issues on my plate have been resolved, many of them still exist. In fact a new issue has been added, but I have still managed to discontinue one of the medications I’ve been on for over a decade. I am once again taking action in my life rather than remaining frozen in fear. I have resumed my position in the driver’s seat of my life and it feels great!  

Writing this testimonial for Michelle turned out to be a great exercise for me as I realized I had not taken enough time to celebrate how far I’ve actually come!!!

Thank you Michelle!!!!!

Elizabeth

I am forever grateful for Michelle's help.

At a time in my life when I was struggling with difficult relationships and emotional distress, Michelle guided me to a place of clarity and confidence. The decisions I made were ultimately my own but Michelle helped me to sort through my emotions and get unstuck. With her caring support and guidance I found the courage to leave a controlling relationship. I never realized how much controlling relationships can bleed into all areas of your life.

I am now living happily on my own. I left a low paying, dead-end job to accept a higher paying position at a new company. Michelle empowered me to make business decisions that not only affect the company's bottom line but directly impact the company's overall operation. The owner of the business where I now work values my opinion, praises my work and rewards me through financial compensation!

I now realize that my true worth is much greater than what I used to accept. Thanks to Michelle I am in a wonderful and healthy relationship with a man who is truly my best friend. I am amazed at his support and unconditional love. It's something I've always wanted. My kids are well adjusted and doing very well in school, socially and at home.

I am forever grateful for Michelle's help.

Anne

Thank you, Michelle, for giving me my voice and a new lease on life.

On April 6, 2013, I participated in the seminar, “How to Find and Claim Your Voice taught by Michelle Kelley. I took it at a perfect time since I was having some challenges in “finding my voice” with several friends.  Michelle had a very reassuring way of presenting the  material.

Two ideas that she presented for my consideration are to have the courage to say NO, and that NO is a complete sentence. She taught me to be comfortable with the “silence” and to command respect. All of my life, I’ve been a “people pleaser” and since that’s been my role, it was empowering to have Michelle discuss this type of behavior and how to handle myself in that situation.

Since completing Michelle’s seminar, I have looked upon my relationships with new eyes. I am handling difficult situations with greater ease and comfort without feeling guilty. For the first time, I am taking care of ME. It feels good to state my needs and to take care of myself in this new manner. Old habits are hard to break, but with Michelle’s encouragement and empowering seminar, I’m doing a much better job with these life changing behaviors.

Thank you, Michelle, for giving me my voice and a new lease on life.

Nancy
Retired Arlington County Teacher

She helped me focus my attention toward problem-solving issues.

After attending Michelle's seminar on women's empowerment, I felt really thankful that I had invested several hours of my time learning techniques of empowerment. I've found the information continues to have profound effects on many of my relationships. She helped me focus my attention toward problem solving issues that come up in my family and work  I highly recommend this class for those wanting to learn how to politely "say no to others" and how to say "yes" to their own important needs.

Laura Clancy, Owner
MuffinToppled® Fitness Coaching

Michelle is the best life coach I ever had.

Michelle is the best life coach I have ever had. I recommend her to everyone, because I love the way she works. She is very gentle, compassionate, and understanding. I can tell that Michelle is very gifted when it comes to sympathizing with and comprehending the minds of others. All too often she knows what I'm thinking before I say it. Overall, I could never have a better life coach.

Marina

Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.

A Parent's Testimonial

I would absolutely recommend Michelle Kelley to someone I know. In our first appointment Michelle was able to relate to our shy and anxious daughter in a way that made her feel safe and comfortable right away.

She was always glad to go to appointments and in fact we were surprised that sometimes she even said she looked forward to going because she had things she wanted to discuss.  Michelle is an excellent listener and her insights and advice were always right on target.

Before working with Michelle, our daughter was miserable and withdrawn after enduring 18 months of uncomfortable medical treatment and also switching to a new school. Several months later, she is no longer hiding in her shell and is happier and more confident and willing to try new things.  We absolutely credit Michelle with helping her and will be forever grateful.

P.S. -- We also love your office -- it's a very cool and pretty place (and so convenient!). I know that it's probably not the case for everyone, but the freshness and brightness of the office space was inviting and cheerful and I think had to have contributed to the fact that we always left in a good mood.

Ann
(mother of a teen girl)

She helped me in so many ways!

I can not even begin to explain how grateful I am to have had the opportunity to have Michelle as my counselor. I came to her when I was young and pregnant. I had a lot of issues that I needed to work through. With her guidance I was able to sort my life out and learn SO many valuable things about myself and the people around me. I always looked forward to our sessions. To this day (5 years later), I still take what she says to heart.  She helped me in so many ways! I'm glad I had her for guidance during a very rough time in my life.

Kelly

Michelle Kelly saved my life. What more can I say?

I'm 49 years old and for 48 of those years I was an Oscar Award winning actress.

When I was in public in a group setting, you would have thought I was the most self confident, out going woman in the world. When I was in public alone, I walked around with my head down. I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone.  I feared that anyone who looked at me was laughing at my appearance or thought I was ugly and fat.  I suffer from server depression, low self esteem, an eating disorder and body dimorphic disorder.

I was the "Yes" girl.  I wanted everyone to like me and be happy with me, regardless of my feelings and the consequences I endured.   I bought people presents, took them out to dinner and would do whatever it was to keep them happy.  I never spoke up for myself because I didn't want to ruffle feathers.  I let people make jokes at my expense or humiliate me in public and walk all over me.

I would tell my family I was sick so I didn't have to attend functions, because acting that day was just too exhausting.  If I did speak up, I was quickly shut down and felt like a reprimanded child.

I was in a relationship that was mentally and physically abusive. Michelle gave me the tools to leave that relationship for good.

I was so exhausted and so tired of being that actress. Behind closed doors I cried, I drank to the point of passing out, contemplated suicide many times and I was very lonely.  One night, it almost worked.  When I came to, I was in an ambulance on my way to the hospital and then of course, on my way to the mental ward.

I was a sad sort, but through extensive work with Michelle, today I am confident, I have a voice (that probably speaks up too often) and I hold my head up high. And the only person I have to thank is Michelle Kelley.

Since October 2011, I've worked with Michelle on each of my problems.  With her open mind, caring ways and knowledge she brought me out of a state I never thought possible. She has given me the tools and knowledge to feel empowered and self confident. She let me know it's OK to use your voice and it's OK if others don't like it.

Most people who have known me for a long time don't know quite how to handle the new me, but I love it. I'm finally free, I'm finally confident and -- most important -- I'm finally happy.

One day when I was leaving Michelle's office waiting at the elevator, the doors opened, there was a woman inside, I said "hello" she stared at ground and walked around me.  I thought to myself, that used to be me and I wanted to cry out to her, "Michelle is going to help you hold your head up one of these days!"  I cried for her in the elevator, but I knew she was headed in the right direction.  Right through the door that brought me back to life, gave me a voice, empowered me to be who I am today.  A woman in a happy and healthy relationship. A woman who uses her voice and a woman who walks around with her head held high!

Michelle Kelley saved my life.  What more can I say?

Stephanie W.

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