We had the good fortune of connecting with Kylie Gerks and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kylie, what matters most to you?
For me, my business is built through intentionally getting to know others, so connection is the fundamental idea behind everything I do. And I gotta say, this principle has an even deeper value to me after 2020! I’m constantly asking myself, how can I create a moment of connection with every person I come into contact with that helps them feel seen, even in the briefest of exchanges? Even further, how can I foster connection with others who come from a different background or way of life than I do? How can I use my voice to champion for the underserved or underrepresented? I think so many of us go through life with a deep desire to feel inherently valuable in our spaces – work, friendships, relationships. We want to know we aren’t alone. I do my best to be curious, be open-minded, be sincere, and create spaces in my professional and personal life where people can show up as their authentic selves and truly KNOW that they are seen and heard. If you want to know how to foster connection in your own life, I say start by getting outside of your own community! There are many ways to do this – through volunteerism, grabbing a coffee with that friend of a friend, or spending your time educating yourself on a different culture. Please know that you are important, and that your interactions today have ripple effects. Imagine what might be different if more people valued true connection with others!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a marriage and family therapist, I find great joy in my work. I work with children, teens, adults, couples, & families of all backgrounds. I especially enjoy supporting young adults through life transitions, depression, or relationship troubles. For me, I have deep respect for the process of therapy, and an even deeper gratitude for every person who trusts me with their story. I know what it takes to be a quality therapist, because I know what it takes to be a vulnerable client – I have spent a lot of time on both sides of the couch! The therapy experience requires safety, good rapport, teamwork, healthy and honest feedback, and powerful courage. I truly believe that the depth of strength that brings someone into the therapy room is the very power that will propel them to the change they desire at their core. I want you to know that therapy is not always like what you see in the movies, and I want you to know it is okay (and honestly a normal part of the process!!!) to keep looking until you find the right therapist for you. I want you to know that it is okay to ask for help, and I want you to know that the best gift you can give yourself is to prioritize your own mental health.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ve lived a lot of places, but Atlanta will always be home to me. I swear there’s no place like the A – it’s got something for everybody! Craving dessert? Visit CamiCakes for the best cupcakes in town – and get there early, before they sell out! Like waterfalls? Go chasing them at Amicalola Falls or Vickery Creek. Make sure to leave time to learn about our city’s pivotal role in the Civil Rights movement by visiting The Center for Civil and Human Rights. If you need a lunch spot, I love to stop by Henri’s for their incredible pressed deli sandwiches and yummy bakery items. I love to do my vintage and thrift shopping over in Little Five Points (as seen on Netflix’s Queer Eye!). I LIVE for a good art museum, and the High Museum of Art is one of the best. Then you’ve got old reliable – the BeltLine! Simply taking a stroll down the BeltLine will walk you by so many incredible breweries, restaurants, and shops. And last but not least, you KNOW you gotta let your friends get their pics on Jackson Street Bridge!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Well I certainly haven’t traveled down my path alone. I’d love to shoutout my colleagues at our group practice Midtown Psychotherapy Associates. I swear I think you’d find their photos in the dictionary next to “work family,” if the phrase “work family” was in the dictionary. They have fostered my talent, encouraged my growth, and supported my dreams. We all have our own natural gifts to share with our clientele, and we all have a shared goal to curate the ideal client experience. Check out our website to learn more about our practice at midtownpsychotherapy.org!

Website: www.kyliegerks.com

Instagram: instagram.com/theatltherapist

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/kyliegerks

Other: Psychology Today profile: www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/kylie-gerks-atlanta-ga/385153

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