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Understanding The Neuroscience Behind Thoughts – Exclusive Interview With Kathleen Kelley

Dr. Kelley is a professor of physical therapy, certified yoga teacher, certified Neurosculpting® facilitator and certified life coach. She is CEO and owner of Kathleen Kelley Coaching. Dr. Kelley received her BS in physical therapy from the University of Connecticut, her MS in neurology from Boston University and her Doctorate in education from the University of Sarasota. Dr. Kelley’s passion for neurology, brain health, wellness and the importance of self-care led her to create her unique coaching program. She draws on her skills to empower individuals to shift their mindset, take control of their lives, set boundaries, say no and level up their lives by changing their thoughts. Dr. Kelley’s philosophy is anyone can change their mindset.

Kathleen Kelley, Stress Management Coach


Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.


I am Kathleen Kelley, the owner of Kathleen Kelley Coaching. I am a physical therapist and professor of physical therapy at a small private university in Connecticut, USA. I have been a professor for almost 30 years. Along the way I have studied yoga, meditation, and neuroscience. During the pandemic of 2020, I became a Life Coach. I had been working with a coach for several months and thought, “I bet I could do this.” It was a pivotal moment for me. Until that time, I helped people with pain their bodies. I’ve always believed the mind and body are connected but had not seen myself as someone who could help with the “mind” piece. Coaching has been fun, rewarding and not that different from being a PT.

What inspired you to start Kathleen Kelley Coaching and what are the main services you offer?


I was inspired to start the business so I could continue helping people. I was (and still am!) a clinician.


During the pandemic I was not in the clinic, and I missed the interaction with people and the opportunity to help people out of pain and back to life. The coaching business allows me to both help people and have flexibility in my life and schedule.


Kathleen Kelley Coaching provides life coaching and stress management to people in health care who are stressed out, overwhelmed, and heading towards burn out. It’s my mission to prevent burnout, teach people that they are always in control of their time, life, and stress and have fun. No matter how busy, short staffed or underfunded the clinic might be, I will teach you to have your own back.

What makes your coaching approach unique and how do you tailor it to meet the needs of each client?


I was trained at The Life Coach School, so I always start with a foundation of thought work. From there, my coaching is different as it considers the neuroscience behind stress, anxiety, and the power of the mind. My first love in college was neuroanatomy. I have gone on to become a neuroanatomy professor in a graduate physical therapy program. I have extensive knowledge of neuroanatomy and neuroscience and I use this knowledge to inform both my coaching and teaching. I teach people to manage their minds and thoughts.


Our thoughts shape our world, and we have power over what we think. Changing thoughts is not easy. Understanding the neuroscience behind thoughts gives people motivation to begin and stick with coaching.


How do you measure the success of your coaching programs and what kind of results have your clients achieved?


I measure success by client results: better sleep, less stress, less anxiety, feeling in control, being able to say no without guilt. My clients have reported all these results and more. One of my most anxious young clients gave up Xanax and learned to say no without guilt!


When I’m not coaching or teaching you can find me walking my dogs, hitting the yoga mat, knitting, or reading the latest on neuroscience. However, if Jodi Picoult, Alice Hoffman, or Wally Lamb have a new book, you can find me poolside taking a break from neuroscience! I do my best NOT to offer unsolicited advice to my two children or the MANY amazing women in my life who have inspired me to pursue my dreams. I take unsolicited advice from my 82-year-old mom with a smile (usually) as I know she wants nothing more than for me to be happy.


Follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube, and visit my website for more info!




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