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SCIENCEWORKS
BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE

Measurement-based Care  |  Personal Connections  |  Integrated Strategies

Would you like to:

  • Participate in a professional assessment and receive an expert diagnosis? 

  • Learn about and be able to choose from the most effective treatment options available for OCD and related-disorders?

  • Trust that your provider is neurodivergent, LGBTQ+, and culturally affirming so treatments will be adjusted to you?

If your answer is "yes" to any of the above, please reach out!

ScienceWorks offers a measurement-based care approach to science-backed treatments. Together, we'll use your own data to design your therapy, track changes, and make tailored adjustments to maximize your progress. Our comprehensive strategy promotes physical wellness, including partnering with your healthcare team to strengthen your whole self. Science. Works.

Click here to schedule your free consultation!

Connect with Dr. Kelly

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Dr. Kiesa Kelly
(she/her)

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) torments gentle, fun, loving people with the ironic belief that they may be a monster. What if I'm dangerous? Immoral? Contaminated? Living in a simulation? A different gender/sexual orientation than I think? What if things aren't just right or I have a terrible illness? Compulsively avoiding feared outcomes becomes life-consuming. Scary, taboo themes are common. It's OCD, not you. I see you. There is no reason to hide in shame; I already know you are good. You will, too. OCD is painful, but treatable with Inference-based Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (I-CBT), Exposure Response Prevention (ERP), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).

 

ERP (in combination with ACT) is the fast-working and effective but sometimes intimidating gold standard for treating OCD. It doesn't work for everyone and for some folks it is too threatening to try. I am among a small yet growing group of therapists in the US additionally trained in Inference-based CBT--a more cognitive, less intimidating, and equally effective ERP alternative.

 

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can be successfully treated using a 12-session program (most complete in 10) called Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). CPT participants have the option to choose to either write directly about their trauma experience or not. Opting not to is just as effective. CPT is a leader in evidence-based treatments for PTSD. Written Exposure Therapy (WET) is a 5-session protocol that has been found to be no less effective than CPT in treating PTSD. 

Insomnia, difficulty falling and/or staying asleep can be treated in as few as 6 sessions of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). CBT-I is the most effective treatment in all of behavioral health.

My partner and I designed ScienceWorks to offer behavioral healthcare that is guided by three tenants:

 

  • Evidence-based therapies work.

ScienceWorks Behavioral Healthcare defines itself by its strong, ethical commitment to providing therapies that have been demonstrated through research to be effective. While we use a variety of evidenced-based approaches, across all of these we employ measurement-based care (MBC). This means that we measure your symptoms throughout therapy to customize your treatment plan, monitor changes across time, and adjust strategies accordingly in order to maximize your outcomes. 

 

  • Physical and mental health are interconnected.

In addition to evidence-based psychotherapies, research shows that some of the most effective treatments for anxiety and depression focus on the interconnection between the physical body and mental health, or the mind-body connection. ScienceWorks is designed to provide clients with the option to augment their therapy by integrating these additional approaches, including partnering with prescribing providers to assist with medication management; walking, yoga, or other exercise-based programs; nutrition education; insomia treatment; and mindfulness and meditation.

 

 

  • Neurodivergent, LGBTQ+, and culturally humble and affirming care is essential.

Research determining the effectiveness of therapy has largely been tested on white, cis, heterosexual, neurotypical Americans. In my experience, every client is unique and benefits optimally from custom adaptations of scientifically-supported interventions. I approach each client as an individual with a brain, body, and cultural identity about which they are the expert. Part of our process working together is to explore components of your unique experience so we develop a treatment that is best-suited for you.

Autism and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may occur with each other, as well as with OCD. I-CBT may be preferrable to ERP for neurodivergent individuals because of its emphasis on demystifying the faulty thinking driving OCD, rather than forcing folks to tolerate a behavioral intervention.

ScienceWorks recognizes that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of oppression can negatively impact health and can complicate one's experience with OCD and related-disorders. Some Black and Latino men may feel particularly apprehensive about disclosing harm thoughts to a therapist in fear of being misperceived as dangerous. It is critical to the therapeutic process that clients feel safe opening up about these and other lived experiences with their therapist. We welcome everyone.

Specialty Areas

Individual Adult Therapy for:

  • Obsessive -Compulsive Disorder

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder

  • Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs): skin-picking, hair-pulling

  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Insomnia (CBT-I)

Professional Memberships

Anxiety and Depression Association of America
American Psychological Association
Nashville Psyhotherapy Institute
Tennessee Psychological Association
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies
Precision Nutrition

Professional Experience

  • Co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer - ScienceWorks Behavioral Healthcare

  • Director of Recruitment - Performance Personnel Partners

  • Consultant - Industrial and Organizational Psychology

  • Founder - Psychology Educators of Tennessee

  • Former Board Member - PsyCAS (developing technologies for graduate psychology program admissions)

  • Former Board Member - COGDOP (Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology)

  • Former Chair - Department of Psychology - Tennessee State University

    • Courses taught: General Psychology, Careers for Psychology Majors, Statistics, Biological Basis of Behavior, Teaching of Psychology

    • PhD dissertation adviser

    • Faculty Member - Center for Prevention Research

    • Co-Chair - TSU Department Chair's Council

  • Former Tenured Professor - Department of Psychology - Tennessee State University

Clinical Experience

  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Psychiatric Institute and Clinics, Adult Individual Psychotherapy

    • Interpersonal and cognitive behavioral therapy with adult outpatients with a variety of disorders, including Major Depression, Adjustment Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    • Conducted intake evaluations resulting in reports including diagnoses and treatment recommendations

  • The Chicago Medical School - Anxiety Disorders Clinic

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Practicum

    • Exposure and response-prevention cognitive behavioral therapy for adult and pediatric patients with a variety of anxiety disorders, including Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Trichotillomania

    • Assessment and treatment planning, development and facilitation of exposure hierarchies, case management, and facilitation of a treatment group

  • The University of Chicago, Biological Sciences Division

    • Advanced Adult Neuropsychology Practicum

    • Conducted neuropsychological assessment with a wide variety of adult populations

    • Referral sources include hospital clinics, community-based physicians, and litigation

  • The University of Florida Health Science Center

    • Internship Program in Clinical Psychology

    • Conducted neuropsychological, child, medical psychology, and general clinical assessments with both pediatric and adult inpatients and outpatients presenting with a wide range of psychological and cognitive difficulties

    • Individual and group therapy with adults and children using primarily a cognitive-behavioral approach, with experience in Parent- Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Education

  • 2003 - PhD, Clinical Psychology - Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

    • Concentration in Neuropsychology​

  • 1999 - M.S., Clinical Psychology - Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

  • 1996 - A.B., Psychology and Neuroscience, Bowdoin College

Selected Research Appointments

  • NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

    • Training grant, entitled: Dual Pathway Models of ADHD: A High-Density ERP Study, combined conduction of an original research study examining cognitive control processes in children with ADHD, clinical neuropsychological work with children, and undergraduate teaching experience.

  • Postdoctoral Associate, Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

    • 80% research in  Clinical-Cognitive Neuroscience lab and 20% conducting child neuropsychological evaluations. Lab work involves design and implementation of electroencephalographic research, data analysis, computer programming, manuscript preparation, and lab management.

Selected Awards

  • Principal Investigator, Dr. Kiesa Kelly, Funded Tennessee Board of Regents Student Engagement, Retention, and Success (SERS) Grant: IMPACT Scholars: a pilot program utilizing ePortfolios to increase engagement in High Impact Practices (HIPs) in underrepresented populations at Tennessee State University​

  • National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology (NITOP), Poster Award

  • Principal Investigator, Dr. Kiesa Kelly, Funded NIH R25 BPENDURE Grant Titled “Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity with the Tennessee State University – Neuroscience Education and Research Vanderbilt Experience (TSU-NERVE)

  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology – APA Division Two Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Grant

Selected Publications

  • Kelly, K., & Patrice, K. The impact of culturally relevant teaching on African American undergraduate student performance in General Psychology. Journal of Black Psychology, 45(1), 52- 62, doi.org/10.1177/0095798418825168

  • Kelly, K., Jones, L., Brinthaupt, T., Hart, W. Psychology Educators of Tennessee (PET). A regional learning community for psychology teachers. Psychology Teaching Review, 22(2), 74-80.

  • Kelly, K.G. Student Response Systems ("Clickers") in the Psychology Classroom: A Beginner's Guide. Office of Teaching Resources in Psychology Online.

  • Larson, M.J., Kelly, K.G., Stigge-Kaufman, D.A., Schmalfuss, I.M., Perlstein, W.M. Reward context sensitivity impairment following severe TBI: an event-related potential investigation. International Neuropsychological Society, 13(4):615-25

  • Seidenberg, M. Kelly, K.G., Parrish, J., Geary, B., Dow, C., Rutecki, P., Bell, B., Jones, J., Hermann, B.P. Ipsilateral and contralateral MRI volumetric abnormalities in chronic unilateral temporal lobe epilepsy and their clinical correlates. Epilepsia - High Impact Epilepsy Journal. 46(3):420-30.

Selected Presentations on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Kelly, K. Doing it over and over again, expecting a different result: graduate admissions for workforce diversity & racial equity. Cleveland State University, Department of Psychology, invited speaker Viking Series.

  • Kelly, K., Cox, T. Strengthening Student-Faculty Relationships by Addressing Microaggressions, presented at Memphis in May Student Affairs Conference.

  • Kelly, K., Cox, T. Strengthening Student-Faculty Relationships by Addressing Microaggressions, presented at College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR).

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