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Kelly Paynter

Licensed Professional Counselor

Board-Certified Art Therapist

Pronouns: She/Her

Style: Creative, Humorous, and Insightful

Works with:

  • Individuals
  • Child/Family
  • Teens
  • Adult Families

Who I am as a Therapist


Hi, I’m Kelly. My approach to counseling is rooted in the idea that sometimes past events, relationships, and life circumstances get in the way of us being the best version of ourselves. I believe that everyone has strengths, and my goal is to help you identify (or remember) what those strengths are so that we can build on them and help get you back on the path towards the life you want. I would describe my engagement style as relaxed, creative, and with humor when appropriate. I have been working specifically with children, young adults, and families for over 16 years in a variety of settings including: outpatient community mental health clinics, inpatient/acute hospital psychiatric care, long-term residential treatment, day treatment/therapeutic schools, and community or home-based care. I have become an expert a packing my car with art materials!  


I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Board-Certified Art Therapist. This means that I have the qualifications to utilize both traditional “talk therapy” and art-making in the healing process. Art therapy integrates self-expression through various art media, such as drawing and painting, the creative process, applied psychological theory, and the human experience within the therapy relationship. Will I MAKE you do art and draw your feelings? No, only if we decide together that art making is something you’d like to incorporate in your healing process. Do you have to “be a good artist” to do art therapy? Definitely not. We will find out together what type of self-expression feels right for you, verbal or nonverbal.  

Lastly and most importantly, I am committed to being a safe healthcare provider for all. I want to meet you where you’re at, even if I haven’t been there before. If you have ever felt excluded by healthcare systems—due to your identity, income, gender, race, sexuality, disability, trauma, or anything else—I see you and I am here for you.



“Everything can be taken from a man [a person] but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Viktor Frankl

Specialty Areas

Mental Health Challenges 

  • Activism & Burnout
  • ADHD
  • Adoption & Foster
  • Aging
  • Anger
  • Anxiety (General, Panic, Phobias)
  • Attachment & Relational Challenges
  • Behavioral Challenges in Children
  • Blended Family
  • Consensually Non-Monogamous Relationships
  • Cultural & Systemic Oppression
  • Depression
  • Divorce
  • Grief & Loss
  • Identity Development
  • Life Transitions
  • Managing Stress
  • Mood Dysregulation
  • Neurodiversity
  • Parenting
  • Postpartum Depression
  • School Issues
  • Sexual Health
  • Spirituality
  • Trauma Recovery (PTSD & Abuse)
  • Women’s Issues

Therapeutic Approaches 

  • Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Art Therapy
  • Attachment Based Therapy
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Collaborative Problem Solving (CPP)
  • Compassionate Communication (NVC)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
  • Feminist therapy
  • Holistic/Integrative Therapy
  • Intergenerational Family Therapy
  • Mind-Body/Somatic
  • Mindfulness
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Narrative Therapy
  • Play Therapy
  • Psychodynamic
  • Solution-Focused Therapy

Who I am when I’m not a Therapist

I enjoy spending time with my two amazing kiddos, my very supportive husband/partner, and our very fluffy cat Huckleberry. I have a deep love of camping and being on the water. My first job was teaching small boat sailing right down on the Willamette River! I am an artist and I use the creative process as my own self-care. I enjoy working within many different mediums but some of my favorites include photography, painting murals or other large-scale pieces, sewing, and more recently making resin jewelry. I value the beauty of well-crafted things and as a result of this appreciation, I have committed to the challenge of personally restoring our 1928 bungalow. I’m 2 years in so wish me luck!


  • BA Psychology & BA Art from North Park University, Chicago IL
  • MA Art Therapy Counseling from Marylhurst University, Portland OR

Training & Experience  

  • I have many years of crisis training with focus on verbal de-escalation skills and non-violent physical intervention. The majority of my experience has been with marginalized youth who are suffering acutely and engaging in unsafe or high-risk behavior.
  • I have a passion for serving CSEC (Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children) identified youth and have served on committees with others who share this passion.
  • I have extensive experience and highly value working within a team approach to address the needs of the youth and family as a whole.
  • I have worked as a sailing instructor, camp director, and activities coordinator for a summer at a Swiss Boarding School.
  • I have previously been able to partner with an Equine Therapy (horse therapy) provider and feel a kinship with animals and their power to heal.

Get Started Today

Text or Call

(503) 349-2281