Keri Cooper, LCSW, is the owner of Keri Cooper Holistic Therapy, a practice that focuses on counseling teens. Keri takes a holistic approach to therapy, looking at the whole person, not just the symptoms. Keri is also a speaker and writer who educates teens and parents on topics teens face in everyday life. Keri recently released a book titled “Mental Health Uncensored: 10 Foundations Every Parent Needs to Know.” The book is designed to give parents steps on how to improve their child’s mental health. According to the official press release:
“Mental Health Uncensored” explores both physical and mental foundations parents need to teach to their children. Keri Cooper explains how these foundations impact children’s mental health. Most parents are overlooking how issues of dehydration and poor diet, to name a few, are making it harder for children to have optimal mental health. “Mental Health Uncensored” showcases how important it is for parents to teach their children how to say no to others and not feel that they are responsible for other people’s feelings. These foundations along with others create healthy mental health habits for life.
Keri—who is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania—is currently working on a follow-up workbook for teens. When she isn’t busy working with teens, Keri spends time with her own four children and her flock of chickens.
Keri recently discussed her career via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover for passion for mental health and how did you break into the industry?
Keri Cooper (KC): As a teenager, I saw so many of my friends struggling with mental health and they seemed to have no one to turn to. In college, I majored in psychology and just loved it. After that, I went straight to get my masters in Social Work from the University Of Pennsylvania. My first job was in a residential facility for teens which is an intense setting and taught me a lot.
MM: Why did you decide to work with teens, specifically?
KC: I love the teen population. They are rebellious and have a determination about them. Once you gain their trust, they are so open and truthful. It is always such an honor to have them be vulnerable with me.
MM: Can you tell us a little bit about the holistic approach and explain why you prefer it?
KC: I believe that in the world of mental health we have to look beyond just the symptoms. We have to take into account how the physical aspect impacts mental health. Through Keri Cooper Holistic Therapy, I look at how they are sleeping, eating, and daily habits of exercise. This directly impacts mental health and is unfortunately overlooked in standard care.
MM: How did you go about establishing your own practice and how have you kept it afloat for years?
KC: I started small, at first just using my husband’s office space at night and designing my own website. I only saw a few clients because my children were still very young at that time. As my children grew, I also grew my practice. Today, I have my own space and have grown from word of mouth over the years.
MM: You are also an author. So, what inspired you to write your book and what do you hope readers learn from it and/or take away from it?
KC: I have always wanted to write a book since I went to graduate school. At that time, I didn’t know what about or when, but I was always drawn to writing. During COVID I realized so many teens needed help and many therapists were full. Care was hard to come by so I wanted to give parents a book of tools to help. I use these tools all day long in my practice. I just released “Mental Health Uncensored: 10 Foundations Every Parent Needs to Know.”
MM: What is most enjoyable and/or rewarding about working as a therapist?
KC: The biggest reward is when I see clients make improvements in their lives…when they realize they have the power to change. Once they realize the power they have — there is no stopping them.
MM: You keep chickens as pets! In your opinion, how beneficial are pets on overall mental health?
KC: I love my chickens! They were my COVID project with my children. Pets are great in that they give you responsibility and purpose. Someone else is relying on you. That means even if you don’t feel like getting out of bed you have to in order to take care of your pets.
MM: How do you hope that your career and practice will evolve over the next ten years?
KC: I love where my practice currently is and I’m happy to release “Mental Health Uncensored.” I would like to be able to do parent work and speaking engagements in order to get the parents the same education that I am giving the teens in my Holistic Therapy practice.
MM: Is there anything else that you would like to mention?
KC: I hope that people realize that struggling with mental health is not something to be embarrassed about. Getting help actually gives you tools to make your life better in the long run. In this life, we all need support which is what Keri Cooper Holistic Therapy and “Mental Health Uncensored” are all about.
* * * * *