headshot of Kaytee Gillis, LCSW-BACS

Kaytee Gillis LCSW-BACS


Licensing & Certifications:

  • LMSW- Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Michigan
  • LCSW- Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Louisiana
  • BACS- Board Approved Clinical Supervisor, Louisiana

Professional Background

Kaytee has been in practice for over a decade, and she specializes in working with relationship and family trauma survivors. She provides therapy, trainings, and other forms of support for survivors and those who support them. She has published three books on the topic of family and relationship trauma, and has contributed to or been consulted on numerous others. She has extensive experience working with survivors of psychological abuse in families and relationships, especially those in the LGBTQ community.

She is a sought after media contributor for the topics of IPV in relationships and family trauma.

Her recent book, Breaking the Cycle, won two book awards: 1. The Firebird Book Award for mental health and the 2. Book Excellence Award for self-help/mental health.


  • B.A. Clark University, 2009
  • MSW, Tulane University, 2012
  • PhD, Michigan State University, Currently Enrolled

Why I Write for Choosing Therapy

I write for ChoosingTherapy.com because I wanted a way to provide accurate, evidence-based mental health information on a wide range of topics to a large audience. I love that I get to write about many different topics to get information out to those who need it. I appreciate that the articles on ChoosingTherapy.com are written by a licensed mental health provider, carefully edited, and medically reviewed.

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Areas of Focus

Specializing in supporting survivors of family trauma, Kaytee offers trauma-informed therapy to address psychological abuse, parental abandonment, and domestic violence, with a focus on anxiety, emotional regulation, and relationship challenges. Additionally, she provides comprehensive training to clinicians and agencies, with an emphasis on working with LGBTQ+ individuals navigating family trauma and intimate partner violence.

  • Working with survivors of family trauma, specifically survivors of psychological abuse and parental abandonment.
  • Providing training to clinicians and agencies on working with survivors of relationship and family trauma
  • Trauma-informed individual therapy for anxiety, emotional regulation, relationship concerns
  • Domestic and intimate partner violence, particularly psychological abuse
  • Working with LGBTQ+ survivors of family abandonment and family trauma or IPV
How to Come Out to Your Homophobic Parents

How to Come Out to Homophobic Parents

Coming out is never easy. But, coming out to homophobic parents can be terrifying, and in some instances, even unsafe. When deciding whether to come out to homophobic parents, consider first how they have they reacted towards or about other queer or LGBTQ+ people. Along with this, there are many other factors to keep in mind when deciding how to come out to homophobic parents.

September 9, 2022
Verbal Abuse_ Definition_ Signs_ Examples_ _ What to Do

Verbal Abuse: Definition, Signs, Examples, & What to Do

Verbal abuse occurs when someone hurts someone with spoken or unspoken words. It can be used in many ways and happen in any kind of relationship, whether platonic or romantic. Words can be used to demean, criticize, belittle, make fun of, or embarrass another person. This form of abuse impacts a person’s self-worth and can make them feel unsafe in a relationship.

September 9, 2022
Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome: Signs, Symptoms, & How to Get Help

16 Signs of Narcissistic Abuse & Victim Syndrome

Narcissistic victim or abuse syndrome is an unofficial diagnosis that can develop after experiencing narcissistic abuse. Common symptoms include confusion, anxiety, hypervigilance, and avoidance behavior. The effects of psychological manipulation can lead to long-term consequences for victims, such as isolation, self-blame, or loss of identity. Making healthy lifestyle changes and seeking therapy can help lessen symptoms of narcissistic victim syndrome.

September 9, 2022
divorce trauma

Divorce Trauma: Can You Experience PTSD From Divorce?

Divorce can be traumatic, and some people may experience PTSD symptoms after this separation. While divorce trauma itself may not warrant a diagnosis, abusive or toxic relationship dynamics can contribute to the development of post-divorce PTSD. Regardless, coping with divorce starts by validating your feelings and seeking professional support.

September 9, 2022

“Most of us are only starting to become aware of how our foundational years contribute to who we are today. Our childhood environment shapes the foundation for our sense of self, how we feel about the world, and how we relate to others. If we experienced trauma or dysfunction along the way, it likely disrupted the pathways to these fundamental structures. If you are just starting to become aware of those disruptions, or deciding to learn more about how your history impacted you, you are doing the right thing. It is never too late.

Understanding our trauma is not about blame, but about understanding, learning, and growing.”