Dr. Kai Gunty, PhD
Children are constantly communicating with the people around them. When children are having difficulties or challenges, the first step is always to learn to listen more deeply to the child and then to move forward from there. The right support for children and families can bolster resilience and allow them to thrive no matter what challenge they face. I use a strengths-based approach to use what already works well for a child or within a family system as a foundation for further growth and development.
For my work with children and families, I work primarily from attachment/attunement, child-centered, sensorimotor, narrative, and solution-focused theoretical perspectives. From those foundations, relationships take center stage. A main goal for the therapy I offer is to enhance and deepen family relationships while increasing positive interactions, enjoyment, and well-being.
When working with parents, I draw primarily from narrative, solution-focused, and sensorimotor perspectives, which allow us to create space for the way parents feel while exploring what underlies those feelings. From there, I support parents in deciding how they want to respond to those feelings.
My most concentrated specialty is supporting transgender children 10 and under. These children are children first, and so we are dealing with the same issues that arise for all children - anxiety, emotion regulation, navigating social relationships, challenges at school, family relationships, etc. Aside from that, I focus on identity exploration, gender expression, navigating transitions, parent support, school planning, and communicating with others about a child's transgender identity. I also do a lot of work with this age group discussing puberty and the changes that are on the horizon for these children in a very factual manner, devoid of shame or embarrassment.
If you are looking for help and support, reach out to me today.
MA, Psychology, University of Minnesota, 2010
PhD, Family Social Science, University of Minnesota, 2021
Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-5)
Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT)
Sensorimotor Arousal Regulation Training (SMART)
Adaptive Internal Relations Network (AIR Network)
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) for specific phobias and OCD
Areas of Focus
Gender identity and gender expression
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Toileting challenges (including encopresis and toileting refusal)
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
Adoption and foster care
Attentional challenges (including attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder [ADHD])
Trauma (including medical trauma)
Complex medical conditions
Anxiety, depression, and other emotional and behavioral disorders
Diagnostic assessment for children birth to five
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) MN #2673
Prelicensed clinician, Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) track
Prelicensed clinician, Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) track
Currently practicing under supervision.