We won’t sugarcoat it: the idea of seeing a therapist can be intimidating. If you have never sought counseling before, you may not know what to expect when visiting our office.
To help remove some of that uncertainty, we want to introduce the Kimberly Keiser and Associates team so you can get a better feel for what it’s really like to work with us.
While you can view the education, experience, and credentials of each of our Sioux Falls therapists from our team page, we thought it might be fun to offer a Q&A series with our staff here on our blog.
For our first employee spotlight blog post, we interviewed Alla Jones, MS, LPC-MH, LAC, QMHP. Originally hailing from Estonia, Alla lived in New York and then started her own private practice in Madison, South Dakota, before joining Kimberly Keiser and Associates in 2016. She now provides counseling in Sioux Falls with a specialization in sex therapy, couples counseling, trauma therapy, and addiction recovery.
In Alla’s own words: “Let’s get the fun started!”
How long have you been working for Kimberly Keiser and Associates, and what is your role?
It’s been almost three years since I started working here. I have a dual license as a mental health therapist and an addiction therapist.
What brought you to Kimberly Keiser and Associates?
Prior to coming here, I had my own private practice in Madison. When I found out about Kimberly Keiser and Associates (through a mutual friend who is also a therapist), I saw an opportunity to grow professionally. I like to continually grow, was I was looking for a challenge — and, well, I sure found one!
Do you still live in Madison? Is that where are you from originally?
I still live in Madison, so I commute every day. It’s a commitment, but it’s worth it!
I grew up in a Nordic European country, Estonia. I came to the States in 1991, lived in New York, and then ventured out to South Dakota, where I met my future husband. Interestingly enough, I found out there are a lot of settlers from Scandinavian countries in South Dakota, so in a way, I think I found the right state! It’s similar climate-wise, and I think people from northern countries tend to be hardy — very hard-working people who are strong in faith and help each other out. There’s something about surviving through the winter, I suppose!
Living near Sioux Falls definitely matches my life principles, so I really feel like I landed in the right place.
What’s your favorite thing about working for Kimberly Keiser and Associates?
The variety of cases presented with patients is very interesting; some are very complex. That challenges me — it makes me want to do more, learn more, read more. I enjoy working with couples and inviting them on this journey of exploring the possibility of creating a deeper emotional and sexual connection. It is amazing to be a part of this delicate artwork, watching their transformation from being disconnected and not knowing how to express their needs to being able to talk about anything on a more mature level.
I am deeply honored by my patients’ trust in me for letting me into their lives and allowing me to hold that safe space for them to explore their sexuality, one of the most vulnerable parts of their lives. That is when the magic takes place and I can be a witness of that. This is pretty cool!
Kimberly is a real pioneer in this field, and she’s also very active in providing relevant trainings that teach us professional clinical skills. Not every employer can offer that, so I really appreciate these opportunities to learn and improve my competence.
How would you describe the team and environment at your office?
Very friendly, very warm, very supportive. We’re emotionally intimate with one another (in a good sense); we just try to build each other up.
It’s a very healthy environment. I like all my colleagues. They seem very mature and stable — and stability is good, right?
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
I like to escape in nature — it is a source of restoration for my soul. I like to do any kind of outdoor activities, like skiing.
I also like to meditate. When I come to work, I tap my singing bowl to center myself and then meditate for five minutes to make sure that I exert good, positive energy (and that I am stable)!
What accomplishment (professional or personal) are you most proud of?
Professionally, I find myself drawn to work that has something to do with trauma; I feel that is my calling, so I seek different trainings related to that. One is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) — which is a neurologically based clinical treatment that helps clients process traumatic memories. It was developed to treat PTSD for veterans, but it was found that it can also treat any type of psychological or emotional trauma (even depression or anxiety symptoms). I have obtained levels one and two training in EMDR therapy, and I will continue with trainings to further my education and skills in EMDR.
Personally — I’m a mom! I’ve always enjoyed being a mother, and I have a great relationship with my children. That’s something that is really fulfilling for me; it completes my soul.
What would you say to someone considering counseling in Sioux Falls?
It should be a normal thing. We all go to medical doctors and dentists at least once a year. Our team is trying to normalize mental health and sexual health as well — it shouldn’t be a taboo that people are afraid to talk about.
As sex therapists, we give people a safe place to explore their sexuality and talk about sexual issues or dysfunctions they may experience, either alone or in a couple’s relationship. We want to help our patients develop a healthier understanding and healthier ways to express themselves sexually that align with their life principles.
If you are struggling, there shouldn’t be any hesitation or shame in pursuing counseling — just pick up the phone and make an appointment. Take the leap. You won’t regret it!
What would you say to someone considering Kimberly Keiser and Associates specifically?
We’re here to deliver unique services that help people explore their sexuality or a destigmatized sexual health in order to normalize it and promote sexual health.
We have a great team of people who are bonded by the same intention to deliver high-quality services to the community. We’re constantly being trained and upgrading our skills — Kimberly makes sure of that! I feel like we’re a very dynamic team of people who are just dedicated to what we do. I feel really good about being a part of this team.
Our team feels really good about that, too.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Alla a little bit in this employee spotlight post. To learn more about her professional background, view Alla’s team page.
We also hope this post shed a bit more light on what it’s like to explore counseling with Kimberly Keiser and Associates. Stay tuned for future staff Q&As!
If you are interested in working with Alla or any of our other therapists in Sioux Falls, please contact us for more information by calling 605-274-0095 or by filling out our contact form.