We had the good fortune of connecting with Colleen Mary Saoirse Kelly, MFT PhD and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Colleen Mary Saoirse, how do you think about risk?
I’ve never had a conventional life with a 9 to 5 job. I went from being an actor in NYC to working as a psychotherapist in Los Angeles. The same is true of my husband who is an artist. I went through the proper education channels and jumped through all the licensing hoops but I was never one to work in an office. I worked on American Indian Reservations for many years, then with refugees from MENA, and finally for two decades in addiction treatment and trauma. It was a series of little risks culminating in a moment on the banks of the Seine in Paris where my husband and I were fantasizing once again about moving our family to Paris. We thought of so many reasons ranging from hard to impossible. Then my husband said, “Or we could just say F- it, and move.” I said, “let’s do it.” And since that huge leap of faith, we have been living here for over 4 years.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Two years ago an ex-punk band musician turned Buddhist psychologist friend that I got sober with in NYC almost 30 years ago called me in Paris from NYC and said, “What are you doing? I have Bluetooth enabled footwear that connects with audio hardware that is going to change the world.” I joined a group of psychologists and therapists along with an amazing researcher at StartAgain Associates in Los Angeles with offices on the East Coast and Paris (me). We provide training, education, therapy, leadership, and coaching for a diverse population across the world. Currently, we have a complete online training and Telehealth program with our MET(T)A Protocol to address the needs of this global health crisis. Our team of 5 has over 100 + years of mindfulness practice and clinical work combined. Our team has trained thousands of clinicians in EMDR therapy. In cooperation with a non profit foundation BIPOC Minds Matter, we have started providing EMDR therapy training and consultation for BIOPC therapists nationally.
I am most excited that StartAgain has a unique Partnership with Droplabs, a wearable technology company that created haptic shoes. So we are now a tech company! I, who could not open Google slides without calling one of my daughters became the Director of International Marketing and Technology. We are the Mental Health section of DropLabs. We own our own exciting EMDR software that we are releasing now to go with DropLabs hardware. As the wellness pillar of DropLabs we are constantly developing new proprietary software. If you are a mental health care professional and you can think of a software that you would like to go with the shoes or floorboards tell us and we will develop it.
Before COVID I got to speak about Family Therapy at conferences in Paris, London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Iceland, Estonia, Helsinki, Barcelona, Lisbon, Rome, Florence, and Istanbul. I never thought a kid who grew up in a tiny mill town in upstate NY would get on to work in NYC, LA, Hawaii, and Europe. I used to think I was risk adverse but as I get older I keenly realize we have limited time here and I want to experience as much as I can and help end suffering for as many people as I can.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Once my youngest daughter said to me, “how is it that you have been able to set up this life that you have created?” Over the years my being able to travel the globe and work in Paris came about because of the support given to me by Promises Treatment Centers, Malibu, PCH Treatment Los Angeles, Visions Adolescent Treatment Malibu, and Cirque Lodge, Utah. Credit for opening my Private Practice goes to my and best friend, Dr. Reza Nabavi at Resolutions Treatment, Santa Monica. And thanks for my ability to work remotely as a therapist, lecturer, trainer, and wearable technology executive goes to Dr. Stephen Dansiger of StartAgain Associates and Samantha Quinlan from iCAAD Europe. These people and companies have believed in me for decades and supported me in my expansion.