The Rev. Dr. Kelly Murphy Mason, LICSW
Background & Training
Background & Training
Both as an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied literature, first at Harvard College and then the University of Michigan, where I was a Colby Fellow. I quickly learned to appreciate the deeper significance of the stories that people were telling, to be wholly attentive to their psychological, symbolic, poetic and spiritual dimensions. Themes inevitably emerged in illuminating ways. Teaching creative writing and composition at the college level, I soon realized just how intimately I was engaged in meaning-making with my students and just what a privilege that was.
My dual professional degrees were earned from Columbia University and Union Theological Seminary and integrated advanced clinical practice with psychiatry and religion. I later finished postgraduate training at the National Institute for the Psychotherapies (NIP) Center for Spirituality & Psychotherapy and completed a basic unit of chaplaincy at a Quaker hospital in Philadelphia. In 2006, I was ordained into ministry by The Community Church of New York, Unitarian Universalist. For a few years, I worked at NIP as an Affiliate Clinician, working with trauma survivors enrolled in its Trauma Treatment Program, and later served as Senior Clinician there. I also volunteered for several years with the UU Trauma Response Ministry and Give An Hour.
From 2013 through 2018, I worked at the Psychotherapy & Spirituality Institute (PSI), a New York non-profit organization that maintains four counseling centers in Manhattan, first as its Director of Programming and then as its Managing Director. From 2009 through 2011, I acted as a Director of Pastoral Care & Counseling Programs at the Blanton-Peale Institute (BPI), where I taught and supervised students in the English-language training programs. At present, I train and mentor apprentices in the Apprenticeship Program at the Phoenix Center for Spiritual Direction.
The Graduate Theological Foundation awarded me a doctoral degree in Pastoral Care & Counseling Psychology in 2011; while there, I researched contemporary psychospiritual applications of logotherapy. Afterwards, I served as Curriculum Co-Chair for the clinical continuing education program offered by the Association for Spirituality & Psychotherapy (ASP) at NIP. I was certified as a Pastoral Counselor and recognized as a Fellow by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC) in 2016. I then was awarded the Distinguished Contribution Award by the AAPC Eastern Region in 2017.
In addition to being a Qualified Clinical Social Worker in the National Association of Social Workers and a member of the Society for Spirituality in Social Work, I am a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LICSW) in MA. I am a trained trauma specialist with EMDR International and an emotionally-focused couples counselor with the International Center for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy. I am a PREPARE/ENRICH facilitator, as well, and work with couples from a wide range of backgrounds.
In the past, I have taught at George Washington University, the Fordham University Graduate School of Religion, the Spirituality Mind-Body Institute at Columbia University Teachers, and Union Theological Seminary, where I acted as Pastoral Counselor on campus from 2011-2013. Additionally, I also have been a presenter at ASP, NIP, PSI, and BPI, as well as for St. Vincent's Medical Center in CT, the Murray Grove Retreat Center in NJ, Jeanes Hospital in Philadelphia, PA, the UU Collegium in Waltham, MA, Iona University in New Rochelle, NY, the UU Christian Fellowship Revival in Tulsa, OK, the UUMA Ministry Days in Metro New York, Thrive NYC, the NY Open Center, Trinity Church-Wall Street, the Rector's Forum at St. Bart's, All Souls NYC, the Interfaith Center of New York, the First Unitarian Congregational Society in Brooklyn, NY, the AAPC 50th National Conference in St Louis, MO, the Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA, the Ferry Beach Retreat & Conference Center in Saco, ME. and the Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre in Hong Kong, SAR.
From 2018-2021, I was Senior Minister at the UU Society of Wellesley Hills in Wellesley, MA. I have full and final ministerial fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and am also a trained UUA Interim Religious Professional. Currently, I am a member of the UU Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM); from 2016-2018, I sat on the Board of the UUSCM and acted as its Good Officer.
In 2022, I completed my training as a Spiritual Director and became a member of the UU Spiritual Direction Network as well as of Spiritual Directors International (SDI). The historic Arlington Street Church in downtown Boston affiliated me as its Community Minister for Spiritual Direction in June 2022. In addition, I am convener of the Spirituality & Flourishing Interest Group within the Flourishing Network of the Harvard Human Flourishing Program and a coordinator for the Greater Boston Regional SDI Gathering of Spiritual Directors, Companions, and Guides. I also write book reviews for the quarterly SDI journal Presence.