Kelp forest


let's dive into change


i'm dr. stephanie - i'm a licensed professional counselor, a counselor educator, and the owner of kelp counseling & consulting,

my mission is to demystify the counseling process and support you in your overall mental wellness. i believe more often than not there is a deeper meaning behind what we typically associate with mental illness - and it's time to go beyond treating symptoms and creating meaningful, lasting change

i am here to provide a space where mental wellness doesn't have to feel so daunting or confusing. let's move beyond symptom management & temporary coping skills and create a life worth living!

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why kelp?

diving into our mental well-being can feel like exploring an entirely new world - sort of like diving into the ocean.

but just like the ocean, the inner workings of our brain and our internal systems is fascinating and worth gaining knowledge & insight about

also, asking for help can be scary and overwhelming - especially when you don't know where to start or who you can turn to. so, maybe it's a little easier to ask for kelp

counseling approach

  • eye movement desensitization and reprocessing [EMDR]
  • solution focused brief therapy [SFBT]
  • mindfulness
  • cognitive behavioral therapy [CBT] & dialectical behavioral therapy [DBT] informed
  • trauma informed

short term, strength-based goals are often weaved into the deeper, introspective work so while insight and understanding is gained in session, more tangible progress is seen in daily living

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specialty areas

  • anxiety symptoms
  • PTSD/trauma symptoms
  • OCD-presenting symptoms

what else might this look like?

  • poor self esteem/body image
  • trouble managing stress
  • functional addictions
  • disordered eating
  • difficulty with life transitions
  • imposter syndrome
  • relationship difficulties
  • personality "disorders"
  • career difficulties

walk & talk indoor therapy

treadmill walking pad allows you the opportunity to walk as you discuss what brings you to therapy - while maintaining the confidentiality & security of meeting in a counseling office - optional for all sessions

what are some benefits?

  • encourages physical activity for mental & physical benefits
  • can help you get "unstuck" when dealing with a difficult issue
  • sparks creative, deeper ways of thinking

you should be in good physical condition and able to participate in this form of therapy - if you engage in this form of therapy, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, and assume all risk of injury to yourself

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location & fees

in-person appointments:

9200 montgomery rd.#23b cincinnati, oh 45242

telehealth appointments:

limited availability

*evening & weekend scheduling available*


  • $100/session - sliding scale available
  • HSA accepted
  • OON benefits statement available (super billing)
  • trihealth eap provider

read about the benefits of self pay therapy here!

about me

my name is dr. stephanie merrilees. (she/her/hers, ally) i am a licensed professional counselor and have my phd in counselor education & supervision. i've been counseling since 2016 in a range of settings, including community mental health, substance use recovery, integrated care, and private practice. i also currently work as a first responder for the city's alternative response to crisis team and teach at nearby colleges. mental wellness is at the center of all i do - i am passionate about helping people live the life they deserve to live. i know how hard life can feel at times because i've felt it - and i am honored to help individuals when they are in these vulnerable positions.

outside of the mental wellness world, i'm the biggest bay area sports fan you're going to find - especially in the midwest. i've got a west coast soul, but my heart is in ohio. if i'm not watching sports, you'll probably find me at the gym, listening to music, creating art, traveling, or spending time with my partner and my kitties, oracle & chase.

2014: B.S. in psychology & english from muskingum university

2018: M.Ed. in clinical mental health counseling from kent state university

2022: Ph.D. in counselor education & supervision from university of cincinnati

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ready to dive in?

i believe that people come to counseling not only because they want to change - but because they are actively trying to change. let's make it happen!

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reach out via phone or email:

call/text 513-764-5360