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Jennifer Hayes, PhD LMFT RPT
Jennifer Hayes is a child and family therapist that works with individuals, couples, and families. Dr. Hayes is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in KY and FL. She is a registered play therapist and trained in polyvagal theory to be a Safe and Sound Protocol provider.
Dr. Hayes completed her doctoral degree in MFT at NCU. She is passionate about using her knowledge to help people achieve a higher sense of well-being. She is also passionate about educating and training others to grow awareness on mental health issues, and the needs in rural communities.
Dr. Hayes provides a variety of clinical and clinical education services including consultation, speaking engagements, workshops, on mental health, attachment, trauma, social issues, rural communities, and a range of other topics!
Dr. Hayes is the past President of the Young Professionals of Lake Cumberland, where she encouraged young professionals to participate in community development and volunteer work.
Jennifer is the Chair of Research Committee and Senior Editor for the International Association for Sandtray Therapy. Jennifer and her team launched the first Academic Journal for Sandtray Therapy. She is very passionate about the benefits of Sandtray therapy and looking forward to the future of this treatment model.
Dr. Hayes is a Clinical Fellow and Clinical Supervisor with AAMFT and a Professional Member of the Association for Play Therapy and the International Association for Sandtray Therapy. Dr. Hayes is a non-core faculty member in a MA MFT program. Dr. Hayes serves on the Kentucky Interest Network board as well.
My small town roots are a big part of why I choose to focus on family. I was born and raised in the little town of Berea, Kentucky, population just a hair over 13,000, and well-known for its art festivals, old buildings, and historic restaurants.
I left Ky in 2009 to pursue my Bachelor of Science in biblical studies and counseling at Johnson University, Knoxville Tn. My experience at Johnson proved transformative. There, I discovered the power of incorporating spirituality into therapy—this shapes my practice to this day. I fell in love with relational therapy and knew I wanted to help relationships.
After my graduation in 2012, I moved back to Kentucky to pursue my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) at Northcentral University (NCU). I completed the program in 2015.
I completed the Ph.D. MFT program with a specialization in child and adolescent therapy at NCU. My dissertation focused on Predictive factors of family functioning in a sample of parents that have a child diagnosed with ASD. This study also focused on families in rural areas.
Besides the degrees and all the experience that comes along, Chris and I have been married for 16 years and we have three amazing children. Being a parent was a huge motivator for me to become a child and family therapist.
Some Fun Facts
I am multicultural. I embrace my heritage. When I set out to discover my history a few years ago, I was able to rediscover my roots and gain a profound understanding of who I was the context of my ancestors. This has helped me find inner peace, develop a positive outlook on life, and deepen my respect for other cultures.
I have lots of interests. Outside work, I love the outdoors, and kayaking with my family. I enjoy music, museums, festivals, and a good cup of coffee (who doesn’t).
Teddy. I have 6lb Yorkie, and his name is Teddy. He is not a therapy dog but is quite entertaining!
learn. heal. grow.
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