“Kelsey is down to earth, easy to talk to, compassionate, and goal-oriented. I saw her for general anxiety and she helped give me the tools I needed to face my daily challenges. She is very in tune with what her clients need and is extremely easy to connect with. She really takes the time to get to know you and allows you to go at your own pace, she never rushes you. I would highly recommend her!”  

– Anonymous 

  • Successful and passionate about working with client’s struggling with anxiety, shame, self-esteem, perfectionism, identity, relationship and sex difficulties & trauma.
  • Provides a genuine, collaborative, and safe therapy space for clients to help them discover and explore their authentic selves.
  • Conducts individual and couples counseling services and incorporates mindfulness and strengths based approaches
  • Dedicated to working with individuals of all backgrounds taking a multicultural approach and being culturally sensitive using a non-judgmental and non-assuming processes.
  • Utilizes an integrative approach to counseling using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Attachment Theory, and Trauma-Focused Therapy.
Kelsey Manzi
Pronouns: she/her/hers


“I believe that shame lives in the past and fear lives in the future and that it’s when we fully live in the present moment that we find peace, hope, and the ability to discover our authentic selves.”

Kelsey knows that making the decision to start counseling is often times the hardest part of the process. This is why she meets her clients where they are at, and creates a safe, genuine, and non-judgmental environment where clients can feel free to be their authentic selves. She believes that we all come from different walks of life and that we each have a unique story. Whether you’re familiar and comfortable with the therapy process or new to counseling, Kelsey will meet you wherever you are in your process with respect and empathy to process and explore your unique life story and goals.

Kelsey first and foremost believes that the most important aspect of counseling is the therapeutic relationship, which is why she takes the time to actively listen, encourages feedback, and moves at a pace that works for you. Kelsey is an authentic and kind person who enjoys helping clients meet their goals. She uses an integrative style to counseling and believes that therapy isn’t a one-size fits all approach.

Kelsey takes a multicultural approach and values the diverse background that each client brings. While living in North Carolina, Kelsey worked at a community mental health non-profit, where she gained a passion for and sees the need for those who are underserved and underinsured to be able to receive counseling. She also gained experience working with the clients on the insurance side of things and is knowledgeable on speaking with insurance companies to advocate for her client’s needs. Working from a trauma informed perspective, Kelsey fosters a space for you to feel comfortable to be honest and vulnerable in session in order to explore emotions, thoughts, and behaviors and create lasting positive change. Kelsey successfully utilizes a Cognitive Behavioral Approach to help clients who are feeling stuck, by focusing on identifying and decreasing negative thought patterns and self-limiting beliefs. She also utilizes Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to help clients better understand and move through their emotional experiences easier and embrace their feelings, reducing emotions such as guilt, sadness or anxiety.

At Next Step Counseling, Kelsey effectively and successfully works with concerns surrounding anxiety, life transitions, self-esteem, shame, perfectionism, trauma, and depression. She also works very well with those experiencing relationship difficulties, and has a compassionate understanding of navigating both the single-life as well as dating patterns and relationship discord and sexual difficulties. Kelsey is effective and passionate about working with clients who struggle with shame, being vulnerable and feeling worthy. She empowers her clients to explore these themes within the therapeutic space. 

Kelsey is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Adler University. When she’s not in the office she enjoys reading, traveling, watching reality television, spending time with friends, and considers herself a foodie. Originally from North Carolina, she’s been enjoying exploring Chicago and trying new things.