Ari Kirkman, (they/them), is a Master of Social Work student completing their final year at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Ari proudly identifies as queer and trans, and they are passionate about supporting LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and gender expansive) people and communities of color. Ari seeks to foster a safe, affirming, and collaborative environment where folks can begin to heal and to approach those parts of themselves that feel “stuck” or walled off. Ari believes that healing happens within relationships, both within our communities and within ourselves, and individual growth is an important part of a larger project to heal and reinvigorate our communities with compassion, radical acceptance, and solidarity in the face of trying times.

I believe that people are experts of their own experience, and my role as a clinician is to foster an open and accepting space where strengths are explored, and where individuals feel invited to move at their own pace in healing and self-exploration. Sometimes the act of simply being heard and seen is enough to uncover and explore your truth, and at other times gentle coaxing or guidance are asked for. I seek to work collaboratively with you in the therapeutic room, to understand your unique experiences with grace and with appreciation for your courage to find healing and growth.

My passion for this work is informed by my professional experience working with LGBTQIA+ youth in the Philadelphia school district as well as previous work within the unhoused community of New Orleans, LA during the height of the Covid-19 Pandemic. After almost a decade of working in the arts as a performing musician, educator, and entrepreneur, I am taking every opportunity to study the broader field of experiential therapy and its implications for addressing trauma which disproportionately affects marginalized communities.

Throughout my internship at The Phoenix Center, I will be participating in EMDR, psychodrama, and other experiential training. Additionally, I will be helping to facilitate an LGBTQIA+ support group called LGBTQIA+ Group: The Power of Community to Heal from Trauma beginning August 18, 2022.

“The process of unraveling and understanding our personal stories looks different for everyone. Music and art were an early gateway for me, but there are many paths to healing and many ways of being in the world. This is the work – and I am committed to supporting you in your journey to speak and live your truth.”

Ari‘s typical fee is $85 for individual therapy (50 min), and they can work on a flexible sliding scale if needed.