The North Star Therapy

 The North Star Therapy   ​​
 Kathleen Ries, LMFT, MS, MPH, RD


"​Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.”       Mary Anne Radmacher           –                                                                  

Kathleen Ries, LMFT, MS, MPH, RD

The North Star Therapy opened in 2016.  My path to Marriage Family Therapy private practice has been long and wonderful.

After my four children (including twins) had all entered college, I returned to graduate school.  The timing was such that my husband and I planned a big trip before I started school.  We traveled to Malawi, Chile, Easter Island and then lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico for seven weeks.  

After we got home, I began  graduate studies in Counselor Education at CSU, Sacramento.  I was excited for many reasons.  This was a dream come true.  Not only was I  studying about relationships and ways to make them better, I could ride my bike to class.  

Why make a six-year effort to create a late career?  I felt my life experiences facing my own challenges in marriage, career, and parenting prepared me to have empathy and understanding  for others facing their life challenges.  

Further, my personal struggles regarding anger and its healthy (and unhealthy) expressions had taken me on a profound path of personal growth.  I felt a deep desire to give back to others struggling with painful emotions and life experiences.    ​​


To become a licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT),  I completed a  masters of science (MS) in Counselor Education, followed by the extensive licensure process.  ​​​

My first profession was as a public health nutritionist, for which I  earned two masters from UC Berkeley:

             Masters in  Nutrition Sciences  (MS) 
             Masters in Public Health Nutrition (MPH) 

I'm a registered dietitian (RD), although I have not worked professionally in that field for many years.  

Certifications and Ongoing Training

Certified Gestalt Therapist though Sierra Institute for  
                      Contemporary Gestalt Therapyfessional
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (IATP)
Trained in Suicide Prevention 
Trained in Danger Risk Assessment
Certified Relationship Enhancement for couples group leader

My professional ongoing training  fcouses are on:
​           Childhood Trauma and Treatment, especially Play Therapy   
           Developmental or ComplexTrauma and its Treatment 
           Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)
           Neurological and Epigenetic Effects of Trauma 
           Healing Anger and Violence Prevention
           Couples Work and Healthy Family Dynamics 
Two years experience providing therapy for  domestic violence and sexual assault clients and their children
Two years experience providing therapy for preschool, school-age children and teens 
Groups I've lead:
             Elementary school children experiencing significant family changes
             Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for 4th graders
             CBT weekly groups on depression and anxiety for adults
             Weekly therapy group for sexual assault victims
             Expressive arts groups for children and their families in safe house
             Preventing violence for children in a safe house 
             Relationship Enhancement groups for couples
Professional Affiliation
California Association of Marriage Family Therapist (CAMFT)
International Association of Trauma Professionals
Association for Play Therapy