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Katie  Hurley

Katie Hurley

Psychotherapist & Parenting Expert

Katie Hurley

Psychotherapist & Parenting Expert


Katie Hurley, LCSW, is a child and adolescent psychotherapist, parenting expert, and writer. She is the founder of “Girls Can!” empowerment groups for girls between ages 5-11. Hurley is the author of The Happy Kid Handbook, and her work can be found in The Washington Post, PBS Parents, and US News and World Report, among other places. Hurley is also the author of The Depression WorkBook for Teens: Tools to Improve Your Mood, Build Self-Esteem, and Stay Motivated (Althea Press). In her new book, A Year of Positive Thinking for Teens, a #1 new release on Amazon, families and educators will discover how teens can overcome anxious thought patterns, and build a happier, more positive mindset to achieve their goals.

For middle school students, she focuses on defining relational aggression, why it happens, and how it affects other kids. In addition, she explores the many versions of cyberbullying kids face, and how middle school students can tap into empathy to affect meaningful change in school culture on campus. She offers examples of things middle school students are doing across the country as inspiration. She practices psychotherapy in the South Bay area of Los Angeles and earned her BA in psychology and women’s studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She splits her time between Los Angeles, California and coastal Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Speaker Videos

Iceberg of Emotions

Raising Resilient Kids

Speech Topics

How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World

This presentation helps parents and educators understand the role personality type plays in how children interact with the world around them, process stressful situations, and cope with obstacles. How can parents and educators understand the difference between stress and anxiety? Symptoms and triggers are discussed in great detail. The audience will walk away with specific strategies to decrease stress and anxiety in their children’s lives.

How to Raise Empathic & Resilient Kids

This presentation begins with an overview of bullying and cyberbullying, then quickly moves into taking a proactive approach to empowering empathy and resilience in our children. Barriers to both are discussed. The audience leaves this presentation with concrete strategies to increasing empathy, kindness, and resilience.

No More Mean Girls

This presentation aims to change the narrative of girlhood by raising awareness about relational aggression among girls, including causes and proactive steps to steer girls in a more positive direction. This covers everything from social interaction skills to barriers to empathy and kindness among girls to toxic competition and achievement pressure to empowering girls to work together toward a brighter future for all. Actionable steps are provided to help parents and educators build girls up and decrease relational aggression.

Confronting Teen Depression

It's no big secret that depressive disorders among teens are on the rise. Research shows that between 2009 and 2017, rates of depression by kids ages 14 to 17 increased by more than 60%. Suicide is the second leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24. And yet, depression among teens is largely misunderstood.

This talk helps parents learn to identify the symptoms of depression in teens, understand how to help at home, and when and what kind of help to seek when teens struggle.


Katie Hurley runs interactive assemblies (using both audience participation and slides) for elementary students in grades 3-6 understand relational aggression, cyberbullying, and how empathy is the secret sauce to helping all kids feel valued and included. She begins with her crinkled heart story and asks the kids to help her think about events and comments that can cause kids to feel deflated. Later, Hurley “uncrinkles” her heart by thinking of ways to help others feel cared about, even on a terrible day. This leads into approximately 10-15 slides that teach kids about relational aggression and cyberbullying. She concludes with an interactive discussion about what kids can do to change the culture at their school. It runs about 45-60 minutes, depending on the school.

Staff Training

Katie Hurley runs staff trainings to help educators learn to spot the signs of childhood stress, anxiety, and depression. She discusses ways to decrease stress in the classroom and teaches coping strategies that kids can use right at their desks. Hurley also runs staff trainings that focus on teaching with empathy.