Meet Kathryn Gates

Hello, I’m Kathryn Gates.

I’m passionate about my work with people who want to be healthier. My experience working with addictive and codependent symptoms and with food/body image disorders has helped many individuals and families find relief they didn’t know was possible. Strengthsfinder tells me I have ideation and restorative strengths and I can see that when I get so excited about solving problems, finding better outcomes, and creating improvement for people.

When I moved to LaLa Land with my ACE Personal Trainer’s Certificate after completing a BFA in Dance from Webster University in St. Louis., I thought I was ready to be done teaching dance. I’d taught group exercise classes, in addition to dance and gymnastics, throughout college.

kidsAs any dancer will affirm, quitting it ain’t easy. I continued teaching- ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical in dance studios around the San Fernando Valley and I led group fitness classes for various national fitness chains. These classes beautifully complimented the personal training business I’d begun to build- in clients’ homes and private fitness facilities. As a Lecturer for the Kinesiology Department at California State University at Los Angeles, I was recruited to work with the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine on SANO and STAND: studies to reduce predisposition to diabetes in adolescents.

Working with study participants- both through training in the gym and with therapeutic techniques to promote lifestyle changes- I began to move beyond using primarily fitness information to coach my clients.

pic1By working with multiple groups of adolescents to create healthier lifestyles- hopefully beyond the time limits of the study, it was clear that more than exercise programming was required to change bodies and ultimately their lives. “Hold this plank for 30 seconds” was not ultimately what clients needed most. Through the students at Cal State L.A., studies with USC, my personal training clients, and even my personal contacts and friends, I saw this pattern where people knew healthy choices, but consistently didn’t choose them. Even when they said that was what they wanted.

It takes more than an expertise in fitness to truly help people change the things they said they wanted to change.

I needed to study what was going on behind people’s personalities, drives, motivations and behaviors.

I earned my Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University in Southern California. My fascination with different areas of psychotherapy allowed my practicum sites to include serving low-income 5th graders with New Directions for Youth, residential patients at Monte Nido Eating Disorder Treatment Facility in Malibu, and planning rehabilitation strategies withpic2 chemically-addicted patients in detox at Tarzana Treatment Center in Southern California.

I have guided frustrated couples to cooperation, uncertain individuals to clarity in a sense-of-self, and I have walked alongside separated couples, helping to re-join a family under one roof.

I feel so honored to have interned under the supervision of Dr. Pat Koch, Dr. Pamela Monday, and Dr. Pat Love. These renowned relationship therapists passed on skills, guidance, encouragement and compassion during my time with each of them. Each are experts in the field and I couldn’t have asked for better mentorship.

pic3Now, heading up, I have such a blast using PREPARE/ENRICH with engaged and recently married couples. This pre-marital counseling program focuses on building committed relationships based on strengths and diving in to identified areas of growth specific to a couples’ unique personality.

I bring clarity to the confusion of couples in conflict- from dating relationships to couples who have been married for years to those contemplating divorce. I appreciate the opportunity to teach empathic communication techniques and conflict resolution skills. And when the couple wants it, it is thrilling for me to watch couples inevitably fall in love again in my office.
I use an honest strategy with relationships to empower people to maximize understanding, listen more intimately, and transition or rehabilitate when needed.


Contact me here.

Kathryn continues work in dance and fitness as a lifelong passion. She lives in Austin with her husband and everyone else who is leaving California and the East Coast.