Interview with Dawn Kelley Part 2 – Rubber Bands and Parent Resiliency







Interview with Dawn Kelley Part 2 – Rubber Bands and Parent Resiliency

Interview with Dawn Kelley

Dawn Kelley is a local mom and traveling enthusiast.  A passion for people, a passion for storytelling, a passion for life…. an engaging speaker, a voracious laugh and a make you feel good personality…all descriptions people would use to identify her. 

Dawn has a reputation for being a strong, empathetic leader.  She volunteers for the Society for Human Resources Management and spent several years serving on the local Executive Board for Central Valley Human Resources Management Association.  She is a certified HR Professional with 25+ years of experience and is the Human Resources Manager at the City of Modesto.  

Dawn has a broad range of knowledge, specifically skilled in human resources management, leadership development, coaching/ supervision and recently became ordained to perform weddings!  

She has a determination to meet people where they are.  To help people be heard and to celebrate their accomplishments no matter the size…each one is taking a step in the right direction.

In September 2018, she was a featured TEDx speaker in the Central Valley speaking on Parental Resiliency.

She is the mom to two amazing, accomplished children, the wife to a wonderful man and a resilient woman who has a large group of trusted friends and confidants who have helped her on this journey.

To connect with Dawn, you can email her directly at

In this episode:

In last week’s episode, Dawn explored the grief, guilt, blame, and important lessons learned in supporting her child through his transgender journey. This week she focuses on Parent Resiliency, having the ability to acknowledge and forgive your poor choices, center yourself as a human and parent, and move forward with intention and perspective.

Parent Support when your Child Identifies as Transgender

Dawn discusses the importance of developing a support system and community to help support you as a parent. She shares her personal story of when her own either struggled with or even refused to acknowledge her child’s decision to transition genders. This can feel isolating or even anxiety provoking as a parent.

Dawn and the Therapists Uncut co-hosts talk about how supporting your child’s emotional wellbeing through transitioning is important, but also a lot to carry given you are often the “buffer” between your child and everyone else including family, school, and peers. Dawn discusses how the below resources helped support her as a parent

  • Having friends or a community of individuals whom you can talk to
  • Utilizing local resources
  • Accessing individual and family therapy
  • Keeping open communication with her child

Navigating Emotional Challenges with your Transgender Child

  • As a parent, avoid dismissing concerning statements made by your child
  • Create a safe place for your child to talk to you, and be sure to listen without judgment
  • Recognize and acknowledge that gender identity is a nonlinear process and is, in fact, a process
  • Feelings of suicide may arise, ask if your child has ever had these thoughts
  • Connect with mental health resources including therapy and/or psychiatry
  • Find the right therapist that fits best for you what you and/or your child needs
  • Educate yourself, be open

Moving Forward

  • Keep communication with your child
  • Be forgiving of yourself
  • Remember change is okay
  • Educate yourself

Resources mentioned:

We’ve pulled together any resources mentioned in this episode and put together some links:

Unleash the power of resilience as you learn to recover and move forward | Dawn Tacker | TEDxModesto

Contact Dawn at

Thank you for allowing us into your lives and helping us make mental health more relatable and a part of your everyday conversation! For more information or to access all episodes visit

Who we are:

Nikki Young is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Nikki keeps it personable. Nikki keeps it personable and professional. Yet, she always manages to keep the Therapists Uncut family and followers laughing. You may find her squirreling through topics, stories, or jokes, and all in good fun. Don’t worry because someone (usually Jolene) will bring her back around to the conversation. Nikki is a licensed marriage and family therapist in her private practice located in Modesto, CA, and she is also a Crisis Junkie at heart. In addition to being co-owner of a group private practice, she is also a crisis clinician responding to local mental health crisis and emergencies. Learn more about Nikki at

Alyssa Najera is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Alyssa is typically calm and composed on most days, but often has difficulty containing her excitement about the little things in life. She can sometimes drift into daydreaming about the endless possibilities in life and usually the last one of the group to understand Nikki and Jolene’s punchlines.  She loves to laugh, spread positivity, and is often caught with a smile on her face. Alyssa is also a Child Welfare Services (CWS) social worker and supervisor alumni, previous child sexual abuse forensic interviewer, and owner and CEO of a group private practice in the small town of Oakdale, CA. Learn more about Alyssa at or

Jolene Daly is co-host of Therapists Uncut and a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Jolene is a seasoned therapist and private practice owner. She grew up in the Turlock, CA and Modesto, CA area most of her adult life and has been married to her comedian of a husband Jason for 20 years.  She is a genuine, authentic person with a bold personality. You’ll often catch Jolene challenging our listeners and her fellow co-hosts, as she is passionate about her personal and professional values and is vocal when it comes to speaking out for what’s right. Learn more about Jolene at


Thank you for joining Therapists Uncut, a production of AMP Smart Business. To learn more about Therapists Uncut and stay up on upcoming episodes, please subscribe and follow us on social media. As a reminder, although the Therapists Uncut co-hosts are licensed therapists, they are not your therapist. This podcast is not intended to substitute professional mental health counseling. If you need professional therapy, please contact your local provider or primary care provider.  Thanks for listening and we’ll see you on the next episode of Therapists Uncut!

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Therapists Uncut is a production of AMP Smart Business.

Voice Over by Alexia Gloria