Joy Kelly Phifer, Ph.D.

Dr. Joy Kelly Phifer holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Counseling and Counselor Education from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Her previous degrees include a Master of Science and Specialist in Education dual degree in Couple and Family Counseling, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies all from UNCG. Currently, she serves as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in the state of North Carolina, treating individuals, couples and families in an outpatient, private agency setting. Clinically, she maintains special training in Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) through the Carolina Center for EFT and trauma-specific training as a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional (CCTP) through the International Association of Trauma Professionals. In her clinical practice, she promotes the power of the counseling relationship, in that it has the unique potential to serve as a catalyst for individual insight, progressive change, and overall mental health wellness.

As a counselor educator, Dr. Phifer maintains a special passion for the classroom in providing experiential and transformative experiences for her students, where she enjoys teaching classes in counseling skills, career counseling, sexuality counseling, family violence, and more. Additionally, Dr. Phifer holds a strong passion for the clinical supervision process in helping developing counselors hone their clinical skills with a focus on providing high quality therapeutic services for clients. Her areas of research interest primarily relate to the prevention, treatment, and recovery experiences of victims and survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), alongside research implications in couple and family counseling practice – all of which reflect her spiritual calling to the field.

Dr. Phifer is passionate about the performing arts where she enjoys social dancing with her husband and attending live concerts. In her free time, Dr. Phifer enjoys traveling, watching movies full of suspense and drama, and spending time with close friends and family.

Degrees Earned

  • Ph.D., Counseling and Counselor Education, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • M.S./Ed.S., Couple & Family Counseling, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • B.S., B.A., Business Administration, Dance Studies, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro