Holding considerable expertise in child and adolescent therapy, equine-assisted mental health care, play therapy and parenting, counselor supervision, and business consulting, Kay Trotter, PhD, attributes much of her success to being self-driven in addition to being continually inspired to learn. It was this drive to learn that led to her attending college at the age of 35, while she served as president of K. Graphics, which she founded in 1989. Earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in sociology, cum laude, from Texas Woman’s University in 2000, she was inspired to focus her further education on child and adolescent health care following work with teenagers at a youth ministry. Matriculating at the University of North Texas, she earned a Master of Education in counseling in 2003 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 2006.
During her graduate studies, Dr. Trotter embarked on her career in psychology. From 2002 to 2006, she served as a counseling moderator for The WARM Place, and held several roles with the Counseling and Human Development Center and the Child and Family Resource Clinic at the University of North Texas. She also spent time as an equine assisted counselor with the Right Trail program at the Rocky Top Therapy Center from 2003 to 2006. In 2006, she founded Kaleidoscope Behavioral Health, where she oversees a team of eight counselors. While they primarily focus on children and adolescents, Kaleidoscope Behavioral Health offers services for the whole family, from children aged just 3 years to elderly grandparents. In addition, Dr. Trotter is the founder of Equine Partners in Counseling (EPIC) Enterprises, which opened its doors in 2008, and has been a trauma response specialist with Empathia, Inc. since 2018.
While Dr. Trotter is kept busy with the administrative tasks required of running her businesses, she continues to take the time to see patients of her own. Through everything, she is incredibly proud of how Kaleidoscope Behavioral Health has grown and how her team has excelled. She also makes a point to promote women leaders in the field and, in 2016, established Kaleidoscope University, which offers continuing education certifications. Dr. Trotter herself has achieved countless additional certifications over the course of her career to remain up to date with developments in her field. She is certified in child-center play therapy, as an advanced child-parent relationship practitioner, an animal assisted play therapist, and an equine interaction professional, among others.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Dr. Trotter has served as a clinical trainer, lecturer, researcher and author in her field, and she is particularly proud of being invited to speak in Sweden. Her dissertation, “The Efficacy of Equine-Assisted Group Counseling with At-Risk Children and Adolescents,” was published in 2006. She has held membership with the American Counseling Association since 2005 and the Association for Play Therapy and the Texas Association for Play Therapy since 2002, and was previously active with the Texas Counseling Association, the Association for Experiential Education, the OK Corral Series, the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association, the American Planning Association and the Southwestern Psychological Association. Additionally, she has been affiliated with the Rotary Club of Cross Timbers since 2015.
For her decades of excellence in the field, Dr. Trotter was named the Best of Flower Mound Child Psychologist by the Flower Mound Award Program for 2020-21, and listed as a DFW Child Mom-Approved Doctor by DFW Child Magazine from 2019 to 2021 and Best of Readers’ Choice and Best Counseling Practice by Living Magazine from 2018 to 2021. Furthermore, she has twice been named Best of Denton County by the Murray Media Group, first as a children and adolescent therapist in 2018 and then in the couples and family practice category in 2019, and was presented with a certificate of recognition from the state of Texas and Sen. Jane Nelson in 2018. Early on, she received several scholarships from the University of North Texas and consistently made the dean’s list at Texas Woman’s University.
Above these accolades, Dr. Trotter considers one of the major highlights of her career to be achieving her doctorate at the age of 48. She is also incredibly proud and grateful that she has been able to remain open throughout the pandemic while keeping all of her counselors safe and healthy, noting that not a single one of her team has come down with COVID-19. Hoping to leave a legacy as someone who was always very direct and client focused, Dr. Trotter notes that “Each of us is a vital thread in the tapestry of each other. We are woven together for a reason,” and would advise young and aspiring professionals to seek out a mentor in their field.