Kathy  Clair-Hayes

Kathy Clair-Hayes

Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, LICSW

Accepting new clients for morning, evening, daytime, & weekend appointments in Jamaica Plain practice (updated May 01, 2020)

Offers Online Sessions

Specialties & Expertise

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer and chronic illness
  • Depression
  • Loss and grief
  • Couples counseling
  • Mindfulness and stress reduction
  • Life transitions
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Relationships
  • Perinatal mental health

Professional statement

Kathy Clair-Hayes is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in Jamaica Plain, MA specializing in grief and loss, living with a chronic illness, life transitions, depression, and anxiety. Kathy's practice is unique in that she employs Animal Assisted Therapy with her co-therapist and service dog, Thor, who is present in all her therapy sessions. She finds that Animal Assisted Therapy can be especially effective in relieving her clients' symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Kathy particularly enjoys working with individuals navigating life transitions, such as beginning a new job, starting school, or becoming a parent. She also has extensive experience and training in supporting those dealing with illness, grief, and loss. She helps individuals deal with a new diagnosis or living with a chronic illness, such as cancer, Lyme Disease, or autoimmune diseases. She also has expertise in helping parents explain a diagnosis to their children and managing the impact of an illness on a family.

Kathy has over two decades of experience as a medical social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she worked with individuals who have cancer and their families. Her treatment approaches include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Mindfulness Practices, and Supportive Therapy. Kathy works with teenagers, young adults, adults, couples, and parents. She takes a warm and engaging approach, helping clients embrace their identity beyond a diagnosis and works towards a place of mental and physical well-being.

Message to clients

Thanks for taking the time to learn about my clinical practice and how we can work together. Picking a therapist is a very personal choice. You need to feel that your therapist understands your experience, your challenges and moves you a new way of seeing yourself and your strengths.

I provide psychotherapy for teens, adults and couples. I specialize in treating anxiety, depression, trauma, grief and loss, living with cancer (and other medical illnesses), and supporting parents during challenging times. I provide a non-judgmental, safe, warm and compassionate place to look at the challenges in your life: the depression that is keeping you isolated, the trauma that makes you withdraw and feel alone, the anxiety that won’t let you sleep at night. We will focus on building on your strengths, teaching you new coping skills, and actively witnessing the reworking of your story.

Thor is an integral part of my psychotherapy practice and is present during all my therapy sessions. He is a six-year-old yellow labrador/ golden retriever mix who has been bred and trained as a service dog by Canine Companions for Independence (CCI). Many clients choose to invite him up on the couch or have him sit close by during a session. It is very common for clients to say that having Thor in the room helps them trust, feel safe, and calm. Note: If you have allergies to dogs or a fear of dogs, we will not be the right choice for your therapy team.

I look forward to connecting with you!


Anxiety - Managing generalized anxiety, social anxiety, panic attacks, developing new skills to cope with anxious thoughts and thinking traps

Cancer and chronic illness - Dealing with a diagnosis, adjusting to a new normal, impact on family, advocacy with medical team, creating a safe space to process feelings, especially for clients navigating cancer

Depression - Learning how your depression talks to you (impact on sleep and energy disruption, overall mood disturbance, inability to enjoy yourself, and difficulty being motivated), mindfulness and behavioral activation strategies to help cope with depression, increasing self care

Loss and grief - Understanding the grief process, provide a safe space to feel emotions, increase self care experiences, creating a new understanding of who you are

Couples counseling - Improving communication and problem solving skills with couples from all gender and sexual identities

Mindfulness and stress reduction - Developing practices to encourage a state of active, open attention on the present and reduce overall stress

Life transitions - Adjusting to college, new relationships, career transitions and direction; mid-life existential, relationship, and career challenges; losing one’s drive or burn out; learning self-care

Trauma and PTSD - Healing painful experiences and memories from the past

Relationships - Understanding one’s wants and needs in relationships; exploring patterns of interaction, addressing concerns, and strengthening satisfaction in relationships and dating

Perinatal mental health - Anxiety, depression, and relationship concerns specific to childbearing women and their families; navigating complex emotions and the transition to parenthood during pregnancy and the postpartum period

General expertise


Kathy Clair-Hayes is not in-network with any insurances.

Read about the benefits of seeing an out-of-network provider here.

Out-of-pocket fees

  • Ongoing sessions: $185 (50min)
  • Initial session: $200 (60min)
  • Couples sessions: $200 (60min)
  • Couples sessions: $300 (90min)

Therapist's note

Kathy can provide you with paperwork for reimbursement from your insurance company if you are seeking out-of-network sessions.


Remote video therapy sessions offered? Yes

Jamaica Plain practice

7 Harris Avenue

Boston, MA 02130

  • Mon 5:30pm-9:00pm
  • Tue 5:30pm-9:00pm
  • Wed 5:30pm-9:00pm
  • Thu Closed
  • Fri Closed
  • Sat 9:30am-2:30pm
  • Sun 9:30am-2:30pm

Work and Education

Private Practice, 2016 - Present

Massachusetts General Hospital, 1995 - 2016

Boston College, MSW, 1995


  • English

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