Professional background

  • PhD Mount Mercy University
  • MA-MFT Mount Mercy University
  • BS Millikin University

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate

Owner, Psychotherapist, Supervisor at Elevated Psychotherapy, PLC and LGBTQ Relationship Center of Iowa


Human Development and the Family

Trauma, Violence, and Addiction

Practicum I

Practicum II


Human Development


Doctoral Internship I

PhD Neuroscience and Psychophysiology Specialization Track

Publications and Presentations

Neubauer, J., Blix, J., Papakee, A., Hutson, K., Boyce, L., Cleveland, J., & Morgan-Sowada, H. (2023). Lived Experiences of Dating Post Social Transition. Journal of LGBTQ Issues in Counseling.

Hutson, K. (2023). The Intersection of Science and Faith in the LGBTQ+ Community [Panelist]. Heart of Iowa Democrats.

Hutson, K. M. (2022). Exploring Meaning: Queer and Trans Experiences of Religious Trauma and Shame [Doctoral dissertation, Mount Mercy University] (publication in process).

Midnight Musings: Rules to Stay Alive (A Whitaker Roundtable). (2022). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

There’s Not an F-Code for That: A Roundtable. (2022). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

Hutson, K. (2021). Shame and the Therapeutic Experience. [Conference Presentation]. AAMFT QTAN National Conference.

Master of Stories: Dungeons and Dragons in Therapeutic Space. (2021). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

Roundtable: “Intern, Meet Pandemic.” (2021). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

“Leaving in the Umms”: An Interview with Dr. Mar Chung. (2021). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

Our Better Angels: An Interview with Dr. Bill Doherty. (2020). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

Racial Trauma Roundtable. (2020). The Human Therapist. The Human Therapist Series.

LGBTQ Relationship Center of Iowa, PLC

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

Refugee and Immigration Resource Collective


Dr. Kait Hutson joined Mount Mercy University as a full-time professor in 2023. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist practicing in Iowa City, Iowa.

Dr. Hutson owns two psychotherapy practices— Elevated Psychotherapy, PLC and the LGBTQ Relationship Center of Iowa, PLC. She specializes in psychotherapeutic work with LGBTQ individuals and relational systems. The focus of her clinical practice and research is religious trauma.

Dr. Hutson holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Mount Mercy in Marriage and Family Therapy with a concentration in neuroscience and psychophysiology and was awarded Mount Mercy’s Marriage and Family Therapy Program’s Most Outstanding Doctoral Student Award.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Human Services, Psychology) from Millikin University in 2011, where she was awarded the Human Relations Award, Behavioral Science Award, and the university’s highest honor—The Scovill Prize.

Along with studying in the United States, she studied internationally as well. She studied in Ireland, focusing on international social work and education policy. She also studied abroad in Chile, focusing on social justice and the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

Dr. Hutson completed coursework in social policy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2011. She earned a Down Syndrome Specialist Certification in 2014 from the University of Missouri- St. Louis, concentrating on advocacy, inclusion, curriculum modifications, and behavioral strategies.

She has had extensive training in nonviolent crisis intervention and has advanced training specializing in nonviolent crisis intervention with individuals on the autism spectrum. She completed additional coursework in special education through Eastern Illinois University in 2014.

In 2018, she graduated from Mount Mercy with a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She was named the Dr. Ashley Merritts Inaugural Doctoral Fellowship Recipient in 2018.

In 2020, she studied Nora Bateson’s transformative work on Warm Data at the International Bateson Institute.

Dr. Hutson is a Clinical Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), a member of its Queer and Trans Advocacy Network, and an AAMFT Approved Supervisor Candidate. She is also an Associate Member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the New York Institute for Gestalt Therapy.

Dr. Hutson is skilled in working with survivors of conversion therapy, institutional change efforts, religious trauma, existential concerns, complex trauma, and PTSD. She has presented at national conferences on LGBTQ concerns in psychotherapy, including religious trauma and shame.

She is a qualitative researcher with academic interests in studying queer and trans-lived experiences, spiritual violence and attachment process, religious trauma, systems theory, and sociocybernetics.

Her professional experiences include nonprofit work, community mental health settings, and private practice. She has years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and their families. She also has experience in substance abuse counseling, working with survivors of sexual violence, crisis work, and prevention education.

Dr. Hutson believes that healing happens in the context of a relationship. The therapeutic relationship is this extraordinary, transformative vessel for healing. She’s often in awe of how beautiful therapists' work truly is. There’s nothing like it in the world— and she wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Dr. Hutson values transparency in the classroom. She’s open with her students about being a professor with ADHD. Being someone who has always learned differently, she knows it can be affirming for neurodivergent students to see the person teaching them can relate to what it means to move through the world with all the gifts and challenges of neurodivergence— navigating systems that aren’t designed for their minds to thrive. One of the most edifying experiences she has had as a teacher is when students who are neurodivergent tell her that they felt valued and understood by her.

Many other things bring Dr. Hutson joy outside of connecting with students and being a professor and therapist. She loves the mountains, the ocean, observatories, massive libraries—anything that reminds her of how vast the universe is and how small she is in relationship to/with it. Adventures and trying new things also bring Kait fulfillment. Cooking for others is a love language passed down for generations in her family. She also adores great blues and jazz music, hosting, and discussing ideas. She’s passionate about meaning-making, asking big questions without attachment to specific answers, and listening. Her love of listening reassures her that she picked the right field.