Karley Petersen

Research Fellow


Karley M. Petersen, M.A., M.T.S., is a research fellow at the Danielsen Institute. She completed her Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, and Master’s in Theological Studies from Boston College. Her research interests include positive youth development, the promotion of psychosocial well-being, and purpose development, especially with first generation college students and youth who hold marginalized identities. She supplements her research work with clinical work as a staff clinician at Fitchburg State University. Working with university students who embody diverse identities and backgrounds, Karley mainly employs person-centered, psychodynamic, and feminist techniques with a critical lens to build relationships with youth who hold complex narratives of resilience and suffering inflicted by both individuals and systems. She is involved with the Psychological Humanities and Ethics Initiative at Boston College, and has a developing interest in critical psychology, especially as it relates to the development of systemic change to support clinicians working within problematic systems. When she is not doing research or clinical work, Karley loves watching and analyzing TV and films, hiking, playing sports, learning the banjo, and drawing. 

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