Rome, Ga. native Kimberly Duff graduated with a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling in 2005. She now runs a private practice, Overcomers Counseling, LLC, which specializes in assisting individuals with psychological issues related to disability and chronic illness.
While Duff is successful in academia and practice, she says her greatest accomplishment is beating brain cancer after being given the “terminal” diagnosis at the age of 12. Following five brain surgeries, two rounds of radiation and one round of chemotherapy, she developed complications from these treatments and went into a coma that resulted in her total blindness at the age of 16.
“I always wanted to be a counselor, even before losing my sight in 1992,” said Duff. “I remember reading the career section of the ‘C’ encyclopedia as a sighted teen and coming to the description of a counselor and just knowing that was the career I wanted to pursue.”
Duff graduated Suma Cum Laude from Kennesaw State University in 2000 with a degree in psychology. She chose to apply to Georgia State University after her mother completed a master’s degree in vision education.
“The department understood my disability and how it impacts learning,” Duff said.
She began Georgia State’s professional counseling program but later switched to rehabilitation counseling after recognizing that all of her papers related to disability and its impact on functioning.
After completing her degree she worked in a number of counseling roles from 2005-2016. She became a fully licensed professional counselor in 2016, at which point she started her private practice.
Overcomers Counseling provided face-to-face and online counseling until the pandemic hit. At present, she provides online and telephonic counseling through her private practice and MD Live.
“I find that the demand for these services has increased greatly since there is so much turmoil in the world today,” Duff said. “I am happy to be able to use my skills and education to help others develop resilience and overcome their problems.”