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The Magic City Wellness Center is proud to offer individual, couples, and family therapy. If you are a new counseling patient interested in our services, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page. 

Katie Reese is the Director of Counseling and Support Groups at the Magic City Wellness Center (MCWC) and Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO). An avid reader and writer, she earned a bachelor's degree in English at UAB. After working in communications/marketing positions at the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, the Birmingham Zoo, and Red Mountain Theatre Company, Katie decided to pursue a master's degree in Counseling (Couples and Family Therapy) at the University of Montevallo, where she served as the Publisher of the Chi Chapter of the Chi Sigma Iota Honor Society. After completing graduate internships with the University of Montevallo's Counseling Services and MCWC and earning her master's degree in May 2017, Katie was thrilled to officially join the MCWC team as the Director of Counseling and Support Groups. Katie is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA), the Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA), and the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama (ALGBTICAL).


Katie provides individual, couples, and family counseling and facilitates support groups at MCWC and BAO. Her goal is to provide a safe, affirming environment in which individuals have the freedom to explore their thoughts, feelings, and experiences as they work to become their healthiest and most authentic selves. Katie works within an eclectic, humanistic, solution-focused, family systems framework to effectively meet the individual needs of her clients.

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Director of Counseling
and Support Groups
Katie Reese, M. ED, LPC, NCC
She, Her, Hers

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Riley McCay (he/him) is a counselor at the Magic City Wellness Center. Riley has been involved in the field of counseling for over 6 years. For longer still, he has shown interest in supporting others through structured and empathetic services. Riley graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and obtained his master's degree in Counseling Psychology at Boston College in 2014. Riley has worked as a student, research assistant, counselor, and supervisor to better understand and support people working through issues such as trauma, anxiety, depression, anger and aggression, as well as difficulties in concentration, communication, and relationship dynamics. He currently works with youth, adults, couples, and families to create a collaborative affirming environment to address the most pressing issues of his clients. Utilizing a wide array of therapeutic interventions and pulling mainly from cognitive behavioral, dialectic, and person-centered therapy, Riley strives to work with clients to meet their unique needs. 

Licensed Professional Counselor
Riley McCay
Magic City Wellness Center

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Katie Michaels (she/her) is an Associate Licensed Counselor (ALC) at the Magic City Wellness Center, practicing under the supervision of Kathryn C. Knowlton, LPC-S. She has experience working with oncology patients, end-of-life discussions, and grief. Katie’s collaborative approach to counseling allows her to work with clients to help them reach their goals, and her counseling style integrates person-centered therapy with a cognitive-behavioral based approach. Katie earned her master’s degree and a graduate certificate in marriage, couples, and family counseling in August 2021 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She was awarded the distinction of
“Outstanding Clinical Mental Health Masters Student” from her master’s program, and she was nominated as the 2021-2022 Emerging Leader in a New Professional category by the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE). Katie is a member of the ACA, the Alabama Counseling Association (ALCA), and Alabama Chapter of SAIGE. Katie hopes to empower her clients by providing a safe space to address and explore life’s challenges.

Katie Michaels
Magic City Wellness Center


Counseling Intern
Chris Murphy

Magic City Wellness Center

Chris Murphy is a Clinical Mental Health Counseling intern at the Magic City Wellness Center. He received a Master of Education in Community Health from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and became a Certified Health Education Specialist in 2019. At the Wellness Center’s parent agency, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, he served in several capacities, including the Outreach Testing Coordinator for the Birmingham Comprehensive High-Impact Prevention Project (BCHIP) which focused on HIV testing and education for Black MSM and Black Women; the Project Coordinator for the second iteration of BCHIP (BCHIP2); the Assistant Director of Education and Prevention, where he oversaw and advised all testing, education, and vaccination programs at BAO; and the Interim Health and Health Promotion Instructor at the Magic City Acceptance Academy. Chris is an active member of several organizations, such as the Jefferson County HIV Prevention Network, the Alabama HIV Prevention and Care Planning Group, the Alabama HIV/AIDS Policy Partnership, the ACA, ALCA, he is a 2023 GMoC Fellow of the National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC), and he is a 2023 panelist of the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) HIV Cluster Detection and Response Community Implementation Partner’s Panel. Given his expertise, Chris employs an eclectic approach to counseling, which includes solution-focused, multicultural, and DBT.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline launches new 3-digit number: 988 has been designated as the new three-digit dialing code that will route callers to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. 


When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.


The current Lifeline phone number (1-800-273-8255) will always remain available to people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis, even after 988 is launched nationally.

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