Kelli E. Friedman was born in Livingston, NJ. She earned her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in psychology. She then attended Harvard University where she earned a master's degree. She continued her education at Duke University where she earned another master's and a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. During graduate school, Friedman focused on health psychology, specializing in psychological issues related to weight and weight loss. She completed her APA-approved clinical psychology internship at the Durham Veteran's Affairs Medical Center working with a variety of patient populations.
Following her clinical internship, Friedman completed a two-year, NIH funded, Behavioral Medicine Research Fellowship at Duke. During her fellowship, her primary research focus was on how mood impacts blood sugar control among patients with diabetes. She also worked clinically with individuals seeking weight-loss treatment, focusing on motivating patients to adhere to the lifestyle factors that are related to long-term weight loss. Additionally, she worked with individuals with a variety of eating disorders, including those with Binge Eating Disorder. Friedman joined the faculty in the School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in 2004 as an Assistant Clinical Professor.
Friedman's clinical work has focused on the assessment and treatment of a variety of conditions including obesity, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and chronic illness. She has clinical experience in smoking cessation, stress management, coping skills training, individual and group cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy, and consultation. She has also developed a variety of workshops related to obesity and weight loss.
Friedman is invested in furthering our understanding of psychosocial issues related to weight and weight loss, which she believes are critical to effective long-term weight loss. In particular, she has researched body image, depression, and binge eating within an overweight population. Most recently, she completed a study exploring the prevalent weight-based stigmatization and how such discrimination is related to psychological health.