Have you ever wondered how we ensure Ascend runs as smoothly as possible? Our operations are a team effort, and every staff member lends a helping hand. While we’ve got mentors with boots on the ground to handle many of the immediate needs of our clients, we also have facility managers and directors that help dictate in which direction we take our treatment methods with relevant therapy sessions, experiential activities, and much more.
One of our directors is Kyle, and he’s the key to everyday life at Trails and Canyons. Learn more about his work with us, where he got his start, and where he wants to go in the future in this month’s staff spotlight!
What Kyle Does at Ascend
As the program director in two houses, Kyle has a ton on his plate. He wakes up each morning to a flurry of texts, calls, and emails from both staff and parents that need his immediate attention. After taking care of urgent questions and situations, Kyle finds himself booked in back-to-back meetings and therapy sessions. He runs groups, creates programming and scheduling, and comes up with new topics and ideas that help clients address their treatment goals and process their trauma. Some of his other duties include:
- Running Clinical Meetings
- Holding Trainings
- Shaping Client Cases & Treatment Plans
- Facilitating Parent Orientations
- Conducting Clinical Check-Ins
- Updating Parents On Treatment Progress
One of his most recent accomplishments is the new six-week rotating eco-program for the Canyons and Trails facilities. The first step of this program includes psychoeducation that teaches clients respect, healthy boundaries, and exhibition of empathy. This first week takes place in a nature-safe environment and incorporates eco- and recreational experiential therapy into client orientation. Over the following weeks in treatment, clients explore horticulture therapy, animal-assisted therapy, meditation, and more to discover their root emotional and behavioral motivators, and realize their resiliency in relation to their personal struggles.
Life Before Ascend
Right before coming to Ascend, Kyle was involved in residential treatment for teens elsewhere in Southern California. His transition to Ascend showed him a new way to approach residential treatment. Instead of throwing together clients with different mental health or substance use issues, we group clients based on their diagnosis or concerns to minimize chaotic environments and ensure more productive spaces for healing and treatment. Ascend and Kyle have a similar philosophy when it comes to working with our clients – treating them with respect and support.
While Kyle has been working in treatment for years, he wasn’t always part of this world. Decades ago, he was a professional touring and recording musician. It was during this period of his life that he was constantly hearing about troubled teens ending their lives due to bullying and mental health concerns. Kyle felt that he could do a lot of good by switching career paths and finding more meaning and purpose through working with teens on their mental health.
Making Every Moment Matter
Working with Ascend has shown Kyle that meaningful and connected relationships help repair families and heal trauma. To him, there’s nothing better than helping clients rebuild their relationships, watching them grow and thrive. Receiving letters and updates from former clients that have evolved through treatment with Ascend shows Kyle that the work he does matters. So many clients and families speak of how happy and grateful they are that Kyle and Ascend were there for them during the most difficult times of their lives.
We Believe Kyle Makes a Difference
Kyle does so many things for Ascend, but his most significant contribution to our work is his authenticity. He genuinely likes and cares about other people. While his approach to treatment can be pretty raw and real, it allows him to connect with clients – really get in the trenches with them as they struggle to adapt, change, and grow through their fears and traumas. Being able to empathize with our clients on this level engenders the most essential aspect of treatment: trust.
Standing Up to the Struggle
At Ascend, we see people at their lowest point. Our clients are struggling to get healthy and get their lives back on track. As such an empathetic community, it’s challenging to watch their struggles. Many times, Kyle and his team manage to get through to clients, helping them overcome substance abuse and mental health concerns and teaching them healthy coping skills for the future. Seeing our clients succeed helps us continue standing up to the difficulties we witness every day.
Kyle finds meaning with his work at Ascend. It’s a diverse, supportive community that does just as much for its staff as for the clients. We hope to help Kyle empower many more people in the future, leading clients and team members down the path towards fulfilling their greatest potential.
Learn more about some of the other people Kyle works with when you explore more staff spotlights at Ascend.