As always, Ascend loves highlighting the people that make our facilities an amazing place to work and live. This month, we’ve chosen to share a day in the life of one of our family therapists! Kaylin is a primary therapist that works closely with the clients and their parents and siblings to explore everyday family dynamics, build trust, and improve communication within the family structure. Learn more about what she does and how she helps our clients and their families thrive!
What Is Family Therapy?
It might sound obvious, but working through therapy as a family is a much different experience than regular group or personal sessions. In fact, we believe that family therapy is so crucial to teen mental health that it’s the basis for all of our work. If parents aren’t involved in the healing process, the entire family dynamic struggles.
As a family therapist, Kaylin works to educate clients and parents about why the family structure is so important. She helps families work on parenting skills, offers sibling break-out groups, hosts multi-family group sessions, and runs alumni parent groups – to aid every participating member on their journey towards better mental health and enhanced mutual understanding.
How Did Kaylin Get Her Start?
Originally, Kaylin studied psychology to get into work within the criminal justice system. She thought that forensic and pop psychology were fascinating study and decided working with adults would be her path. Along her journey to achieve her Master’s in Forensic Psychology, she worked with kids in juvie for some time. Seeing their strength and resilience really inspired her to continue exploring adolescent mental health and encouraged her to change her path.
After getting her master’s, she started working with kids who suffered from autism during her doctorate program. Her experience cemented her decision to work with young people and here she is as one of our best child psychologists!
Making Her Way to Ascend
Even with a doctorate, Kaylin didn’t start out at Ascend right away. She spent 10 years in this field working in foster care in the Bronx. Eventually, she started working in IOP and PHP facilities, slowly gaining experience until she began work with residential treatment centers. She always wanted to work in a residential facility, but nowhere seemed to be the right fit for her – until she found Ascend!
Why Kaylin Loves Ascend
Working at Ascend, Kaylin gets to see so much creativity and resilience from our clients. They have very real struggles that they need to overcome, and many of them find unique ways to master these obstacles. She admires how brave and articulate they can be about the things that are bothering them.
Kaylin also loves the feel we foster at our facilities. She says that Ascend is less of a place of work and more of a community. She sees how genuinely we care about each other and how we work as a team to get things done. Kaylin feels that Ascend is an authentic, innovative, and supportive place to work, learn, and thrive.
Why We Love Kaylin
Having Kaylin on our team has been a dream! She continues to humanize and destigmatize the mental health crisis, reframing its negativity for both clients and their families. We also watch as she encourages and supports our families, ensuring they know that they’re never alone. With her help, Ascend can give kids the skills and opportunities they need to live a happy and healthy life at a younger age.
A Day in Her Life
Kaylin’s day begins from the moment she wakes up. She immediately checks her messages, oftentimes seeing over 100 that have come in overnight. As she reads through them, she prioritizes those that seem most urgent and makes a few calls to guide our onsite team in navigating these issues.
Once she arrives at our facility, her day is broken up into individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, planning, and treatment planning with the other clinical staff members. She heads home to work on her notes and think about the progress she’s seeing in each client. Before her day is over, watching 90-day fiance with an ice cream treat is a must!
Kaylin in the Future
For Kaylin, Ascend isn’t the end of her journey. Some day, she hopes to open her own non-profit residential facility for low-income families. This long-term plan is one we hope we can help Kaylin achieve in the years to come.
Tune in Next Month
If Kaylin’s work as a family therapist has got you hooked on life behind the scenes at Ascend, you’ll love reading all about our other team members, like Lead Mentor Taylor. Explore past and future staff spotlights when you check out more Day in the Life posts on our blog!