Since we started our Day In The Life series, we’ve explored a variety of positions at Ascend, including mentors, educators, program managers, facility managers, and compliance leadership. Now we want to turn our attention to one of our primary therapists, Kristina. Clinical therapy is one of the core elements of the personalized treatment plans at Ascend, tailored to the needs of each client and their family.
Kristina works as a primary therapist at Canyons in Santa Clarita, our trauma and anxiety-focused facility for girls. Learn what it takes to do Kristina’s job when you follow us for a day in her life.
Getting Her Start
Like many who work in the mental health community, Kristina had her own struggles with mental health and discovered her passion for helping others after someone showed up for her. Kristina had a therapist that helped guide her toward a healthy path during her adolescence, showing her that adults can be trustworthy and dependable. This therapist served as a primary motivator for Kristina to become a therapist herself.
Kristina had years of experience working in a variety of facilities before joining us at Ascend. She worked for a non-profit agency in their intensive services department. There, FSP and WRAP around services exposed Kristina to challenging environments where she met clients where they were at and redefined her original perspective on therapy. Kristina’s idea of effective therapy has evolved to be so much more than just sitting on a couch and talking through negative feelings. For her, therapy is walking the path together, learning together, and growing together.
Why Kristina Loves Ascend
For so many of our team members, the goal has always been to help the teens under our care find their way back to an authentic, joyful life. Our clients come to us at their most vulnerable, and it’s up to our team to guide and support them as they heal. For Kristina, being part of their journey is a tremendous honor, and she feels a unique sense of wonder about being able to provide hope to families that see no way out of their current circumstances. She says that seeing families regain their sense of hope is the greatest part of this job.
In addition to her work with teens and their families, Kristina also loves the sense of community we foster at our facilities, helping staff forge connections and build relationships that will last a lifetime.
Why We Love Kristina
Kristina is an integral part of our team because her commitment to our clients and the community at Canyons truly makes her shine. She always makes an effort to go above and beyond the expectations of her role in order to deliver the best possible quality of care to our clients. She’s an incredibly supportive therapist to her clients and a big help to the other staff members at the facility. Like us, Kristina truly values the work we do and believes in our mission.
We’ve watched Kristina grow throughout her time with us, and seeing her earnest engagement with our clients — even after she leaves the premises — is inspiring. She doesn’t turn off when she walks out the door, responding to messages, writing client notes, and thinking of new ways to connect with the teens and their families on and off the job. While this type of non-stop environment can be tiring for many, Kristina stays centered by prioritizing meditation and time outdoors to help her recharge.
A Typical Day for Kristina
Most of Kristina’s day is dedicated to individual and family sessions with clients. She also spends some time meeting with educators and mentors, supervising the milieu, and running a variety of groups throughout the week. Kristina usually takes time out of her day to prioritize spending downtime with clients so she can see how they function outside of a therapeutic setting while building a more meaningful connection with them.
Inspiration for Kristina
It can be tough to keep your chin up when you hear and see so many sad stories and life-changing traumas, but the clients she treats are an amazing inspiration for Kristina. Seeing kids come in dejected and hopeless but slowly learning to love life again is a priceless gift — one she hopes to keep on receiving. Kristina knows incredible change is possible when parents and teens commit to a treatment plan with Ascend because she’s seen it happen.
More Inside Looks Coming Soon
Did you enjoy this sneak peek into Kristina’s everyday life at Ascend? Take a look at our previous spotlights to learn even more about what we do. And remember to check back every month for the newest Day In The Life spotlight on our blog!