10 Questions with Kaitlyn Curtin....
Kaitlyn Curtin, is a Clinician for the CFTSS program (Children and Family Treatment and Support Services) at Vanderheyden. Curtin, from Troy, New York, received both a Bachelors in Psychology and her Master's in Mental Health Counseling from the University at Albany.
She also interned at both Northern Rivers (Parsons) and Living Resources, and
received additional training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), group work with children, and working with individuals with Acquired Brain Injuries (ABI).
What is your role at Vanderheyden?
"My current role at Vanderheyden is a Clinician for the CFTSS program, and I do PSR (psychosocial rehabilitation) work with five families including nine individuals. However, I am also working on my license in order to do OLP (other licensed practitioner) work with individuals."
What did you do before Vanderheyden?
"I was primarily focused on my education, but I did work as a residential counselor at Parson's and a one on one aid with a preschool program."
Why did you choose Vanderheyden? What appealed to you?
"I chose Vanderheyden due to the population of focus being one I was hoping to work with
(children and teens), the general atmosphere I felt when first coming to campus to interview, and knowing that I would be making a difference in the lives of families around me."
What do you bring to your job?
"I have an open, childlike, and interested demeanor that makes it easy to build rapport with kids as well as the passion needed to work with them. I also am willing and invested when it comes to the work that pushes me to do right by both them and my colleagues."
What do you like about your job?
"I feel valued and appreciated by my colleagues, supervisor, and those I work with. It also makes my day to see how happy my clients are to see me for their sessions."
Share a story or unique experience from Vanderheyden.
"I am a worker for the majority of kids in one family (five out of their seven kids). It gives me a unique perception on their situation since I'm there so often. It also means that I can meaningfully affect how they all interact with each other and include siblings in sessions to help them work on their goals."
Share a story or unique experience from your life.
"A unique experience in my life would be a 'soap opera' moment I had while working as a
residential counselor. A client was trying to leave campus during her crisis after the police were contacted and I was following while trying to talk her into staying on campus. At one point she turned around and slapped me, but as soon as I told her "I know you're scared" she burst into tears and hugged onto me. It was a stark reminder of just how meaningful something as small as an acknowledgment or show of understanding can be to another person."
What can you say to someone thinking about joining our Vanderheyden Team?
"The work can be emotionally draining, so you need to know how to practice self care so that you don't become overwhelmed or burnt out. However, if you can do this I would consider the work here some of the most rewarding and meaningful that you could ever do."
What accomplishments/hobbies/likes, etc. do you want to share?
"To practice what I preach--to relax and take care of myself after a long day I love to play video games, create things out of perler beads, draw, organize, watch something with my partner, and/or spend some time with my cat."
Bonus question: What are you doing during the COVID-19 crisis that is done differently than before?
"The whole situation has been very anxiety inducing, especially since I tend to meet individuals at their homes. It's been stressful adjusting to the necessary precautions as well and trying to keep myself, my clients, and my own family safe. However, I feel as if what work I am doing is even more vital since due to shutdowns there can be increased stress, conflict, and general difficulty for the families I serve."