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The Person I Ditch Every Thursday: My Therapist Kelvin

Look into a school based therapist, and what they do for students.

It’s a Thursday, and third period rolls around. My class gets a call, and as expected, it’s my therapist. 

I meet with my therapist at the school every Thursday during the third period. Being able to talk to someone who genuinely listens has been so impactful, so I decided I should interview him. 

A funny picture I took before leaving the therapy session

Kelvin Mackey is a licensed mental health counselor. Or as others would say, a therapist. 

“My specialty depends, I do meet with individuals and couples like marriage as well. I go here at the high school, to the junior high, Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, Grant, and L&M. I have a decent amount of young kids at the elementary. Typically it is third grade and up,” said Kelvin. 

Similarly to many professionals, Kelvin solidified his decision about his career during his undergrad program.  

Kelvin said, “I would say I knew I wanted to be a therapist when I worked with residential kids after getting my bachelor’s in psychology, a lot of the kids were in the juvenile system that I worked with. I went to school at UNI, but my first two years were at Grand View University. I am used to meeting a lot of new people, my dad was in the Air Force for 23 years so I moved around growing up.” 

Being a therapist is not an easy task at all, and can be extremely draining. 

“For me, [the hardest part is the] suicide part of it. It’s hard but knowing some people can go through that. The abuse stuff, working with DHS and attorneys at times [is also hard]. It is mentally draining and trying to find balance. Sometimes you need to take time and you might need to spend more time with your family because you’re losing that time. There is a lot of paperwork that people don’t see. People think it’s just meeting people, but there’s treatment plans, and notes for each session,” said Kelvin. 

However, there are a lot of positives to having such an intense occupation. 

“In this job, you get to see a lot of things that the kids struggle with, where the parents could improve, and how clients work through something, it helps me pay attention more and realize the impact that things can have,” Kelvin said. 

Kelvin has four-year-old twins, a girl, and a boy, a one-and-a-half-year-old, as well as a son who is nine. He noted that having this job helps his parenting styles. 

“I would say, seeing people actually make changes in their lives or make accomplishments is the most rewarding. I have seen people who wanted to change their career in adulthood and they finally do. I’ve seen people in their 40s who never knew they would be able to buy a house because of their upbringing. So walking alongside them with their journey is the best part. Out of everything you can learn from everyone, no matter the age. I know I don’t know everything, so they help,” Kelvin said. 

During the school day therapy sessions are usually 30 minutes for young kids, and 45 minutes for high schoolers, meaning a class period.  Then outside of school hours, sessions typically last an hour. 

A Thursday therapy session!

“I am going to transition to my own practice, and I might drop the school hours. I put my resignation where I work a couple of days ago, but I will still be at the school and be my own boss. At one point, I thought about going back to school to get a PHD but I don’t want to go back to school with my kids and everything that is happening,” said Kelvin. 

“I would just stay with therapy. It doesn’t always have to be serious, there are times you can joke around, and there are times you don’t have to work on your depression and anxiety,” said Kelvin. 

There were also some unexpected things that happened while Kelvin was preparing to become a therapist. 

“I don’t know I would say I think for me one big piece like when we had to get our license we were forced to do therapy as well like I was part of our program so like and I would also say like I do that my own individual like a therapist that I see in Iowa City, but I think it’s it’s just worth talking to someone. I think it would because we can’t ever see all our own issues or things we’re going through and I think everyone has stuff no matter what background you come from I think it’s important especially if you’re going to have kids or being a relationship it’s important to learn the things you can improve on our work on and it doesn’t mean you’re crazy to go to therapy or anything like that.” 

Therapy is honestly so worth it, Kelvin was a great fit for my mental health but there are many options out there. I joke about cancelling my sessions, but these meetings have helped me with coping techniques, becoming a better version of myself, and knowing when I need to ask for help. Reach out if you need help, someone will listen, or even text me! With all my therapy sessions for the last three years, you could say I am somewhat of a professional. 

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Kaitlyn Ford
Kaitlyn Ford, Sports Editor
Kaitlyn Ford is a Junior staff member for the Auroran Today at Muscatine High School! Outside of MHS, she loves to spend time with her friends or lay with her cat! Reading is a favorite hobby of hers and she has a big collection of books!
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