Kayla Wolf, MFTC
A Little Bit About Kayla
Born and raised in Wyoming where there are as many people as there are pronghorn antelope, I grew up learning how to enjoy almost any situation in life. Though I have moved around and traveled quite a bit, my home state remains my first love. Connecting with nature while visiting with family and friends are some of my most treasured experiences. When the inevitable stressors of life start to build up, you’ll also find me tapping into my creative side by singing or writing music on the piano.
Why I decided to pursue a career in Marriage and Family Therapy
My desire to pursue a career in Marriage and Family Therapy evolved over a period of time, through a series of important life moments. It began my Freshman year of college at the University of Wyoming. Early in the semester, I found myself feeling overwhelmed but didn’t know why. This was an unfamiliar feeling for me, as I had always been an honor student and able to handle the pressures associated with academics. After just six weeks, I made the difficult decision to withdraw from my classes, without knowing if I would return. Those close to me were shocked and I found myself fighting feelings of failure. It was during this very difficult time that I sought Individual Therapy. My therapist created an environment where I felt comfortable talking about everything I was going through. I knew she cared about me and helped me see there wasn’t anything wrong with me and I was not failing. I was going through a difficult time and just needed the space and guidance to figure it out. With her help, I was able to reflect back on my life and be curious about how I had been impacted by some very important life events. When I was 13, my dad began a decades-long battle against a series of life-threatening illnesses. As a child, I frequently saw him in tremendous pain and often accompanied him on trips to the ER. It was difficult seeing him in pain. Sometimes receiving the best treatment for his illnesses required he and my mom to travel away from home for long periods of time. This wasn’t always easy. We each did our part to make it work and I really thought that I had worked through it well.
It wasn’t until I began college that I felt the impact of enduring that emotional stress over an extended period of time. Without my individual therapist, I may not have realized that my decision to leave college was the result of the unresolved stress due to my dad’s failing health. After taking that time to learn about my own experience of my dad’s illnesses, I was able to understand my emotions and how I became so overwhelmed when the time came to leave home and start college. This experience taught me how important and meaningful it is to feel heard and understood when going through a difficult time. Though I first found this type of support through my therapist, I was then able to share my experience with my family and allow them to be there for me too. Today, my dad continues to courageously fight his battle with Leukemia, however I now feel more at peace with what this means and my family is closer than ever before.
I returned to school a year later. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I began to pursue my career as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I want others who feel lost, defeated or alone to know they can, with support and guidance, find healing within themselves and through their relationships. I do believe that there can still be beauty in our pain and that when we work to connect meaningfully with the people in our lives, it is easier to face the inevitable hard times.
Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate, Colorado MFTC.0013712
Advanced training by ICEEFT - Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
Master of Science, Child, Youth, and Family Studies, Specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy - University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska
Post-Degree Certificate in Medical Family Therapy - University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology - University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming
Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence - Couples therapy and family therapy for adolescents and adults.
Couple and Family Clinic - A community mental health clinic. I provided individual therapy, couples counseling and family therapy for adolescents and adults.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals - Individual therapy, couples counseling and family therapy in a facility that offered both inpatient and outpatient services to patients recovering from spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other traumatic injuries and illnesses.
Southeast Community College - I provided individual therapy and couples counseling to clients with anxiety, depression, and school and family difficulties.
Cathedral Home for Children - A residential treatment center for at-risk adolescents where I assisted staff therapists with assessments and group therapy.
Shelton, Hartung, Wolf, Cleveland, & Wilkowski (2016, September). Bullying, Victimization, and Bystanders Response to Bullying: Negative Age Trends. Poster submitted for presentation at the 12th meeting of the National Conference in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Lawrence, Kansas.
American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Pre-Clinical Fellow
Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Member
Random ‘Fun’ Facts About Me
Best Goal: To notice, and be grateful for, the beautiful, little things in life each day.
Best Habit: My ability to be curious and open toward new people, places, and things.
Best Reason to be Happy: My family and friends—the relationships with the people I love.
Best Legal Route to Joy: Coffee! And stimulating discussions with anyone and everyone while drinking a lot of coffee.
Best Flaw: I’m a sensitive one. I’ve come to accept this part of myself because it helps me to be in touch with not only my feelings, but also the feelings of others. Sometimes it is still hard to be sensitive, though.
Best Accomplishment: Working with my partner to cultivate the healthiest possible relationship.
Best Motto: “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.” –Eden Ahbez
Best Under-Appreciated Skill: Laughing! I love to laugh! I’m not afraid to make fun of myself and I laugh especially when I do something clumsy (which is often).
Kayla's clients use these words to describe her:
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