Our Team

Kiyonda Hester

Kiyonda Hester,
LMSW

Self-acceptance and self-love in a world that denies that your skin’s hue has beauty or your hair is desirable was a challenge for me growing up. I didn’t receive the emotional deposits a child needs in their formative years to allow them to feel secure. This and other environmental factors lead to abusive relationships, self-esteem issues, anxious attachment styles, and much turmoil. During this time, I learned that I needed an outlet yet this was difficult to find.

I did not always get the opportunity to be heard, but I wanted to ensure others did not feel the way I felt. I became an advocate for others, no matter the issue, I disliked injustice of any sort. Imagine a teen determined to give a voice to the voiceless, that was me. I had great intentions but needed modifications in my strategies. I had a teacher in 8th grade that made a huge impression on me. She was willing to listen to me beyond her designated hours and invest time in me. No, I didn’t want to become a teacher but I wanted to heal people in the way she was unknowingly healing me, and that was through conversation and building a relationship. She is the reason I believe there is no such thing as a “bad” kid. There are only children in need of an outlet, a person who is willing to listen and see them beyond the ridicule or pain.

Years later, I met a Social Worker who inspired me to work with Children in a fun, authentic way providing a brave space for them to heal, learn, laugh, grow and lift others up along the way. This became my purpose. I wanted to provide creative, individualized outlets for healing and foster the tools needed to unearth the gifts people have within themselves to pay them forward. Social Work was the way to do that. In 2015 I pursued my Social Work degree at Long Island University, and have since had the pleasure of working with all ages from 2 to 80. I have sharpened my skills and cultivated extensive experience working at psychotherapy clinics, the Therapeutic Foster care system, and the Department of Education.

In 2022 I joined Resilient Mind Psychotherapy. As a therapist, I specialize in treating teens and young adults dealing with depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and childhood trauma. In my sessions, I integrate a variety of modalities from CBT, Play Therapy, DBT, and Mindfulness practices. Using a highly attuned, lighthearted and individualized approach I meet clients and their families wherever their at. Through this collaborative effort, clients learn to build self-determination and unlock their unique gifts. I have a saying; Live, Learn, Love, and Lift Each other Up, for it’s the only way to be light in the midst of so much darkness.

I’m a New Yorker through and through because I have lived in every borough except Staten Island. You can place me anywhere, and I’m sure to adapt. When not working, I’m podcasting, journaling, and deepening my relationship with God. I love to find God in all things, especially nature. You can find me on a good hike on top of some tall mountain meditating on the word of God, or just enjoying the gift of the day. I must pour into my cup so it can overflow to others.