Liz Garone
March 6, 2024
Clinician Spotlight: Kensie Hoag

Kensie Hoag wasn’t always going to be a social worker. She originally wanted to forgo college and move to a big city and become an actress, writer, and an artist. But her parents convinced her to go to college. At first, she studied pre-medicine, but that didn’t click for her. After she took a year off, her oldest sister (a social worker) suggested she take an Introduction to Social Work class and see what she thought.

“I fell in love,” says Hoag. “Suddenly, my path and journey became clear and I was passionate about my new adventure. I loved everything we learned in the class, the connection we had to our fellow human beings, and the Code of Ethics social workers follow. I am so happy I finally listened to my parents.”

Hoag’s favorite aspect of working at Happier Living is how collaborative the work and the people are. 

“Our weekly meetings to discuss cases and support each other are what make being on a team the most valuable,” says Hoag. “Research has shown the most effective way to treat mental health is to approach it from all areas of life, which is what we attempt to do at Happier Living. She also appreciates the work/life balance Happier Living allows and encourages its clinicians to have.

Hoag likes that telehealth allows her to see clients who live all over California, from north to south, and also that she gets a window into their lives and environments. “Teenagers I work with can log on before school in the mornings, and talk to me while they get ready for school. Children can show me new toys they have in their room, their pets, and artwork they have hanging on the walls. Couples are able to log on and have a session while they are both at work in different places,” she says. “It makes therapy so much more accessible.” 

Hoag makes sure to bring joy into her own life. She does this through a daily joy list, which motivates her to experience small moments of happiness throughout the day. 

“I enjoy the warmth and taste of green tea, playing with my pets, snuggling my son and hearing him giggle, and having deep conversations with my husband, closest friends, and family. I also love being outdoors, reading books, music, particularly the Red Hot Chili Peppers – anyone who knows me well knows I am a super fan. As a family we enjoy puzzles, hiking, being in water, and concerts. I like to do pilates and ride bikes for exercise.”

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