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Each member of the Skyland Trail staff brings their own gift to the table. I was always amazed at how well informed each member of my treatment team was on my daily progress. Skyland Trail staff are extremely powerful on their own, however, they bring their strengths together so wonderfully that they synergize into a dynamite team

– Kari S., former client

Treatment Team

While each client works with a consistent psychiatrist and primary counselor over the course of treatment, each client receives help and guidance from a multidisciplinary team of caring experts at Skyland Trail. Team members include:


At admission, the psychiatrist conducts a one hour psychiatric diagnostic assessment. He or she gathers history, assesses current symptoms and evaluates the current medication regimen. He or she synthesizes all the collateral data to formulate a working diagnosis, and then develops and leads treatment planning. In weekly one-on-one psychotherapy sessions, the psychiatrist conducts talk therapy and works with clients to develop an effective medication regime, making changes over the course of treatment as necessary to help clients feel better mentally and physically. The psychiatrist also follows essential lab tests and adjusts medication levels as necessary.

Primary Counselor

Clients have an individual session with their primary counselor each week. Primary counselors combine compassion with evidence-based psychotherapy techniques to help clients reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. The therapeutic work may focus on a range of goals such as building insight, developing healthy skills to manage stress, processing feelings or experiences, exploring identity issues, clarifying goals, strategizing a plan for maintaining sobriety, or experiencing therapeutic interpersonal dynamics. A Primary Counselor provides support and guidance to help clients develop the perspective and skills they need to meet their personal recovery goals. With the client's permission, primary counselors also keep families informed of client progress.

Care Coordinator

Care Coordinators help clients develop a plan for what happens when they discharge from Skyland Trail, including housing, psychiatric care in the community, support groups, social opportunities, and purposeful activity.

Adjunctive Counselors

Our adjunctive therapists in horticulture, art, music, recreation, and social enrichment are caring professionals who are experts in their fields. Adjunctive therapists lead group sessions that help clients find new ways to express their thoughts and emotions, learn new skills, build confidence, and interact with their peers and the community. Whether a client is experienced with artistic expression, exercise and healthy social skills or a client has never felt skilled in these areas, adjunctive therapies meet each client at their starting place and build from there.
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Pastoral Counselor

In individual and group therapy sessions, our interfaith pastoral counselor helps clients find what spiritual practices work best for them during their recovery, including coping with grief and loss, improving significant relationships and exploring spirituality through a variety of faith traditions.
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Primary Care Clinic Staff

Our full-time primary care nurse practitioner staffs our primary care clinic, supervised by an attending physician. All clients receive an initial physical exam and continue to receive primary care services throughout their treatment.
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Nutrition & Life Skills Counselor

Clients meet individually with our licensed dietitian to work toward the wellness goals identified in their recovery plans. The dietician also leads cooking classes and other hands-on group activities to teach healthy living skills.
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Vocational Services Counselor

Our vocational services counselors lead group-based training sessions focused on building skills and learning the expectations of employers and volunteer supervisors. Individual sessions with our vocational counselors help clients develop a portfolio, including resume preparation, letter development, online job searches and applications, "dress for success" tips, as well as problem-solving in all phases of seeking and obtaining employment.
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Family Psychologist

While the primary counselor is focused on the client, our family psychologist is focused on the family. Family therapy is the opportunity for the family system to make essential adjustments that will help sustain a client’s recovery. Working with the family psychologist, the family can start to resolve issues that have become complicated while managing the overwhelming impact of mental illness. Families also find ways to adjust to support every family member’s health. Our family therapist also conducts comprehensive psychological assessments for our clients and individuals in the community with referral from a mental health professional.
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Residential Services Team

Our residential services team members are critical to helping clients sustain progress toward recovery outside of the treatment setting. They receive training in our therapeutic approaches and ensure that our clients are safe, supported, and are taking their medications as prescribed. They also provide transportation and organize appropriate social experiences and leisure activities onsite and in the community.
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Skyland Trail interns are graduate-level students pursuing careers in social work, psychology, nursing, horticultural therapy, art therapy, recreation therapy and related programs. Skyland Trail is also a site for medical students from Emory University to gain experience in psychiatry. Supervised by our staff psychiatrists and counselors, these trainees provide add-on services for our clients including group education or skills-focused sessions and additional adjunctive opportunities.
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Day Services Coordinator

The Day Services Coordinator supervises the Recovery Teams, including the Primary Counselors and the Group Therapy schedule for each campus. The Day Services Coordinator also supervises care coordination and discharge planning for clients in intensive services. The Day Services Coordinator sees a small number of clients for individual therapy and operates as a primary counselor with these clients.

Lead Counselor

The Lead Counselor supervises other Primary Counselors within the same recovery team. The Lead Counselor also works with clients in the role of a Primary Counselor providing individual therapy and facilitating a core group.

Vice President of Clinical Services

The VP of Clinical Services works to ensure that all of the components of this complex treatment program work in concert to provide each individual client with a cohesive, individualized recovery experience. The VP of Clinical Services coordinates treatment team meetings and the on-call system to address after hours emergencies, as well as providing administrative oversight for most of the clinical services Skyland Trail provides.

Chief Medical Officer

The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) has ultimate oversight of clinical programming and ensures that the medical/psychiatric staff apply the latest research when making psychiatric treatment decisions. The CMO also coordinates Skyland Trail’s internal Research and Outcomes program to constantly monitor the effectiveness of clinical programming on Skyland Trail clients.