Red River Youth Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of AJ Basquine, LPC, as clinical director. Basquine has been a member of the residential treatment center’s counseling staff since 2012, working with adolescent boys with severe anger, aggression, and defiant behaviors. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Human Relations with an emphasis in counseling from the University of Oklahoma. He completed a counseling internship in residential treatment for adolescent boys at Varangon Academy. He also has experience in outpatient counseling.
“We are excited to bring AJ’s positive attitude and energy to our administrative team,” said Amy Steely, LPC, CEO of Red River Youth Academy. “AJ brings not only knowledge of our systems to the position, but he has also been instrumental in assisting with process improvements to our clinical department. Over the last two years, he has taken on additional duties to improve the treatment program at Red River. AJ has also demonstrated a strong dedication to becoming an advocate to our clients as well as his team members.”
Basquine’s mother worked in mental health, and he says he has always had a desire to help people one-on-one. “I didn’t know what to expect about working at a residential facility for adolescent boys with severe behavioral issues, but I found that I liked the crisis management aspect of it and being able to be a strong role model for young men.”
What Basquine finds most rewarding about working with adolescents is helping clients go from telling their story to deciding what their story will be. “We get to work with boys and their families starting from severed ties to reconnecting and rebuilding their relationships; to understand the hurt and start to restore,” he said. “You have to have a heart for it. You don’t give up.”
As clinical director, Basquine looks forward to working with Red River Youth Academy’s interdisciplinary team in continually enhancing the facility’s therapeutic program and providing hope, second chances, and new beginnings for adolescent boys and their families.