Kitty Clemens is the Director of the Cedarhurst School, a therapeutic middle and high school serving socioeconomically diverse public school students from all over Connecticut. Cedarhurst operates under the auspices of the Department of Psychiatry at Yale. Students have social, emotional and behavioral challenges that interfere with their success in a regular educational setting. At Cedarhurst, students receive clinical, behavioral and educational supports in a caring, responsive and affirming milieu.
Kitty began her career in Social Work as a Fellow and Primary Clinician on the Adolescent Inpatient unit of the Yale Psychiatric Institute. After a brief stint practicing in Dublin, Ireland, she returned to Yale to continue to work with adolescents at the Yale Psychiatric Hospital. In 2003 she moved to Cedarhurst and has remained there since. Kitty has been integral in the development of new programs, such as the Passage Program, which serves 18-21 year old students who are preparing for life after high school, including post-secondary education and the world of work, and the School Engagement Program, a unique program designed to support students who are profoundly school avoidant. Kitty has also contributed to the planning, implementation and maintenance of a school-wide Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support model, for which Cedarhurst now serves as a national exemplar in alternative school settings. Additional areas of interest for Kitty include the application of trauma-informed practice and restorative justice in schools, equity and representation in special education and issues related to transgender and gender expansive youth in schools/special education.
In addition to her work at Cedarhurst, Kitty is the Director of the Post-MSW Fellowship program within Yale Behavioral Health. Fellows come from all over the country to work and learn in multiple settings within the Department of Psychiatry, receiving intensive supervision, training and clinical experience. Kitty is gratified to be contributing to the development of excellent clinical social workers, just as she was provided this opportunity as a Fellow at the beginning of her career at Yale.
Education & Training
- MSEdSouthern Connecticut State University, Educational Leadership (6th Year Certificate) (2019)
- Post-MSW FellowYale Psychiatric Institute (2000)
- MSWSmith College School for Social Work, Social Work (1999)
- BABarnard College - Columbia University, Psychology (1993)