This month, The Dorm is thrilled to announce the promotion of Britt Melewski as the rising Director at The Dorm in New York City, bringing with him nearly two decades of behavioral health and young adult treatment expertise. Britt began his pivotal work as Director of Admissions where he quickly established trust as the first point of contact for new families discovering our services and community. Now, as Brittany Becker prepares to pass the baton, we invite you to read a heartfelt conversation between the two talented clinicians as they discuss the significance of this role and Brittany shares the many reasons she feels Britt is the perfect person to take up the mantle.
Welcome to this new role, Britt! You’ve been our Director of Admissions for a while now, but tell us, what journey brought you to The Dorm?
Reflecting on my career journey, I now realize that much of my prior experience has serendipitously paved the way for this opportunity at The Dorm.
Since 2010, I’ve been working in the field of behavioral health, in multiple settings, offering support across the full continuum of care for adolescents and young adults. For many years I also worked with our city’s most vulnerable populations, the chronically street homeless, as part of a mobile crisis unit. I’ve witnessed individuals’ pain and their inspiring, persistent hope. I have connected them to essential resources and helped them rebuild connections with their families and themselves.
When I joined The Dorm’s admissions team I was struck by the clinical expertise and dedicated leadership of Brittany, the team, and the mission of The Dorm. My eyes were opened to the impact of being part of such a talented and committed clinical force that’s allowing young people to build the skills and community they need for lasting independence. That was inspiring and I had to be part of it.
Brittany, can you share what gave you such confidence in Britt becoming the new Director of our NYC site?
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Britt has the qualities of a strong clinical leader with a deep understanding of the needs of this population. What stands out is not just his extensive expertise in acute crisis intervention or modalities such as DBT, CBT and motivational interviewing, but his commitment to doing what’s necessary for the young people we serve every day. From the start, he has been vocal about being a family-oriented person with a deep sensitivity to the many important roles family can play in someone’s life, especially through the process of mental health recovery. As an organization that centers the entire family system in treatment, Britt’s appreciation of this has always been important and singular.
Most of all, though, Britt’s openness, honesty and unflinching ability to turn towards tough, important conversations has always stood out, and it comes from a place of profound care for the people we work for and with. He is attuned to everyone and it’s evident in his every interaction; from how he greets others when he walks in a room, to how he navigates difficult discussions with family members and colleagues with confidence and integrity. His determination, high energy, solution-focused mindset, and deep love and care for others and sincere curiosity always shine through. He is eager to learn, to understand, to forever be a student of our profession and to accept the feedback needed so that we can continue to create something better for the clients and the families we serve.
Britt, observing Brittany in her role over the past months, what stood out to you as the qualities you most admired? And what did you notice as unique about our community approach at The Dorm?
From the moment I first walked through the door, I was astonished by the sheer dynamism of the community. I remarked how connected each clinician and the leadership was to the day-to-day experience of the clients. Everyone was involved and invested. People know each other’s names, their stories, what was going on in the Clubhouse, and the groups going on that day. Leaders like Brittany were not just visible, but truly present and engaged, modeling The Dorm values to others and our clients. That stood out.
This feeling has only grown as I continue to witness and experience the energy of the community, the incredible diversity of groups we offer and how strong the therapeutic bond is between the team members and clients at every level of care we offer.
Brittany, after 5 years as Director, what are some of the words of wisdom you’ve been passing along?
- Lead with genuine curiosity and openness. I’ve always been guided by this idea that the more I’m willing to hear, listen and learn, the more impact I’ll be able to have. This applies not just to our clinical work and the experiences and needs of the team but how we can work together with other departments and organizations to fulfill our mission.
- Let your “why” energize you. This doesn’t just apply to being a healing professional in this field but involves finding your why that is specific to this community and this role. Our work is hard work. You’re up to the challenge but you’re also human. It’s important to find ways to stay grounded and for me, going back to my why has always been the tool I turn to again and again.
- Let your smile and your personality be your autograph. We all know that it’s not about the words we say. It’s about how we show up in the space and the energy we bring to the clients and families. Channeling the unique positive light that makes you, you, is always going to be right.
Brittany, what do you hope Britt will still be able to hold onto as the ‘spirit’ of The Dorm years into the future?
Two things: community and creativity.
- And by community I mean modeling what it means to really, truly show up for others. If clients are going on a field trip or are planning a pop-up group: be there, join them. Don’t let leadership minutiae get in the way of being part of the client experience. Those moments are “the good stuff”: the magic and the heart and soul of who we are.
- Creativity: continually harness the ability to think out of the box. To look beyond the textbook and seek the best, most direct way to help our clients. To ask why. To ask how. To always ask if it can be done better in service of doing what’s needed.
Last, but certainly not last, Britt, what do you hope to bring as we look ahead to your leadership here at The Dorm?
For me, my role is to carry the light that’s already been lit forward. To continue what’s been started to support this vibrant, affirming community; to help it grow, to help it reach others who need it, to never let us waver from our mission of helping young adults achieve what they need to launch lives of independence.