Progressive Profile: Kerry Lassen LCSW, Clinical Director at Progressive Institute

Kerry Lassen LCSW, Clinical Director


In this month’s Progressive Profile, we are pleased to introduce Kerry Lassen, Clinical Director at Progressive Institute. Part of the team since the Fall of 2019 and a licensed clinical social worker, Kerry leads Progressive staff of therapists dedicated to treating mental health and substance use issues.

With nearly two decades of experience in the areas of social work and therapy, Kerry had experience working with people of all ages, from young children to adults. She was formerly a preschool teacher, social worker and clinician at Bridges, a Community Support program where she worked within the Jail Diversion Program, Children & Family Department, and Young Adult Residential Services. Kerry also has experience working as a Private Practice Clinician.

Kerry was drawn to and is extremely proud of the impactful work being done at Progressive Institute (TPI), guiding and supporting those struggling with addiction through their recovery. Kerry and her team provide unique, compassionate support alongside research-backed treatment modalities, medical informatics and medication-assisted treatment programs.

Says Kerry, “Recovery can be an extremely difficult process, and is different for everyone. To lead people through recovery, it takes a lot of compassion and understanding because there can be setbacks. It’s not a straight road. We are here to help navigate the curves.”

As Clinical Director at TPI, Kerry’s staff of seven therapists manage 30-40 clients each, working in tandem with coaches, support groups, and other staff. An individualized, comprehensive approach that “meets each person where they are in their recovery,” makes TPI treatment so effective and unique.

“People are very fragile going into their daily lives and wonder how they are going to be successful. Our Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP) geared at substance use and co-occurring disorders provides them the tools they need to embrace and manage their recovery,” stated Kerry.


Quite often, those with substance use also suffer from other disorders such as depression, anxiety, or other mental illnesses. TPI’s complete and in-depth treatment services speak to the individual, and take into account the complete picture, and how each of these parts play into addiction.

Kerry said, “We see our clients as a whole person, not just treating the addiction, but all facets of their lives.”

To support their clients in this 8-week program, Progressive team leverage therapeutic approaches grounded in the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) and Motivational Interviewing. They are highly trained in sensitivity and PTSD, ensuring a safe and caring atmosphere.

Each person in IOP participates in a minimum of nine hours of group therapy and one hour of individual therapy per week with someone from Kerry’s team. The ultimate goal is obtaining psychological and practical tools and support for managing their recovery.

Progressive therapists provide an effective balance for treatment by customizing each person’s unique experience with the enrichment and support from the group. The group setting is extremely powerful, as it focuses on the development of recovery skills in a nurturing, yet accountable, group environment.

“We try to help those in recovery achieve better relationships, steady jobs, and become more successful members of society,” says Kerry.


Working together as a team not only applies to group therapy, but in the approach to recovery treatment as well. Kerry and her team of therapists work alongside an individual’s entire wellness team to help manage the recovery process. This may include providing clinical recommendations for Progressive Recovery coaches, facilitating communication with family members, and working with other physicians or doctors as needed.

Says Kerry, “Our staff is incredibly committed to their clients and the services we provide. Through the recovery process we encourage families, friends, and loved ones to get involved. The entire family may need to reestablish their relationships, so where possible, we get family members involved in therapy sessions or somehow integrated into the program. This is not just about the person and his/her addiction, but all the spheres of their life.
Upon graduating from IOP treatment, an individual then has the option of joining an outpatient group. The goal is to help those in recovery reach new heights in their journey by applying therapeutic and coping skills, all the while benefiting from peer support. These groups include:

  • Living Well Group: The goal of this group is to help patients build confidence and achieve their goals in a safe, compassionate space for healing.
  • Relapse Prevention Group: Patients learn a number of practical applications to understand triggers and coping mechanisms, all geared at avoiding relapse and/or creating a plan should relapse occur.
  • Empower Your Weekend Group: A unique concept held every Friday that helps patients proactively think and plan for the weekend, all with supporting their recovery in mind.

“About 90% of our patients go into outpatient groups. The step-down model is important because recovery can be a long process, and needs to be approached slowly and methodically,” says Kerry. “We ensure that intensive time is spent on each part of the process, allowing for clients to build applicable skills and confidence along the way.”


Of all the roles Kerry has held in her career, she feels extremely passionate about the work her team continues to do at TPI.

“We’ve had so many clients react so positively to our program, which is truly a wraparound service, offering therapy and recovery coaching alongside each other. What they will often say is that, ‘we didn’t give up on them.’ Even if there was a possible relapse, we’ve stuck with them, and worked together to get them closer to their treatment goals,” Kerry stated.

Like so many aspects of life, recovery is a journey, walked better alongside others.

The team at Progressive Institute is here with compassionate support and the unwavering belief that with collaboration, confidence, and the right skills, you can live a healthier and happier life.

For more information about IOP treatment and other Progressive services, click here or call TPI at 203-816-6425.

Remember, you’re never in this alone.

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