Millburn Therapist Seeks To Empower Community

By Anya Bochman
Tired of seeing a disconnect between what her young clients experience
and what the schools and parents perceive, child and adolescent
psychotherapist Nancy Kislin sought a communication bridge in
Millburn’s changing community.
Kislin, who has lived and practiced in Millburn for the past 30 years, and
is also a member of the township’s Municipal Alliance Committee, has
spent decades observing children and adolescents.
“Empower Hour” is one part of Kislin’s outreach for the Millburn
Municipal Alliance Committee’s Task Force. As per its mission
statement, the force was created “to bring together members of the
community who are committed to the mental and physical safety of …
children.” Its goal is to “discuss the current epidemic of drugs, alcohol,
vaping, and mental health issues plaguing [the] community and
ultimately create an action plan to assist in providing education,
resources, guidance and support.”
This is what Kislin set out to do with the first meeting of Empower Hour
on April 14. Mindful of the township’s changing demographics – in
recent years, Millburn and Short Hills have accommodated growing
populations of East and South Asian-Americans – she reached out to
representatives of the local Chinese, Indian and Korean associations, as
well as several rabbis. The first Empower Hour was held on April 17 at
the Millburn Education Center, and was co-sponsored by the
Alcohol/Drug and Mental Health Task Force, the Millburn/Short Hills
Chinese Association, the Indian American Association and the Korean

“For real change to happen, I went to my grassroots upbringing,” Kislin
said. “The goal was to bring a group of people together, and start a
The meeting, which focused on communication with children in a
climate of fear in the wake of recent school shootings, was a resounding
success. At the very end, the topic of growing diversity in the
community was brought up. With school officials present, the parents
began a healthy and productive conversation about their varying
The impromptu conversation led to Empower Hour’s next meeting on
May 14, which was a panel discussion on diversity in the community,
appropriately titled “Talking To Your Children About Diversity In Our
Community.” For Kislin, the purpose was “finding common ground”
when it came to raising empathetic and culturally sensitive children.
What followed was what the therapist described as “two hours of
amazing conversation about diversity.”
“I always know when a program goes well,” Kislin stated. “And this
time, people stayed after, talking for two hours about kids, stress, etc.”
The Task Force was created as a tool for both parents and therapists such
as Kislin to “keep a finger on the pulse of the community” – that is, to
find out the source of problems and help find proactive solutions.
“What every child needs is to feel safe,” Kislin said. “And currently,
with social media devices, kids are paying a high price for their self-
created isolation.”
The exact date of the next Empower Hour is not yet certain, though
Kislin aims for September.
For those interested in joining Millburn’s Empower Hour, contact Nancy
Kislin at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.