Current Job Title:
CADC, CPRM, Recovery Coach, Peer Support, Certified Acupuncture Detox Specialist (ADS)
Community Healing Center
Describe your current job:
I am working full-time as a recovery and addictions counselor, at both Gilmore CHC, and Elizabeth Upjohn CHC. I meet clients and work one-on-one with them as they enter the detox and residential treatment center and follow them through our entire program. I assist them in their transition to after-care, help them achieve their goals in recovery and connect them to local resources and agencies that can support their journey to a better life, free from the nightmare of substance abuse and addiction. I facilitate group therapy and assist therapists in case management. I incorporate the medicine of creative, interactive, music performance and appreciation into my everyday interaction with clients. I then assist in the transition to our outpatient facility at Elizabeth Upjohn Community Healing Center, and meet with clients individually as a recovery coach, augmenting their one-on-one therapy with therapists, and co-facilitate IOP (intensive outpatient) groups. These groups are vital to early recovery, with concentrations in relapse prevention, co-occurring disorders and seeking safety.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is the fuel it gives me in my own journey. The gift of spending time with people struggling with addiction, makes my recovery from substance abuse stronger, more solid and valuable to me. The reward is it helps me while it helps others. 'WIN WIN!' The most challenging thing about my job is watching the opioid crisis in this country continue to eat away at our population, and feed on younger and younger souls. Watching people come through treatment, begin to feel better and get some of their life back...only to die with one use after leaving treatment and returning to the drug, can be emotionally devastating. This is necessary, but very difficult work.
What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?
Being a person in recovery myself, and having personal experience with addiction and the recovery community both locally and around the country, and even in my travels abroad, has been the most significant experience that has informed my career path.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
Do not be too concerned with money. Do something that brings you joy, that excites you and energizes you. Strive to be reasonably happy with your career...and supremely happy in your life. Also know that no matter what you do...there will be days when it feels laborious...draining...and not 'great'. That's OK. That's normal. That's life. That's adulting.