Tell us about your background/experience.
In 2006, I obtained my Master of Social Work degree, during which time I was also managing a 16-bed residential unit for substance abusing men. I am also a Licensed Independent Social Work Supervisor and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor, Clinical Supervisor.
I began working in behavioral health in 1995, first as a grant writer and then as an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant. I then worked extensively with homeless populations. Before joining First Step Recovery in 2020 as Therapy Manager, I worked in an outpatient mental health private practice. I’ve also been a Youngstown State University faculty member for the past 15 years, where I currently teach in the Master of Social Work Program.
In my role at FSR, I supervise the primary providers in the Extended Care Phase II Program, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Aftercare and assessment staff.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I have the opportunity to follow clients from their first date of entry through Aftercare. I enjoy seeing the growth and insight that our clients gain about themselves. I’m very grateful to work with an amazing staff who I witness daily going the extra mile for their clients.
What inspired you to work in the field of substance abuse/mental health treatment?
I have several family members and friends who suffer from the disease of addiction that inspired me to work in this field.
What is your advice for someone who might be hesitant about seeking substance abuse/mental health treatment?
I’ve personally seen the amazing possibilities that come with working a strong recovery program. My advice is don't wait. When a person is free from addiction, an entire world is waiting for them to experience.
What is your favorite book, movie or TV show about substance abuse/mental health?
There are so many. The Body Keeps the Score provides invaluable insight into how trauma can affect every aspect of our being. Additionally, I am inspired by Brené Brown (most recently, I’ve enjoyed her book, Daring Greatly). In my teaching, I’ve used the movie August: Osage County to illustrate the effects of untreated addiction within a family, to help my students begin to explore treatment modalities and to further their understanding of the far-reaching effects of addiction.
If you’re interested in engaging in treatment at First Step Recovery, contact us today! Or, you can apply for a career opportunity here.