The problems with most substance abuse treatment programs (and I have worked in many)
Over the last several years, there has been a tremendous consolidation of treatment programs resulting in an emphasis on profits, not necessarily quality of care.
Most programs provide treatment to persons who are diagnosed as alcohol or drug dependent. Yet experts agree that there are many more people who have drinking-related problems (“problem drinkers”) than there are those who are dependent (“alcoholic”).
Most programs use a “one-size-fits-all” model – typically based on the 12-step philosophy of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. While extremely helpful to some, not helpful to many others.
Most programs are abstinence-based. Some people do not want to abstain, nor do they need to abstain. I offer moderation and harm reduction as well as abstinence as treatment goals.
Group programs can overlook the individual.
Treatment at most programs consists of group therapy with very little individual therapy required or provided. Having been a Clinical Director at several of these programs, I know that programs financially cannot survive unless structured that way.
It’s just not possible to truly individualize care when treatment is primarily group therapy. I struggled long and hard for several years to do so and found it is just not possible.
Many programs adhere to the same model for loved ones.
Most programs use a “one-size-fits-all” model for the loved ones of their patients.
This typically includes education about the disease of addiction, the disease of codependency, the family disease concept, and the 12-step program of Al-Anon.
While helpful to some, many find that other programs such as CRAFT, Family and Friends, and Behavioral Couples Therapy are as helpful or more helpful.
Here’s what makes me different.
We can work together either on moderation or abstinence as treatment goals.
I individualize treatment based on what your needs and preferences are in addition to what I believe is clinically appropriate and supported by research. Examples might include Moderation Management, Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, CRAFT, Behavioral Couples Therapy, or other strategies and techniques along with self-help groups.
Together, we will identify your strengths and assets to help you achieve your treatment goals.
No one knows you better than you; therefore, we will work collaboratively.
I encourage you to include supportive family members and supportive others in your treatment.
My training and over 30 years of experience enable me to address substance misuse and other mental health concerns with compassion and competence.
I would be honored to help you make the journey to become your best self.
Please complete the contact form below or call me at (908) 393-6300.
I’m a human first and a therapist second.
As a human, I experience the full range of emotions including sadness, guilt, shame, anger, joy, contentment, and relaxation. You may have experienced some of these more intensely than I, and perhaps I’ve experienced some of these more intensely than you.
Life has its ups and downs for all of us. And while I know that you don’t need to be a cow to be a good veterinarian, I had my own battle with alcohol and drugs many years ago.
Early in 2020, about a year and a half after surviving a sudden cardiac arrest, I decided that I would limit my therapy practice to persons affected by substance use disorders and survivors of major cardiac events, because working with people with those issues is what makes my heart sing and my feet dance.
While I consider credentials and experience to be far less important than being genuine and authentic, I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor with more than 30 years of experience as a clinician, clinical supervisor, and administrator.
I have been an adjunct instructor at Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work, a faculty member at the Summer Institute of Alcohol and Drug Studies at Rutgers University Center for Alcohol Studies, and have presented numerous training sessions and workshops for persons seeking to increase their knowledge of substance abuse and related issues.
When I’m out of the office, I might be on my road bike travelling on country roads (yes, they still exist in New Jersey!), listening to music, on an adventure with my dog, enjoying the ocean or mountains, watching a good movie, or spending quality time with family and friends.