Introducing our NEW Director of Mentoring & Family Programming, Ashley Nahai, MFT

Transcend is pleased to announce a wonderful addition to our team, Ashley Nahai, MFT, our new Director of Mentoring & Family Programming. Current Director, Joshua Mirmelli, Psy. D., shares a warm message to welcome her to the Transcend family…

Serving as Director of Mentoring & Family Programming has been such a wonderful adventure for me and I have learned so much. Recently, I have been working on accruing my hours for licensure as a Clinical Psychologist and I will be concentrating my time and efforts on further pursuing my career as a therapist while remaining at Transcend working directly with clients and their families. At Transcend, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of dedication and care. That being said, I am thrilled to introduce our new Director of Mentoring, Ashely Nahi, MFT,  as I know she will provide the continued presence and expertise that allows our department to thrive. Ashley is a skilled clinician who has many years of experience working with individuals in recovery and we are confident that she will lead the department beautifully. Most importantly, Ashley is warm, thoughtful, and compassionate and will be an invaluable asset to the Transcend team!

– Joshua Mirmelli, Psy. D.

Ashley Nahai, MFT

A native of Los Angeles, Ashley received her BA in Psychology from UCLA, and her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern California. Her education and training have focused on the relationship between trauma and substance abuse. She completed her practicum training at the CLARE Foundation in Santa Monica, a residential substance abuse facility, where she received training in psychodynamic therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and 12-step oriented treatment. For the past five years, Ashley has served as the Counseling Director at Beit T’Shuvah, a residential substance abuse facility in Los Angeles, where she was responsible for the supervision and training of all substance abuse counselors, and coordinating and overseeing the clinical care of clients and their families.

Ashley believes in the sanctity and power of the therapeutic relationship and in the ability of every person to recover and transform through mental, emotional, and spiritual healing

Ashley with her rescue dog, Vinny
Ashley with her husband, Michael cheering on our hometown team!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Contact Ashley!

ashleyn@transcendrc.com | 310-498-2642


Q & A with Joshua M. & Ashley N.

JM: What inspired you to work in this field?

AN: From a very young age, it was fairly clear to me that I wanted to go into a “helping profession”. I knew that I wanted to do whatever I could to help people through their struggles, fears, and pain; to help them feel worthwhile, to give them hope, and to help them change their lives. Becoming a psychotherapist felt like the perfect way to do this. I saw how much people with mental illness and addiction were suffering, how much stigma there was around these issues, and how much need there was for long-term treatment. Through my education and training, I knew that I wanted to help people along that journey and be a part of those miracles.

JM: What is your unique approach to therapy and treatment.

AN: To me, the most important parts of the therapeutic relationship are trust and hope. Many people come into therapy and treatment feeling alone and hopeless, and my goal is to have them start to feel that they are cared for, that there is someone in their corner, and that things can change for them.

JMWhat is a common challenge you see among clients in recovery, and how do you as an individual, and as a team, address it?

AN: The biggest challenge I see among clients in early, and sometimes in later recovery, is isolation. Because the addiction becomes the driving force in the addict’s life, they become disconnected from their friends, family, and society as a whole. It takes time for people to start to trust people again, to rebuild lost relationships, and to create new connections. As a clinician, my role is to help clients feel connected to me and work through the issues that are standing in the way of them creating and sustaining healthy relationships.

JM: What is something you think is crucial for lasting recovery?

AN: I believe that connection and purpose are crucial to long-term recovery. In order for people to feel fulfilled, it is vital that they feel bonded to other human beings and that they have people to turn to for love and support. It is also imperative that people feel that their life has purpose – that they are contributing something to society – whether it be through acts of service, career, hobbies, or relationships, to name a few.

JM: What are you looking forward to in this role?

AN: In addition to working with an amazing team and being part of the Transcend family, I am most looking forward to being a part of the journey toward healing for those early in recovery. I am excited to get to know the Transcend clients and mentors and to help guide them through the early stages and phases of recovery.

JM: Do you have a personal self-care mantra or ritual?

AN: My self-care practice mainly consists of Pilates and manicures!

Favorite…

Book: The Great Gatsby

Animal: Dogs

Activity in Los Angeles:  Going out for ice cream!

Residential Advisors: Practice for the Next Step

Waverly C | The Verve Residential Advisor

When Jude asked me if I’d like to be the Residential Advisor at the Holmby House, I felt honored. “This is going to be pretty cool,” I thought. I’m moving in the right direction. I’ve risen in the client ranks, being promoted from a regular client to a client with greater authority and responsibility. Now that I hold the title of Residential Advisor, what does this mean though? What authority does this title actually give me? What duties must I now perform? With great power comes great responsibility. I say this jokingly, but I truly do have a greater obligation and commitment to the house and my fellow housemates. That increased accountability has carried over into my recovery. The Holmby House is a Verve house, and so we don’t have the overnight staff as the other Transcend houses do. When the daytime staff leaves at midnight, I am responsible. While Program Directors are always just a phone call away, I become the eyes and ears of the house, the boots on the ground support. It’s important then that I lead by example 24/7. Clients and other staff members need to feel that they can trust and depend on me. This means doing my chore every day, being an active participant in house activities, working a solid program, and showing respect to all the ladies in the house. I’m not perfect though, and as a client, I’ve certainly gossiped and made comments about others in the house that didn’t serve to bolster my fellow residents. Now that I am a residential advisor though, I know that my behaviors and the way I present myself is ever more important. I have a duty to create a safe and supportive space for my fellow residents, and it’s very important that every girl in the house feels comfortable coming to me with a problem. As a Residential Advisor, that’s probably the most important thing to me. It’s also most important in my recovery. I am becoming an honest, productive, and giving member of society. That practice starts with me and the role I play within the Holmby house. I want to do for others what has been done for me, to be of service whenever I can.

Art & Recovery: Creating a Life Worth Living

Written by Reed J. | Transcend Mar Vista Client

” Recovery is not just being sober, rather it is building a better life for yourself—a life worth living. I desire this kind of life so strongly that I will do whatever it takes to get there. For me to achieve this I must continue to create. Just for today I will stay sober, create art, and day in and day out, continue moulding my existence into the life of my dreams.”

As someone who works professionally in the fine art field, I have found that the act of producing and creating art is an extremely important part of my recovery. I have often said I live to create and create to live. Years ago I found that when I am creating, whether it be painting, drawing, or any other art form, I am sent into a deep meditative state. During and after spending time working on an art piece I am overcome with a strong sense of serenity and a feeling of peace. For me, creating has become my most rewarding method of practicing meditation.

While I believe my art has been influenced by past drug use, I definitely recognize how much it hindered the creative process. During the times of my life where I have struggled with severe depression, spiraling out of control and only further fueling my drug use, I was never able to create art. No matter what drugs I tried, I was rendered completely unable to draw or paint—chronic drug abuse and dependency made this impossible. This inability to express my creativity in any meaningful way in my life would only intensify my depression which, in turn, would lead to using more and more drugs. Thus the cycle of depression and drugs became firmly rooted in my daily life.

This is not my first attempt at getting sober, but I do believe it will be my last. I have been doing so many things differently this time- getting a sponsor, working the steps, following suggestions, going to meetings, etc. These have all been important in getting and keeping myself sober. Getting sober, however, is only half the battle for me to get to the point where I feel I have a life worth living. This is because of how debilitating my mental illnesses can often become. Managing this part of my recovery is just as important for me as staying sober, which is where creating daily comes in.

My dream of leaving my mark on the world through my art gets closer each day I choose to draw or paint at least something. The most prolific artists possessed not just talent, but also grit and discipline. Talent may be something that is innate, but grit and discipline are learned skills that take continuous practice to perfect. For the past week and a half I have, for the first time in two years, been painting or drawing on a daily basis. Doing this has created a sense of accomplishment inside me and a great uplift in my mood. As I continue to pursue a career in the arts, it is important I continue to develop the skills of grit and discipline by pushing myself to paint or draw everyday, even if for only a few minutes. It is a vital piece of my recovery that I keep moving forward on this path.

Recovery is not just being sober, rather it is building a better life for yourself—a life worth living. I desire this kind of life so strongly that I will do whatever it takes to get there. For me to achieve this I must continue to create. Just for today I will stay sober, create art, and day in and day out, continue molding my existence into the life of my dreams.

Executives’ Corner: An Interview with Transcend CAO, Adam Zagha

You first came to Transcend as a resident, how did you become an employee?

In 2009, my old roommate decided he was going to get sober and move into some sober living home owned by a man named Asher Gottesman. Following his initiative, I thought I too would give sobriety a try, and moved into this sober living house as their fifth client. I relapsed after a week and left the program. After a few attempts at maintaining sobriety on my own, I made a conscious and desperate decision to commit to my recovery in March 2010 and completed a 60-day treatment program. I then joined Transcend as a resident once again, but this time I worked an all-star program and maintained a daily routine of work, meetings, and house chores. After six months of living at the house, I became the live-in weekend manager, and was soon promoted to an assistant manager, and then finally the house manager.

How then did you transition into an executive role as the CAO?

After working in the house for some time, I had an opportunity to join the corporate team. I had a working knowledge of our program as a house manager, and am a detail-oriented and diligent person by nature when it comes to business. Though I really enjoyed managing the houses, I was looking for a new challenge professionally. From the business end, I thought I could really help the company run more efficiently- both systematically and financially. In a very short period of time working in the corporate office, I was able to gain the company significant savings and improve some of our systems just by giving them a thorough evaluation. Asher and the rest of the corporate team noticed my commitment and potential, and asked me to come on board as the Chief Administrative Officer.

What number employee were you?

When I started as a weekend manager I was Transcends employee #12. We now have over 150 employees throughout our various programs.

What is a brief description of what you do for the company?

As Chief Administrative Officer, I am responsible for the management of the inside of the company, the operational duties that people don’t often think about. I ensure that all of our behind the scenes systems (re: human resources, finances, etc.) are running smoothly and proficiently. My other duties include setting up and negotiating contracts with insurance companies, driving the logistical and operational responsibilities during an expansion, and managing relationships with investors and stake-holders. It’s not exactly a forward-facing role, but it is integral to the healthy functioning of the organization.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy figuring out ways to make our companies run optimally, and have systems in place that provide a cost-saving. This allows us to grow and scale, and ultimately, provide better care for our clients. When I detect an internal problem, I see it as a great opportunity to refine our business practices and be better. Simply put, I’m a problem solver and I get to work on projects that challenge me to do that every day.

What do you think is an integral component of a successful company?

To reference the big book, Step 4 instructs us to take a personal inventory and periodically perform a personal house cleaning. A business that does well is constantly taking an inventory of themselves– which sometimes requires letting go of what’s not working. Fact-finding and fact-facing – it’s an effort to take stock. By being open to growth and change, we can disclose what is damaging us so that we can let it go and emerge healthier and more profitable. A successful company is persistently taking an honest look at itself, knowing that the work is never done. By doing that at Transcend, we ensure that we will never be the ones to stunt our own growth.

Fun Fact: 

At the age of 15, I studied a year abroad in Switzerland for my sophomore year of High School. I lived in the Swiss Alps in a town of 120 people. I would spend hours just snowboarding and exploring the mountains. Snowboarding is a major hobby of mine today! 

Yoga & Recovery

By Brett Miller
Transcend Yale House Manager

Being in recovery a little over a year now, I have really realized the willingness to let myself have new experiences in life. In active addiction, my daily habits consisted of behaviors that fed my disgusting lifestyle. So, for me to recover I had to incorporate healthy changes that I could see and feel begin to take shape. One of the early on practices was Yoga and I have stuck with it since my first class that I did in a detox facility located outside of Atlanta, Georgia. In the beginning, the positions feel extremely foreign and uncomfortable, however, newly in sobriety it can feel foreign and uncomfortable just to be in your own skin. I could already see how this was going to benefit my recovery. That really is why my love for yoga has evolved and is so strong because of all the similarities between Vinyasa and recovery. The word “vinyasa” can be translated as “arranging something in a peculiar way,” like yoga poses for example. In Vinyasa yoga classes, students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next.

However, the beauty about Vinyasa, and yoga in general, is every individual has their own style and freedom to explore. There are various levels or difficulties where students increase their knowledge of posture and flow, as well as comprehensively building strength, flexibility, endurance, and breath. There are both physical and mental benefits. Physically, sweat releases toxins and re-energizes our bodies. Mentally, the synchronized breathing relaxes the chatter of the mind and helps to release any blockage of energy flow throughout our bodies. We hear so much about prayer & meditation in the recovery world. I never really understood the importance behind the 11th step until I found yoga. Never did I ever associate myself with the meditating type, I was far from it. I truly believe there are other males who struggle with the same problem. I want to offer a relatively simple solution to them or to you if you are reading this now. Get involved in a yoga practice of some sort. It does’t have to be extremely challenging, just a jumping off point. The truth is you may not like it at all. That is 100% okay, but at least you can say you gave yourself the opportunity to. Like I said in my opening sentence, allow yourself to have new experiences and try things that may be scary or foreign to what you know. The positive results that follow may surprise you.

Before | During | Now: My Journey Through Recovery

By Evan Moriarty
Transcend New York Assistant Program Director

What realizations lead me to seek recovery:

While at a 12-step spiritual retreat following detox, I began to understand in fits and starts–and only by listening to the experience of others–that my sobriety depended on my willingness to seek a spiritual orientation towards myself and others. After years of thinking that I just needed to get a grip on myself, the novelty and power of this approach was compelling (and intimidating).

What I lost in my addiction:

I lost my sense of self–or more accurately, I became unable to move my sense of self beyond the one I maintained before my drinking and drug use consumed me. I lost the opportunity to develop as a person, as well as the ability to notice this happening.

What worked for me:

Dedicating myself almost entirely to concrete step work was immensely helpful to me early on. If I was going to live differently, I needed to take the action required to become different. After leaving the spiritual retreat, where I completed my fourth step, I wrote daily 10th step inventory and began making amends.

What I learned about myself:

I’ve learned that my past–painful as it was and meaningless as it seemed–provided me with the opportunity to find the purposefulness recovery has brought to my life.

Proudest moment:

As I was moving out of sober living, the staff there asked me to return each week and take the newest clients to meetings, initiating a new component in their programming.

What I value most in recovery:

Today I value the genuine and loving relationships I’ve been able to develop with my friends, family, and partner. The opportunity to live outside the limits of my own mind has provided me with a new freedom.

Advice to my younger self:

Spend less energy crafting and clinging to a specific image of yourself.

Best advice for newbies:

Enjoy your recovery as much as possible. Try to find a way to understand sobriety as an offering rather than a deprivation.

A goal I have for the future:

Hike Mt. Washington in the Winter.

“I’m Giving Away What Was Given To Me”

"I'm Giving Away What Was Given To Me" | Transcend Recovery Community

By Grayson Slusher
Transcend Seaside House Manager

Never would I have imagined being sober for over a year, much less working in a recovery home. I have had countless attempts and opportunities to achieve sobriety throughout the mere 15 sober livings and in-patient treatment centers I went through. Leading up to this final attempt at the seemingly impossible and unattainable gift of sobriety, things were not going well internally or externally. I found myself in an inconceivable environment, an environment involving used and dirty syringes, no running water or power, and feeling completely and utterly alone.

Oh, how different this was compared to the beautiful home in Las Vegas I grew up in. Oh, how different this life had been to the one my parents and I pictured for myself. “Why had I been dealt these cards, God,” I cried out. Little did I know, these cards have been a great blessing. I have acquired a tremendous amount of strength and knowledge having been where I was, at the lowest of the low, and working my way back up. This past provides me the opportunity to give hope, strength, and courage to the man or women who is still battling with their addiction. What a fulfilling life I have today. To be able to have the opportunity to watch people grow and overcome their addiction outweighs the satisfaction any materialistic item ever could.

The clarity of mind to be able to see and feel such pure satisfaction is highly unlikely when newly sober though. When I was newly sober, I sought the easiest and quickest fix to the unimaginable amount of pain I felt inside. The pain I was trying to avoid was masked with drugs and alcohol for years. This why I am such an advocate for sober living homes, particularly Transcend Recovery Community, a safe place where one will be surrounded by a caring staff and peers. Having been so distant and isolated from the real world, intoxicated by puzzling amounts of drugs and alcohol, it seemed almost impossible to think that I would be given the chance to gain the necessary tools to heal and reclaim my life.

Though my addiction was my problem behavior, there was an underlying matter at hand, a reason why I felt it necessary to impair myself to such an extent. Those internal issues were challenging for me to see on my own, which is why being in a sober living environment was ever more important for the success of my sobriety. I first entered sober living as a client with complete hopelessness and desperation, looking for a better way to live life. The inconceivable amount of pain I had caused to my family was disgusting, but was never enough to keep me sober. It was imperative for me to listen to someone else’s suggestions and directions initially. Realizing that my thinking was skewed and that I would achieve better results by listening to someone else’s direction is a key factor in how I got to where I am today. I may have had a wealth of knowledge in the world of sales and business, but I knew nothing in the world of staying sober.

Working in sober living with newly sober individuals reminds of me of my former self and the importance of a sober community. Every day I see something in a client that I have done, or in a position that I have been in. Every day I see these things and use it as an opportunity to be there for them and help them through it. My job as a sober living manager is stressful and draining at times, but the moment I get to see the light come on in a client’s eyes makes it all worth it. There is a true freedom this way of life has brought me. Service to others brings me a feeling inside I was endlessly searching for in drugs and alcohol, a feeling I never imagined was possible to have sober.

But, here’s the kicker: I must give away what was given to me, meaning I must be of service daily and I must remain as selfless as possible. My job as a house manager provides me an excellent opportunity to be of service to another person with addiction, and provides me with a fulfilling life in doing so. What is important to remember though, is that if I don’t take care of myself in my program, all other areas of my life will crumble and I will risk losing what I have worked so hard to achieve in sobriety. Also, I find myself much more useful to others when I am in an honorable place in my recovery.

Today, I love my life and the people in it. I have a spiritual practice and a God that is with me throughout every moment of every day. I’ve got friends and family who rely and depend on me. I’ve got a feeling inside of usefulness and purpose. Before getting sober none of these things were a reality nor did I think they would ever be possible. Before my recovery, my initial thought never would have been how I could help someone else and give freely of myself, but I’ve experienced remarkable results in doing so. Leading a life of service, rather than one of self-serving, has brought me limitless passion and happiness. Not every day is easy, but so long as I keep God close to me and put others well-being in front of my own happiness, I know I will get through it.

My past doesn’t define who I am today, rather, it allows me to help others define the life they want and the person they want to become in recovery.

Purpose Of My Past: How My Own Recovery Allows Me To Help Others Find Their Own

Purpose Of My Past | Transcend Recovery Community

One question I am asked a lot is, “Why do you work in drug and alcohol treatment, how can you deal with all of the despair and hear all of those sad stories all the time?”  The truth is that I can honestly relate to the people on the other end of the line. I have been struggling with substance abuse since the age of 12. I dropped out of middle school and was in trouble constantly. As an adult I couldn’t go a day without drinking or doing drugs. I have been homeless more times than I can count.  One question I am asked a lot is, “Why do you work in drug and alcohol treatment, how can you deal with all of the despair and hear all of those sad stories all the time?”  The truth is that I can honestly relate to the people on the other end of the line. I have been struggling with substance abuse since the age of 12. I dropped out of middle school and was in trouble constantly. As an adult I couldn’t go a day without drinking or doing drugs. I have been homeless more times than I can count.

I began my journey in recovery at the age of 18. I spent years on and off the wagon. Three rehabs and a handful of sober livings served only as places to clean up and get ready for my next run. In retrospect, this wasn’t my intention, but if I am not doing the work necessary to progress in life, it is just a matter of time until I drink again. The last drinking spree I had lasted eight months. A few weeks before that relapse, I had just celebrated 2 years sober. In all honesty, my initial first drink was by mistake – I was poured an alcoholic beverage, and before I knew it, I had swallowed a mouthful. To be clear that wasn’t the relapse. I could have called my sponsor or another friend in recovery, but instead I decided that this mistake was a good enough reason to throw everything away and continue to drink. Eight months later I was homeless and begging a friend to let me into his rehab.

I had nothing, I was ashamed of myself and out of options. What a blessing my desperation turned out to be. I was asked if I was willing to do whatever it took to stay sober and I honestly answered, yes.

From that day forward I have done a tremendous amount of work on myself to get and stay sober. I took all the crazy suggestions I was given. The result is not only that I am sober today, but I am happy and content with the life I have. Moreover, I have realized that I have a lot to offer others. Working on the admissions team at Transcend Recovery Community allows me to connect with individuals when they are their most raw and vulnerable selves. It is an honor to provide support, comfort, and direction for people who have found the strength to ask for help, who have realized that their lives have become unmanageable and are reaching out for help.

Working in treatment can be tough sometimes. Talking to desperate families and seeing the disease of addiction tear through countless lives is heartbreaking to say the least. The joy I feel when I get to witness someone surrender to our help and take the action necessary to begin the road to recovery makes it all worth it. To know that I have had a hand in helping someone transform their life and find meaning and purpose in recovery, is all the motivation I need to keep answering the calls. The truth is that I am blessed to be in such a position, I have a debt to pay back to all the people that have helped me and made it possible for me to stand on my own two feet a sober man today.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction feel free to reach out to me or anyone here at the Transcend community, we are here to help.

Safeguarding Your Summer

Safeguarding Your Summer | Transcend Recovery Community

As summer begins in Houston, the temperature begins to rise and we seek relief from sweltering heat. Whether it’s a dip in a pool, an ice cold beverage, or a nap in a dark, cold air conditioned room, we have options. But what about options to protect our sobriety in the summer months when we are bombarded with triggers? Summer events and outings are synonymous with drinking. Beach parties, barbecues, concerts, festivals, and parades are often sponsored by liquor manufacturers and beer distributors. What steps can I take to safe guard myself and my sobriety this summer and still have some fun?

My first line of defense is a morning meeting at my home group, Eyes Wide Shut. I start my day at 6:30 am Monday through Friday with a meeting not for the faint of heart. We are a tight knit group that laugh our heads off, sometimes cry, but always enjoy ourselves at an hour when most are still sound asleep. After the meeting I head off to work at Harvard House Houston, while a small group usually heads to breakfast for fellowship at Whole Foods because to quote Dave U. , “half foods availed us nothing”.

Another invaluable lifeline is having constant contact with a strong support system. I do this in a couple of ways. I send three to four text messages every morning just to say good morning. Later in the day I send another set of text messages, and in those, I try my best to say nothing about myself. Instead, I ask about the other person to try to get out of myself for a bit. I have made it a habit at meetings to approach one person I don’t know or don’t know well and get their phone number so that I can add them to my text message list. This is a habit that has taken time to put into practice. I preach it to those I sponsor and to anyone that I mentor. Picking up the phone and talking to someone when things are good is easy, but doing that when I am struggling requires true effort, and if I was not in the habit of doing it I would be in big trouble.

Fellowship is a big part of the recovery process and it’s something I had to learn how to do. Learning how to have fun in sobriety requires me to be present and engaged. I’m fortunate to be a member of the Lambda Center where there is a flurry of activities and functions. One of the privileges of being with Transcend is extending the hand of AA to our residents, and including them in those fellowship activities. While Transcend offers a variety of support tools and resources that best suit the individual client, AA is a popular program to help instill a sense of fellowship in recovery. I am amazed at how surprised many of them are at having had such a good time after attending their first AA fellowship function. To see the light in their eyes and the realization that there is fun to be had in a way they never believed possible! This is why we do what we do.

Finding Purpose, Growth In Recovery: From Mentee To Mentor

Finding Purpose, Growth In Recovery: From Mentee To Mentor | Transcend Recovery Community

Our mentoring program provides structure, support, and recovery connection for residents who are moving out of our houses and into greater levels of independence. Oftentimes, those who have themselves journeyed through recovery serve as the most effective and compassionate mentors. Stephanie, who will be celebrating two years of continuous recovery next Friday and is a former Transcend resident and mentoring client, is one of our newest mentors and we couldn’t be more proud of her! We thought we would ask Stephanie about her experience and transition from client to mentor.

Q:  What is the most rewarding part of being a mentor?

Stephanie: The most rewarding part to mentoring for me is just witnessing client growth. One of the women I mentor has been working with me since November. She is almost unrecognizable in every form from then to now. I had always used the word “proud” when describing how I feel about the women I mentore, but working with her and seeing her have these major breakthroughs shows me a totally different meaning to the word.

Q:  What are some of the goals you set with your mentees?

Stephanie: The goals that I will set with mentees vary based on where they are in their recovery or what brought them to recovery. Some common goals though pertain to getting a job, budgeting their money, or possibly going to school.

Q:  What is the one thing you value most about being a mentor?

Stephanie: Something that I value most about mentoring is the opportunity to form amazing relationships with my clients and their families. For them to have me as their “go to person” with whom they trust with so much in their life means a lot to me.

 Q:  How do you work with families in your role as a mentor?

Stephanie: Working with the families is one of my favorite parts of this job. To my clients, I serve as an advocate to help them communicate what their needs are in a helpful, peaceful, and clear way. With the parents, I typically begin by having them define what their goals or expectations are for their son or daughter. By acting as a mediator between clients and parents, I strive to build healthy and productive communication and action within the family unit. That way it takes away tension or pressure on both ends, and each side can by proactive in their recovery.

Q:  Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Stephanie: In 5 years’ time, I see myself graduating from grad school with a Ph.D.  in Clinical Psychology. My goal is to continue my work in the mental health and/or addiction field.

Q:  What is one thing you now know about the recovery process as a mentor that you didn’t yet know when you were a mentee?

Stephanie: As a mentee, I didn’t realize how much work went on behind the scenes for mentors. The amount of time and energy a mentor puts in across the board was something that I didn’t have any understanding or appreciation towards. I also did not understand the concept of self care to the degree I know now. When I started working in the field I honestly thought this job would be something that would ultimately keep me sober. I have now realized this couldn’t be further from the truth, because if I don’t take time to care for myself, then my sobriety can absolutely be at risk. But if I take care of myself, I can be at my fullest potential.

We are so proud of your recovery, Stephanie! You are a gift to the entire Transcend family!