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Unlike many of my colleagues, I didn’t enter college expecting to work in mental health. I studied Criminal Justice/Sociology at the University of Akron because recognizing patterns and solving problems came easy to me. I figured detective work was my path. During my third year, my mind was changed while working as a Youth Resident Supervisor in a youth offender program. One day a former youth came back to visit and it ended up being a pivotal shift in my life. In his slightly oversize gray suit, he entered the building with papers in his hand. After a bit of chatting, he gave me a copy of his GED and thanked me for helping him. The overwhelming feeling of gratitude awakened the service in me that I saw in my grandmother. It was then I realized I wanted to focus on the social side of my degree.

Seattle

The day after graduation, I packed my belongings and left home for Seattle, WA. I continued working in Social Services doing family reunification work through the Department of Children and Family Services which lead to doing case management with “at risk” youth. Later, I joined a team of Coaches and Counselors to develop a county alternative sentencing program. That was my introduction to Coaching, Drug Court and the next pivotal shift in my life. Desiring to learn more about addiction, I got involved with the Law & Ethics Training Advisory Board for Mental Health/Chemical Dependency Professionals. In addition, I got involved with the Department of Social and Health Services training in the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. After 5 years in Seattle, I decided to move to Los Angeles to further my career.

Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, I began working as an Addiction Counselor and Drug Court Liaison at Tarzana Treatment Centers. My counseling style integrated coaching techniques that moved my clients into action. I recognized a greater passion for coaching so after a few years I decided to make the leap into full-time recovery coaching. After getting certified, I partnered with a treatment center and my coaching career began. In addition to direct client care, I created the program structure for treatment facilities, after-care programs and supportive living environments. I even consulted on NIDA funded projects with the prestigious Rand Corporation.

Working in addiction, I saw client success but I also saw clients returning to treatment. This shifted my focus to understanding why?” I dove deeper into understanding belief/thinking patterns that lead to self-limiting behaviors (substance abuse, procrastination, isolation etc.) and how to restructure cognition. I began teaching the information in treatment but soon realized others could also benefit. Now as an experienced mindset coach, I teach recovering addicts and non-addicts how to overcome their self-limiting beliefs and thrive.