Thank You U.S. Women’s World Cup Soccer Team!
Back in 2005, Allie Long signed a letter of gratitude to our Clinical Director of Foothills and an integral team member in the opening of The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, as one of her Northport High School varsity soccer coaches with a side note pointing to her signature that read, “Keep that, it will be worth money one day. Haha – kidding.”
As a remarkable athlete and leader, her passion for the sport and unrelenting faith, determination, and perseverance ultimately led to a spot on the 2019 Women’s World Cup soccer team!
The team at Red Oak Recovery ® received Allie’s world cup jersey signed by the entire team with the message, “Dream Big, You can do anything you set your mind to!! Believe in yourself, stay strong, the USWNT is rooting for you ALL!”
THANK YOU, Allie Long & US Women’s Soccer Team for supporting young people in recovery and inspiring hope in all hearts! Congratulations to you and the team on your remarkable 4th WOMEN’S WORLD CUP CHAMPIONSHIP!
CLINICIAN’S CORNER SARAH JENKINS, LCAS-A, LCSC-WA Primary Therapist
Sarah joined The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® community after completing her Masters in Social Work at Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Massachusetts in August of 2017. She most recently worked at an outpatient clinic in Asheville for pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders and is excited to return to the rich and powerful world of residential recovery programs. A native of Western North Carolina, Sarah has lived and worked all over the country, including most recently completing her graduate field work at a residential substance abuse recovery program in Houston, Texas and at a Harvard University-affiliated outpatient community health clinic in Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sarah has a strong background in wilderness therapy and is inspired to bring the experiential and the theoretical together in her clinical practice. Sarah is well-versed in psychodynamic and psychoanalytic ways of thinking, and brings a relational lens to individual, group, and family work.
“Sarah has a quick and incisive mind and brings a tremendous passion and humor to our team,” says Lynn Wadsworth, MS, LPC, LCAS, CTT-1, Clinical Director. “She is always excited about and invested in her clients’ healing and growth. Referring to what a great fit she is for our program, one of our staff said, “it feels like Sarah has always been here.”
Drama Therapy: A Creative Intervention
There are many ways to describe the phrase ‘being creative’ – changing your perspective; solving a problem in a new way; thinking outside the box; breaking a routine and doing something different, and expressing yourself and your ideas in new ways. The list goes on. Our brain is flooded with neuro-pathways that help align creative thoughts and ideas. Naturally, creativity tends to get lost through the natural growth into adulthood. When you include life experiences, traumatic events, and the use of drugs and alcohol, a person is further decentered from their creative and imaginative self.
A common phrase that is used in the recovery world is “find your inner child.” In a therapeutic setting, how do we allow creativity to weave itself naturally into the therapeutic process? How do we help clients think outside the box to allow them to find their authentic selves while diving into their work? Lisa Hilt, MA, LCAS, LPC-A, RDT, therapist at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, is passionate about bringing creativity to our clients in the form of drama and art therapy.
“Drama therapy is a hands on, interactive approach to facilitating change,” explains Lisa. “It uses storytelling and performance to invite our clients to see how they show up in their own life and how their actions affect the relationships in their lives. I want to push them to see the change they wish to see in themselves and the world.”
By utilizing creative interventions, Lisa has witnessed the clients at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® push beyond the limitations of words and experience catharsis at a deeper level. This release from symptoms of mental illness and trauma has been a healing and restorative experience.
Look for Lisa!
We are pleased to have Lisa Hilt, MA, LCAS, LPC-A, RDT, Family Support Specialist at Red Oak Recovery® and, t herapist at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, present at NADTA (North American Drama Therapy Association) 40th Annual Conference in November in Philadelphia, PA.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Ashley E.
I grew up in a very loving, supportive family. Both of my parents worked stressful jobs, and yet the memories I have of my mom and dad growing up were the times they were not at work. My dad took me and my siblings to the lake, camping, fishing, and taught us how to sail. He was very academically driven so he was often the one helping us with our homework and encouraging us to do well in school. My mom, more of the emotional one in the family, spent her free time showing us the importance of family and how to take care of ourselves and one another. “Time is something you never get back,” was her motto when it came to importance of spending time with the family. Of course, there were fights and arguments in our family, but all in all we were pretty close.
April 20th, 1999, my sister (who was a Senior) and I (a Freshman at the time) were both at Columbine High School when two students opened fire in our school. I was barricaded in a room on the opposite side of the school as my sister, and the library was equally located in the center of us. I don’t often go into much detail about my or my sister’s trauma, but I will tell you that the day that I got out of that school and finally met up with my sister hours after the shooting, I knew my life would never be the same. I learned in that moment that fear can stop every emotion in your body and teach a person how to create a shield stronger than any force I have ever known in order to stop those emotions from showing up. The weeks following Columbine were filled with unconditional love from not only the Littleton community, but the entire nation. We (my Columbine Rebel classmates) banded together like a cement wall, holding onto one another as if our lives depended on it; I know now that our emotional lives did depend on it.
I returned to high school that fall and continue my education at Columbine until I graduated in 2002. It was like nothing happened, or more so, I did not feel the need to talk about it because I was surrounded by an unspoken connection of understanding. Yes, I am sure that deep down I was paralyzed with fear, but that shield that I created was so strong that nothing was going to break me. After graduating and the years following my graduation, I began feeling like something was missing. The bond with my classmates and my community that came from going through such a traumatic event was so powerful that when I was not around it anymore, I felt lost, angry, confused, and scared. I never took any of the suggestions from my family to go see a therapist, and as I hit my early twenties my emotions were so chaotic, I felt like I had no choice but to numb them.
I spent my entire twenties searching for meaning in drugs and toxic relationships or in jail. My family continuously tried to reach out, but all I would do is push them further and further away. I was trapped; internally unable to accept the fact that I was so scared to face reality I would rather die out on the streets than face the emotions I felt inside me. What always surprises me is that I refer to my years in addiction my darkest hour and not Columbine.
Finally, after more than ten years of running from my trauma, I was arrested and taken to jail for the last time. This time sitting in jail, I had a moment of clarity. I finally admitted to myself that I was tired of running. Within a week I received a gift from my lawyer. An acceptance letter to go to a trauma addiction program in Asheville, North Carolina. I could not believe that someone would want to help me after all the terrible things I had done in my addiction.
I try to describe what I was feeling when I first walked on The Willows campus, but the only thing I can think of is the word empty. The first 30 days were rough for me. I often tell other women that I sponsor today that the only two reactions I had in the first stages of my recovery were fight or flight. I could not name my emotions when people would ask me how my day was going. I fought with my therapist about opening up to the group about Columbine. I could not even say the word Columbine and if I did, I would burst into uncontrollable tears. After several weeks, with the support of the other women, my therapist, and the loving team on campus, I finally felt safe enough to open up. That was when I realized I finally found what I was searching for all those years after Columbine; a connection to other people that understood how it felt to feel scared and alone. My family dived into their amazing family program, and I dived into my therapy. Together we were able to work through all the pain that, not only my addiction had caused, but the pain that Columbine had created in our lives.
There is not enough time or paper to fully express the amount of gratitude I have for every team member that was a part of my journey at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®. I am finally free; free from my trauma and free from my addiction. This year I was able to be present at The Columbine 20-year Anniversary, which is the first time I have been able to step foot in that school since I graduated, not only clean and sober, but having no fear about what emotions would come up. Today, because of The Willows and the work I did there, I can spread hope to others; others struggling with addiction and other shooting survivors. Who would have thought that a once hopeless, lying, cheating, traumatized drug addict would be able to be that light in another person’s life that is struggling with finding purpose.
CATCH US ON THE ROAD
Low Country Mental Health Conference
SEED (Southeast Eating Disorder Conference)
Wilderness Therapy Symposium
Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders
8th Annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium
10th Western Conference on Behavioral Health & Addictive Disorders