Hello Kristen! Tell us, what does a day in the life of an Outreach Specialist at Footprints to Recovery look like?
I have the privilege everyday of helping people begin their journey on the road to recovery! I go into other treatment facilities, community events, hospitals, law enforcement centers and become a resource to those who struggle with addiction. I feel honored that I get to help fight the war on drugs.
How did you end up in the field of addiction treatment?
A little over 12 years ago, my own personal journey of recovery began. I vividly remember what it was like to have to take a blind leap of faith. I was scared, confused and hopeless. There weren’t as many resources back then, as there is today. We are truly fortunate that there are programs today that are available for the struggling addict.
I decided I wanted to be in a position where I can help offer treatment to those who are still struggling. It was important for me to represent a facility that had the same core values as mine. Everyone is compassionate and kind. We all have the game goal: to help people change their lives! Footprints to Recovery stands for exactly what I believe in!
Through your own treatment what did you find helpful?
Footprints to Recovery provides group therapy, but also individual therapy. Still to this day, years later, I find individual therapy to be instrumental in my process. We also incorporate a holistic approach. I find this to be very effective, not only for myself, but for my patients. We offer massage, music, and yoga therapy, which I believe are great tools.
Massage, Music, and Yoga Therapy?!
I think it is so neat that Footprints includes an “out of the box approach!” Offering music, yoga, and massage therapy allows the patient to incorporate different tools into their recovery. These are tools/skills that they will benefit from forever.
The work you do is truly life changing. What do you personally find to be the most rewarding?
It is so rewarding when my patients attend our program, and start to become the person they were always meant to be. This disease takes us to a dark, ugly place. I cannot explain what a breath of fresh air it is to hear some of the testimonies I get from my patients. Some choose to stay long term! What a gift that they have the option to do that! I don’t know many other places that will allow you to stay long term, eventually get a job, all while being taught basic life skills.
It is my experience that in the beginning my patients either have to be reminded or taught how to do everyday duties. Some examples of the things we can help them with is balancing a checkbook, doing laundry, and cooking. These may sound like easy tasks but early on these things can be very overwhelming. It is nice that our patients can be in a structured environment, while getting to know themselves and uncovering some underlying issues. Learning how to deal with life on life’s terms!
What do you want people to know about you?
I take my duty as an Outreach Specialist very seriously. My patients aren’t just numbers to me. They are me! I get to witness them becoming apart of their families lives again, good employees, and most importantly, becoming happy and substance free! Although, the road to recovery is a long one, it is attainable. I make it a point to be apart of that journey with each and every one of my patients! We are a family at Footprints to Recovery!
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