Clinical Director, Residential ServicesFlorida"We really want our clients to be in recovery while they’re in treatment. We want them to start the recovery here."
When David Fields chose social work as his college major, he wasn’t sure where he would end up working, but he did know this: “I wanted to be in a profession that helped people.” As a senior at Millersville University, he did an internship at a residential home for male juveniles, where he first helped clients struggling with addiction.
David went on to get a Master of Social Work from Florida State University and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Certified Addictions Professional. At the start of his career, David worked in case management and outpatient services. While working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, he counseled veterans with co-occurring disorders; at Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, he assessed clients’ needs and created treatment plans for people struggling with mental illnesses.
As David gained experience in a range of settings and populations, he found that he was drawn to a certain facet of the continuum of care—residential addiction treatment. When he saw an opening at Phoenix House, he applied and joined the team as a counselor in 2003.
“I loved it. I remember the first day I came to work here, I loved the fact that everyone’s living here. It puts people in a situation where they can’t escape from their problems.” As Supervising Counselor, David now works to counsel clients, supervise staff, and coordinate daily program activities.
David says that Phoenix House Florida offers a well-rounded recovery experience with treatment that helps clients confront their emotions and change their behaviors. “We really want them to be in recovery while they’re in treatment,” David says. “We want them to start the recovery here.” Clients are able to stabilize in residential treatment, get a job, work on their recovery, build community support, and move forward.
Clients who rely on insurance often have shorter stays, so David makes sure those days are filled with helping clients find all the tools they need for recovery, including early application of relapse prevention and immediate connection to aftercare services.
He’s motivated by seeing people access mental health treatment, understand their addiction better, and reconnect with their families. David says, “It’s still exciting to see people getting the help they need in life. You’re seeing them heal, you’re seeing them change.”