Prevention SupervisorTexas“We make clients feel like it’s their home, they get comfortable, they open up, and they talk to us. It’s about making them feel comfortable so they can ask any question that’s coming to their mind.”
Gia Yasmeen has worked at Phoenix House for nearly four years and brings to the program 6 years of experience in clinical psychology and treating chemical dependencies. Gia completed an honors bachelor’s degree in psychology and political science and earned her master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pakistan’s accredited University of Sindh, graduating in 1994. She is a licensed chemical dependency counselor intern and is now enrolled in a master’s program in psychology at the University of Houston—Clear Lake.
After completing her degree with the University of Sindh, Gia began working at the Sir Cowasji Jehangir Institute of Psychiatry in Hyderabad, Pakistan and in the psychology department of the Karachi Clinic, a private clinic. She gained experience with neurotic and psychologically impaired patients and also worked with patients who were struggling with chemical dependencies. Gia is committed to helping people with substance use issues because she wants to help people find the reasons behind their addictions: “I want to help them cope with their stress successfully, in a positive way.”
When Gia moved to the United States, she wanted to continue her career of helping people, so she became a Texas licensed chemical dependency counselor intern. She started her career at Phoenix House in Houston by working in the outpatient program and then as a prevention specialist. For nearly four years now, she has worked with adolescents, with Phoenix House’s specialized outpatient program for women, and with the prevention program to provide schools and community-based groups with cutting-edge, evidence-based prevention classes. In 2012, she became a certified program instructor with the Texas Youth Tobacco Awareness Program, a tobacco awareness and cessation program for minors who have violated the Texas tobacco laws.
Gia is a multilingual counselor who speaks English, Urdu, Hindi, and Arabic. Her multicultural experience has taught her how different cultures provide different coping skills to deal with stress and addiction. Across all cultures and countries, she sees confirmation that addiction is a disease but one that can be managed through treatment and prevention.
At Phoenix House, Gia says she and her co-workers go above and beyond to help clients access not just treatment but other services and benefits that they need. In the prevention program, they help teens by providing referrals to community services that can help meet their needs. For other clients, Gia strives to make sure clients feel at ease: “We make it feel like it’s their home, they get comfortable, they open up, and they talk to us. It’s about making them feel comfortable so they can ask any question that’s coming to their mind.”