Outpatient ManagerTexas“I can think of clients that have come in here lost, maybe relapsed, and having a really tough recovery. But they finish with this sense of new hope that they can have an awesome, strong life without drugs and alcohol.”
Stefanie Kutra has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling and has been working with Phoenix House as an outpatient counselor since 2011.
As a teen, Stefanie benefited from the expertise of her own school counselor and found that she loved the social aspect of helping people and families. When she considered going into business or engineering like her parents, she said, “I never thought it really fit with me. When I discovered the field of counseling, I just loved it from day one.”
Stefanie earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Houston in 2008 and then went on to complete her master’s degree in marriage and family counseling with University of Mary-Hardin Baylor in 2011. She completed counseling internships at the Community Life Center and at two adult state prisons, where she worked with both male and female clients. Stefanie gained experience in group therapy, individual counseling, outpatient care, and treating issues like grief, family conflict, and substance abuse.
By the end of 2013, Stefanie will complete the requirements for her license in chemical dependency counseling and her marriage and family therapist-associate licensure. She has also received training and certification in Cannabis Youth Treatment and adolescent mapping, a treatment method that redirects teens’ negative thoughts and identifies barriers to treatment.
Stefanie first came to Phoenix House as a call center coordinator in 2011 and soon transitioned into the role of outpatient counselor with Phoenix House Outpatient and Prevention Services in Houston. “I loved the whole philosophy and mission of Phoenix House, as a nonprofit helping others,” Stefanie says. As an outpatient counselor, Stefanie conducts full substance abuse assessments with clients and their families, collaborates with clients to help them with their specific needs, develops plans to reach treatment goals, and does group and individual counseling with both adults and adolescents.
Stefanie’s work is motivated by the clients’ own passion to change: “I can think of clients in each program that have come in here lost, maybe relapsed, and having a really tough recovery. But they finish with this sense of new hope that they can have an awesome, strong life without drugs and alcohol.” One client, a single mother, went through Phoenix House’s specialized program for women, and was able to improve her parenting skills and create boundaries in family relationships, Stefanie recalls: “From the time she walked in here and I did her assessment to when I printed her certificate, I could see a huge difference.”
Stefanie is a member of both the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and the Texas Counseling Association. In addition to her work at Phoenix House, she has also volunteered at Bay Area Counseling for Drugs and Alcohol in Houston and at local animal shelters. Stefanie believes in a solutions-focused therapy: “There are solutions out there. You can always look back on the past and put yourself down but there are always ways of making things work.”