Goblins, skulls, hand-made costumes, face-painting, and Halloween treats have made October 31, 2012 into an enjoyable day at the three Phoenix House Academies serving teenagers in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego, California. “Halloween marks the beginning of a very emotional time for our clients and our families and the staff team work, innovation and energy provided a safe and engaging holiday for all,” said Elizabeth Stanley Salazar, Vice President and Director of Clinical Services at Phoenix Houses of California.
In Los Angeles, you could see the staff dressed up as Hamlet with “poor Yorrick’s” skull, a cowgirl, an angel with a white halo, smiling witches, Pippi Longstocking, and a really, really big baby with a bonnet, bib, diaper, and basket of chocolate treats. Laughter resonated in the hallways at the sight of the resident pet dog, Cooper, a terrier owned by Jonathan Whitfield, M.D., Medical Director of Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles. Dressed in a bun with ketchup and mustard on top, he was simply the Biggest Treat!
Dr. Whitfield, an experienced, Board-certified psychiatrist specializing in treating children and adolescent addictions, knows his patients well and understands how to practice the strength-based approach every day. He brings his dog to play with and help teens relax; he wants to redirect the thoughts of his patients towards the positive.
Dr. Whitfield shares his philosophy with the residents: “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. At Phoenix House, we help people achieve their goals for sobriety, and a healthier, happier life.”
If you or a loved one needs help for substance abuse, call us today at 1 888 671 9392 or send us an email.