One of the most important aspects of our services is reaching clients where they are and help them find their own strengths to make it a foundation for future recovery. Phoenix House Academy of Los Angeles has been using this strength-based approach in its community-based Youth and Family Counseling Services – with staff meeting clients for individual therapy sessions in their homes, schools, or other community locations. The program is based on an evidence-based intensive case management curriculum called ACRA/ACC and has proven quite effective thanks to the engagement and motivation of our staff. In February, 2012, we received a nice thank you letter from a teenager enrolled in these services:
“I think the Phoenix House Program has helped me in many ways. My therapist really took her time to be here for me as I needed help while I was using drugs… We had perfect communication adn the homework I got from this program kept me away from negativity. This program is helpful in a lot of ways. They communicate with you. And they help you with the things you need. I had trouble staying on, using narijuana. But I’m proud to say I have stopped, not for anyone, but for me.”
Like the therapist mentioned above, clinical staff of the Youth and Family Counseling Services are patient and kind. They engage and motivate their clients, helping them to establish their own goals and seek to develop their own talents. The result is clearly described in the words of the teen quoted above, who has learnt to not use drugs and to pursue other life goals, “not for anyone, but for me.” This attitude comes from the staff, who are experienced and highly dedicated mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals keeping their own lives balanced by simultaneously pursuing their interests and developing their talents.
A Passion for Sailing
In addition to his complete dedication to his counseling work, helping to save lives, C.J. Anderson, Program Manager of Outpatient and Community-Based Services in Los Angeles, has a real passion for sailing. He has been sailing competitively for nearly two decades, and frequently participates in sailing events and races. In 2012, he placed second in Cal Race Week, and also did well in North American Championships in San Francisco Bay. His tranquil, positive attitude is a great asset while sailing against the waves and the wind.
Thanks to his calm, humble personality, he is also a model for teenagers, who look up to him and his staff of therapists, for inspiration. From our therapists and counselors, the youths learn how to create a life filled with excitement and success, without resorting to the false allure of chemical heaven.