I have been helping individuals and families struggling with the disease of chemical dependency for more than 20 years as a clinician, educator, and program director.
In 1986, it was clear to me that I needed to make a fundamental change in my life. I completed a chemical dependency counseling certificate program at Sonoma State University in 1988, then went on to obtain a Mater’s Degree in Counseling and to become licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist.
I have worked as a therapist in a wide variety of settings, both inpatient and outpatient, including Kaiser Permanente, Ross Hospital, and Mt. Diablo Center For Recovery, and I was the Program Director of Henry Ohlhoff House North, a nationally-recognized residential treatment program, for 13 years. During that period, I served on the Marin County Proposition 13 Task Force, helping providers to best serve clients from the criminal justice system. I currently serve on the Board of the Marin Chapter of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and was the President from 2009-2010.
In the last decade there has been such an explosion of research concerning substance abuse, its causes and treatment, with the conclusion that it is best described and treated as a brain disorder. This has led me to believe that it is a disease best treated in a medical setting.
At Gracer Medical Services, we are able to provide both the medications that have proven to be critical in supporting a patient in their recovery, and the therapeutic setting that will support their long-term recovery. My work could be best described as helping patients and their families first accept the fact that they have a chronic, though treatable disease, and not simply a lack of willpower or moral fiber, then helping them learn the tools that are necessary to effectively manage that chronic disease.