I believe one of the most painful experiences a family member can have is watching a loved one struggle with alcoholism or addiction. The fear, worry, and concern the family faces during this time can be debilitating.
In my professional pursuits it is most effective to draw from my own history, and combine it with the education and psychological work I have done. As a child, I lost my biological mother to alcoholism and addiction. Like many of us, I grew up in a dysfunctional family system, which contributed to my developmental trauma. Although I was an honor student, because of my inability to deal with my feelings or to self-regulate, I began drinking alcohol and using drugs at the age of 12. As a solution to my emotional attachment issues I drank and used drugs for years. Eventually, my academic pursuits gave way to my use of substances, and I dropped out of college. Because I was arrested several times, and needed a quick solution to my negative behavior, I enlisted in the U.S. Army when I was 20 years old. After serving for almost four years, I was honorably discharged. When I arrived home, I immediately returned to the comfort of my old self-destructive behaviors. Although I gained professional experience working as a paralegal and in marketing and distribution, the next decade was mostly lost to alcoholism, addiction, dead-end jobs, and emotionally and physically abusive relationships.
In 1997, I reached a bottom and asked for help. In seeking help I learned that healing is a process that requires long-term commitment, the ability to be honest with oneself, and to receive appropriate support.
In addition to attending 12 Step meetings, I began therapy, studying, and applying psychology and spirituality to my life. I quickly understood the importance of creating connections, and cultivating fun in recovery. As my desire for self-improvement grew, it led me to integrating ideologies. I studied at length the works of M Scott Peck, MD, John Bradshaw, Melody Beattie, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, Deepak Chopra, MD, and many others. Additionally, I became fascinated with the practices and concepts of Native American spirituality and manifestation philosophies, attempting to integrate pieces of each into my own life.
During the almost ten years I have worked in the treatment industry it became apparent what methodologies are most effective for the client’s long-term recovery, while simultaneously healing the family system. This knowledge, and the belief that I could build a new model of client and family support, has been a driving force in the creation of Brass Tacks Recovery.
I bring to Brass Tacks Recovery a rare skill set, which combines personal experience and comprehension of both internal and external professional synergy. As a Certified Professional Coach with a background in the eating disorder and substance use fields, I bring trauma informed education and empathy to clients and families. I am a member of the board of directors of Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment (WAAT), and have held board positions within various chapters of the Los Angeles International Association of Eating Disorders (iaedpLA). In 2016 I graduated from Antioch University with a BA in psychology.