Treatment, Insurance & Intervention Coordinator
Member, National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP)
Member, Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC)
I am a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) through the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association. I earned an Associate’s degree in Addiction Science at Moraine Valley Community College, graduating in the top of my class. As a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the National Honor Society, I have committed my time and efforts to aiding the local community. My long-term goals include completing a Bachelor’s degree at Grand Canyon University, followed by a Master’s degree with an LCPC (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor).
My passion is to educate, empower, and inspire families to implement the behavioral changes essential to breaking the cycle of addiction and codependency.
As a practicing para-professional in the field of Substance Abuse and Mental Health since 2007, I have specialized in family systems. I received expert training from the top intervention professionals in the nation.
I completed the Accelerated Program for Behavioral Health Professionals program at The Bridge to Recovery where I was trained in Family of Origin issues, Trauma, Co-dependency, Guilt, and Shame. #ItsNotMyShame!
An active member of Al-Anon and Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families (ACA, formerly ACOA), I am also an advocate mentor for young women with Family of Origin issues struggling with eating disorders.
I was raised in a dysfunctional alcoholic environment of neglect. In the absence of adults, I became the primary caretaker in the home throughout my tender years. Forced to function as a mini-adult essentially robbed me of my childhood. As a result, I began self-medicating my very painful and different lifestyle with food. By age 22, I suffered from a dangerous eating disorder combination of Anorexia and occasional Bulimia. I received treatment at Hazelden and have been in remission ever since.
My story is typical of children raised in an alcoholic or dysfunctional environment. Addiction, when combined with a dysfunctional family system, is an illness where all members suffer directly or indirectly and, sadly, the dysfunction passes to the next generation if left untreated.
Today, I gratefully continue my journey of recovery and live transparently without shame, guilt, or regret. I believe we all have a choice, whether to harbor our pains and injustices from the past by nursing resentments or to seek help and begin the healing process. ALL family members can recover if they are honest with themselves, open to change, and willing to do the work.
I view my past experiences as a tremendous gift that transformed my life in ways unexpected beyond my wildest hopes or dreams. My healing process inspired a rewarding career path of significant purpose. However, I did not consciously choose it: it chose me through divine intervention.
“Suffering and joy teach us, if we allow them, how to make the leap of empathy, which transports us into the soul and heart of another person. In those transparent moments, we know other people’s joys and sorrows, and we care about their concerns as if they were our own.”
— FRITZ WILLIAMS