Lori McCarthy [Executive Director] and I had worked together before, and when Herren Wellness opened Chris and I spoke, and I jumped at the opportunity because what could be better than to work for a pioneer in the field?
I met with Chris and Lori and I thought wow, because the whole feel of Herren Wellness was so different than anything I had ever experienced. It was such a comfortable atmosphere, and you could see that although people were in pain, they were healing. You could see that people were so brave.
I immediately had the feeling of “oh, this is why I do what I do”, and it was amazing to be at a place that was so aligned with my own personal philosophy about recovery and wellness.
The culture there is hard to put into words, because any word I can think of feels too small. It’s a privilege to witness guests and families have this shift. I can’t tell you how many guests refer to it as ‘home’.
I think it’s especially important to recognize that there are former guests who are now staff, and other staff members in recovery, which makes guests feel safe and understood. We have one-year celebrations for former guests, and it’s amazing to see how it inspires current guests and shows them they can achieve sobriety and be content, too.
Guests – and their families – are encouraged to remain part of the community even after their stay is complete, and this makes Herren Wellness stand out.
As a Life Coach I work one-on-one with guests, lead groups where we encourage guests to talk about ways they are struggling and ask them to dig into the things that led them to start self-medicating with substances. The Life Coaches also meet as a group to see how we can work together to support guests as much as possible, and how we can help them walk through fear and heal.
It’s more than simply helping someone achieve and maintain sobriety. Helping someone cease substance use is the first step, but we look at the whole picture and examine a person’s mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. We provide care for the whole person and every aspect of their lives.
We talk a lot about ‘discovering your why’, and the reality is there are multiple ‘whys’. We look at all the situations and circumstances surrounding a guest’s substance use. At most centers you don’t have time to get to the ‘whys’, but at Herren Wellness we go deeper, and that takes time.