Anniversary Blogs

Celebrating Amanda Shumow!

It’s hard not to get excited about Visions when you talk to Amanda Shumow. She is passionate, dedicated and inspired by the Visions’ staff, the clients, and the work as a whole. Amanda Shumow is the co-founder of Visions Adolescent Treatment Centers. She holds a Master’s Degree in psychology, a CDAAC, and she is currently working toward her Doctorate in Psychology (PsyD).  Her dedication to furthering her own education is matched with her encouragement of others to do the same. Everything Amanda does is in the best interest of helping teens.   Amanda initially worked with adults in treatment at …

People Pleasing: It’s Time to Put Yourself First

Do you engage in people pleasing behaviors? Many people do, and they suffer as a result.  They have more stress, lower self-esteem, and less time for self-care and healing. Recovery is a breeding ground for people pleasing behaviors. The old tapes that tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, wise enough, pretty enough, or fill-in-the-blank begin to kick in, and people pleasing behaviors feed into it. Those tapes fuel your emotional demise.   Are you concerned that you won’t be liked if you disagree?   People pleasing behavior leads to a persistent need to keep …

6 Signs Your Bad Luck Isn’t Bad Luck At All

We all have had our share of bad luck, but for some of us, we need to really take a look at whether or not this is bad luck at all or if our drinking and using is getting in the way. Let’s break it down:   1.    You seem to have a lot of bad luck involving the law.   You are chronically pulled over for traffic infractions or for looking suspicious; your parking tickets are piling up in your glove box, or every time you walk into a store, you are shadowed by security. Police officers always have …

Forgiveness: The Path Back to Your Heart

Forgiveness: It’s something we seek and it’s something we can give others. In recovery, forgiveness is imperative for the healing process to really thrive. In the 12-step process, we do inventories to uncover and discover the grievances we may have with others, and more importantly, with ourselves.  But for many of us, this idea of forgiveness, compassion, and kindness are foreign to us. In fact, in some circles, being compassionate and forgiving someone’s foibles is considered a weakness.   First, we must start with forgiving ourselves. The truth is, this is easier said than done. We are stuck with internal …

School Is Back In Session!

Despite the heat, School is back in session, marking the end of the Dog Days of Summer. It’s time to leave the sandy beaches behind and hone in on your academic prowess. If you left school in a state of emotional disarray because of substance abuse, mental illness, or both, this is your opportunity to revamp your experience. Sure, the wreckage of your past will be there, but the opportunity to shift the perspectives of those you encounter is available to you. You can clean up the mess, so to speak. The bigger question is how does one traverse the …

Redefining Your Emotional Landscape With DBT

The ideology behind therapeutic tools like DBT is to facilitate and encourage an emotional and psychological paradigm shift towards a more sustainable relationship to one’s mental health challenges. The foundational tenant of DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) is mindfulness training. By using core mindfulness skills, one becomes personally active in redefining their relationship to their suffering.  Using these tools, one can learn to be non-reactive to their discomfort while staying emotionally present.  In a nutshell, they are taking what is a learned response to stress and dismantling it. DBT teaches you how to put it back together in a healthier, more …

Orthorexia: When Healthy Becomes an Obsession

Orthorexia Nervosa is a term coined by Dr. Steven Bratman in 1997 and refers to the obsession with the purity and healthfulness of food. Orthorexia hasn’t found its way into the DSM-V, but it is a very real disorder. It falls under the pretense that one is really eating healthfully.  However, the desire to eat well and purely can often provoke an environment of nutritional loss and poor health. Orthorexia presents a conundrum, because eating healthy is a positive attribute; where the issue arises is when eating healthy becomes an unhealthy obsession.   I sought deeper insight into this disorder, …

Unworthiness: Feelings Aren’t Facts

The overwhelming sense of unworthiness that permeates someone’s mind when they begin their recovery can be astonishing. So often, we begin the path to recovery with this sense of not being worth anything: love, affection, respect, you name it. We show the world our feelings of unworthiness in our actions and our interactions. This is an interesting phenomenon to behold, and a challenging one to unwind and rewire. From the perspective of one who holds the position of sponsor or mentor, the way to help someone rewire often comes by way of being an example; planting seeds and watering them …

John Lieberman, MA I/O Psych: Following Your Dreams

John Lieberman believes that people should do what they love, and love what they do. He wants to see people thrive in their lives and in their jobs, and he goes to great lengths to facilitate that process.  Receiving his Masters Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (MA I/O Psych), John continues to effectively look at the organizational framework of Visions to gain a better understanding of how to make Visions run smoothly while maintaining the rich culture that’s embedded within.  In a nutshell, John Lieberman is our social scientist. From the social science perspective, John can critically view the …

Mental Health Care: The Only Way Out is Through

Mental health is not something to be meddled with. It’s not something that can be fixed by prayer or meditation or going to yoga or by thinking positively. It requires legitimate clinically supported psychological care.  For some that may require a long-term in-patient program, for some, that may require an intensive outpatient program, and for some that may require weekly meetings with a therapist. The spiritual practices of prayer, meditation and yoga can and ought to be integrated into any therapeutic work but they are not the end all be all.   Stepping onto the path of recovery is about …

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