Helping people struggling to overcome addiction is Anna McDonald’s passion. “A good day is when I know I have done my job well, when I see a client who at one time was very hesitant about treatment begin to realize that there is hope for another way of life, that it’s obtainable.”
Knowing that she’s helped someone gain the tools for lasting sobriety “is the best gift.”
Addiction recovery is all about learning new skills. In intensive outpatient treatment, clients also have the opportunity to implement those skills in a real-world environment. To Steve Crump, these opportunities are what make intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) so effective.
“In intensive outpatient treatment, clients not only learn about addiction and how to stay sober but also implement immediate changes in their lives,” he says. “Education is important but it’s not enough by itself. Clients need experience to gain a sense of mastery over the things they’ll need to do to sustain their recovery long-term. By the end of eight weeks, they know what to do because they’ve been practicing it all along.”
Susan and David Hanna have built their lives around helping people overcome addiction. Susan, a registered nurse for nearly 20 years as well as a certified addictions registered nurse, was drawn to the field by the addictions of close friends and family.
“I’ve seen firsthand that people can get better and lead productive lives,” Susan says. “I’ve also experienced what happens when they don’t. It’s my personal mission to provide people with the necessary tools to get better if they choose to. And if they aren’t ready now, I’m available if and when they make that choice.”
“Hey man, come in from the cold. You’re welcome here.” These are Tip McKay’s words for anyone struggling with addiction.
It’s a cold Tip knows all too well. Many years ago, he was in the grip of addiction himself. Like many others, his recovery journey had ups and downs. He completed an intensive outpatient program but felt over-confident in his ability to stay sober. Knowing that he was at high risk of relapse, at his coin out ceremony his counselor said, “See you soon.”
And she did. About nine months later, he “crashed and burned” and called his former counselor to get back into treatment. When he showed up for stabilization at inpatient treatment, he weighed just 112 pounds and looked grey and lifeless. He completed another round of intensive outpatient treatment and over time, his counselor saw a marked difference in the way he looked, walked and talked. In fact, she saw his potential to one day become an addiction counselor.
For nearly three decades, Grant Perry has served individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues as well as their families. From San Diego to St. Louis, Chicago to Houston, he has directed hospital programs, inpatient and outpatient treatment centers for both adults and adolescents, and an outreach program.
In 1999, Grant joined The Right Step as a lead counselor for the adult residential program. One year later he was promoted to program director, a role he dedicated himself to for 10 years. From there, he stepped into the role of executive director.
There comes a point in many people’s recovery journey when they just “need a dose of Terri.” They need someone who cares unconditionally, who won’t be repelled by their anger or give up on them even in the most difficult situations. At The Right Step Hill Country, that person is Terri Edwards.
Determined and direct, Terri helps clients identify their feelings and express them in healthy ways. If they’re feeling raw and angry, she doesn’t run away. Instead, she meets them where they’re at.
Vicki serving ice cream to a client during an event.
Over 17 years ago, Vicki Piper made a decision that changed the rest of her life: She went to rehab. She met with a therapist; she worked the 12 Steps. Today, her recovery remains one of her top priorities as well as one of her most treasured accomplishments.
Finding the Answers Within
Vicki is finding the answers in her own life but she doesn’t pretend to have all the answers for her clients.