Adriane reflects on her time as a clinician working with clients in recovery at Pride Site.
How long have you worked at CRW as a Pride Clinician?
I’ve been a Clinical Counselor at Pride for three years now… The program has changed a lot over these years , especially during the pandemic, but what has remained constant is the remarkable resilience of our amazing clients and the care and compassion that my fellow staff show in their work every day.
What inspired you to enter the field in the first place?
I entered Social Work because I have personally benefited immensely from therapy, and I thought that getting to know people on this intimate level would be incredibly interesting and rewarding. (And I was right!)
I chose to specialize in addiction treatment during my MSW because I believed this population would be uniquely exciting to treat. In just a short stay in residential, clients who are struggling with addiction are often able to dramatically improve their health and their lives. This illness is a terrible, chronic, and deadly one, but it is also highly treatable, and that’s pretty amazing. I’ve had clients who began working with me at the lowest point in their lives – suffering with painful cravings, in poor medical health, struggling with mental health and trauma symptoms, with the legal system on their back, without a job or a home, and severed from their friends and family by their illness. Fast forward just six or eight months, I’ve seen these same clients totally transformed: stably sober, glowing with newly regained health, more confident about their own value and potential, no longer crippled by anxiety or depression symptoms, with their legal problems resolved, employed in new careers, moving into safe private apartments, and reconnected with their loved ones. What could be more satisfying than that?
What aspects of the job do you find rewarding or enjoyable and what aspects are challenging?
It’s incredibly gratifying to see clients grow in self-confidence and self-compassion over the course of their treatments. When clients are able to see themselves as suffering from an illness, a treatable illness, rather than shaming themselves as “weak” or unworthy, that’s a really wonderful change. It’s also very beautiful when clients feel safe enough to share their pain with me. Sometimes clients are brave enough to tell me stories that they’ve kept secret for decades, and that’s amazing because they invariably feel better once they’ve shared.
It’s very hard when clients leave treatment abruptly, because you rarely learn what happens to them next – but I always fear for their well-being, safety and sobriety in those cases. I’ve had several clients die from their illness after they left treatment against clinical advice, and that is very painful. Because all my clients are precious, unique people with so much potential, and when they succumb to this illness, it’s a huge loss for all of us who survive them.
What will you remember most about your time at CRW?
I will remember my clients. I’ve had the privilege of meeting so many extraordinary people in my work here, people who amazed me by their optimism, motivation and humor, despite having survived some very challenging circumstances. My Pride clients have truly changed how I see people – I didn’t know how strong we humans are!
I will also remember my colleagues, who are equally wonderful. I have really enjoyed the camaraderie and collaboration at CRW. I really appreciate the warmth and compassion I feel from everyone on the team.
What is on the horizon for you after you finish at CRW?
I am starting a private practice. I hope to specialize in treating adults struggling with addiction and trauma. I look forward to being able to work with clients longer term where appropriate, hopefully over years rather than just months.
Do you have any other closing thoughts?
I’d like to wish all the clients who read this many years of sober happiness. And I’d like to thank them for allowing me into their lives during this time, their trust is an honor.